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A day of exercise and fun, RiverFest draws the community outdoors after the long cold winter to celebrate the valley and the river that runs through it.

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[1THING] Blog

[ Today is Don’t Fry Day ]

fryThe National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated today as Don’t Fry Day!  On this day(and everyday) you are reminded to protect your skin while enjoying the outdoors.

Why should you protect your skin:  The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the upper atmosphere, protecting life on Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. In the 1980s, scientists began accumulating evidence that the ozone layer was being depleted. Depletion of the ozone layer results in increased UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.…

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[ EWG’s 2015 Sunscreen Guide ]

With the rates of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – continuing to surge across the United States, protecting yourself and your family from the dangerous effects of sun exposure has never been more important.

But not all sunscreens are created equal.

That’s why The Environmental Working Group analyzed 1,700 U.S. sun protection products to highlight the best and worst in their 2015 Guide to Sunscreens.

A whopping 80 percent of products EWG reviewed this year contain harmful ingredients or offer inadequate protection against dangerous ultraviolet radiation.…

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[ Pennsylvania Marks 20th Anniversary of Signing of Land Recycling Laws ]

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a new video commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling laws that encourage the voluntary cleanup and reuse of contaminated commercial and industrial sites.

The video features interviews with Governor Tom Wolf and former Governor Tom Ridge who signed Acts 2, 3 and 4 into law on May 19, 1995, at the U.S. Steel Tube Works in McKeesport, Allegheny County. It’s available on DEP’s YouTube Channel.

“Land is a vital resource.…

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[ Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2015 ]

Pools, waterparks, hot tubs/spas, splash pads, and water playgrounds are great places to have fun, be active, or just relax. Having fun while you swim this summer means knowing how to stay healthy and safe while enjoying the water!

Swimming is one of the most popular sports activities in the United States.1 And just 2.5 hours of water-based (or other forms of) physical activity per week has health benefits, we each need to do our part to minimize the risk of illness and injury.…

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[ Fury Road: All Your Environmental Disasters Come True ]

Imagine what the world would look like 50 years from now if every ominous environmental trend of today were to play out: climate change, deforestation, water shortages — plus a couple of thermonuclear strikes for good measure. That was the mandate from Australian filmmaker George Miller to his crew on Mad Max: Fury Road, a full-throttle action movie (due to hit theaters May 15) set in a postapocalyptic desert where lunatics with outrageous vehicles fight over water and oil. “Everybody on the set had to start from the same ground rules,” Miller said, “which was that all the worst-case scenarios you read in the news have come to pass.”

Miller’s writing and directing credits couldn’t be more diverse, from Fury Road‘s dark and violent Mad Max predecessors to such uplifting family films as Babe and Happy Feet.…

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[ Amount Of Carbon Dioxide In Air Keeps Rising, Hits Milestone ]

Federal scientists said global levels of the most prevalent heat-trapping gas have passed a daunting milestone.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in March, the global monthly average for carbon dioxide hit 400.83 parts per million. That is the first month in modern records that the entire globe broke 400 ppm, reaching levels that haven’t been seen in about 2 million years.

Pushed by the burning of fossil fuels, global carbon dioxide is 18 percent higher than it was in 1980, when NOAA first calculated a worldwide average.…

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[ 20+ Unique (and Crazy) Ways to Recycle Old Tires ]

Did you know that despite the small effort it takes to recycle tires, a whopping 240 million of them get tiresthrown away in the United States alone? Less than 7% of them are recycled, with 11% becoming fuel and about 5% of them being exported out of the country. The rest are stockpiled, thrown away illegally into the environment, or sent to the landfills. And 190 million tires waste away in the sun or somewhere else around the US each year.…

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[ Bee Safe with Pesticides ]

It’s springtime … and if you use pesticides where bees are present, always READ THE LABEL. Be sure you know how to use pesticides safely and correctly. More about protecting bees and other pollinators: http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/find-best-management-practices-protect-pollinators

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[ Live Webcast of Peregrine Falcon Banding Set for May 21 ]

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Pennsylvania Game Commission invites everyone to tune in for the annual Peregrine falcon banding event during a live webcast on Thursday, May 21. The banding will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Rachel Carson State Office Building auditorium in Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

During the one-hour session, biologists will retrieve the newly-hatched nestlings, called eyases, from their nest, weigh them and place a metal band with a falcon-specific code around each bird’s left leg.…

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[ Chipotle Promises To Serve Food That’s Missing One Common Ingredient ]

Mexican food chain, with a location in Dickson City and another coming soon to Wilkes-Barre, promises to serve healthy, natural food to consumers.

In a first for a major restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill will begin serving only food that is free of genetically engineered ingredients.

“This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.”

Whether other major restaurant chains will follow Chipotle’s lead is uncertain.…

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[ National Wildflower Week, May 4 – 10, 2015 ]

Across the nation, wildflowers growing beside highways, in gardens and elsewhere are valued for their flowernatural beauty. And as Lady Bird Johnson once said, they “give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.”  Commemorate these beautiful features of our landscapes by getting outside or learning more about them during National Wildflower Week May 4 -10.

Why do wildflowers matter? Wildflowers and native plants help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife and protect the soil from erosion.…

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[ Will You Be Biking to School Tomorrow? ]

Bike to School Day is this Wednesday, May 6th.  Why should you bike to school?

It’s Fun!

Walking and bicycling bring a sense of joy and independence.

Healthier Habits

The trip to school is a chance for children (and adults!) to get the physical activity they need.

Cleaner Environment

Replacing car trips to school with walking or bicycling can reduce congestion and air-polluting emissions.

Promoting Safety

Building sidewalks, providing education programs and adding traffic calming measures are some of the ways to improve safety.…

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[ World’s First Algae Surfboard Makes Waves in San Diego ]

Energy Department-funded scientists at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) California Center for Algae Biotechnology have successfully demonstrated a uniquely Californian solution to replacing fossil fuels—surfboards made from algae.

These sustainable “surfboards of the future” are made of algal oil, provided by Energy Department-funded and California-based biotech firm Solazyme. The oil is converted to polyols by UCSD chemists and then sent to the surfboard manufacturer Arctic Foam to shape the foam boards and then coat them with fiberglass and a renewable plant-based resin.…

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[ Protect Your Drinking Water ]

National Drinking Water Week is May 3rd – 9th!

Of all the Earth’s water, most is ocean or sea (97%). About two percent (2%) of the world’s water is frozen and therefore unusable. That leaves a little less than one percent (1%) of the Earth’s water suitable for drinking water.  Safe drinking water relies on all of us.

During National Drinking Water Week, do your part to be informed, observant, involved and protective!

Find out how to protect your drinking water for life!

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[ Industry-Backed Chemical Safety Law “Doesn’t Protect Pennsylvania Families” ]

An industry-backed bill changing the way the federal government regulates dangerous chemicals won’t do enough to protect Pennsylvania families, a coalition of consumer watchdogs say.

Senate Bill 697, also known as the Vitter-Udall bill, is being considered by a Senate committee – but the legislation is also drawing criticism from public health advocates, environmental groups and chemical workers’ unions.

Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, says in too many cases it would tie the hands of the EPA – and would largely prevent states from doing what the EPA can’t.…

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[ Morrissey Challenges Live Earth To Go Vegan ]

Morrissey recently wrote an open letter to advocate / former Vice President Al Gore and fellow Live Earth co-founder Kevin Wall to school the duo on the hypocrisy of serving meat or dairy products at the upcoming event dedicated to taking climate action.

In partnership with the United Nations, the second edition of Live Earth will take place June 18 with events planned on six continents over 24 hours. Following his involvement in the inaugural Live Earth in 2007, Pharrell Williams is serving as the creative director for Live Earth Road to Paris.

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[ 7 Ways Vegans Are Saving the Planet ]

1. Protecting Our Waterways: Because animals are so densely packed on today’s industrial farms, they produce more manure than can be absorbed by the land as fertilizer. The runoff from these facilities often leaks into nearby rivers and streams.

2. Halting Habitat Destruction: According to the Center for Biological Diversity, reducing meat consumption is one of the best ways to save endangered species.

3. Saving Water: Animal agriculture uses a whopping 56% of water in the United States. In fact, just one hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce—the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers.…

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[ GOP Congress Gets Environmental ‘F’ Grade So Far ]

The 114th U.S. Congress gets a failing grade from conservation and environmental groups for the lawmakers’ first four months of the session.

The Climate Action Campaign, Defenders of Wildlife, The Wilderness Society, Clean Water Action – among others – have tallied a report card for the Republican-led Congress under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner.

Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, says the lawmakers haven’t done much of anything to protect land, water or wildlife, or to fight climate change.…

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[ Does Exposure to Nature Make Us Act Better? ]

A new study suggests that exposure to nature changes human behavior in a positive way. Research showed that people who viewed nature videos as opposed to videos depicting urban settings subsequently behaved in ways that were more cooperative and sustainable.  “Thus, the authors suggest that climate change advocates might consider using nature-focused messages, rather than economic or national security framings, to advance their cause.” Read more.…

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[ Celebrate Arbor Day With The Best Trees For Wildlife ]

It’s Arbor Day and that means tree planting time!  When you plant a tree, you have a chance to restore and protect native floura that provide wildlife habitat and nourish the natural world.  Here are some native trees and the benefits they provide for a whole host of species:

Red Cedars

Red cedars, which are actually junipers, are real workhorses for wildlife. The evergreen offers birds and other wildlife year-round cover from predators and bad weather, along with places to rest, roost and nest. …

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[ Ways to Save While Visiting National Parks ]

Even if you can’t make it to a park to celebrate Earth Day, any time is a great time to visit our national parks — and there are always plenty of ways to save.

There are few places as majestic as America’s national parks, from the grandeur of the Grand Canyon to the wonders of Yellowstone to the serenity of the Smoky Mountains. And nature won’t cost you much if you’re equipped with a few tips on how to minimize the expenses of enjoying the nation’s great parks and historical sites.…

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[ EPA Unveils Unique Park Bench That Measures Philly’s Air Quality ]

There’s a new way to check the air quality in Philadelphia. It comes in the form of an innovative park bench that the U.S Environmental Protection Agency has placed in Independence National Historical Park.

Known as the Village Green Station, the bench was developed by EPA as a unique way to get the public to participate in the measurement of air quality and weather information. It was introduced in Philadelphia on the eve of Earth Day 2015.

“The most important part of the Village Green Station is to communicate air quality information to the community and engage the public on the importance of air quality,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M.…

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[ Money Does Grow on Trees: How Planting a Tree Can Save You Money ]

Earth Day is coming up, and being green can save you some green too. In fact, a healthy, treemature tree in your yard can add between $1,000 and $10,000 to the value of your home.

You may have forgotten to make plans to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, but you’re probably always looking for ways to decrease your household budget or increase your property value. Did you know you can do both at the same time?

You’ve probably considered lots of indoor renovations to invest in long term expenses, but what about the humble front lawn and backyard?…

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[ Palm Oil Scorecard 2015: Fries, Face Wash, Forests ]

Palm oil is a globally traded commodity used in a wide array of common consumer products, from shampoo to cookies. And much of this palm oil is produced in ways that involve the destruction of tropical forests and peatlands, adding to global warming emissions and reducing habitat for many already threatened species.

The good news is that palm oil can be produced without deforestation—and many companies have begun to make public commitments to use deforestation-free palm oil in their products.…

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[ You Can Now Drive a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle ]

The Energy Department recently posted a blog about car buyers being able to choose the clean, zero emissions benefits of a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) this spring. FCEVs, which run on hydrogen gas rather than gasoline, have the potential to significantly reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and lower harmful emissions that contribute to climate change by emitting only water from the tailpipe.

Read EERE Energy Impacts: You Can Now Drive a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to learn more about the Energy Department’s research to make FCEVs a viable transportation option for the American public.…

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[ Turn an Old T-shirt Into an Ecofriendly Produce Bag ]

Looking for something to do with all of those old T-shirts that you’ve accumulated over the years?  Well, you could always donate them, but one thing you definitely don’t want to do is throw them in the trash.  According to the EPA, Americans throw out more than 12 million tons of textiles each year. It all ends up in landfills, decomposing and slowly releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

It’s a whole lot better for the environment if you send them to a textile recycler that will turn them into useful stuff like insulation and furniture stuffing; 2.3 million tons are recycled annually, which is the equivalent of removing 340,000 cars from the road.…

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[ Open house regarding Keystone landfill expansion permit ]

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a public availability session regarding Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s permit application to expand its facility located in Dunmore and Throop Boroughs in Lackawanna County. The event will take place on Monday, April 27th from 11am to 2pm and from 4pm to 8pm at the Throop Community Civic Center, 500 Sanderson Street, Throop. Representatives from the State Department of Health (DOH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will also participate.…

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[ Study Finds Pennsylvania Frackers Average at Least Two Violations a Day ]

On average, fracking companies commit more than two-and-a-half drilling violations a day, according to a new study drawn from just a small portion of available public record information.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) studied five years’ worth of online reports for Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Colorado. According to report co-author and NRDC policy analyst Amy Mall, she and her team totaled up at least 4,600 citations – about 18 per week.

She says some of the 68 drillers they looked at ran up hundreds of violations, including wastewater spills, well leaks and pipeline ruptures.…

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[ National Park Week & Fee-Free Days ]

The nation is buzzing about National Park Week 2015, America’s largest celebration of national heritage, 140px-US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo_svgApril 18-26.  It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations and enhancing America’s best idea – the national parks!  From diverse wildlife and iconic landscapes, to vibrant culture and rich history, our National Park System has something for everyone.

National Park Week is being kicked off with fee-free days on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19!  So, whether it is your first trip, or one of many memorable park experiences, there couldn’t be a better time to get out and explore!…

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[ Go Green-Scaping ]

March is when we typically begin to think of springtime, — lawns, flowers, and being outdoors. Get ideas and useful tips for greenscaping — environmentally friendly practices to improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden at http://www.epa.gov/wastes/wycd/homeandgarden.htm

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[ Shailene Woodley’s Pointers On How To Save The Earth ]

Nylon magazine’s April 2015 cover girl Shailene Woodley, star of the Divergent movie series and The Fault in Our Stars, doesn’t want to be labeled an environmentalist, but she gave the mag some great pointers on how to save our planet:

The eco-conscious lead of The Fault in Our Stars also gave some pointers on how to save the Earth from future implosion. “Everyone could and should do a lot for the planet,” Woodley explained. “I think you should find one small thing that works for you and dedicate and commit to that one thing every single day.”

Her tips include the usual measures: “When you leave the house just unplug your toaster, coffee machine, your TV, which doesn’t need to be on all day.”

She also gave some additional pro tips to fans.…

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[ Drought Watch for 27 Pennsylvania Counties ]

Despite the recent surge of surface water caused by snow melt, parts of the state have below-average groundwater levels. The lack of groundwater recharge has caused the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue a drought watch for 27 counties across Pennsylvania. Low groundwater levels can cause well-fed water supplies, both private and public, to go dry.

The very dry fall and below-normal precipitation in January and February have contributed to low groundwater levels in the northeast and central portions of the state.…

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[ Resistance to Gas Pipelines Spreading ]

Huge pipelines intended to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas to eastern markets are running into spreading resistance from landowners.

Richmond-based Dominion Resources and its partners have filed about 100 lawsuits against landowners who are resisting surveying crews for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Now landowners in the path of a different pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, have filed preemptive suits to stop surveying crews hired by the Pittsburgh-based EQT energy company and its partners.

Isak Howell is an attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, a non-profit organization that represents dozens of landowners along each line.…

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[ California oil spill response is ominous for Arctic Ocean ]

Three days after a pipeline spilled 105,000 gallons of crude oil in balmy Southern California, the Associated Press reported that “bad” weather was slowing cleanup effo


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[ Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act: Balancing energy development with conservation ]

The revised Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) was reintroduced into the Senate this week with strong bipartisan support.


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Make Every Day Earth Day