WBEZ | EcoMyths http://www.wbez.org/tags/ecomyths Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Mollenbeek: A look at Brussels' immigrant neighborhood http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-11-18/mollenbeek-look-brussels-immigrant-neighborhood-113842 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_628937859283.jpg" title="(Photo: Associated Press/Virginia Mayo)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/233666094&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Belgian immigration after the Paris attacks</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The investigation into the terror attacks in Paris has focused attention on Belgium. Investigators believe the attacks were planned there. Belgium has sent the largest number of foreign fighters in Europe to join ISIS. The country&rsquo;s been linked to several other terror attacks in recent years, and several with ties to a neighborhood in Brussels called Molenbeek. The area has a large Muslim and immigrant population. Brussels, like France, has struggled to integrate its immigrants. We&rsquo;ll take a look at Belgium&rsquo;s immigrant communities and the Molenbeek neighborhood in particular with Marco Martiniello, a professor of sociology at the University of Liege in Belgium.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1e7164c0-1c54-a2b3-d8cb-bbc59ec84ac9"><a href="http://twitter.com/MarcoMartiniell">Marco Martiniello</a> is a professor of sociology at the <a href="http://twitter.com/UniversiteLiege">University of Liege</a>.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/233666594&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Is food waste unavoidable?</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">According to the Worldwatch Institute, Americans waste three times more food between Thanksgiving and New Year&rsquo;s than the rest of the year. Globally, we waste one-third of all food produced for us to eat (1.3 billion tons), according to the UN&rsquo;s Food and Agriculture Organization. For our EcoMyths segment, Kate Sackman of EcoMyths Alliance joins us with Dr. Barbara Willard of DePaul University, to bust the myth that large holiday food bills and waste are inevitable.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1e7164c0-1c59-a303-7f74-b2f2c0330ca6">Dr. Barbara Willard is an environmental science communications expert, and an associate professor at <a href="http://twitter.com/DePaulU">DePaul University</a>. </span></em></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1e7164c0-1c59-b7be-6864-fa958186bd2a">Kate Sackman is the founder and president of <a href="http://twitter.com/EcoMyths">EcoMyths Alliance</a>. </span></em></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em><a href="http://twitter.com/Bkosson">Beth Kosson</a> is the education and outreach director for EcoMyths Alliance.</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/233667033&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Notes: &#39;The Good Ones&#39;</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Tutsi, Hutu and Twa. The three tribes from the African country of Rwanda have come together in the form of the band The Good Ones. The quartet is led by subsitance farmer Adrien Kazigira who went looking for the best musicians around, ergo the name of the band. The band consists of acoustic guitar, tight harmonies and minimal percussion ( boots). This week on Global Notes, Morning Shift and Radio M host Tony Sarabia brings us music from the band&rsquo;s lastest effort, the album Rwanda is My Home.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1e7164c0-1c5d-39ba-85f5-96dd9865d025"><a href="http://twitter.com/wbezsarabia">Tony Sarabia </a>is the host of <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZmorning">Morning Shift</a> and Radio M.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-11-18/mollenbeek-look-brussels-immigrant-neighborhood-113842 EcoMyths: Animals speak with accents too! http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-animals-speak-accents-too-113162 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Whales.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c5a7af8c-29d7-b539-15df-81fa9f3b70fb">Animal communication has been observed and documented for centuries, but only recently, have studies shown that we&rsquo;ve only scratched the surface of understanding this complex world of grunts, barks and howls. For our </span><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths">EcoMyths</a></em> segment, Kate Sackman and Beth Kosson of <a href="http://www.EcoMyths.org">EcoMyths Alliance</a>, will join Bill Ziegler, senior vice president of Animal Programs at <a href="https://www.czs.org/Chicago-Zoological-Society/Home.aspx">Brookfield Zoo</a>. They&rsquo;ll teach us about the noisy world of animal talk and how deciphering their languages can aid in conservation efforts.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/226311051&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:20px;"><em><strong>See the new EcoMyths PSA (Airing on Comcast)</strong></em></span></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oD01Vo_EYWQ" width="640"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 09:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-animals-speak-accents-too-113162 EcoMyths: Composting Doesn’t Have to Smell http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-composting-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-smell-112594 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Composting.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many shy away from composting because they have images of rotting food, scavenging animals and neighbors complaining about the smell. But EcoMyths Alliance wants you to know that composting can be odorless. Kate Sackman of EcoMyths and composting enthusiast, Jerome McDonnell, talk with Eliza Fournier of Chicago Botanic Garden. Fournier says, &quot;It only stinks if you&#39;re not going at it right.&quot;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/212692927&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Myth: Composting Stinks!</strong></span></p><p><strong>&quot;Hold Your Nose!&quot;&mdash;Said No Real-Life Composter We Talked To, Ever</strong> <strong>Composters: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>Mine doesn&#39;t smell at all! I think the trick is plenty of dried matter (leaves in my case) and aerating it well. This is first time with my own composter and I&#39;m very happy so far!</p><p><em>~ Corina McKendry, Colorado</em></p><p>Every nose has its own unique point of smell&mdash;but all are likely to turn themselves up at the smell of rotting trash. Why then would we assault our nasal passages by composting, aka, piling up a bunch of food and plant waste with the express goal of, gasp, <em>purposefully</em> <em>letting it rot</em>?</p><p>Answering the why is easy: For one thing, that pile of decomposed organic waste turns nutrient-rich food waste back into food for the garden, and, by reducing food waste headed to landfill, takes some heat off the earth&#39;s atmosphere by reducing methane emissions.</p><p>But before we get into a full-blown love song about composting, it&#39;s time to set the record straight about the stink.</p><p>&quot;It only stinks if you&#39;re not going at it right,&quot; says Eliza Fournier of the<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/urbanagriculture/youthfarm/staff"> Chicago Botanic Garden</a>. &quot;After people read this article, they will do it right. Therefore composting doesn&#39;t smell!&quot;</p><p>As the leader of the Garden&#39;s Windy City Harvest<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/urbanagriculture/youthfarm"> Youth Farm</a> program, Fournier would know if composting nose-plugs were a common request (they&#39;re not). She oversees the sites, which provide urban farming jobs to youth in food desert communities, giving them hands-on experience in the gardens&mdash;and in the compost piles around them, too.</p><p>The feds back up the case against the need for nose-plugging, too, proclaiming on the<a href="http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home"> EPA</a> website that a properly managed compost bin &quot;will not smell bad.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COMPOSTERS: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>We compost and it does not stink at all. I&#39;m always learning when I open the lid, but I&#39;ve been doing it for four years and no bad smells yet!</p><p><em>~ Becky Staton, Chicago, IL</em></p><p>Still, because every aforementioned nose is indeed different, we also turned to<a href="https://www.facebook.com/ecomyths"> Facebook</a> for some first-hand accounts. Does your composting stink, we asked you? No! Was the resounding answer. (For more of what these real-life, non-professional composters said, check out the IRL stories sprinkled throughout this article.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Smells Like&hellip;It&#39;s Easy to Bench the Stench</strong></p><p>Healthy compost is easy to maintain, explains Fournier. &quot;It&#39;s like making a parfait,&quot; except you&#39;re layering in nitrogen, carbon, air, and water.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><u>Fournier&#39;s Recipe (aka, Plain Ol&#39; Compost)</u></p><p><em>Ingredients:</em></p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Greens, including fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and fresh grass clippings bring in the nitrogen</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Browns like dried leaves, twigs, straw, and pine needles serve up carbon</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Heat, water, air</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Optional: Top soil for a little dose of tiny, hungry arthropods to help accelerate decomposition</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>SKIP</strong>: Meat, fish, and dairy. Those are the most common culprits in smelly piles.</p><p><em>* Note: </em>Quantities are irrelevant in this easy-does-it recipe.</p><p><em>Directions:</em></p><p>1. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Alternate greens and browns of different sizes.</p><p>2. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Add in water when the pile seems dry.</p><p>3. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Stir every couple of weeks to add air.</p><p>4. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sit back, watch, and maintain balance!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COMPOSTERS: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>At our new house they pick it up at the curb. We keep a small bin in the kitchen&mdash;it&#39;s small enough that it doesn&#39;t get too full before we have to take it to the compost can outside, which limits the smell in the kitchen. And really, if the food waste wasn&#39;t going in the compost bin, it would be going in the trashcan right next to it in the kitchen, so the smells would be there all the same.</p><p><em>~ Tiffany Plate, Boulder, CO</em></p><p>&quot;It&#39;s almost like having a pet,&quot; muses Fournier. &quot;If your pet is looking lethargic, or panting a lot, he probably needs some water. <em>Oh, he smells a little? Maybe he needs a bath</em>&hellip;</p><p>&quot;With composting, you start to do the same. It looks depleted? Give it some food. It&#39;s a little crunchy? Give it water. Too wet? Hold the water!&quot;</p><p>Like plants, pets, anything you care for, it&#39;s natural to want to observe it, and as you do, you&#39;ll be able to diagnose any issues pretty quickly.</p><p>Still, you don&#39;t need to be &quot;super precious&quot; about your compost, she says. &quot;The most important thing is balance. Everything in moderation in terms of greens, browns, soil, water, and air&mdash;not too much of any one thing.&quot;</p><p>So, let&#39;s say you strike out big time in terms of balance and somehow, against all odds&hellip;compost does stink?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COMPOSTERS: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>We&#39;ve been composting daily for nearly three years and it NEVER stinks. But you know what does stink? Regular trash.</p><p>We had a situation with an out-of-towner who was confused and just tossed everything in the trash. We came home and thought there was a dead fish in our house. We finally figured out that his habits (just tossing whatever in the garbage) was what was causing our entire house to smell. Just a few adjusted habits and it&#39;s been easy-peasy. I love compost.</p><p><em>~ Kristin Urquiza, San Francisco, CA</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Never fear! Fournier says even if stink happens, you can stop it pretty quickly. &quot;Usually it starts smelling is if it has too many greens or is too wet. The way you deal with that is to add more browns to counter-act greens, stop watering, and get some air circulation in there.&quot; Not enough dried leaves around this time of year? No worries. Add non-glossy paper or cardboard.</p><p>As for the inside portion of the affair, just keep scraps in a lidded container and take &#39;em out every day. Apartment dwellers can try worm bins, aka<a href="http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html"> vermicomposting</a> systems, which are also non-stinky, and in Fournier&#39;s opinion, even easier than composting proper.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Hook, Line and Non-Stinker: Composting FTW</strong></p><p>Okay, so composting doesn&#39;t stink. But that&#39;s not the only thing it has going in its favor. We can all help reduce food waste, improve our gardens and selves, and even combat climate change, simply by returning our food scraps to the earth in an awesome way.</p><p>How awesome? Let&#39;s count the ways:</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Beating food waste</em>: According to the<a href="http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home"> EPA</a>, food scraps and yard waste make up 20-30 percent of our nation&#39;s trash. In 2013, we threw away more than 35 million tons of food waste, roughly 95 percent of which ended up in landfills or combustion facilities. You don&#39;t need to watch a sad infomercial about world hunger to know that making the most of food is a good thing.</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Combatting climate change: </em>All that soil-friendly food waste we trash not only takes up space in the landfill, it also becomes a significant source of<a href="http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html"> methane</a>, one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, and therefore a big bad wolf in global warming.</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Souping up gardens, on the cheap</em>: Compost improves soil health and structure, suppressing plant diseases and pests, and supporting water retention to reduce the need for extra water and fertilizers. It&#39;s also great for city-dwellers whose soil may need extra love when it comes to nitrogen composition in the soil, adds Fournier. Oh, and it&#39;s free.</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Feel-good fun!: </em>How cool that you can not only waste less food, but you can also have more reason to get outside, asks Fournier. Plus, she enthuses, turning your compost pile is a great workout. &quot;It&#39;s great for your core&mdash;those little muscles on your side!&quot; It&#39;s also just plain interesting, like a little science experiment right in your backyard.</p><p>To make sure we covered all our bases in terms of potential stinkage and likely benefits, we also turned to a real life farmer.</p><p>&quot;Your pile won&#39;t stink,&quot; confirms Audra Lewicki of<a href="http://dirtdoll.tumblr.com/"> Dirt Doll</a> in Chicago, an urban farm in Chicago, &quot;as long as you&#39;ve got a good mix of greens and browns, water, and air. It&#39;s important for us to compost because we get to put all those nutrients back into the soil <em>and</em> avoid using up precious fossil fuels to haul them to a landfill. It kills me to think of our nutrient-rich turnip tops and dandelion greens sitting under heaps of plastic bags for decades in a landfill.&quot;</p><p>Good point, Dirt Doll. We can all take a deep breath and help save the world, one non-smelly, composted food scrap at a time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Myth Outcome: Busted</strong></span></p><p>Composting doesn&#39;t stink&mdash;if you stick to the basics. The only thing that might stink? The trash, when it&#39;s unnecessarily full of all those food scraps that could&#39;ve been composted!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>One Green Thing</strong></span></p><p><strong>Compost!</strong></p><p>Not sure where to start? One start by learning how much compostable food your household is currently throwing away. Not only will this will help motivate you to set up your composting system, it will also give you a sense of how big an area or system you need to set up.</p><p>Use a Tupperware (or several, depending) to store non-meat food scraps for a week. Assuming you don&#39;t already have a compost system in place, you&#39;ll want to refrigerate this so it can accumulate without stinking up the kitchen. At the end of the week, weigh the Tupperware. Measure your own Multiplier Effect by multiplying the weight by 365. It adds up!</p><p>Wanna check out composting starter items? Our composting gurus weighed in with some tips:</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IRL composter Kristen U. recommends<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Biobag-Food-Waste-Gallon-Count/dp/B002FC6JZG/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1434997346&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=bio+bags"> this simple lidded trashcan</a> for storing food scraps in the kitchen</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IRL composter Tiffany P. says biodegradable<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Biobag-Food-Waste-Gallon-Count/dp/B002FC6JZG/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1434997346&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=bio+bags"> BioBags</a> are great for keeping curbside containers smell-free in cities lucky enough to have composting pickup services</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IRL composter Becky S. simply drilled some holes into a black storage bin to layer her greens and browns. (Though her dream is to have a two-compartment<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Jora-Gallon-125-Compost-Tumbler/dp/B004U7ISQ2"> tumbler</a>&hellip;)</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Eliza F. recommends<a href="http://www.amazon.com/b?node=3753631"> buying</a> or<a href="http://my.chicagobotanic.org/horticulture/how-to/the-cadillac-of-compost-bins/"> making your own</a> three-bin compost bin system if you live in an area where an open pile would be too tempting for wildlife to resist.</p><p>When you know more about how big a system you need, you&#39;re ready to advance to the next level: read the quick how-to on setting up a compost pile, courtesy of the<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/sites/default/files/pdf/plantinfo/compost.pdf"> Chicago Botanic Garden guide</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The Multiplier Effect</strong></p><p>The average U.S. citizen generates<a href="http://www.epa.gov/solidwaste/nonhaz/municipal/"> 4.4 pounds</a> of waste a day, roughly two thirds of which is compostable, according to<a href="https://center.sustainability.duke.edu/resources/green-facts-consumers/how-much-do-we-waste-daily"> Duke University&#39;s Center for Sustainablity &amp; Commerce</a>. That means each of us who starts composting now could, in a single year, keep a half a ton of food waste out of landfills.</p><p><em>IRL Multiplier Effect</em>: Thanks to the waste-busting combo of composting and recycling, IRL composter Kristin U. has cut her household of two&#39;s actual garbage output down to a single 10-gallon trash bag <em>per month.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Resources</strong></p><p>Learn more basics on how to compost from the Chicago Botanic Garden -<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/conservation/composting"> http://www.chicagobotanic.org/conservation/composting</a></p><p><a href="https://center.sustainability.duke.edu/resources/green-facts-consumers/how-much-do-we-waste-daily">https://center.sustainability.duke.edu/resources/green-facts-consumers/how-much-do-we-waste-daily</a></p><p><a href="http://www.safebee.com/home/how-compost-without-attracting-pests">http://www.safebee.com/home/how-compost-without-attracting-pests</a></p><p>Also related myth: <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2014/08/sink-disposals-vs-trashcans">http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2014/08/sink-disposals-vs-trashcans</a></p></p> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-composting-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-smell-112594 EcoMyths: 'Can we save seeds for Doomsday?' http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-can-we-save-seeds-doomsday-112179 <p><p>While some seeds appear immortal, most seeds don&#39;t last forever&mdash;unless they&#39;re carefully stored in seed banks or, in some cases, preserved in liquid nitrogen or as part of living collections. This is critical because many plants are under threat of disappearing forever&mdash;about 68 percent of evaluated plant species. We&rsquo;ll do &#39;Seed Banking 101&#39; with Kate Sackman of EcoMyths Alliance, Murphy Westwood, Tree Conservation Specialist at <a href="http://www.mortonarb.org/">The Morton Arboretum</a> and Global Tree Conservation officer for Botanic Gardens Conservation International <a href="https://www.bgci.org/">(BGCI)</a> and Kayri Havens, director of Plant Science and Conservation at the Chicago Botanic Garden. She is also a hands-on seed banker in the Garden&#39;s <a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/research/conservation_and_restoration/seed_banking">Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank</a>.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207340836&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Seed banking 101</strong></p><p>Seeds don&#39;t last forever. If they&#39;re not stored in precise conditions, they generally cannot be germinated at a future date. Most seeds are <strong>orthodox</strong> seeds, meaning they can be stored for longs periods of time if handled correctly. Typically they are dehydrated and frozen in seed banks like the one at Chicago Botanic Garden, which has committed to collecting 30 million seeds from 1,500 native species across the Midwest, and the <a href="http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/millennium-seed-bank">Millennium Seed Bank</a> Partnership at the Kew Gardens in London, which has stored 13 percent of the world&rsquo;s plant diversity, with close to <a href="http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/millennium-seed-bank-partnership/about-millennium-seed-bank-partnership">2 billion</a> seeds.</p><p><em>Quick basic rundown, from the CBG: </em>To bank seeds, researchers first collect them from the entirety of the species&rsquo; range. Then they&#39;re x-rayed to prevent bugs from making their way into the collection and to be sure the seed houses an embryo. They&#39;re then stored in subzero temperatures. After they&#39;ve gone in the storage jar, they&#39;ll only come out every 10 years or so, to be retested for germination potential.</p><p>&ldquo;If they are taken care of and processed correctly, seeds can live centuries in suspended animation,&rdquo; Havens explains.</p><p><strong>Some seeds cannot be banked &ndash; these are called recalcitrant seeds</strong></p><p>Many trees, from the oak to the avocado, produce seeds that for a variety of reasons cannot be stored in the same way as orthodox seeds. To preserve these, institutions like the Morton Arboretum utilize two strategies: one is a living collection, where they plant as many species as possible to ensure seeds are safe in the long haul. The other is to preserve seeds in liquid nitrogen. Because plants have <a href="http://biology.kenyon.edu/HHMI/Biol113/meristems.htm">meristem</a> cells (kind of like human stem cells), it&#39;s also possible to regenerate a plant from a liquid-nitrogen-preserved oak bud, in a process called micro-propagation or tissue culture.</p><p><strong>Why bother? </strong></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="195" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/EcoMyths-Saving%20Seeds%20BLOG.jpg" style="float: right;" title="A guard armed with a rifle stands guard in Longyearbyen, Norway, outside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which has been described as Noah's Seed Ark and a Doomsday Vault, was dug into a mountainside in Norway's arctic Svalbard islands. It will hold 4.5 million different agricultural seed samples from around the world. (AP Photo/John McConnico)" width="356" />Because we&#39;re starting the world&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/">sixth mass extinction</a>, many plants are under threat of disappearing forever&mdash;about 68 percent of evaluated plant species, to be exact. Diseases like the <a href="http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/ded/">Dutch Elm Disease</a>, <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/fungus-threatens-top-banana-1.14336">banana-killing fungi</a>, and insect pests like the <a href="http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/eab/">Emerald Ash Borer</a> are also threatening plants. Species loss in turn has a direct impact on day-to-day life: a genetically <a href="http://www.nps.gov/plants/restore/pubs/restgene/1.htm">diverse seed supply</a> helps us avoid potentially losing a bunch of food crops. (Examples: the <a href="http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/agriculture_02">Potato Famine</a><u> of the 1840s</u>, the corn blight <a href="http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/Seeds_for_Our_Future.pdf">in the 1970&rsquo;s in the U.S</a><u>.</u>, which wiped out almost 15 percent of the nation&#39;s corn, mostly because of the genetic similarity of the corn planted.</div><p>If we don&rsquo;t preserve healthy seeds in the near term, we could be saying goodbye to lots of plants we know and love in the long run.</p><p><strong>One Green Thing</strong></p><p>Plant a fresh native tree seedling in your backyard. You&#39;ll be supporting plant diversity with your mini living collection, while scoring the host of other ecosystem benefits there are to planting trees.</p><p><strong><em>More ways to help:</em></strong></p><ul><li><em>Visit a living collection or seed bank.</em> These beautiful institutions help to ensure that future generations have the safety net of genetically diverse plants we all know and love: <a href="http://www.mortonarb.org">Morton Arboretum</a>, <a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org">Chicago Botanic Garden</a>, <a href="http://www.montgomerybotanical.org">Montgomery Botanic Gardens</a>, and the <a href="http://www.fairchildgarden.org">Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens</a>, <a href="http://www.nybg.org/">New York Botanical Garden</a>, and <a href="http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/">Missouri Botanical Garden</a>.</li><li><em>Bank your own!</em> The Chicago Botanic Garden has some cool tips <a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/conservation/saving_seeds">here</a>.</li><li><em>Plant seeds in optimal growing conditions: </em>Every seed counts, so give the ones in your garden the best shot at life. This includes opting for native plants, which are uniquely suited to your region&#39;s climate.</li></ul></p> Tue, 26 May 2015 09:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-can-we-save-seeds-doomsday-112179 Worldview: Looking for international recognition for the Armenian Genocide http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-14/worldview-looking-international-recognition-armenian-genocide-111872 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP851767427081.jpg" style="height: 461px; width: 620px;" title="Kim Kardashian heads to lay flowers at the memorial to the victims of genocide in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, April 10, 2015.(AP Photo/Hrant Khachatryan, PAN Photo)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200815263&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The centennial of the Armenian genocide</span></p><p>&nbsp;During mass last Sunday Pope Francis called the 1915 slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks a &ldquo;genocide.&rdquo; Turkey, along with a number of political leaders, including many U.S. presidents, has always refused to use the word genocide when referring to the massacres and death marches. Turkey maintains that there was no policy of ethnic-driven genocide at the time. Reality star Kim Kardashian, who is Armenian, just finished a highly publicized trip to Armenia. &nbsp;She&rsquo;s been actively campaigning for years to have the U.S. officially recognize the deaths as genocide. So far, President Obama has not used the word genocide to describe the killings that took place in 1915. &nbsp;As the U.S. Congress debates the passage of a resolution that would officially recognize the Armenian genocide, next weekArmenians will mark the 100th anniversary of the killings.&nbsp; Peter Balakian, author of&nbsp;<em>The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America&rsquo;s Response</em>, joins us to discuss the Pope&rsquo;s mass, the Kardashians and the congressional resolution.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a89e0a09-b98d-f0e7-e0ea-78880c385073"><a href="https://twitter.com/peter_balakian">Peter Balakian</a> is the author of &nbsp;</span></em>The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America&rsquo;s Response.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200815583&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The United States prepares to take thousands of Syrian refugees</span></p><p>The United States resettled 359 Syrian refugees in 2013 and 2014, but is preparing for thousands more in the next few years. &nbsp;All the refugee resettlement organizations in Illinois are getting ready for the new Syrian influx while also facing proposed state budget cuts by Governor Rauner. These include cuts in funding for immigrant reintegration programs.&nbsp;Refugee One is one of the major refugee resettlement organizations in the Chicago area. Executive Director Melineh Kano joins us to talk about the Syria situation and the budget cuts.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/MelinehKano">Melineh Kano</a> is the Executive Director of <a href="https://twitter.com/Refugee_One">Refugee One</a>, one of the major refugee resettlement organizations in the Chicago area.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200816099&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">World History Minute: The Loch Ness Monster</span></p><p>On April 14, 1933 Aldie Mackay said she saw beast come out of the Loch Ness lake.&nbsp; He became known as the Loch Ness monster.&nbsp; Historian John Schmidt tells us what happened.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p><em><a href="https://chicagohistorytoday.wordpress.com/">John Schmidt</a> is an historian and author of &ldquo;On This Day in Chicago History.&rdquo;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200816449&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">EcoMyths: &quot;I&#39;m too busy for nature&quot;</span></p><p>For this months&nbsp;<em>EcoMyths</em>&nbsp;segment, we ask two experts to help bust the myth that you&rsquo;re &ldquo;too busy to care for nature.&rdquo; Kevin Ogorzalek of the Center for Humans and Nature and John Barrett with the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods tell us how doing just a little, every day, &nbsp;makes a huge difference.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e051f069-b996-a43c-d3df-079b66e0e49d">Kate Sackman is the </span>founder and president of <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoMyths">EcoMyths Alliance</a>.</em></p><div><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e051f069-b997-0b35-fc10-a650a99bb89c">John C. E. Barrett is the</span> Interim Executive Director at the Brushwood Center at <a href="https://twitter.com/RyersonWoods">Ryerson Woods</a>.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e051f069-b997-b221-66d1-7ea5e7a52fbf">Kevin Ogorzalek is a consultant for</span>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/humansandnature">Center for Humans and Nature</a>.</em></div></p> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-14/worldview-looking-international-recognition-armenian-genocide-111872 EcoMyths: 'Am I too busy to care for Nature?' http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-am-i-too-busy-care-nature-112178 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Too Busy to Care.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-469d6eaa-e435-a786-2000-ec52a15fc8cb">With our busy lives, caring for the environment can seem overwhelming, but <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/">EcoMyths Alliance</a> says that being more green takes less time and effort than you may think. For this months<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths"><em> EcoMyths</em></a> segment, we ask two experts to help bust the myth that you&rsquo;re &ldquo;too busy to care for Nature&rdquo;. Kevin Ogorzalek of the <a href="http://www.humansandnature.org/">Center for Humans and Nature</a> and John Barrett with the <a href="http://http://www.brushwoodcenter.org/index.html">Brushwood Center</a> at Ryerson Woods, will tell us how doing just a little, every day, makes a huge difference.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200816449&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-469d6eaa-e437-56ea-31f9-018b3cc87cfd">Most of us do actively care for nature &ndash; we just don&#39;t necessarily recognize or celebrate it. We already show we care in obvious ways, such as by volunteering at nature centers or donating to a cause, but also in smaller daily activities, like going outside to read a book in the park, or choosing a microbead-free face wash at the store.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>It&#39;s a significant sign of caring that, for example:</strong></p><p dir="ltr">&middot; Caring as a leisure activity:<a href="http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/faqs.htm"> 292 million people visited our national parks in 2014</a>, while<a href="http://www.waza.org/en/site/zoos-aquariums"> 700 million people showed curiosity about wildlife by visiting global zoos and aquariums</a></p><p dir="ltr">&middot; Caring as consumers: A 2014 survey by<a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2014/global-consumers-are-willing-to-put-their-money-where-their-heart-is.html"> Nielsen</a> found that 55 percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact</p><p dir="ltr">&middot; Caring at home: Eg: the growing trend to<a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/bqlywujwzz4sx05/NGASpecialReport-Garden-to-Table.pdf"> grow our own veggies</a> (35% of all households in America, or 42 million households, are growing food at home or in a community garden, up 17% in five years, according to National Gardening Association 2014 report); Meatless Mondays campaigns are now active in<a href="http://www.meatlessmonday.com/the-global-movement/"> 36 countries</a>; and Bicycle Friendly Communities, including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Denver and Lexington, Ky., have more than doubled their bike commuter share since 2000, according to the<a href="http://bikeleague.org/content/bicycle-commuting-data"> League of American Bicyclists</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">The trick is overcoming busyness as usual: Being too busy for X is a sign of our times&mdash;but it only takes a second to think to yourself, &quot;if I do X or Y One Green Thing, that has an impact on the environment over time.&quot; That step-wise approach to green thinking can be tough to start, but once you get in the habit, it becomes routine.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>So What? </strong></p><p dir="ltr">Consciously caring about nature may seem insignificant, but the more we &nbsp;recognize our personal connection to nature, the more likely we are to make a positive difference.</p><p dir="ltr">&middot; Caring inspires action, conscious or not: Caring is a catalyst for behavior. For example, turning off the lights is an easy daily action that illustrates caring. It doesn&#39;t necessarily take time to integrate that with things you already do in daily life &ndash; it just takes making a conscious choice.</p><p dir="ltr">&middot; Conscious discussion can inspire movements. The transcendentalist poets in 19th century caused a ripple effect on the way our society relates to nature: Thoreau and Emerson talking about writings of nature, inspired John Muir, whose writing celebrated wilderness protection, the spaces themselves which inspired Ansel Adams, who in turn took photos that captured the country&#39;s imagination.</p><p dir="ltr">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Going further. Turning caring into greater action can mean varying degrees of sacrifice. But caring enough to make a short-term sacrifice, like paying a little more now for renewable energy to get to the point where it actually costs less than fossil fuels has potential for greater payback than meets the eye. Turning &quot;simple actions&quot; that we used to do by rote into more meaningful actions can be a source of pride.</p><p dir="ltr">People care for nature in ways big and small in their daily lives, often without thinking about it at all&hellip;The more we can celebrate how we do care, the more we can work those conscious changes into our lives to affect even greater change.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>One Green Thing</strong></p><p dir="ltr">This Earth Day, take a moment to think about ways in which your daily actions demonstrate care for the environment.</p></p> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 09:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-am-i-too-busy-care-nature-112178 Worldview: Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Brazil http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-17/worldview-thousands-protesters-take-streets-brazil-111712 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP830813246262.jpg" style="height: 409px; width: 620px;" title="Demonstrators hold a Brazilian flag during a march demanding the impeachment of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, March 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196365103&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Protesters call for impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-14ba84b6-2961-c36b-45bd-d89cecce37f2">There were demonstrations in 160 cities in Brazil over the weekend. &nbsp;Some protesters were calling for the impeachment of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. The protests followed a corruption investigation of Petrobas, </span>the national oil company, that involves dozens of sitting politicians, including the Speaker of the House. &nbsp;Brian Winter, chief Brazil correspondent for Reuters attended the protests in Sao Paolo. He joins us to talk about the corruption investigation and its implications for Rousseff&rsquo;s presidency.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-14ba84b6-2962-0f2a-e13a-95399cf27497"><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/BrazilBrian">Brian Winter</a> is the chief Brazil correspondent for Reuters and the author of several books on Latin America including </em></span><em>Why Soccer Matters, which he wrote with Pele.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196365965&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Northern Irish violence exhibit showing at ArtWorks Project for Human Rights</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-e1f1a32f-2964-a3af-f660-df52a7a50352">As many Catholics, especially the Irish, celebrate St. Patrick&rsquo;s Day, there&rsquo;s been nearly two decades of relative calm in Northern Ireland&rsquo;s &nbsp;&ldquo;Troubles.&rdquo; But elements from the centuries-long struggle still linger. &ldquo;Eleventh Night and the Twelfth&rdquo; are Irish celebrations of Protestant King William of Orange&rsquo;s victory over Catholic King James II. The celebrations culminate in massive bonfires. Many view the remembrances as simple expressions of heritage and culture. Others see the celebrations as divisive and counterproductive to ongoing reconciliation. Photographer and sociologist, David Schalliol, has documented &lsquo;Eleventh Night and the Twelfth&rsquo; and ArtWorks Projects for Human Rights is showing his work in an exhibit called &lsquo;Bonfires and Effigies: The Contested Territories of Belfast, Northern Ireland&rsquo;. &nbsp;Schalliol and Leslie Thomas of ArtWorks Projects, will talk about their goal of the exhibit - to &ldquo;highlight the successes of ongoing peace building efforts while providing a platform to discuss how lingering challenges might be resolved.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e1f1a32f-2964-ea04-f6ba-0d516222af41">Leslie Thomas is the</span> executive and creative director for <a href="https://twitter.com/ARTWORKSProject">ArtWorks Projects for Human Rights</a>.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e1f1a32f-2964-ea04-f6ba-0d516222af41"><a href="https://twitter.com/metroblossom">David Schalliol</a> is a </span>photographer, sociologist and PhD candidate at the University of Chicago.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196366595&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">EcoMyths: The threat of microplastics</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-028d0ec1-2967-e4f8-33b5-a2f2bd3e35d2">Plastic makes up 90% of the trash picked up in Trash Free Seas (TFS) ocean cleanups, according to research by Ocean Conservancy</span>. And experts says that microplastics - pieces of plastic smaller than 5 milimeters (just under a fifth of an inch) - are just as dangerous as those 2-liter bottles you might see floating in Lake Michigan or the &ldquo;Great Pacific garbage patch&rdquo;. Kate Sackman, of EcoMyths Alliance, will help us find out why these microfibers are a big hazard from Allison Schutes, manager of the TFS Program at Ocean Conservancy and Olga Lyandres, research manager at Alliance for the Great Lakes.</p><div><strong>Guests:</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-028d0ec1-2968-16e4-659b-d5494fb751ca">Kate Sackman is the</span>&nbsp;founder and president of <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoMyths">EcoMyths Alliance.</a></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-028d0ec1-2968-16e4-659b-d5494fb751ca">Allison Schutes is the</span>&nbsp;manager of Trash Free Seas Program at <a href="https://twitter.com/OurOcean">Ocean Conservancy.</a></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-028d0ec1-2968-16e4-659b-d5494fb751ca">Olga Lyandres is the</span>&nbsp;research manager at <a href="https://twitter.com/A4GL">Alliance for the Great Lakes</a> and author of the report:</em> Keeping Great Lakes Water Safe: Priorities for Protecting against Emerging Chemical Pollutants.</div></p> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-17/worldview-thousands-protesters-take-streets-brazil-111712 EcoMyths: Dangers of Microplastics http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-dangers-microplastics-112169 <p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-34d00667-da74-cf3b-6a33-f532ccbde9dc">Plastic makes up 90% of the trash picked up in Trash Free Seas (TFS) ocean cleanups, according to research by Ocean Conservancy</span>. And experts says that microplastics - pieces of plastic smaller than 5 millimeters (just under a fifth of an inch) - are just as dangerous as those 2-liter bottles you might see floating in Lake Michigan or the &ldquo;Great Pacific garbage patch&rdquo;. Kate Sackman, of EcoMyths Alliance, will help us find out why these microfibers are a big hazard from Allison Schutes, manager of the TFS Program at Ocean Conservancy and Olga Lyandres, research manager at Alliance for the Great Lakes.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196366595&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Does Size Matter When It Comes to Plastic Pollution?</strong></p><p>&quot;Don&#39;t sweat the small stuff&quot; is a great mantra&hellip;except when you&#39;re talking about plastic pollution. Devilishly tiny plastics, a.k.a. microplastics, are adding up to one massive problem in the world&#39;s waterways - acting as a sponge for other pollutants, not to mention confusing and harming wildlife.</p><p>On this month&#39;s EcoMyths segment, we&rsquo;ll find out how and why something so small can cause such a big fuss. We brought in Olga Lyandres, research manager for the <a href="http://greatlakes.org/">Alliance for the Great Lakes</a>, and Allison Schutes, manager of the <a href="http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/marine-debris/" target="_blank">Ocean Conservancy&#39;s Trash Free Seas program</a> for a tete-a-tete with Jerome McDonnell and Kate Sackman.</p><p><strong><u>Microplastics 101</u></strong></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="237" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/microbeads%201.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Microbeads! (Courtesy of Alliance for the Great Lakes/Lyandres)" width="306" />First, some perspective. Before the show, Olga showed the <em>Worldview</em> team a fairly nondescript bottle of <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2015/02/minimyth-face-scrub-isnt-made-of-plastic/">microbeads</a>. While they may look unassuming, these types of microplastics are especially insidious, because they lurk inside so many personal care products, from face scrub to toothpaste, Olga explained.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And when you wash the teensy plastic scrubbers off your face or spit &#39;em out with your toothpaste, down the drain they go&mdash;straight to the wastewater treatment facility, which is not equipped to remove them. So on the pearly pellets go, discharging into lakes, running down into streams, floating off into oceans&hellip;and contributing to the 10-20 billion pounds of plastics estimated to enter the world&#39;s oceans each year, according to Allison.</div><p>By the way, though they&#39;re the most hyped, microbeads aren&#39;t the only kind of microplastics, which generally are defined as any plastic measuring smaller than 5 millimeters (just under a fifth of an inch). Other types include:</p><ul><li><em>Fibers</em>: Little strands of synthetic fibers, from fishing line to cigarette filters to polyester and fleece clothing, to name a few</li><li><em>Fragments</em>: Big plastic trash doesn&rsquo;t go away&mdash;it simply breaks down into teensy, irregularly shaped plastic particles.</li><li><em>Film</em>: Thin, long pieces that may once have been food wrapping or plastic bags</li></ul><p><strong>So What? </strong></p><p>The quick rap sheet on microplastics is that once they <strong><em>get</em></strong> out into our waters, they tend to <strong><em>act</em></strong> out, to put it lightly. First, Olga explained that they basically act as sponges, adsorbing other pollutants willy-nilly and moving them around the Great Lakes or wherever they happen to float. Second, Allison pointed out that wildlife often accidentally eat them, which can directly or indirectly affect animals as varied as small fish, turtles, and even whales.</p><p>Both experts clarified that the research on the implications of microplastics is still emerging, but they&#39;ve pointed out some interesting studies. Consider:</p><ul><li><a href="http://www.csgmidwest.org/policyresearch/documents/Plastics-GLLC-20114.pdf" target="_blank">Sherri Mason&rsquo;s lab at SUNY Fredonia</a> found plastic in the guts and intestines of 18 different species, including 17 fish, and one waterbird.</li><li>Some research shows that ingesting too much plastic can result in serious digestive issues. <a href="http://ocean.si.edu/slideshow/laysan-albatrosses%E2%80%99-plastic-problem" target="_blank">Albatross chicks</a>, for instance, cannot regurgitate nor digest plastic debris they swallow, so it can fill up their stomachs such that they can no longer digest food.</li></ul><ul><li>Some <a href="http://www.bioportfolio.com/resources/pmarticle/1040530/Uptake-and-retention-of-microplastics-by-the-shore-crab-Carcinus-maenas.html">evidence</a> suggests that microplastics can make their way up the food chain, though this is still an early area of scientific inquiry.</li></ul><p>Plus&hellip;precisely because they&#39;re so small, microplastics are especially tricky and take &quot;astronomical costs&quot; to clean up, noted Allison. That&#39;s one big reason it&#39;s so important for folks to help keep plastic from entering the waste stream in the first place, whether it&#39;s by avoiding products like microbead-laden facial scrub or participating in a cleanup.</p><p><strong>Change is a&#39;comin&rsquo;</strong></p><p>But wait, there&#39;s good news! Olga and Allison are all about embracing individual impact, from swapping out plastic-studded face wash with apricot scrub to supporting legislation like <a href="http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/06/17/illinois-takes-a-big-stand-on-tiny-plastics/" target="_blank">Illinois</a>&#39; phase-out of the manufacture and sale of microbeads in personal care products. At least nine other states now have similar legislation on the docket, as does Ontario, Canada, added Olga.</p><p>Though the topic can be infuriating, to use Jerome&#39;s term, Allison cheered everyone up in the studio by reminding us that, &quot;We all have a part to play in the solution.&quot;</p><p>Nutshell: Small size doesn&rsquo;t mean small impact &ndash; in terms of plastic pollution, that&#39;s a bad thing. In terms of public involvement &ndash; it&#39;s great! Microplastics may be a big problem, but we can each make a difference.</p><p><strong>One Green Thing</strong></p><p>One easy way to keep plastic - big and small - out of waterways is to choose reusable instead of single-use products. Boom!</p><p><strong><em>More ways to help:</em></strong></p><ul><li><strong>Save the date for the <a href="http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/" target="_blank">International Coastal Cleanup</a> day on September 19, 2015</strong></li><li>Participate in Alliance for the Great Lakes&rsquo; <a href="http://www.greatlakes.org/ADOPTABEACH" target="_blank">Adopt-a-Beach program</a></li><li>Try Ocean Conservancy&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/10-things-you-can-do.html" target="_blank">10 Things You Can Do for Trash-Free Seas</a></li><li>Ask your state legislator to support microbead bans (the Alliance has tools <a href="http://takeaction.greatlakes.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Advocacy_Home" target="_blank">here</a>)</li></ul></p> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 09:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-dangers-microplastics-112169 EcoMyths: Do scare-tactics motivate people to live greener lives? http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-do-scare-tactics-motivate-people-live-greener-lives-111597 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Environmental Scare tactics_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-59fe6f45-a855-e9b0-16ac-4537d9a22910">Kate Sackman of EcoMyths Alliance says that, &ldquo;Many environmental organizations use scare tactics to motivate people to take action...For most people, the end result is that they are overwhelmed and too discouraged to act.&rdquo; &nbsp;For our EcoMyths series, we&rsquo;ll talk with Sackman and Diane Wood, president of the National Environmental Education Foundation&nbsp; (NEEF) about different methods to inspire people to get engaged with green issues.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/188188068&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Many environmental organizations use scare tactics to motivate people to take action to protect the planet and resources we all share.&nbsp; For most people, the end result is that they are overwhelmed and too discouraged to act.&nbsp;</p><p>NEEF and EcoMyths Alliance share the core belief is that people will act in eco-friendly ways when specific actions are relevant and important to their everyday lives. We believe people need the facts and need to be given choices so they can respond in ways that are meaningful to them personally. NEEF and EcoMyths, through a series of stories, examples and games, present science to the public so that it is not only clear, but it also inspires positive action.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>NEEF &amp; EcoMyths - Who we are:</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- NEEF&mdash;national organization advancing lifelong environmental learning. We connect people to useful knowledge that improves the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.</p><p dir="ltr">- We leverage resources through dynamic public-private partnerships and provide grants for innovative projects.</p><p dir="ltr">- NEEF embraces the idea that environmental issues can only be solved if all Americans understand how they play a role in addressing these 21st century problems and experience the benefits that come from doing so first-hand.</p><p dir="ltr">- NEEF sees a future whereby 2022, 300 million Americans are actively using environmental knowledge to ensure the well-being of the earth and its people.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>NEEF&rsquo;s reach:</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- Reach up to 90 million U.S. households through 350 meteorologists, radio broadcasters and journalists participating in Earth Gauge.</p><p dir="ltr">- Enable 175,000 volunteers at more than 2,000 public lands sites in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico to complete $18 million in park improvements during National Public Lands Day.</p><p dir="ltr">- National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation&#39;s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. In 2015, NEEF will celebrate the 22nd annual National Public Lands Day on September 26, 2015. Toyota will sponsor NPLD for the 17th straight year.</p><p dir="ltr">- Children and Nature Initiative: Train thousands of health care providers on environmental health issues.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Rx for Outdoor Activity</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- Aims to prevent serious health conditions like obesity and diabetes related to indoor sedentary lifestyles and connects children and their families to nature to promote good health, enjoyment, and environmental stewardship. The Initiative educates pediatric health care providers about prescribing outdoor activities to children. The program also connects health care providers with local nature sites, so they can refer families to safe and easily accessible outdoor areas.</p><p dir="ltr">- Reach hundreds of thousands of students and educators with non-biased environmental education materials during National Environmental Education Week.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Americans Face Daunting Environmental Challenges</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- &ldquo;Environment&rdquo; is polarizing, Green issues seen as exclusive</p><p dir="ltr">- The enormity of these problems overwhelms people</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Feel powerless &amp; frustrated, Don&rsquo;t see relevancy to personal life, Don&rsquo;t see the value of individual action</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>NEEF&rsquo;s Approach:</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- &ldquo;Know more, Do more, Live better&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">- Empower people with knowledge and practical actions to help them become &ldquo;everyday stewards.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>People want to make a difference: By nature, individuals are motivated to make the world a better place: </strong></p><p dir="ltr">- 78% of US adults volunteer, donate or advocate with a philanthropic organization</p><p dir="ltr">- 6 in 10 US adults take action when they understand environmental issues</p><p dir="ltr">- 71% of Americans consider the environment when they shop</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>NEEF wants to start where people are, in an easy, straightforward way (&ldquo;lighten their load&rdquo;)</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>NEEF doesn&rsquo;t want to make people uncomfortable, but rather draw them in with welcoming messages</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Why this is Important - We (EcoMyths and NEEF):</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- We respect the intelligence of individuals, so we provide them with the environmental science facts they need to make decisions.</p><p dir="ltr">- We believe people want to do the right thing for the health and well-being of their families and themselves and the long-term health of the planet.</p><p dir="ltr">- We use storytelling to bring facts to life &ndash; e.g.</p><p><strong>ONE GREEN THING: </strong></p><ul><li><u>Individuals:&nbsp; Sign up for the EcoMyths newsletter</u> at <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org">www.ecomythsalliance.org</a> for guilt-free myth-busting articles that make you laugh and give you One Green Thing you can do</li><li><u>Companies: Sign up for NEEF&rsquo;s Business and Environment program</u> at <a href="http://www.neefusa.org">www.neefusa.org</a>.</li></ul></p> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-do-scare-tactics-motivate-people-live-greener-lives-111597 EcoMyths: Will Climate Change Destroy Groundhog Day as We Know It? http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-will-climate-change-destroy-groundhog-day-we-know-it-111596 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Marmots.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Every February, Bill Murray&#39;s timeless classic reminds us, our lives go into a surreal tailspin as we agonize over whether the iconic groundhog will or will not see his shadow. Well, maybe your Groundhog Day isn&#39;t quite as angsty as that, but imagine the dither ol&#39; Bill would be if warming temps due to climate change roused the furry hero ahead of schedule. So, you can imagine my concern when I learned from two highly esteemed wildlife biologists that [spoiler alert!] climate change is indeed already making its mark on marmot hibernation. (FYI, a groundhog is technically a marmot &ndash; more on that below.)</p><p>To learn more, we invited to the EcoMyths Worldview segment Steven Sullivan, senior curator of urban ecology at the <a href="http://www.naturemuseum.org/about-us/senior-staff">Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum</a> and intrepid leader of <a>Project Squirrel</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.eeb.ucla.edu/Faculty/Blumstein/">Daniel Blumstein</a>, professor and chair at UCLA and chief marmot fan at the <a href="https://www.eeb.ucla.edu/Faculty/Blumstein/MarmotsOfRMBL/">Rocky Mountain Biological Lab Marmot Project</a>.</p><p><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/181817143&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe>Hibernating Marmots 101</strong></p><p>Globally, there are 15 species of marmots&mdash;a genus of large rodents in the squirrel family. In North America, there are six species, but the two with the largest ranges are the groundhog (aka woodchuck), a lowland species which is prevalent across the country (and the only species that lives East of the Mississippi River), and the yellow-bellied marmot, which lives in the mountain west. Generally speaking, marmots live in burrows, hibernate in winter, and are highly social and communicative.</p><p>This whole hibernation thing is pretty impressive when you really think about it. Sullivan says groundhogs can be completely hidden from the world for eight solid months, which requires some amazing physiological adaptations and is essential to their survival during the winter months of food scarcity. During hibernation, their body temperature drops to almost freezing, heart rate falls from 70-80 to four beats per minute, and it will take only one breath every five minutes. If you dig up a hibernating groundhog it will &quot;feel, look, and sound like an ice cube.&quot;</p><p>And Blumstein points out that yellow-bellied marmots are one of the most efficient hibernators known &ndash; they&#39;re about the size of a cat &ndash; five to six kilograms before torpor &ndash; and burn about a gram of fat a day in deep torpor.</p><p>By studying this we can advance other science, such as medically induced comas, and -- even thinking of Orion spacecraft and Mars, e.g. how to shut humans down during space travel so that when they wake up upon reaching some far distant planet they can be functional and healthy.</p><p>The thing is, hibernation is dependent on a set of complex and not fully understood factors. Will climate change muck it all up?</p><p><strong>Climate Change Matters</strong></p><p>Conditions associated with climate change in different regions, particularly drought in the Western mountain regions and warmer/shorter winters in the Midwest, are predicted to threaten marmot survival by impacting hibernation and reproduction trends. The two most prominent and resilient species of marmots in North America&mdash;groundhogs and yellow-bellied marmots&mdash;can serve as a sentinel species in understanding the potential impact of climate change.</p><p>Marmots in subalpine Colorado are already experiencing an earlier wake-up call, explains Blumstein. Here, the snow has been melting on average about a day earlier each year over the last 30-40 years, so now, marmots are coming out of hibernation a month earlier than they used to.</p><p>As we see late snowfall and meltout, marmots have to survive longer with their fat reserves, because they are emerging earlier/before food is available and melting snowpack makes it easier for predators to find them. Meanwhile, heat and drought are drying out summer vegetation. In one year, the warmer weather and longer foraging time meant for an explosion in population, but the next year, the population crashed.</p><p>Around Chicagoland, groundhogs aren&#39;t yet feeling the heat, says Sullivan. But it&#39;s important to monitor this because the earlier they wake up and the longer the growing season, the more they reproduce and survive hibernation. As global warming spurs earlier emergence and longer growing seasons, those survival rates could skyrocket&mdash;and in turn mean there&#39;s not enough food to fill all those empty marmot bellies the next year.</p><p><strong>To sum it all up, </strong>Climate change may actually bring temporary benefits to resilient, broad-ranging species like groundhogs and yellow-bellied marmots&mdash;but any benefits would be soon offset by drought, shifts in food supply, and habitat loss.</p><p><strong>One Green Thing:</strong> Help marmots (and the rest of us, for that matter) by curbing climate change. One great way to that is to carpool or bike your commute at least twice a week.</p><p>For more on this, please read the myth at <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2015/01/global-warming-myth-it-dont-mean-a-thing-to-the-marmot-mating-game/">EcoMyths Alliance</a>.</p></p> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-will-climate-change-destroy-groundhog-day-we-know-it-111596