Good Steward Newsletter - June 2007

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The typical baby will add 8, disposable diapers to the landfill. Those diapers are not cheap in dollars or the trees ground up for the absorbant filler or the petroleum to make the plastics. Babies also may be given an endless stream of plastic toys, sippy cups and nursery furniture. Babies put their mouths on everything; their brains and immune systems are vulnerable to chemicals such as vinyl chloride and the phthalate ester plasticizer in toys and the formaldehyde in composite wood and particle board used in cheaper furniture.

The author recommended avoiding soft plastic toys in favor of cloth and hard plastic or wooden toys. Clothing made from organic cotton or secondhand garments are recommended, with only treatments approved by the USDA. Lightly worn items should be recycled to other babies The industry is now installing more wind power in a single year than the amount that was operating in the entire country just six years ago. Those 10, MW of wind power are keeping 16 million tons of carbon dioxide, 73, tons of sulfur dioxide and 27, tons of nitrogen oxide out of the air every year.

For a small premium on your electricity bill, you can insure that all, or a selected fraction, of your electricity is generated by wind power or other renewable sources. Just notify we energies that you want to become part of their Green Energy program. The more people that sign up, the more renewable energy they must generate or buy in place of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

It depicted a community from overhead showing some people playing tennis, others riding bicycles, others are in automobiles, or teaching school. At the edge of town there might have been some farmers plowing their farms and suburbanites mowing their lawns. What can be the effect when many people all make a decision to do what they can to protect our environment from our excesses and thoughtless actions? Lord, forgive us our excesses.

The mean surface temperature of the Earth has been warming at a rate of 0. The authors state that if the global warming can be kept within that one degree, it may be relatively manageable. The last time that the Earth was as warm as projected with BAU was about 3 million years ago, in the Middle Pliocene, when sea level was about 25 meters over 80 feet above current levels. Wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot. Turn down your water heater thermostat to no more than degrees. Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most used lights. Install low-flow shower heads to use less hot water.

Caulk and weatherstrip around doors and windows. Walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit whenever possible. Reduce waste by buying minimally packaged goods. Choose reusable products over disposable ones. If you need to replace your windows, install the best energy-saving models. When you replace home appliances, select the most energy efficient models; often it pays in the long run to replace even before they wear out. Most of these suggestions will save you money as well as fight global climate change.

Get more exercise -- walk instead of drive, take the stairs instead of the elevator; dust off that old bike and use it; push back from the table without that rich dessert. None of these belong in the landfills. Clean out closets, dressers and cupboards -- donate some of your abundance to the rummage sale. Think what other resolutions you can make to reduce pollution, greenhouse gases and wasting of our limited resources. I hope not. Yet that is your mileage whenever your engine idles. Idling wastes money and fuel, contributes to air pollution, and generates carbon dioxide emissions that add to global warming and climate change.

Many people believe that idling is necessary or even beneficial — a false perception that has carried over from the s and s when engines needed time to warm, especially in colder weather. Fuel-injection vehicles, which have been the norm since the mids, can be restarted frequently without engine damage and need no more than 30 seconds to warm up even on winter days.

In fact, idling longer than that could actually damage your engine in the long term due to incomplete combustion and water buildup in the exhaust system. No matter what time of year, minimize your idling time. When starting, idle no more than 30 seconds.

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Turn your engine off if you must wait in your car for more than 30 seconds. Make your next car a hybrid, which turns off the engine automatically when not needed. Excerpting sentences throughout the statement, I will try to give a flavor of this statement. To get that well-reasoned context, please read the full statement, which will be placed on their website, www. A special program on it from a faith-based perspective is certainly warranted.

Ryan was recently trained by Al Gore to lead discussions on global warming. This training — coupled with his experience in energy policy and environmental activism — provides a unique perspective on this important topic. Reverend Dave Steffensen from the Wisconsin Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign will then address why global warming is one of the most important issues facing religious communities today.

He is a retired Methodist Minister, and has many years of experience working on environmental issues within the faith community. A question and answer session will follow these brief presentations. Please join us for what should be an interesting and insightful evening, exploring one of the most urgent and important issues of our time. The program will be open to the public, so invite your friends and coworkers. Pleasant Lutheran Church recycles, even though the village does not pick up from the church. We have all seen the large dumpster on the west end of the parking lot.

This is used by the staff to recycle office paper, bulletins, cardboard boxes and other clean paper products. It is also available to members for paper that is not collected by the municipality in which you live. Aluminum soft drink cans are recycled by the youth group to help pay for their activities.

Be sure that your aluminum cans are crushed and placed in the recycle bin in Fellowship Hall by the dispensing machine. The custodian should not have to chase these cans all over the building. The wine and grape juice bottles from holy communion are recycled locally. The polystyrene communion cups are rinsed and once or twice a year taken to a recycler in Milwaukee.

Lutherans are great coffee drinkers; so our coffee grounds are recycled and composted by a master gardener member of the congregation. The bottles, cans, jars, etc. At present, a member of the staff takes these home for recycling, but she would greatly appreciate it if a member of the congregation would take over this responsibility. If you want to help in any of these recycling tasks, please contact any one of the office staff to volunteer. While I drive a hybrid which gets around 50 miles per gallon less in short trips in the winter , the most obvious solution for most people not in the market for a new car is to DRIVE LESS.

The average American drives 15, miles per year. How to do it? Carpooling, walking, biking or taking the bus just a couple of days a week will probably more than do it. Getting better gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated, applying modest, even acceleration and braking, reducing idling, and minimizing high-speed driving are other ways to save money and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. These data and suggestions are from the Union of Concerned Scientists of which I am a member. Such plants in Iowa and elsewhere in the midwest have already driven up the price of corn and therefore the price of many meats, milk and other food products.

Fermenting corn for burning in our cars has affected international trade and hungry people around the world. There has been much less discussion about a proposal being pushed in Congress by the administration, lobbyists, Senators and Representatives from coal producing states to make gasoline out of coal.

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The latter would be an environmental disaster. If we are going to be good environmental stewards, we should be aware of what is being proposed, the data behind the proposals and let our representatives know where we stand. To do this, a renewable energy standard is proposed. Several states have already adopted similar goals and they have been proposed as amendments to a federal energy bill. On the other hand, there have been those that say that it would cripple the economy and the goals are too far reaching. Of this, If each of us would reduce the amount of processed foods consumed, try to cook from scratch more often, pay attention to the foods we eat and where they come from, and be willing to save and eat leftovers, how much could we save?

There is enough food produced each year to feed everybody on this planet, but due to waste, poverty and poor distribution, million people are either malnourished or on the verge of starvation. They should not be flushed down the toilet and even disposal in the landfill is questionable. It is anticipated that this will be an annual event.

Safely get rid of these drugs before a child, an experimenting adolescent or confused older adult misuses them. Many drugs past their expiration date will have lost either their efficacy, their safety, or both. Both will be open from a. Such a collection is subject to strict FDA regulations. A registered pharmacist and law enforcement officer must be at each site.

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Volunteers must log in every medication by name of the drug, hence the need for a pharmacist. People bringing in medicines or drugs are not required to identify themselves except by ZIP code to indicate they are residents of Racine county. Keep the medication in their original containers if possible.

But even unidentified medications will be accepted. Arrangements have been made for proper and legal incineration. Thus, three-fourths of these plastic bottles end up in the trash, discarded along the side of the road or in our parks and recreational areas. This is one case that a tithe is not enough. Better still, we should reduce our usage of bottles for water when we have such excellent quality water right out of the tap. It is time for a reminder. Studies show that on average cell phones are replaced every 18 months.

That means that 65, tons of them are discarded annually. Or maybe they are ending up in the landfill where the cadmium in the batteries and bromine in the flame retardants may leak into the environment. Here at Mt. Pleasant we have a box on the east side of the narthex in which you can get rid of these old cell phones in an environmentally safe way. We donate them to Neighborhood Watch which sells them to a recycler.

The proceeds are used for the Nehemiah Project which, among other efforts, buys trees, shrubs and other plants for beautification and improvement of inner-city neighborhoods. The more valuable parts of the rest are recycled, the hazardous materials responsibly disposed of and the remainder sent to landfills.

So, check for those no longer used cell phones and bring them to church, dropping them off in the box in the narthex. Always look for the Energy Star tags on all major purchases. These tags are part of a government program to determine what the electrical energy cost is for each appliance. Energy cost not only comes in your utility bill, but adversely affects the environment when that energy is derived from a fossil fuel The right choice of an appliance can save you money, not only in lower energy costs but in tax credits. The Energy Star website www. If you are looking for a new TV, Energy Star currently only compares the energy used when the set is nominally off, but a bigger difference can be when it is on.

Not only does it save money for the municipality within which the recycling is done, but it saves energy for those who use recycled material rather than virgin material. A recent article in National Geographic lists the energy — number of BTUs — saved per ton of recycled material when products are manufactured using the maximum percentage of recycled material, compared with virgin materials alone. Saving energy cuts down fossil fuel use and that combats global warming. So, do you recycle as much as you can? His home was that warm.


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You are wasting money, using up more fossil fuel than is necessary, and adding to the excessive amounts of green house gases carbon dioxide in this case that are causing rapid climate change. One part of climate change, and only one part, is global warming; another is increases in extreme weather. We can save some money, improve our health and reduce climate change by turning down the thermostat in winter and turning it up in the summer. Many churches will honor this event with special liturgies and hymns on the Sunday before, April 20th.

At this time, I do not know what our congregation will be doing. On the following Saturday, April 26th, many organizations will be working on projects throughout the city and county to clean up, to remove invasive, alien plant species from our parks and pathways, to plant, to teach children about the natural life around us all and to teach adults what they can do to fight global warming and improve our environment. Most of the projects are in the morning, starting at or We are not worshiping the creation, but honoring the creator by caring for his creation.

It may be too late or too inconvenient for us to participate this year, but we can certainly promote the idea that sustainable travel honors Creation and the Creator. The apostles walked. Considering sustainable travel, both to church and during the rest of the week, often highlights the difficulty of doing so. Pedestrian access, other than from the parking lot, may not exist or at least is not easy. Traffic may be hazardous. The rationales are numerous, but with the rising cost of gasoline, we should be able to figure out ways to reduce our carbon footprint on a weekend in May and on the other days of the year.

The easiest and most effective way to save gasoline is to slow down on your highway driving this summer. The Union of Concerned Scientists has shown that dropping from 70 to 60 mph improves fuel efficiency by an average of Dropping from 75 to 55 mph improves fuel efficiency by an average of That is like paying 30 percent less for your gasoline Leaving a little earlier not only is easier on the environment, but also on your nerves and your pocketbook Also, be sure to check your tire pressure before starting out.

Unfortunately, we do not seem capable of washing and reusing them. Does the same technical capabilities and inabilities apply to our communion cups? Think about how much energy we could save - how much we could reduce pollutions - how much less we could put in the landfill if we spend a bit more time together in the kitchen? What practices do we need to change within our congregation to be more inventive than the folks who figured out how to make that spoon?

If you are, remember to choose products that conserve resources and minimize pollution. When buying lumber, look for labels that indicate the wood comes from sustainably managed forests Forest Certification programs. Or consider composite lumber made from recycled plastic and wood wastes. Avoid pressure-treated wood when possible, but if necessary, be sure to properly dispose of the sawdust and scrap. Do not try to compost or burn this waste, especially in an indoor fireplace.

For ground-based patios, consider brick or paving stones. Compared with poured concrete, they allow better water drainage and minimize storm runoff. Consider the lifetime of your project and the furniture on it. It is better to buy quality than to be frequently throwing out and replacing cheaper products. Furniture constructed with composite materials made from recyclables can save frequent replacements while protecting our natural resources.

Clothing is changing. Replace where needed. That shrinkable plastic film to place over windows may waste some plastic in the spring, but it can reduce drafts around the windows and raise the R-value to that of double- or triple-glazed windows. Also it can be programmed to warm up the house before you get up in the morning. Turn it down to save money, protect the environment and fight climate change.

Not the paint color but how environmentally friendly is it? Washing dishes by hand in a dish pan is more energy and water efficient than the dishwasher, but both are more efficient than using throwaway, single-use paper and plastic plates, cups, napkins, etc. When buying at the grocery store, check for place of origin. Several stores in Racine sell southeast Wisconsin produce when available. And do we really need fruits and vegetables that are shipped halfway around the world? Preparing from scratch is generally better than serving commercially prepared foods or ordering in.

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Refrigerating leftovers instead of throwing them out is both economical and environmentally friendly. Homemade soups can be a flavorful and eco-friendly way to use up leftovers. Food scraps that can not be reused, other than meat products, should be composted and thus returned to the garden or lawn. Not only do they emit more climate changing carbon dioxide than any other source, but they also are the largest source of human-generated mercury, a potent neurotoxin affecting the learning ability of our children. They produce more than million tons of ash, slag and sludge annually — roughly the same amount as all municipal solid waste disposed in U.

To obtain the coal, mountaintop mining in Appalachia has buried more than miles of some of the most biologically diverse streams in the country. And fine particulate pollution from U. Power plants cuts short the lives of approximately 24, people each year — 50 percent more than are murdered annually. Environmental stewardship should also mean good citizenship.

I was reminded of one of the first articles I wrote for this newsletter. A walk around the neighborhood on any trash collection day shows us the tremendous amount of material we throw out every week. How much is typical of an extravagant and affluent life style? Many of us are trying our best to recycle as much as possible, but many are not. Recycling saves raw materials, energy and landfill space. In the City of Racine, we can keep the hazardous waste out of our ground water, our neighboring land fill and the environment in general, by taking advantage of the Household Hazardous Waste HHW collections on the third Saturday of each month, April through October.

Caledonia, Mt. Wind Point has a HHW collection only every other year and this is not the year.

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Would you like to be one? A locovore is a person who eats locally produced foods as much as possible, rather than food shipped hundreds or thousands of miles from their place of origin. It has been said that eating just one-quarter of our food from locally grown sources saves more energy than recycling all of your household waste. Growing your own food in your own garden is about as local as you can get, but Community Supported Agriculture CSA may be the next best thing. CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food.

You, the consumer, pays up front for fresh produce to be delivered or picked up weekly usually from mid-June to mid-October. The farmer agrees to supply you with fresh vegetables that are generally grown organically and guaranteed to be local. The consumer, in essence, becomes part owner of the farm for the year. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or www.

Why not investigate these or other CSA locations to see whether you want to become a locovore. According to the U. Geological survey, the total amount of water used in Wisconsin for home, industry and agriculture is over one billion gallons per day! So it is good stewardship to protect both our ground and surface water.


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Two ways each of us can help is the use of rain barrels and rain gardens, both of which reduce the run-off of polluted water while increasing the amount of water that percolates into the ground, recharging the aquifer. Call Jeff at or e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The collected rain water is great for watering house and garden plants and washing your hair.

Rain gardens might be a bit more work, but it is well worth it to see the water from your roof producing healthy plants and flowers instead of running down the gutters picking up debris and pollution along the way. They are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Call or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. In some parts of the world, water shortages are a matter of life or death. We on the shores of Lake Michigan do not face these problems.

Still, we are encouraged to turn off the faucet when brushing our teeth, throttle back the shower and install low volume toilets. This is all the water used to raise the food we eat and to make the products we use. Chicken and pork are somewhat better, requiring and gal. Wheat requires only gal. Fruits and vegetables use even less water. A pound of potatoes requires gallons and an orange or apple requires only 13 or 18 gallons. It should be noted that these crops may be using all this water in regions of the world where water is in short supply.

We can save a lot of water, virtual or otherwise, by reducing waste and changing our eating habits. These are advertised as renewable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics and we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Bioplastics are designed to be composted, not recycled. Mixing any of them in with conventional plastics for recycling will ruin the whole batch. The bacteria in most home composting will not work at all on some of the bioplastics.

Most may require the high heat and humidity of an industrial composting plant. As noted above, bioplastics are currently made from food crops, using large amounts of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that pollute our air and water, while many people in the world go hungry to meet our want for convenience. Someday, we may have bioplastics in our grocery bags and other plastic items that are made from renewable, nonpolluting and nonfood materials.

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In , So here are a few ideas for keeping cool without excessively warming up the outside. Whole-house fans installed in the ceiling can pull in cool evening and morning air, forcing hot air out, using only one-tenth the electricity of an air conditioner. Even if you use an air conditioner, the use of a ceiling fan permits setting it four degrees higher for the same comfort level. Install an Energy Star-rated fan inches from the ceiling.

Plant deciduous trees on the south side of the house for passive cooling in the summer. Trees reduce the air temperature by as much as nine degrees. Keeping an air conditioner in full shade can increase its efficiency up to ten percent. Solar screens on the windows can block up to 90 percent of incoming solar heat without obscuring the view. Awnings on west facing windows can reduce solar heat by 77 percent according to the DOE. If you decide you must have an air conditioner, be sure that it is an Energy Star-rated model sized to your needs. If all room air conditioners in the USA were Energy Star models, it would avoid , tons of global warming emissions — the equivalent of taking , cars off the road.

That is about ten per person and nearly all of them end up in landfills. The Union of Concerned Scientists suggest that the next time you need to power up your gadgets, be good environmental stewards and choose rechargeable batteries instead. Unlike disposable alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds of times, which not only saves money and resources, but also reduces global warming pollution associated with battery manufacturing and transportation.

According to an independent study, using a disposable battery to create one kilowatt-hour of electricity has a global warming impact equivalent to driving a car miles. Using a rechargeable battery for the same power is equivalent to driving 10 miles! Nickel-metal hydride NiMH is the most common rechargeable battery and comes in most sizes.

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Nickel-cadmium NiCad rechargeable batteries have more problems because of the toxicity of Cadmium. Lithium-ion batteries are currently used mostly in high-end electronics, are more expensive, but have greater energy density. Solar-powered battery chargers require no power off the grid at all. In any case, unplug the charger when not in use, since it will otherwise still draw current. When a battery has finally fulfilled its lifetime, dispose of it correctly where it was purchased, at a hazardous waste collection 3rd Saturdays in Racine , or at volunteer sites such as Battery Plus.

Geological survey. Add to that the cost to the pocket book and the environment in water and soil pollution of the millions of pounds of fertilizer and pesticides spread on lawns each year. So what to do? Plant trees strategically. Deciduous trees on the south and west sides of the house will give shade in the summer and let the sunlight in during the winter.

Evergreen trees planted on the north and windward sides can reduce heating costs. One can further reduce outdoor water usage significantly by replacing some or all of your lawn with native plants and groundcovers. Mulching around trees and in flower beds will save water and keep the soil cool. Use hand and leg or electric-powered lawn equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that gas-powered push lawnmowers emit as much nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons per hour as eleven cars; riding mowers emit as much as thirty-four cars!

Thompson had completed a draft of a further stage play, The Masquerade , set in London, before his death. On 26 January , a blue plaque was unveiled at Montrose Street South, Ballymacarrett, Belfast, the location of the house playwright Sam Thompson was born in, on the 50th anniversary of the first performance of his controversial play Over The Bridge. On 10 October the Connswater Community Greenway announced that the new landmark bridge linking Victoria Park to the old shipyards in East Belfast was to be named the Sam Thompson bridge. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Irish playwright For British novelist, see Sam Thompson writer.

Retrieved 24 September Northern Irish Literature — Vol. Retrieved 26 January Connswater Community Greenway. Retrieved 14 October Belfast Telegraph. Categories : births deaths Male dramatists and playwrights from Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Labour Party politicians Writers from Belfast 20th-century British dramatists and playwrights 20th-century writers from Northern Ireland Male writers from Northern Ireland 20th-century British male writers Working-class writers.

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