Repurposing materials for our DVD holders
If you’ve ever come to an EcoExpress or StormwaterPA workshop, you’ve encountered our GreenTreks folders! Well, besides the occasional workshop, we honestly don’t get much use out of them. At the same time, we’ve been running low on DVD cases. We used to have a stockpile of plastic DVD holders, which we always felt icky using.
Last week, Barry and our new GlaxoSmithKline Pulse Volunteer Alysia concocted this creative reuse for our folders. Thus, we now have brand-new, recycled-paper DVD cases. And they’re pretty cool to boot, if I may say so myself.
Our online store may be down, but you can still purchase DVDs (or VHS tapes! Yes, we still have them!). To place an order, contact me (Meghan) via email or by phone at 215-545-5880.
If you have more creative reuse ideas for us to make DVD cases in the future, share them below!
Thanks to our resident science curriculum expert, Anita, there are new teaching materials up on EcoExpress.org! As you know, we’ve crafted many short documentaries on managing rain water and trying to reduce the impacts of flooding and pollution. The thing that I really love about these videos is that they take this complicated and technical topic, and spell it out in a way that just makes sense. This is thanks in no small part to the great film producer on our team, Maria. Since these videos serve people so well via our StormwaterPA.org project, we want to also make these programs accessible for teachers and students. So Anita selected some of our most popular films and developed complementary teaching materials.
Here are some of the most recent lessons:
- Bioretention Island
- Keeping Water On Site: Waterview Recreation Center
- Clean Water: A Long Journey from the Source to Our Tap
- Rain Barrels: Preventing Water Pollution Starts at Home
And come see EcoExpress staffers in action! Anita will be presenting at a great event at one of our favorite schools – Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School. Come check out their new school meadow by attending their Green Apple Day of Service on Saturday, September 28th, 2013, from 9am to 2pm! The school is located at 201 E Salaignac St, Philadelphia, PA 19128.
New Videos on StormwaterPA.org
Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership is one of the most exciting watershed groups in the state! They are featured in our recent piece, Tacony Creek Restoration: Improving Water Quality and Quality of Life.
11 Great Plants of the West Coast (and a photo of alpacas for good measure)
I hope you enjoyed seeing some watery West Coast scenes earlier this month. It’s a rainy day here in Philadelphia, PA, where our office is located, so looking at sunnier sights feels like a welcome reprieve. While traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles earlier this summer, I couldn’t stop admiring all of the plant diversity. So cool!
Here are some of my snapshots of the various green spots I encountered on my own Green Trek (see what I did there?). From a green roof atop the California Academy of Sciences to succulents in a friend’s yard in Portland, OR, to the majestic redwood forest, I was in awe of it all!
Exploring the West Coast: Water & Conservation
I kicked off my summer with a whirlwind roadtrip down the West Coast with my younger sister (who you may remember from this blog post) and our friend Dawn. It was a beautiful experience! Like true tourists, we were all snapping away photos the whole time. Today I’m highlighting some shots of water, water pollution, and conservation. If you want to learn more about protecting water, please visit our StormwaterPA project.
Environmental Education Leading to Environmental Careers
In our films, we highlight people who are doing great things for their environment and communities. So it is thrilling to hear from someone who was featured in a video we did years and years ago!
As a 7th-grade student, Heather Zanoni’s class was featured in one our documentaries called “The Environmental Classroom.” This film followed the Monagacci program, which encouraged using the outdoors as a classroom. “I think one of the major underlying themes of Monagacci was an idea of taking care of and understanding the environment around you,” Heather states. “There wasn’t a big lecture on ‘sustainability’ … I think the idea was more about using our local outdoors as a tool for instruction and practice based learning, which I think both teachers hoped would inspire students beyond the 7th grade…”
Scenes from our Environmental Classroom documentary
Heather immediately was inspired by this “life changing educational experience”. Leading a hike for second graders at a summer camp the following summer, Heather was able to identify for the young hikers the types of wildlife and plants they were seeing. This passion continued throughout her academic career. As a graduate student going for her Masters in Environmental Policy at The New School, Heather participated in the Solar Decathlon down in Washington, D.C. (and, yes, we did feature this energy competition in a documentary series over on our environmental education program site – EcoExpress.org). This collaborative, multi-year project (see Empowerhouse for more information) resulted in an affordable housing duplex, which is also inexpensive to live in. The house consumes about 90% less energy for heating and cooling than most homes, but it also substantially cheaper than many other green homes, costing about $250,000 to build.
Photo of Empowerhouse by Martin Seck
Now Heather works as an associate at The Stone House Group, energy efficiency consulting firm in Bethlehem, PA. It’s wonderful to see how all of these meaningful, educational experiences can lead to a life path of caring for the environment.