Category Archives: Environment

DHEC Marks Drinking Water Week (May 1-7)

It’s Drinking Water Week (May 1-7, 2022) and an excellent opportunity to highlight the men and women around the state that work diligently every day to make sure that the state’s drinking water supply remains safe. This includes DHEC staff members from the Bureau of Water and the Bureau of Environmental Health Services as well as the managers and operators of the 2,534 public water systems serving 4.4 million people in South Carolina.   

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Celebrate Earth Day with DHEC

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. This year’s Earth Day theme is “invest in our planet”. We are on this planet together and together we can invest our time, energy, and effort, to protect and preserve this planet we call Earth for ourselves and future generations.

As citizens of the Earth and South Carolina, we can actively invest in our planet by:

Participating in Citizen Science projects/programs. These projects/programs are something you can do year-round. Citizen science is when people collect data through observation of the physical world and report it to the scientific community. They range from global efforts such as the Great Back Yard Bird Count to local programs such as SC Adopt a Beach and SC Adopt a Stream programs.

Learn more about South Carolina’s environment by participating in local state park programs and events. State Park programs and events cater to all ages and interest from the mountains to the sea, including interpretive nature walks, interactive exhibits, and other outdoor adventures. 

Some things you can do to invest time, energy, and effort, around your community and in your own yard include:

To learn more about what you can do to celebrate Earth Day, visit DHEC’s Make Every Day Earth Day webpage.

DHEC Provides Tips for Ozone Forecasting Season

Spring is here and that means the return of the ozone forecasting season, which for South Carolina is April 1st through September 30.  

As it heats up in the Palmetto state and we drive our vehicles, the exhaust mixes with other pollutants and contributes to ground-level ozone in our atmosphere. Under certain conditions, ozone levels can be high enough that an “Ozone Action Day,” or “orange day” alert, is issued. High levels can adversely impact people who are sensitive to ozone pollution, especially children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems.  

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Don’t Waste Food SC Holds SC Food Waste Prevention Week

The Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling’s Don’t Waste Food SC (DWFSC) campaign is hosting an inaugural SC Food Waste Prevention Week (FWPW) April 4-8. The main purpose of the week is to continue to increase awareness of the damaging economic, environmental, and social impacts of wasted food in South Carolina as well as to provide all South Carolinians with tools to help prevent wasted food.

“The sustainable management of food is essential,” said Myra Reece, DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs. “Prevention and donation to help feed those in need are the key first steps. In South Carolina, one in nine residents are food insecure, including one in seven children. If everyone does their part, this problem can be solved.”

Food remains the number one item thrown away by Americans – and South Carolinians – each year. In fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), South Carolina generated over 1,062,000 tons of food waste. Wasted food squanders the land, water, energy, labor, and other resources used to produce, package, and move food from farm to plate.

Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Most food waste occurs at home, which is why DWFSC focuses on tools to equip residents to prevent wasted food and to donate anything extra they create.

You can take several steps to contribute to FWPW and help reduce the amount of food waste that’s generated at home, including: · Plan your meals. Use what you have at home first. Meal Planner · Shop smart. Make a list, stick to it. Printable Shopping List

· Prep smart and store smart. Prepare perishable food soon after shopping or meal prep. Freeze items to keep fresh. Do the FIFO: first in, first out. Keep produce in its proper place. Fruit and Vegetable Storage Info

· Don’t be confused by date labels. Food doesn’t immediately spoil on the package date. Product Dating Info

· Love your leftovers. If dining out, take your leftovers home. Get creative and make new meals with leftovers.

· Buy directly from local farmers and markets. You’ll get fresher food and keep your dollars in the community. Where to Buy Local in SC · Donate non-perishable items. Feed your neighbors, not the landfill. Feeding the Carolinas Foodbanks

When You Can’t Save, Compost

It is important to note that no matter what measures we take to prevent wasted food, some waste is unavoidable. Food waste shouldn’t go in the garbage – it should be composted. Composting Info

Follow @dontwastefoodsc on Instagram and Facebook for FWPW content and additional resources. To learn more about Don’t Waste Food SC, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/dwfsc.