Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Captain's Coming" Game at Summit

What do you do while you wait for the keynote address at the National Environmental Summit 2015?

Answer: You play a game of Captain's Coming led by Sustainable Business and Community Development major and soon-to-be sophomore at Catawba College - Seth Stephens. Campers had a blast playing this game they they said was like a grown up version of Simon Says.

Ice Breaker - Settling In at ENV Camp

Environmental Summit counselors for 2015 checked in high school campers for a week of fun and learning at Redesigning Our Future 2015.

Campers got name-tags, water bottles, backpacks, and (of course) schedules for the week.

Before heading off to dinner and settling in at Abernethy Village (green dorms at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC), campers enjoyed some ice breaker games in the Peeler Crystal lounge on campus.

The Truth About Recycling By Chloe Fedor

Recycling bins are in our homes, schools and all over the world; our minds are trained to recycle every substance that is possibly recyclable. We often point to recycling as a superhero- like throwing away our plastics bottles are slapping pollution in the face! One by one we are cleaning up the environment by making small lifestyle changes like using reusable water bottles, but some of our changes are actually hurting the environment around us. Five negative effects from recycling are:

1) Contamination is a huge problem in the recycling industry. For example, when lead paint from an aluminum spray can makes it through the recycling process, it usually ends up being buried in the new product- usually a soda can. Contamination causes a huge problem when hundreds of buildings in Taiwan, made from recycled steel, were giving people gamma radiation poisoning for twelve years starting in 2000.

2) Air pollution will always be an issue in our world. The process of recycling alone produces tons of pollutants from the exhaust of recycling trucks to producing energy at plants. Each recycling truck contains over three dozen airborne toxins. With that information in mind, there were about 179,000 waste collection vehicles on roads in 2009- all together the recycling trucks produced about 6,444,000 toxins.

3) Paper Sludge Process- when paper is being recycled, all the paper will be mixed up into a soft, shapeless matter known as pulp. The pulp is washed, cleaned and pressed into new paper which is the process of recycling, but during this process, wastes including paper fibers, inks, chemicals and dyes are filtered out into one huge paper sludge. The sludge is then sent to be burned or into a landfill, where it can produce a lot of toxic chemicals into groundwater.

4) Most cans aren't really recyclable. Two of the seven plastics in life are really recyclable; the other five of the seven will be collected, processed and thrown into a landfill. Some of these five plastics can slip through when they aren't supposed to, and you can end up with chemicals like BPA in your new plastic products.

AND . . . 

Did you know that only around 27% of plastic bottles are recycled?

5) Is Recycling - all it is made out to be? The biggest reason recycling hurts the environment so much is because of the mind set it gives our society. We all believe that just by tossing the bottle in the recycling bin and buying recyclable products, we're kicking pollution's butt and everything will be okay. But how much of a difference is it all making if the United States is still producing 250 million tons of trash every year.

Although recycling has many positive effects and is a great way to be a greener, more healthy planet, recycling still convinces us that it is okay to be wasteful in other areas of our lives, simply because we make up for it through recycling.

Redesigning Our Future 2015 -- Protecting the Wildlife

By Annabelle Nagy

When you think animals, what animals do you think of? Dogs? Cats? The brown cow you see on your way to school? Or maybe the giant elephants in Africa? But do you ever think of the hawksbill turtle? Or the fin whale? Or even the eastern lowland gorilla? These are all animals too. But I bet you haven't heard of them. You know why you haven't heard of them? Because they're going extinct!

Most people love loveable animals, and they show disgust to the slimy, little insects. Well every animal can be loving. Have you ever seen Discovery channel? They are able to make me love the grossest animals and feel sorry when one of them has a loss. That channel portrays animals' emotions and how they all are part of a family. Discovery channel is a master at showing the loveliness in animals.

Because of climate change and their habitats being cut down, animals are going extinct. And you know who is hurting these animals? Mankind. You, me, your neighbor, the mail man. We are all killing these animals. But you know who can stop hurting these animals. Mankind. You, me, your neighbor, the mailman.

Well, how can we save these animals from no longer being on the earth? Well it's kinda like how you save the earth. Conserve water, buy wholesome products that don't hurt the environment (and definitely don't buy products that were tested on animals), and don't pollute the earth. By saving the planet, you can save habitat space for the animals so they can live long happy lives.

This earth was made for every living species on this earth. If we protect the wildlife, then we are doing ourselves a favor and saving ourselves too. Isn't it cool how all of this goes in a circle? If you save this earth and try to help the endangered animals, then the black spider monkey, south china tiger, and leatherback turtle will thank you.

Photo by Annabelle Nagy

Redesigning the Future - Environmental Camp 2015

Ready to Go at "Redesigning Our Future" - Environmental Summit 2015
Our national Environmental Summit for high school campers is off to a hot but fun start. There are forty-seven student campers this year with the bulk from North Carolina but students from as far away as Missouri (Kristina Inman) and Pennsylvania (Margaret Bowerman).

The Summit is held at the Center for the Environment at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. The award-winning center includes a 189-acre ecological preserve with hiking trails and lots of native plants, trees, and animals as well as a pond. 

Environmental Summit Campers 
Enjoy Time on the Pond in the Preserve