Hot Topics October 2017

Sep 27 2017

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A selection of environmental news and things-to-know. Scroll down to view each brief synopsis, click the title for more info.

New Food Waste Documentary Premiering Oct 13th Aims to Change Your Relationship with Food

Wasted! The Story of Food Waste hits theaters and digital streaming platforms this month with the aim to change the way people buy, cook, recycle, and eat food. Through the the eyes of chef-heroes like Bourdain, Dan Barber, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura, and Danny Bowien, audiences will see how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system. WASTED! exposes the criminality of food waste and how it’s directly contributing to climate change and shows us how each of us can make small changes – all of them delicious – to solve one of the greatest problems of the 21st Century.

New Guide Helps Decision Makers Locate Early Care & Education Facilities in Healthy Places

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry wants to protect children from being exposed to harmful chemicals where they learn and play. The Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education program aims to prevent exposures from the start by providing resources to ensure facilities know how to choose safe and healthy locations for their programs to operate. It gives towns, cities, and states a framework to adopt practices that will make sure ECE programs are located away from chemical hazards.

Celebrate OAKtober!

The White Oak is Illinois’ state tree – celebrate it, and other oak species, this October as part of Oak Awareness Month. Oak-related events will be hosted across the state of Illinois this fall to boost awareness of the beauty, utility, and needs of our oak ecosystems. OAKtober is a chance for Illinois residents, organizations, communities, park districts, forest preserve districts, private landowners and managers, and commercial entities to celebrate our oak trees and oak woodlands.  Find an event near you or begin your own!

There’s Fiber in Your Water! New Research Finds Plastic Fibers in Drinking Water

You may have heard of plastic microbeads in our water from personal care products – but have you heard of plastic microfibers? Tiny synthetic fibers from our washing machines make their way into our water systems – they are too small to get filtered out by water treatment facilities. What can you do about it? Speak up to your representatives about the issue to press for large scale solutions. At home, you could install a filter on your machine (for example), try an innovative product such as the Coraball or the Guppyfriend to prevent microfibers from escaping your wash cycle, buy clothing made of natural fibers, or wash synthetic clothing less often. Find even more ideas here, from the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Eco-Education Grants Available from IL Dept of Natural Resources

The IL DNR offers two grants for environmental education in Illinois schools: Build a schoolyard habitat with help from the Schoolyard Habitat Grant (Due Nov 30, 2017) or fund an outdoor education field trip with the Biodversity Field Trip Grant (Due Jan 31, 2018). Both offer plenty of resources and helpful hints for applying.



Get Money to Upgrade Buses for Cleaner Air, Healthier Kids

Old school buses run much dirtier than their newer counterparts emitting harmful exhaust right where kids breath.  The US EPA offers up to $20,000 per vehicle to replace old buses, and up to $6,000 per vehicle for retrofits. Applications are open now and close Nov 14, 2017 at 4pm eastern. Want to learn more? Register to attend an EPA webinar on Thursday, Oct 5th from 2pm-3pm ET.

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