Day: May 1, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, a multi-language Textbook/Workbook

There are three editions of this english-as-a-second-language (ESL) environmental education textbook/workbook. Each of these three textbooks/workbooks is translated into six languages. They are:

  • Edition A: Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, Chinese
  • Edition B: Spanish, Russian, Bosnian, Somali, Farsi, Arabic
  • Edition C (a combination of the most used languages from Editions A and B): Spanish, Bosnian, Vietnamese, Russian, Somali, Hmong

These three textbooks/workbooks were written with two complementary goals in mind.
1. Create a textbook which both teachers and tutors could use to teach immigrants how to speak, read and write English. With this in mind, the book was set up so that each chapter includes between 3 and 5 ESL exercises. This gives students lots of opportunity to practice both written and spoken English .

2. Communicate information about reducing, reusing and recycling to immigrants with limited English skills, so that they would be more willing and able to participate in local recycling and waste reduction programs.

For reasons of clarity we have used over 100 different photographs to illustrate vocabulary words where appropriate, and translated key vocabulary words into 12 different languages.

We have written a Tutor Guide to explain how to use the ESL exercises effectively, and to help you get the most from “Reduce Reuse Recycle” as an ESL textbook. For your convenience, we have also included an answer key at the back of the guide.

We encourage you to write additional exercises based on the level of competency of your students. We would rather you used the book and changed the exercises, than to pass on the use of the book because it is either above or below the level of your students. There is so much data contained in the text that is helpful and necessary for newcomers to learn.

For more information or to download free copies of these books, go to http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/living-green/living-green-educators/ee-resources-for-multi-cultural-education.html

EPA, Youth Build, Greenway Conservancy Build a Rain Garden in Boston

Watch the video on YouTube.

EPA Region I in New England worked alongside Youth Build Boston and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy on the installation of a rain garden in downtown Boston on April 20. Youth Build Boston and the Conservancy both train urban youth for green jobs in landscaping and gardening. Rain gardens are one of the many practices used to reduce the flow of stormwater runoff when it rains. Stormwater is one of the leading causes of water pollution in New England, carrying oil, pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants to our streams, lakes, river and coastlines. EPA New England has recently launched Soak up the Rain, a campaign to raise awareness about the issue of stormwater pollution and encourage citizens to take actions to reduce runoff and help prevent pollution of local waters, reduce flooding, protect water resources, and beautify neighborhoods. The new rain garden is part of the Dewey Demonstration Gardens where citizens can also learn about raised beds and composting, right in downtown Boston.

To learn more:

 

U.S. EPA, Dept. of Energy Launch Innovative New Tools to Determine Solar and Wind Energy Potential on Contaminated Lands

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and launched new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for solar and wind energy potential. The tools give local communities and landowners ways to evaluate sites for renewable energy potential without the need for technical expertise.

The alternative energy ‘decision trees,’ leverage NREL’s knowledge of renewable energy technologies and EPA’s experience in returning contaminated lands to productive use.

The EPA estimates that nationwide there are approximately 490,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties.

“Opportunities to install renewable energy systems on vacant properties can be found in every community,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Tapping sun and wind power at brownfield sites, rooftops, parking lots, and abandoned land could provide untapped gigawatts of clean energy.”

The City of Richmond, Calif. is serving as a pilot community for development of the tools.

“Developing more local renewables is among my top priorities,” said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. “We are extremely excited that the green, innovative City of Richmond, California is partnering with the EPA to help communities throughout the United States fully leverage technology to improve the environment, create local jobs and attract green companies.”

Positioning renewable energy on sites can increase economic value of the properties, provide a sustainable land reuse option, create local green jobs and provide clean energy for use on-site or for the utility grid. Using the decision trees, state and local governments, site owners and community members can help identify the most desirable sites for solar or wind installations from both a logistical and economic standpoint.

In addition to opportunities in cities, thousands of potentially contaminated acres in less populated areas across the country could be put to beneficial reuse with renewable energy.
The tools can be used to evaluate individual or multiple sites, such as brownfields, Superfund and other hazardous waste sites, abandoned parcels, landfills, parking lots, and commercial or industrial roofs, depending on the technology.

The tools and a podcast by the Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response on the solar and wind decision trees are now available on EPA’s website at: http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland

London prepares to monitor Olympic pollution

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

Ahhhh the Olympics. Full of competition, triumph, glory, pure athleticism, and, for the hosting city, headaches. London is getting ready to deal with a huge influx of people to watch, compete and assist with the 2012 summer Olympics. They expect over 11 million visitors over those seven weeks. That means lots and lots of people with lots and lots of cars.

To keep an eye on the sure-to-be crazy traffic, and the accompanying smog, smoke and gunk that is sure to come with them, London is turning to technology. They’re installing a technology called CityScan – machines that scan the skies to take readings of air quality. The sensors will be up on tall buildings – one in North Kensington and one in Chelsea – and will use sensors that pick up the way the sunlight scatters to determine the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air. Nitrogen dioxide is a common byproduct of traffic emissions, and can cause lung problems and diseases like bronchitis and asthma.

University of Illinois Extension Manure Share

Illinois Manure Share is a free program that benefits livestock owners, gardeners, landscapers and the environment. It is a manure exchange program that brings gardeners and landscapers searching for organic materials for use in composting or field applications in contact with livestock owners who have excess manure.

The program’s goal is to remove the manure from farms that do not have the acreage to adequately utilize its nutrients on their fields or pastures. This benefits water quality by removing excess nutrients from farms and by lowering the amount of commercial fertilizer used by gardeners and others.

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