GGI Newsletter: October 2016


This month:

  1. INCENTIVES!   Show me the Biggest Losers!!

  2. Energy
  3. Recycling
    1. November is America Recycles Months and The Recycle Guys (Raleigh NC) are asking K-8 students to create a poster to that shows the importance of recycling and encourages others to recycle too.
    2. Recycled Toilets Reviving NYC's Oyster Beds
  4. Stephen Hawking Prediction
  5. Meet Thousands of your Dust Bunny Friends, You live With, in Your Home
  6. Skills no longer taught  in schools
  7. World Climate Week October 9-16, 2016  This interactive will be part of the Clean Energy Summit this coming March 2017  More Later!
  8. Governors Declare Emergencies over Gas Pipeline Spill
  9. "It takes Poo to Tango" Toyota's New Waste to Hydrogen Powered Auto
  10. Flooding Highlights Importance of Weather Readiness
  11. Windows of Opportunity $1500 Grants
  12. DOE student Contest and Competitions

 'News You can Use'

  • Teachers PD Opportunities and Resources
  • Students Opportunities in Environmental Education
  • Children More Motivated to Learn Outdoors: Natural England - September 8, 2016 | By Editors 
  • Keep America Beautiful
  • Terracycle Brigade Recycle the Un-Recyclable and earn points for your school
  • Guiding Wellness A New Community Resource
  • E-FIeld Guide to the Southern Piedmont
  • Student's Science Fair Project that helps a Drought-Ridden Farm Land
  • Global Movement to fight Plastic Pollution
  • Ugly still edible
  • Data Driven Oil Change International 
  • NC Coastal Watch
  • Saving Energy Powering Down PC's
  • Fall Colors
  • Climate Security
  • Hot Dams
  • Building a Better Food System
  • Citizen Science Air Sensor Toolbox UPdated


This Month's Video:  Viennese orchestra makes extraordinary music out of ordinary produce

Atmospheric CO2 level: Target 360 ppm
August 2016:  407.07 ppm (from:

July 2016 was the warmest July in 136 years of modern record-keeping  (from:

Sea Level rise: 3.24 mm/annum (National Geographic)

INCENTIVES!  Who Saved Last Year and Got 25% of those savings back?

We are returning $81,302 to our schools for saving 1.8 million kWh last year.  This equals deferred weatherized costs of approximately $928,000 this past  year.  Since 2010-11 school year we have deferred costs of approximately $3.4 million in electrical use.  

Our top kWh Losers are TC Berrien ES - -22.16%; Lucille Souders ES- -18.15%;  Spring Lake Middle- -9.18%; and AB Wilkins HS - -10.12%.


(l-r) Rhonda McNatt (LSES), Masa Kinsey-Shipp (SLMS), Valerie Johnson-Martin (ABWHS), Brenda Winfrey-Knox (TCBES) 

Did you win?  Visit our website to see: 



CCS Go Green Initiative Energy Conservation and Action Art Poster and Slogan Contest.  

Check with your Green Team Leader and your Art Teacher!  They've got the goods!

2015-16 High School Winner: Kayla Fiser Jack Britt HS;
Art Teacher Rhonda Daigle


Flooding highlights importance of weather readiness and storm water control

Sustainable Sandhills Environmental News

Find out more about the Weather-Ready program:  The Weather Around Here.
Getting ready for Hurricane Matthew

With more than 10 inches of rain falling on the Sandhills in late September, floods breached dams, washed out roads and closed schools throughout the region.

While floodwaters began receding in the region on Thursdayafternoon, Sept. 29, the damage hadn’t been fully ascertained as of Friday morning.

“We’re hopeful that the communities and families impacted by the flooding will be able to recover quickly,” Hanah Ehrenreich, the Executive Director of Sustainable Sandhills said. “And we’ll continue working with our partners in the Sandhills region to help make these communities Weather-Ready, including increased storm water management in the coming months and years. It’s important for us to create climate resilience throughout the Sandhills to deal with issues exactly like this.”

Windows Of Opportunity – $1500 Grants Available to NC K-12 Teachers


  • Do you have a terrific idea which will create student excitement about environmental stewardship and will promote the protection of our natural resources?
  • Will your idea cultivate student appreciation of the natural environment by getting the students outside?
  • Is your idea sustainable year to year?

Let NC Beautiful help with financial support and encouragement as you develop your ideas. Since 1999, NC Beautiful, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has provided K-12 teachers across North Carolina with resources to develop educational programs that enhance and support the Common Core & Essential Standards. Through the Windows of Opportunity competitive grant, teachers are rewarded for their innovation and creativity as they promote environmental stewardship with their students to improve appreciation of the environment, and, in turn, the beauty of our State. We look forward to serving you!

Grants: Up to $1500 per teacher or classroom for use between January and June.
Eligibility: Windows of Opportunity are available to the following:

  • Certified K-12 teachers in the state of North Carolina; Project leaders must be full time teachers at the applicant school.
  • The applicant school must be a recognized, accredited institution within the state of North Carolina. Public, private, and charter schools are eligible.
  • The applicant school must follow the recognized Common Core & Essential Standards. After-school programs, mentoring programs, and preschool programs are not eligible.
  • Prior recipients of grants may not re-apply in two consecutive years.
  • Submission period – July 1 – November 30, 2016
  • Evaluation of Applications – December, 2016
  • Winners Announced – January, 2017

Click here for Application Details.

Department of Energy Student Contests and Competitions


National Science Bowl February-March 2017  
BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge
Earth Day Poster Contest April 1, 2017 Deadline


Guiding Wellness

Guiding wellness Institute is a new resource for our community. Located on Raeford Rd, it's focus is on holistic wellness for all. They now have an educator membership.  

You spend all day nurturing your students. You give it you're all. And it is so easy to neglect yourself in the process. At the Guiding Wellness Institute, we are committed to providing a service to help you make your own wellness a priority. We are proud to offer a special membership geared just for educators at a tremendous discount. For $99 a month you will receive an Optimal Wellness Membership.

Your Wellness Educator Membership Includes:

  • Unlimited classes
  • Access to members-only schedule
  • 10% off all Guiding Wellness programs, workshops and services
  • VIP admission to all community and food education events
  • 20% off private events
  • Welcome packet with coupons, discounts, and gifts for the year



Early Childhood Project Learning Tree

November 15 and November 16, 6pm-9pm
Participants must attend both days to receive materials and credit.
Fee: Free for members, $10 for non-members.  Pre-registration in advance required. 

Developed with preschool educators and early childhood specialists, Project Learning Tree's Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood includes over 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration and is specifically designed for educators who work with children ages three to six. Topics include exploring nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees, and experiencing trees through the seasons.
The EEEC materials are correlated to national standards including NAEYC standards and the Head Start outcomes framework. This workshop qualifies under Criteria I of the NC EE Certification Program and will also provide CEU credits.
Read more about the curriculum at
Workshop Outcomes:  Workshop participants will use Project Learning Tree resources to actively engage students learning about the environment in indoor and outdoor settings. Participants will engage directly in several activities from the Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood Guide.
Workshop Participants will:
·         Receive PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood Activity Guide and accompanying music CD
·         Identify new hands-on activities to share with learners based on the five senses, the seasons of the year, and trees in your neighborhood.
·         Engage directly in Project Learning Tree activities through song, dance, exploration, and play.
·         Organize a plan to infuse programming with environmental education learning experiences.
·         Look at nature in new ways by using tools constructed from everyday materials.
·         Earn CEUs, contact hours, in-service credit, or NC Environmental Education Certification hours.

Register & pre-pay online at:

Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont

University of SC
Picture-based identification guide to over 700 species in the region and it includes common
animals, plants, fungi, slime molds, animal tracks, skulls and bones, rocks, minerals, and nature sounds. We created the field guide to help the general public easily identify and learn about common organisms they may encounter in their backyard or while hiking a local trail. The field guide can be downloaded as an eBook for free to any electronic device from and the picture for most species will hyperlink to a reputable website with natural history information.

Orange peels and avocado skins are 16-year-old's brilliant, drought-fighting solution

October 3, 2016, 5:43 a.m.

Kiara Nirghin, a 16-year-old from Johannesburg, South Africa, who won the grand prize at the 2016 Google Science Fairfor coming up with a way to use orange peels and avocado skins to help retain water in soil. South Africa is in the worst drought in more than 20 years. The teen believes "a critical solution to long-term water needs is a special material that can hold hundreds of times its weight in water while stored within soil."

She came up with her mixture to replace current soil additives, which are man-made and filled with harmful chemicals. These non-biodegradable solutions, known as superabsorbent polymers or SAPs, are macromolecules that absorb water and release it slowly to the surrounding soil. They work, but they're out of reach financially for local farmers. In contrast, Kiara's solution is biodegradable and affordable. Video and Article

Global Movement Fights Plastic Pollution

A network of 100 NGOs, including EarthShare members Surfrider Foundation, Clean Water Fund, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and Oceana, just released a groundbreaking new global vision for a future free from plastic pollution.

Scientists predict that without urgent action there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Yet, despite the danger that plastic pollution poses to our planet and to human health, industry and governments have so far failed to face up to the systemic change required to solve the issue.

That’s why a network of 100 NGOs, including EarthShare members Surfrider Foundation, Clean Water Fund, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, and Oceana, just released a groundbreaking new global vision for a future free from plastic pollution.

The vision’s includes 10 principles that represent the first step in a global movement to change society's perception and use of plastics.

It's time to embrace ugly produce 

September 27, 2016, 5:23 p.m
Of all the food waste issues we have (and there are many), the ugly produce issue should be simple to solve. Tons of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables never make it to market each year because they aren't pretty to look at More...

Grow food, not grass, to fight climate change

September 20, 2016, 2:02 p.m.

Turning a grassy lawn into a vegetable garden can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. Read more  

TerraCycle's Global Impact

This MonthOctober:  The Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program

This means that every shipment we receive through The Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program during the month of October will earn you 100 bonus points.

WASTE RECYCLED - 3,250,204,774
MONEY FOR CHARITY - $15,623,511  (schools)

Has your school started?

Oil Change International 

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy. The production and consumption of oil, gas, and coal are major sources of global warming, human rights abuses, war, national security concerns, corporate globalization, and increased inequality.

Keep an eye on the shoreline with NC Coastal Watch

There's a lot going on along North Carolina's coast. The potential for clean, renewable wind power. Threats from sea-level rise and erosion, and how communities can cope. Efforts to impede or cut off the public's longstanding access to our beaches.​

Sierrans who want to keep a close eye on these issues - and seize opportunities to speak out about them - have a new tool. Our NC Coastal Watch website offers a trove of resources from informational articles and links to a news blog and action alerts.

Right now, you can visit the Coastal Watch action center to urge state officials to reject a proposed rules change that would allow storm-damaged structures to be rebuilt in hazardous areas. We're also asking them to include sea-level rise projections in all their planning for coastal management.

Visit NC Coastal Watch to learn about issues in this uniquely beautiful region, take action to protect it, and let us know if you'd like to volunteer to help NC Sierrans enjoy, explore and protect our coast.

Put That PC To Sleep and Save


How do They Do That?

Key Points

  • PC power management software automatically puts computers in low-power 'sleep mode'.
  • Power management settings can save up to $50 per PC, and help improve data security.
  • One company saved $27,000 annually by implementing the ENERGY STAR's free EZ GPO program.
   Read More


Fall Colors

3 little pigments




On Wednesday, the White House announced a collaboration between 20 federal climate and security agencies, meaning that, for the first time, U.S. agencies and intelligence workers will incorporate findings on climate change into their planning and policies.

It will hopefully shed light on where instability due to drought, famine, or climate-fueled migration is most likely. This could apply to situations ranging from conflict in drought-stricken Mali to civil war-torn Yemen’s reduced ability to cope with a devastating cyclone.


According to a new study in the journal BioScience, reservoirs are a more significant climate problem than previously known. Researchers found that each square meter of reservoir surface area releases 25 percent more methane into the atmosphere than scientists had thought.

This means that hydroelectric dam projects account for about 1.3 percent of the world’s human-caused greenhouse gas emissions each year, the study found — about as much as Canada. And that figure is likely to grow: There are 847 large hydro projects now under consideration or construction, Science reports.

Together We Can Build a Better Food System
How the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council is Strengthening Their Community and Working Towards Healthy, Affordable & Sustainable Food For All

by Jared Cates, CFSA’s Community Mobilizer

Locally sourced food can be found on the menu at many medium and high priced restaurants in the Charlotte metro region. The region has a high number of producers growing fruits and vegetables. But, the findings of a large-scale planning effort, CONNECT Our Future, drew attention to big challenges with inequity in the regional food system, low wages for food system workers, and large pockets of food insecurity. There is increasing demand for locally grown food, but farmland continues to be sold off and transformed into subdivisions. There is plenty of local produce grown in the region; however little of it is making its way into local school cafeterias. These are the types of issues that the Char-Meck FCP has been tackling. And they’ve already made a big difference.

Air Sensor Toolbox for Citizen Scientists updated

The Air Sensor Toolbox for Citizen Scientists web page has been updated with new information and a fresh look and feel. Visit toolbox
Read Later
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