Did You Know?

Fun Facts from Biology Club

  1. Recycling one aluminum can power your TV for three hours, and there is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled. (Paper Industry Association Council)†
  2. To produce each week's Sunday newspaper, 500,000 trees are cut down, so look at the newspaper online. (http://www.recordonline.com/) †
  3. Recycling just one car saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone. http://earth911.com/
  4. Plastic bags and other plastics thrown in the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year, and recycling plastic saves twice as much energy than burning it in an incinerator. (http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html) †
  5. Every year each American throws away 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted. (http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html) †
  6. Rain Forests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute. (http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html) †
  7. Motor oil never wears out, and can be recycled, refined and reused. Doing so would reduce our reliance on imported oil. (http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html.) †
  8. Americans alone throw away 18 billion disposable diapers, and this is enough to extend from the earth to the moon and back seven times, so try reusable diapers. 
  9. If we recycled one out of every ten plastic bottles purchased, we would keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of the landfills every year. 
  10. Recycling 35% of our trash reduces global warming emissions equivalent to taking 36 million cars off of the road.

Food

Sustainable Gardening

Creating a garden that is native to the earth it grows in is both enjoyable and sustainable, and a garden’s cost effectiveness is a bonus in more ways than one. Home-grown fruits and vegetables are healthy for both the individual and the planet. Although some prefer to plant exotic fruits and vegetables, the soil and local wildlife will flourish with native plants. Regional options include pumpkins, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries and grapes. On a larger scale, research at Bard College shows that it is now possible to build a green greenhouse that uses solar powered pipes and non-toxic materials. The following web sites provide extensive information about the benefits of sustainable gardening as well as the latest research findings:

Gardening Information from Cornell Universityhttp://www.gardening.cornell.edu/

Cornell Cooperative Extension - Statewide Resources: http://cce.cornell.edu/Pages/Default.aspx †

Cornell Cooperative Extension - Orange County: http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/orange/orange.htm

Perfecting Solar Greenhouse Design for Hudson Valley Winter Vegetables.  
To view poster:  http://environmentalconsortium.org/

Cherish our Natural Heritage: Planting Natives to Promote Biodiversity Excerpt from Dr. Doug Tallamy lecture (at: http://bringingnaturehome.net/lectures †) (Recreation Center, Ridgefield, CT, from Apr 25, 2009 04:00 AM to Apr 25, 2009 05:00 PM)

“With as many as 33,000 species imperiled in the U.S., it is clear that we must change our approach to gardening and landscaping if we hope to share the spaces where we live and work with other living things. Native plants will play a key role in the restoration of our landscapes because only natives provide the coevolved relationships required by animals. By supporting a diversity of insect herbivores, native plants provide food for a large and healthy community of natural enemies that keep herbivores in balance and contribute to biodiversity of species. Planting native trees, shrubs and plants in this crowded world carries both a moral and ecological responsibility that we cannot ignore.”

The Hudson Valley Seed Library features detailed tips for sustainable gardening. The web site offers regionally-adapted seeds many of which are produced by local farmers. Local artists design the images on their seed packs. http://www.seedlibrary.org/

Local Food

Many store-bought fruits and vegetables are imported from destinations over 1,000 miles away. Purchasing foods that are grown or raised on local farms reduces carbon emissions and supports the financial well-being of communities. Future generations will benefit from the simple choice to shop at a local farmers’ market instead of a supermarket. It is also important to select seafood that is sustainable. The Marine Stewardship Council monitors fisheries and provides guidelines for certification. For more information, view the following websites:

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080203/NEWS/802030312

Local Harvest http://www.localharvest.org/search.jsp?map=1&lat=41.474400&lon=-74.410980&scale=8&ty=1&co=1&nm=&zip=10940 †

Sea Choice:  Choosing Sustainable Seafood:  http://www.seachoice.org/

Seafood Watch:
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx

Marine Stewardship Councilhttp://www.msc.org/cook-eat-enjoy/fish-to-eat

Energy

Compact fluorescent lights (incl. why still less impact than incandescents, even w/ mercury content):  http://audubonmagazine.org/audubonliving/audubonliving0711.html

Recycling

Information on recycling in Orange County can be found at the following website:
http://orangeenvironment.org/Main/CountyRecycling

Compact Flourescent Bulbs (C.F.L's) and standard batteries are not accepted at most recycling centers, but they can be recycled at any Home Depot store.

Pollution

EPA Toxic Release Inventory: http://www.epa.gov/TRI/ †

What are the best choices for home cleaning products? http://audubonmagazine.org/greenguru/greenguru1001.html

Architecture

Follow John B. Carnett’s progress using the latest green technology to build his dream home at http://popsci.com/greendream.


Links marked with the following symbol † are links to external web sites. Following these links will take you away from the SUNY Orange Web site. The college cannot be responsible for the contents of these external web sites, although the web pages linked to here have been reviewed and are recommended by members of the SUNY Orange Sustainability Committee.