What a great find!

The cleanup event at 12000 Government Center on April 16th was a success! Volunteers rolled up their sleeves, put on some gloves, and picked up trash from around the area. The weather suited well for this event. One of the volunteers found two interesting artifacts, a turtle shell and a lower jaw of an animal.

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Photos taken by Hala Elbarmil

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Turtle shell

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Lower jaw of an animal

What type of turtle shell is this? To whom does this lower jaw belong to? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Spring Cleaning, Art Upgrade

The Workhouse Arts Center is having a “Spring Cleaning, Art Upgrade” this weekend with a smashing 20% off discount coupon. In order to get the discount, bring in a mass-produced decoration, such as a framed poster from Ikea or flower vase from Target. This event is to promote handmade art, which The Workhouse Arts Center believes that it is importatnt for everyone to have.

Spring Cleaning WorkHouse

Environmental News Roundup – Apr. 15, 2015

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World’s Last Male Northern White Rhino Placed Under 24-Hour Armed Guard In Kenya

After the decimation of his species by poachers, Sudan the rhino finds himself in a extremely precarious position: He is the last male northern white rhinoceros on the planet.

In 1960, there were more than 2,000 northern white rhinos roaming the earth, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. Poaching, however, reduced this number to 15 by 1984. Poachers aren’t just dangerous to rhinos, whose horns can reportedly fetch prices of $75,000 per kilogram or more, but also to the people who try to protect them.

 Lowe’s to eliminate pesticides that hurt crop pollinating honeybees

Scientists, consumer groups, beekeepers and others say bee deaths are linked to neonic pesticides. The bee die-off is worrisome for agriculture because honeybees pollinate plants that produce about a fourth of the food consumed by Americans. Lowe’s said it will phase out neonics in shelf products and plants by the spring of 2019, as suitable alternatives become available.

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Economies that go 100% renewable could save $520 billion a year

Adopting targets to go 100% renewable could save the world’s biggest economies a combined US$520 billion each year according to a new report, a fact which is reflected in the growing number of businesses going 100% renewable in the US. The finding comes from the New Climate Institute and Climate Action Network, which assessed the “missed benefits of countries’ national contributions” – the so-called INDCs – for the major economies China, US and Europe.

As well as sidestepping the high costs associated with imported fossil fuels by shifting to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050, these economies will also avoid the “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” the International Panel on Climate Change forecasts will happen if we increase global warming 2 Celsius degree above preindustrial levels.

 House panel releases $35 billion spending bill for energy, water

The 56-page bill, which is $1.2 billion above the level Congress enacted for 2015, funds Energy Department programs, the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains and develops the nation’s water systems, and other related agencies. Science research programs would get $5.1 billion, up $29 million from 2015. The bill would also fund research and development to advance natural gas, oil, coal and other fossil technologies. Renewable energy programs would get $1.7 billion, down $279 million from 2015 levels.

Polar Bears + Melting Sea Ice = Don’t Add Up

David Mizejewski, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Naturalist, describes how global warming affects the life and food sources for polar bears. Polar Bears International and NWF are working together to educate people of the threats that are harming these beautiful creatures.

Growing your own food

You can grow your own nutritious food! All you need is some space. You can even do it in a tiny apartment or small yard.

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This article describes how to start your own food garden, if you have a moderate to large sized yard.

If you do not have the room, learn and observe on how to plant on bigger sized properties, and just downsize it to suit your needs.

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Environmental News Roundup – Apr. 8, 2015

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ADM Announces Plan to Fight Deforestation

Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world’s largest commodities suppliers, has joined the growing number of major agriculture and food companies promising to take steps to conserve forests that are threatened by the global demand for commodities like palm oil and soy.

Many big companies have learned that incorporating conservation into their business plans can reduce costs — and they also are keenly aware that consumers are increasingly interested in how food ingredients are produced.

Duke Energy to pay Virginia $2.5 million for Dan River spill

Duke Energy has agreed to pay Virginia a $2.5 million settlement for its February 2014 coal ash spill into the Dan River. The spill at a retired power plant in Eden dumped up to 39,000 tons of ash into the river, which flows north into Virginia. Ash flowed 80 miles downstream to Virginia’s Kerr Reservoir.

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The Arctic climate threat that nobody’s even talking about yet

Rapid Arctic warming is expected to lead to the thawing of a great deal of frozen soil or permafrost, which, as it thaws, will begin to emit carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. And if this occurs in the amounts that some scientists are predicting, it could significantly undermine efforts to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Indeed, scientists have discovered a simple statistic that underscores the scale of the potential problem: There may be more than twice as much carbon contained in northern permafrost as there is in the atmosphere itself. That’s a staggering thought.

Sierra Club targets half of US coal-fired plants

The Sierra Club set a new, ambitious goal Wednesday to close half of the country’s coal-fired power plants by 2017. The target, based on a starting point in 2010 when there were 1,000 such plants, goes beyond the group’s initial goal to close a third of them by 2020.

Sierra Club leaders announced the goal at the same time they accepted $30 million from media mogul Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropic operation for their Beyond Coal campaign. More than a dozen donors pledged to match Bloomberg’s contribution, doubling it to $60 million.

Digital Responsibility is Offering an Environmental Scholarship

Our friends at Digital Responsibility are offering a $1,000 E-waste scholarship to high school, college, and graduate students, who are interested in the environment.

“The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the impact of e-waste and what can be done to reduce e-waste” (Digital Responsibility).

For more information, check out their website and be thinking of the best 140 character application you can! Hurry up, the deadline is on April 30, 2105!

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New Time for Employee Clean Up Day

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Come along to participate in our annual clean up. Refreshments will be served, attached with an awesome sense of accomplishment.  You can’t pass by this opportunity. RSVP on Facebook.

*Please take note that we changed the time to 11AM-1PM.

Flyer created by Hala Elbarmil

Flyer created by Hala Elbarmil

Learn about honeybees at Manassas Battlefield Park Day

Saturday, April 18th 2015: 10AM.-3PM.

Louise Edsall will be at the Manassas Battlefield Park representing the Sweet Virginia Foundation educating the public about honeybees.

Other events there that day include learning about tracking, water chemistry, birds and more!

Sat @ Park Poster FINAL

Zoom Zoom Zoom!

On a beautiful spring day, students were lined up to get their bikes fixed at the Basic Bike Repair Workshop. This event was held on Tuesday March 3rd at George Mason University, with Phoenix Bikes on site.

All photos credited to Marina Budimir

Many students were fascinated. They observed and asked questions about how a bike is maintained, while their bikes were being repaired.

Photo credited to Marina Budimir

One student was riding his bike without brakes. Luckily, Phoenix Bikes came to the rescue to solve this issue.

Photo taken by Marina Budimir

If you missed out on this workshop, don’t worry! There are more bike events during the month of April. Bring a friend, come along, and enjoy the ride! All of these events are FREE.