Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have You Made Rechargeable Battery Recycling Part of Your Green Routine?

/PRNewswire/ -- Recycling 1 million pounds of rechargeable batteries in less than three months may have sounded impossible when Call2Recycle®, North America's only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program, launched its MyCall2Recycle awareness campaign in July. However, with less than two weeks remaining to successfully divert 1 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from U.S. landfills by Oct. 1, Call2Recycle collections reflect that more Americans are learning the importance and ease of battery recycling, and will continue to recycle long after the campaign ends.

To help ensure success in collecting 1 million pounds of batteries by Oct. 1, Call2Recycle is taking its battery recycling awareness efforts to the streets by kicking off a cross-country trip today with stops in four major markets: Atlanta (Monday, Sept. 20), Dallas-Fort Worth (Tuesday, Sept. 21), Chicago (Thursday, Sept. 23) and San Diego (Friday, Sept. 24). These markets, selected for their history of success in battery recycling efforts, are also in competition with one another to earn the title "Call2Recycle's Greenest City in America." The winning market will be selected based on total pounds of rechargeable batteries collected between July 1 and Oct. 1.

"We have collected more than 800,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries since the campaign launched, so we are certain that Americans heard our petition to help us recycle 1 million pounds by Oct. 1. More importantly, we hope that the MyCall2Recycle campaign inspired people to think about why battery recycling is important and make it a part of their ongoing green routine," said Carl Smith, president and CEO of Call2Recycle.

In addition to the battery collection drives, Call2Recycle is hosting an online video contest as part of the MyCall2Recycle campaign. People are invited to visit MyCall2Recycle.org and upload a short video explaining what inspires them to recycle for a chance to win a Flip Video® SlideHD™, DeWALT cordless power tools, a Nintendo DSi™ or a Powermat™. All contest entrants also receive an eco-tote bag.

Rechargeable batteries are a long-lasting, eco-friendly power source for many electronic devices, including laptop computers, cell phones, cordless phones, cordless power tools, digital cameras and PDAs. They can be recycled at any of Call2Recycle's 30,000 collection sites throughout North America, including many locations of MyCall2Recycle campaign partners DeWALT Factory Service Center, Lowe's, RadioShack and Staples.

For additional details, visit MyCall2Recycle.org. Become a follower or fan at twitter.com/call2recycle or facebook.com/call2recycle.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bed Bugs Can Be Controlled Without Toxic Pesticides

/PRNewswire/ -- The recent bed bug resurgence across the U.S. has homeowners and apartment dwellers taking desperate measures to eradicate these tenacious bloodsuckers, with some relying on dangerous outdoor pesticides and fly-by-night exterminators. Even pesticides registered by EPA for bed bug use are linked to acute poisoning, cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, neurotoxicity, organ damage, and more. These measures pose more dangers than any perceived short-term benefit. And while bed bugs are a serious nuisance, they are not known to transmit any diseases.

While there is no magic bullet solution to bed bug eradication, there are many ways to effectively control them without the use of dangerous chemical pesticides. To solve the bed bug problem nationwide, it is going to take a comprehensive public health campaign -public-service announcements, travel tips and perhaps even government-sponsored integrated pest management (IPM) programs for public housing and other high density areas. Bed bugs in the home can be effectively controlled through a comprehensive strategy that incorporates monitoring, sanitation, sealing, heat treatments, and more.

Below are steps that can effectively reduce and eliminate bed bug populations in homes. A complete factsheet is available at www.beyondpesticides.org/bedbugs.

-- Caulk and seal crevices. Prevent bed bugs from entering the home.
-- Eliminate clutter. Getting rid of as much clutter as possible will
help locate and eliminate infestations.
-- Vacuum. This will only remove visible bed bugs, but is important to
get rid of dead bed bugs and their frass. Use a stiff brush to
dislodge eggs in cracks and crevices and use a vacuum attachment that
does not have bristles to get into the corners. Be sure to discard the
bag immediately after vacuuming.
-- Launder Fabrics and Clothing. Wash and dry clothing for 30 minutes or
a full cycle at the hottest setting the fabric will allow. Dry
clean-only clothes can simply be put into the dryer. If the fabric is
too delicate for the hottest temperature, place it on a lower heat
setting and let it run for the full cycle.
-- Encase mattresses and box springs. Make sure the encasement has been
tested for bed bugs and will not rip and does not contain synthetic
pesticides impregnated in the material. It will eventually kill all
bed bugs inside.
-- Steam Treatment. Steam treatment will kill all stages of bedbugs. Move
the nozzle over the bed bugs at a rate of 20 seconds per linear foot,
and wrap a piece of fabric over the upholstery nozzle to reduce water
pressure to make sure bed bugs do not blow away. Many pest control
companies provide this option, but customers may have to ask for it.
-- Heat Treatment. Heat, either blown with a fan or ambient, can provide
complete control of bed bugs, if all areas of infestation reach 120
degrees F.

For more information, please visit www.beyondpesticides.org/bedbugs.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Hunters Contribute Billions to Conservation Efforts

The largest, most successful wildlife conservation program in the world, the Federal Wildlife Restoration Program, is fueled by hunters.

Over the past 70 years, hunters nationwide have contributed more than $6.4 billion dollars to wildlife conservation efforts.  In Georgia alone, since 1939, hunters have contributed more than $137 million for wildlife conservation in Georgia.

“The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program is the most successful wildlife conservation program in the world and serves as a financial cornerstone to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. It benefits all wildlife species, conserves and restores habitat and helps enhance wildlife conservation through research,” said John W. Bowers, Wildlife Resources Division Game Management assistant chief. “Through this program, America’s hunters continue to provide the most substantial source of funding for wildlife conservation and management in the United States.”

The program was established through the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937. Through lobbying efforts in Congress, America’s hunters created this act as a way to fund conservation and management of the nation’s wildlife. Wildlife Restoration funds are accumulated from excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. This excise tax is levied at the manufacturer’s level, collected by the Federal government, and distributed to state wildlife agencies to fund wildlife conservation and management programs. The amount of money each state agency annually receives is determined by the number of paid hunting licenses and the land area of the state.

The Wildlife Resources Division uses Wildlife Restoration funds for various types of programs, including restoring habitat and improving wildlife populations, conducting research, monitoring wildlife populations, operating more than one million acres of wildlife management areas that benefit a diversity of wildlife species and provide wildlife-related recreational opportunities, providing information to landowners on how to manage their property for various species, conducting hunter education classes and building and maintaining public shooting ranges.

For more information on the Federal Wildlife Restoration Program, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website .  For more information on wildlife management practices in Georgia, visit the Wildlife Resources Division website at www.georgiawildlife.com , contact a local Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Nature Conservancy and IBM Launch Program for Sustaining Watersheds

/PRNewswire/ -- The Nature Conservancy and IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced plans to launch a free Web site this fall called Rivers for Tomorrow, where watershed managers can map, analyze and share detailed information about the health of local freshwater river basins to inform clean up programs.

The online application will provide easy access to data and computer models to help watershed managers assess how land use affects water quality. Issues such as water availability, soil loss, carbon production, and crop yields can be explored and analyzed to help understand how to mount clean up efforts. Users will be able to run a variety of "what-if" scenarios and create hypothetical models to shed light on the potential or continued consequences of development and policies in and around a watershed. The Web site depicts scenarios that have been pre-computed based on current and historical information, so planners and others can get right to work.

Typically, tools and information -- especially satellite information and analytical tools -- have been hard for the average watershed manager to obtain. Rivers for Tomorrow will address this challenge by making the information readily available. It will even provide software so managers can take spending issues into consideration when formulating their plans.

The initial pilot project for Rivers for Tomorrow is being conducted in the Paraguay and Parana River basins in Brazil, although the tools on the Rivers for Tomorrow Web site will eventually be useable by any watershed manager around the world.

Rivers for Tomorrow was developed by The Nature Conservancy in close consultation with scientists at University of Wisconsin's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), University of Southern Mississippi, and several Brazilian universities including, the University of Sao Paulo, the Federal University of Mato Grosso and the University of Brasilia.

"The 21st Century presents unprecedented challenges to the long-term viability of the world's great river systems, and the management decisions we make today about dams, agricultural development and freshwater conservation will affect the livelihoods of millions of people for years to come," said Michael Reuter, executive director of The Nature Conservancy's Great Rivers Partnership. "It's not a crystal ball, but the IBM application will help local communities envision alternative futures."

"Waterways are the lifeblood of our planet, and responsible stewardship means that experts must have access to the right kind of information about these ecosystems, and the tools to interpret and share the data, this is what ought to drive clean up efforts," said John Tolva, technology director of IBM's Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "That's why IBM is so pleased to be working with The Nature Conservancy on the Rivers for Tomorrow project, which we believe will equip stakeholders with new and clearer perspectives about our watersheds, and help them make smarter decisions."

The Nature Conservancy is one of the largest environmental groups in the world with more than one-million members that have helped protect 130 million acres of ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy works in 34 countries and in all 50 U.S. states.

As part of its corporate citizenship efforts, IBM provided the technical services to design, develop and test this Web application. IBM also today announced a series of new, water-related research projects being hosted on the World Community Grid, another project managed by IBM's philanthropic arm.

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