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[1THING] Blog: Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

[ Contest: When Will The Lake Freeze? ]

frozenlakekdIt seems every year the Big Freeze on Madison’s Lake Mendota happens later and later.

Actually, ever since climatologists have kept records on this topic, it’s varied quite a bit.The earliest freeze on record was November 25th; the latest was January 30th.

Each year, the Clean Lakes Alliance sponsors a contest. This year, the person with the best guess as to when the lake will freeze over wins a $1000 gift card to Lands End.


Have a guess? Enter and check out all the rules here.

(Above picture by Kitty Dunn, and yes, she knows it’s Monona Bay, not Lake Mendota).


[ Fighting Back Against Deadly Pollution ]

pollutiondtThis month’s featured organization is Pure Earth, an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, where human health is most affected by pollution. Pure Earth devises clean-up strategies, empowers local champions and secures support from national and international partnerships. Since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth has completed more than 80 clean-up projects in 20 countries. This has reduced exposure to toxins for local populations, especially children.

Toxic pollutants at contaminated sites affect the health of more than 200 million people worldwide. Women and children are especially at risk suffering neurological and immune system damage and an early death. The number of people affected is comparable to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined. Plus, solving pollution problems usually promotes, rather than inhibits, economic growth. Yet, pollution is one of the most under-reported and underfunded problems in the world.

Pure Earth’s Current and Completed Projects

How can you help?

  1. Share Pure Earth’s posts on social media. Use Twitter @PureEarthNowFacebook, and LinkedIn to raise the profile of toxic pollution, which disproportionately kills those in low and middle-income countries.
  2. Make a donation. Better yet, organize a group of coworkers to make donations. Ask your employer to match it.
  3. Join the Pure Earth Corps of volunteers. Work solo, with a group of colleagues or friends, adopt a project, and raise funds.
  4. Host a “Toxic Cocktail Party” educational event. Pure Earth does the work; you create the guest list. Artisanal “toxic” cocktails are created just for you!
  5. Stay informed. Read The Pollution Blog and sign up for Pure Earth’s Newsletter.

[ Justice For The Planet ]

earthsavedtTrue and lasting change happens when the power of the law is on your side. That’s why the earth needs a good lawyer.

And that’s where Earthjustice comes in.

Today’s environmental challenges are greater than ever. But we live in a country of strong environmental laws—and Earthjustice holds those who break our nation’s laws accountable for their actions.

They’ve been the legal backbone for more than a thousand organizations across the country, large and small. And they represent every one of their clients free of charge.

Behind nearly every major environmental court battle—from protecting gray wolves from slaughter to representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access pipeline- you’ll find an Earthjustice attorney.

As the nation’s largest nonprofit environmental law organization, we’re committed to the vision of a just and sustainable future.

Find out how you can help here.


[ Champions of Surf and Sand ]

oceandtThe Surfrider Foundation is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves, and beaches that provide us so much enjoyment.

Our ocean faces growing challenges from pollution, offshore development and climate change. At the same time, expanding industries, such as offshore oil drilling, threaten to crowd our ocean and degrade its health, and those who call it home.

Every day poses new threats to our oceans and beaches. Our ocean and special places must be proactively protected before they are threatened and stem the tide before further damage is done to the ocean’s health.

This is precisely why Surfrider has built a network of passion-driven people who are on the ground and are the voice for our ocean and beaches. With one foot in the sand and the other in the water, Surfrider is the only non-profit organization who is 100% focused on our coasts.

Visit Surfrider.org to find out more.


[ Madison lakes: the problem with leaves ]

leavesbootsdtEven if you don’t live on the shoreline, there are things you can do to help improve the quality of Madison’s lakes, especially in the fall.

According to information from the Clean Lakes Alliance, leaves release phosphorus when they break down, representing one of the largest sources of urban phosphorus pollution. When left in the street, leaves make a phosphorus-rich tea that washes down storm drains and directly into our lakes. It only takes one pounds of phosphorus to produce 500 pounds of algae in our lakes. Yikes!

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Your neighbors might think you’re crazy, but rake leaves that have blown into the street. This prevents the leaves from going into the gutter and storm sewers into our lakes. If you have a mulching lawn mower, then mulch the leaves with the rest of them on your lawn!
  2. Get into composting.
  3.  Use leaves as garden mulch. You’ll save money because you won’t have to buy mulch at the store, and your plants will thank you!
  4. Learn about Madison’s Leave the Leaf Campaign.
  5. Get involved with the Clean Lake Alliance.

[ Save The Sea Turtles ]

seaturtlesdtExtinction is not a new concept.

In fact, species have been going extinct for millions of years from geological and climate changes. The issue now is from overconsumption, pollution, and habitat destruction brought on by humans causing more species to needlessly become extinct.

So why should we care about sea turtles extinction in particular?

For starters, sea turtles help maintain the health of sea grass by eating it. Healthy sea grass allows other oceanic species such as crustaceans, fish, and shellfish to be able to breed. This would impact a huge source of food for humans.

In addition, when sea turtles lay eggs in dunes, the shells and unhatched eggs left behind provide nutrients that facilitate vegetation growth. This strengthens the beach’s ecosystem as a whole and helps prevent erosion.

So help save sea turtles around the world by donating or purchasing some adorable sea turtle pillows here: http://costaricaturtles.com/how-to-help/

Donation not enough for you? You can always become an alliance partner!
For more information, visit: http://costaricaturtles.com/




[ Get Outside! 5 Places to Explore In & Around Madison ]

Pheasant Branch Conservancy Middleton

Pheasant Branch Conservancy Middleton

How many of these places have you visited in the Madison area?

UW Arboretum: Did you know the Arboretum has its roots in the Great Depression? Much of the land was purchased or donated during that time, and there was plenty of labor available to work it!  The Arboretum now has more than 1200 acres, bigger than New York’s Central Park.

Owen Conservation Park: Located on the west side of Madison on Old Sauik Road, this park is a great place for a short hike. You can see the state capitol as you look beyond the trails and fields filled with wildflowers. You may even see a wild turkey or two.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve: Folks with the UW say this undeveloped area along Lake Mendota is as important to the university as the classrooms! The preserve is located between the the Union Terrace and Eagle Heights Woods—12 miles in all. It’s also great place for a bike ride!

Pheasant Branch Conservancy: What a treasure so close to Madison!  There are a few places to enter the trail, including Century Avenue in Middleton. A great place to go for a run or bike ride with a paved trail and wooden bridges that cross Pheasant Branch Creek.

Pope Farm Conservancy: Located in the Town of Middleton heading out of Madison on Old Sauk Road, this is the place thousands of people visit each year to take photos of a never-ending sea of sunflowers! Sunflower Days this year is scheduled for August 12-20.


[ Loving Our National Parks! ]


Yosemite National Park, California

This month the 1thing profiles the National Park Foundation.

The National Park Foundation is the official charitable partner of the National Park Service.  The foundation’s goal is to enrich America’s national parks and programs through the support of private citizens, park lovers, stewards of nature, history enthusiasts and wilderness adventurers.

Chartered by Congress in 1967, the Foundation grew out of a legacy of park protection that began over a century ago when ordinary citizens took action to establish and protect our national parks.

Today, the National Park Foundation carries on the tradition of early park advocates, big thinkers, doers and dreamers. It works to keep trails clear, partners with collaborators to get kids outdoors, and most importantly, raises and allocates critical funds to keep our national parks safe. With government funds for the National Park Service threatened in the federal budget, help from the National Park Foundation is even more important.

Want to explore Wisconsin’s national parks? They include the Apostle Islands as well as the Ice Age Scenic National Trail and more. Find out more here.

Find out how you can help by clicking here.


[ Ride the Drive ’17 ]

ridethedriveThis year’s Ride the Drive is scaled back from previous years, but will still be a fun event for walkers, roller-bladers and bike riders of all ages!

Ride the Drive is more than just closing roads to traffic. At this year’s Ride the Drive you can stroll, roll, pedal or glide your way to three downtown area parks. Join the fun at Brittingham Park, Olin Park and Law Park.

There will be plenty of vendors, opportunities to learn about biking organizations–and you may even see some cool old bicycles and modified artsy bikes as well. One year I saw a bike that was covered with growing grass! (The kind on your lawn, not the other kind.)

The event goes from 10-2pm on Sunday July 16th, with John Nolen Drive closed from 8:30am-3pm.

More info here.


[ A Greener 4th of July ]

pinwheeldtThe 4th of July is all about the red, white and blue, but we suggest you add some green to the holiday with these eco-friendly tips.

  1. Going on a picnic? Serve all those icy cold beverages without a straw. Americans use half a billion straws a day, and many end up in landfills. Others end up in rivers or other bodies of water where animals mistake them for food.
  2. If you must use disposable plates, use the paper ones and not styrofoam. Styrofoam takes at least 500 years to decay, and may actually last forever.
  3. If you’re planning on going camping, be sure to “leave no trace.” Pick up after yourself, and if you have a campfire, be sure to use only dead wood.
  4. In addition to getting outdoors to watch fireworks–get outside and enjoy nature! Don’t forget to bring some bug spray and be wary of ticks. c
  5. Choose a non-toxic sunscreen so you don’t harm yourself or the environment. More info about that here.
  6. Declare your independence from technology. Leave your smart phone at home or in your pocket or purse and enjoy all the gifts our planet has to offer!