Tag Archives: Recycling

Champions of the Environment: Carolina Springs Middle School Beautification Collaboration

by
Susanna Mayrides
Carolina Springs Middle School

This is the second of a series of blog posts recognizing winners of the 2016 Champions of the Environment awards.

One of the greatest motivations of caring for our planet is that future generations can enjoy nature, its cycles, and its biodiversity, among other things and environmental education is the greatest tool for this purpose, especially in times when climate change is jeopardizing the balance of the environment. Environmental education, in addition to generating awareness and solutions relevant to current environmental problems caused by human activities and the effects of the relationship between man and the environment, is a pedagogical mechanism that also infuses the interaction that exists within ecosystems.

At Carolina Springs Middle School, we continually search for ways to add authentic assessments to our students’ learning experiences, and we feel this is a perfect opportunity to develop in this area. We would like to make the garden a focal point of our Annual World Language Night, which we celebrate during the spring.  The vision is to have students make presentations to their parents in the target language that evening.

Some of the key lessons my students gained from the project include:

  • Engage STEM students and their parents in constructing a water-efficient handicap accessible raised vegetable garden.
  • Create a student-led collaboration between World Language Students, Special Education Students, and the students elected to the Student Government Association.
  • Teach students the importance of recycling and the prevention and reduction of air, water, and land pollution.
  • Teach the students the importance of a global conversation about land, water and air quality providing instruction in at least two target languages.
  • Teach the reproducible skills embedded in learning how to grow plants and herbs.

The best part of this project is that it involves parents of our students and gives them an opportunity to work alongside their children. On the other hand, the most challenging part of the project has been coordinating all the involved parties.

I think the project will have lasting impacts on the students. We can accomplish our short-term goals within the school year, and the long-term goals will encourage the students to work together even as they move up to our local high schools. They can instruct and help our students keep the garden during the summer and winter breaks so we can continue working on the project year after year without starting from zero every time.

My advice for a teacher or class wanting to start their own environmental education project would be to share, share, share! The main characteristic of this project is to transfer knowledge and techniques to the participants, so that they can apply them in the future without having to look for the teacher regularly. We want the teacher to become the facilitator and the student to take charge of the project. Teaching/Training is not a single direction, but a process of mutual learning and feedback, because nobody knows everything, but we all know something, and together we know a lot. It is important that we as facilitators have an open and tolerant attitude and that we are aware of the context in which we move.

This Week at DHEC

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National Wear Red Day

 

 

A roundup of some of the ways we’re working for Healthy People and Healthy Communities.

Plantation Pipe Line Lewis Drive Release

In partnership with Anderson County, we held a public meeting on January 31 to hear comments and answer questions about the Plantation Pipe Line Lewis Drive Release.

Anderson County residents packed into a school cafeteria Tuesday to complain about Kinder Morgan’s cleanup efforts at its Belton gas spill site.

Representatives of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control spent more than two hours at Cedar Grove Elementary School near Williamston. The officials gave updates, answered questions and heard complaints from Cheddar and Broadway Lake residents at the first such public meeting since the December 2014 spill.

We post regular updates about this issue here.

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Maternal and Child Health Planning and Evaluation Program Manager Vinita Oberoi Leedom share ways to improve your chances of a healthy baby.

 

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Monarch Elementary School 5th Grade Students

Good News

 

The 12 Days of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling

As wonderful as the holidays can be, they also are a time when we tend to generate tons of waste, including uneaten food, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, boxes — and much more.

Here are 12 recycling and waste reduction tips we hope you put to use this holiday season.

  1. Keep a waste free kitchen by taking a look around to determine what you already have on hand before going shopping. Make a list of things you need before heading to the store. Compost or donate your unwanted food and recyclablesrecycle your cooking oil. Find other helpful tips at dhec.sc.gov/dontwastefoodsc.
  2. Have hard-to-recycle items? Consider only buying materials packaged in what can be recycled in your area. Find where and what you can recycle at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling.
  3. Give waste-less gifts like your time to clean someone’s house, piano or guitar lessons, gym memberships or certificates for pampering.newspaperwrap
  4. Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled, BUT you can reuse something to wrap with instead like paper bags, newspaper, maps or use reusable grocery bags, scarves or flower pots. Also reuse greeting cards to make gift tags.
  5. Stop the unwanted mail! Check out ecocycle.org/junkmail for 6 easy steps. Make sure to recycle mail with your paper as well.
  6. Prevent food waste this holiday by providing reusable containers or asking your guests to bring their own for leftovers.ledlights
  7. Use LED lights, which last 10 times longer and use 80 percent less energy. Recycle your old strings lights, find more information on hard-to-recycle items at scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling/WhatCanIRecycle/.
  8. Go with an eco-deco theme by decorating with natural materials like greenery, gourds, fresh fruit and pine cones – all which can be composted after the holidays.
  9. Set up a collection corner at your party by providing an area where guests can bring unwanted items to swap or donate.
  10. Always let your guests know what can be recycled and composted. Clearly mark your bins and let guests know where they’re located.
  11. Provide a green dining experience by using dishes and silverware instead of disposables. If you need more dishes for guests, shop thrift stores to find festive ones.christmastree
  12. Grind those greens. If you decorated a real tree and are ready for it to go, remember to find out where your county will be accepting them for grinding.

For more tips and information on recycling and waste reduction, visit the DHEC website.

Spare old tires second lives as mosquito havens, nuisances and hazards  

Old, discarded vehicle tires might not have the get up and go they used to, but if we don’t properly dispose of them they operate just fine when it comes to aiding and accelerating the growth of the mosquito population.

Tires are ideal breeding sites for several species of mosquitoes that could carry diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. They collect leaves and easily fill up with water when it rains, making them perfect places for mosquito larvae to thrive.

Considering the fact that South Carolinians generate more than 4.5 million waste tires every year, it’s critical that we dispose of them in the right manner.

Recycling is the best solution

Here’s how you as a citizen can help:

  • When you purchase a new tire, leave the old one with the dealer.
  • If you have tires around your home, toss out any water they might be holding, keep them dry and cover them or store them inside. If you don’t have a use for keeping them, the best solution is to recycle discarded tires. Most counties have collection programs that accept a minimal number of waste tires (usually about five) at drop-off recycling centers. Check with your local recycling coordinator or call the Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling at 1-800-768-7348 for a drop-off center near you.
  • Report tire dumping and unpermitted storage of waste tires. Contact your local litter control office or the local DHEC Environmental Health Services Office. To find your local litter office go to org/about/ and select your county. DHEC offices are listed at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DHECLocations/.

Properly discarding tires helps control mosquito populations and combats mosquito-borne diseases, and it also prevents potential fire hazards and removes unsightly nuisances. Recycled tires can be turned into valuable products like rubberized asphalt or crumb rubber applications that can be used in road projects, playgrounds, sport facilities and even erosion-resistant beach walls.

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Recycled tires can be used to construct sports facilities.

In South Carolina, DHEC is working to identify responsible parties to remove and manage illegally dumped tires. But while it’s critical to cleanup existing piles, the best solution is to prevent such piles from forming in the first place.

Be responsible and lawful

It’s going to take responsible, informed, lawful efforts on the part of those who sell, buy, transport or process tires to avoid the creation of waste tire heaps:

  • If you transport more than 15 waste tires at any one time in South Carolina, you must be registered as a hauler. Be sure to obtain a waste tire hauler permit.
  • A permit also is required to process waste tires, including the use of mobile shredders.
  • The storage of waste tires typically requires a waste tire collection permit. Certain exemptions apply to new or scrap tire dealers, tire retreaders, tire manufacturers, permitted solid waste facilities, businesses that remove tires from motor vehicles and agricultural users.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road: Once tires have lost their get up and go, dispose of them properly. Spare them a second life as mosquito havens, nuisances and environmental hazards.

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

By Bryony Wardell

The coming of a new year is an opportunity to make some positive changes, and 2016 could be your best year yet. Here are DHEC’s top 5 resolutions to live better – and we’ll even help you achieve them.

  1. Be A QuitterQuit Tobacco:  No matter how long you’ve used tobacco or what your age is – quitting this year will make a difference you can feel.You don’t have to go it alone!

    The S.C. Tobacco Quitline is a free counseling service that can help you deal with cravings, identify triggers, develop a quit plan and get free resources like nicotine gum and patches to help you quit. You can do it! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

  2. recycle binRecycle: Recycling is something easy that you can do that helps supports South Carolina’s economy and helps keep the state beautiful and clean.  Did you know that aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper, glass and a wide variety of other items like motor oil and tires can all be recycled?

    Some communities have curbside recycling programs or you can simply collect your recyclables and drop them off at a location nearby. You’ll be amazed at how many recyclables you collect! To find out what and where to recycle in your community, click here.

  3. Eat Well: Good nutrition plays an important role in helping you live a healthier, fuller life. Make a few easy choices to start your year off eating right:

    eat well apply pear tape-Switch out empty calorie snacks like potato chips with a fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt or carrot sticks with peanut butter or hummus.

    Trade in sodas and sweet tea for unsweet tea, water, or skim milk.

    Skip fried or fatty foods. Choose lean meats that are baked or broiled and dig in on raw, steamed or boiled fresh vegetables and whole grains. Learn more!

  4. Exercise: run on boardwalk air-quality-iStock_000001189470MediumKeeping your body moving can add years to your life and life to your years, and it can help you lose those pesky pounds too.

    Whether you like to walk, ride your bike, go to the gym or dance to your favorite music in your living room – getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day is a resolution you’ll love to keep.Find inspiration and exercise resources at Let’s Go SC – Move More.

  5. Make a Difference In Your Community: pick up litterLiving in a healthy community with clean air, water and land can improve your quality of life. And, you can help make it happen.

    – Put litter in the trash or recycling bin, not on the ground and help pick up litter in your community.

    – You can improve air quality with energy-saving habits like turning off the lights when you leave a room. Or, look for opportunities to drive less by carpooling or walking / cycling shorter distances.

    – Help keep SC’s rivers and coastal environments clean. Never dump trash, oil or debris of any kind down a drain, storm drain or into a waterway. Get more pollution prevention ideas here.

Whether you pick one resolution or five, 2016 is your opportunity to live better. For more information on helping healthy people living in healthy communities, please visit www.scdhec.gov.