GMU Bike Events Wrap-Up

The bike events at George Mason University (GMU) during the month of April was a success! Despite the rainy day, Gearin’ Up Bicycles were at Sandy Creek, jamming some awesome music while answering any questions about bike maintenance, and provided free tune-ups as well. There was no way a little rain could stop Gearin’ Up Bicycles to make the best of it. Their dedication and commitment to bike safety, health, and environment can be shown through their work.

All photos taken by Marina Budimir

All photos taken by Marina Budimir

On the other hand, Phoenix Bikes were welcomed with lovely warm weather. Students lined up to register their bikes on campus, while receiving a free tune-up by Edoardo Buenaobra. Previously, Phoenix Bikes came to GMU and provided a free bike maintenance workshop. Information about this event can be viewed here.

Eduardo discusses bike maintenance with a student.

Eduardo discusses bike maintenance with a student.

A student registers their bike on campus.

A student registers their bike on campus.

Finally, Bike to Mason Day was the wrap up for all of the bike events for the month of April. Many students, faulty, and staff rode their bikes to GMU, as an alternate form of transportation. Spokes etc. has been an advocate for Bike to Mason for the past years, and has had a successful outcome of participants last April.


Participants holding fabric maps, which includes bike routs.


Important materials for any biker on the road!


If you missed out on this, GMU will be having more bike events next year. In the meantime, please check out the bike shops that are mentioned above. They sell bikes, offer workshops, and so much more. Thank you for the volunteers, students, faulty, staff, and bike shops that participated in these events. This could not have happened without you.

Shredding and Household Hazardous Waste Events in May


  • Saturday, May 16 – Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mason District Government Center (6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale). This event is for disposing of hazardous materials generated within Fairfax County households. We will not accept business or commercial waste, lead acid batteries, automobile batteries, electronics or large grill-sized propane tanks. For a complete list of household items qualifying as hazardous waste, go to
  • Also, household hazardous waste is now accepted every day of the week at each of our permanent collection sites at the I-66 Transfer Station and the I-95 Landfill Complex. For hours and locations, go to
  • Saturday, May 16 – Shred Sensitive Documents from 8 a.m. to Noon at the South County Government Center (8350 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria). Residents may shred up to 5 boxes of personal documents per household at no charge. We will not accept paper documents from businesses at this event. All documents will be securely shredded on-site by a private contractor. For complete details on what is accepted and what is prohibited at this event, go to
  • Please visit the Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program website – – for additional information about trash and recycling topics in Fairfax County. You can also contact our office by calling 703-324-5230, TTY 711.

Environmental News Roundup – May 6, 2015


Tesla ventures into solar power storage for home and business

In recent years, the fast-growing popularity of solar panels has intensified a central challenge: how to use the sun’s energy when it isn’t shining.

Now, Tesla Motors, the maker of luxury electric sedans, says it is taking a big step toward meeting that challenge with a fleet of battery systems aimed at homeowners, businesses and utilities. The company’s foray into the solar storage market will include rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that can mount to a home garage wall as well as battery blocks large enough to smooth out fluctuations in the grid.

Pipeline politics: Virginia’s Keystone?

Call it the Keystone next door. A core group of Virginia Republicans and other landowners is leading the charge against a proposed natural gas pipeline near their backyards and using tactics similar to the environmental crusade against the Keystone XL oil pipeline — the very project Republicans in Congress have elevated into a matter of national economic survival.


Do consumers really have the power to end the illegal wildlife trade?

The rate at which wildlife and wildlife parts are currently being traded is alarming to say the least. One elephant is killed for their ivory every 15 minutes, around three rhinos are poached every day and around 28,300 freshwater turtles are traded on the illegal wildlife market every day.

The Sea Party Rebellion

Gas is cheap. America is pumping more domestic oil than at any time in the last 30 years. But two newly released science reports have reached disturbing conclusions. One in the journal Science states human activities threaten mass-extinction of marine life in the ocean, the other in the journal Nature tells us that to avoid the most catastrophic effects of fossil fuel fired climate disruption we need to leave a third of the world’s known petroleum reserves in the ground and under the seabed.

A Sea Party of activists, businesses and coastal communities committed to promoting the health and economic well-being of our public seas ― while also championing clean energy, including offshore wind ― could prove a strong unifying force between now and the 2016 presidential elections.

Environmental News Roundup – Apr. 29, 2015


Did Nepal Earthquake Change Mount Everest’s Height?

The massive earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday likely caused permanent changes in the Earth’s surface and may have made Everest a little taller—or shorter, scientists say.

A team of geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is working on the problem now, but they need to retrieve data from a GPS station near Everest within the next 11 days.

Green Groups Push Obama on Arctic Drilling

More than a dozen conservation and environmental groups are pushing President Obama to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The groups took out an advertisement in USA Today on Tuesday saying drilling in the Arctic is “not worth the risk” of negatively affecting the climate or creating an oil spill in the ocean. The ad comes as Shell looks to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska.


The Reactors That Will Revolutionize Nuclear Energy

We’re at a turning point in energy. The U.S. should be a leader in mitigating climate change and meeting a nearly 30% increase in U.S. demand for electricity projected by 2040.

Renewable-energy technologies will continue to advance, as will other carbon-free power sources like nuclear energy. The nuclear industry is developing new technology that will be up and running inside of 10 years – a smaller reactor option built at much lower capital costs.

Pope Francis Steps Up Campaign on Climate Change

Since his first homily in 2013, Pope Francis has preached about the need to protect the earth and all of creation as part of a broad message on the environment. The Vatican summit meeting will focus on the links between poverty, economic development and climate change, with speeches and panel discussions by climate scientists and religious leaders, and economists like Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia. The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who is leading efforts to forge the Paris accord, will deliver the opening address.


Environmental News Roundup – Earth Day 2015


Earth Day’s Importance and Evolution Since 1970

Decades later, we find the issue of environmental protection has evolved in a number of important ways. Environmental pollution is widely seen as a public health issue and broad public support for a clean environment is as strong today as it was in the first decade after Earth Day. Moreover, the issue of global sustainability and the connection of the planet’s environmental health to our economic wellbeing have moved from the fringes of the political agenda to its center. Sustainability is at or near the top of the modern global political agenda.

McAuliffe’s Path to Clean Power Plan Success

Governor McAuliffe’s clean energy bill signing today was another step toward building a New Virginia Economy through the Clean Power Plan, which is not only our nation’s first comprehensive effort to slow dangerous climate change by cleaning up carbon pollution from power plants, but which is also McAuliffe’s best chance to both deliver clean energy jobs and address the climate change that already imperils Virginia’s coast during his single term as the Commonwealth’s Governor.

Earth and North America from Space

Obama to press climate change agenda with trip to Everglades on Earth Day

In his weekly radio address Saturday, Obama said there is “no greater threat to our planet than climate change. This is the only planet we’ve got. And years from now, I want to be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did everything we could to protect it.”

Are we doing better today than on the first Earth Day?

Hard to believe it, but we’re now at the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. The question is: Are we doing better today than on the first Earth Day 45 years ago? This is particularly important as, according to The Hill, the House begins working on an energy bill this week. The Senate is busy as well, holding hearings next week on the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Reviewand several proposed energy efficiency bills.

Love Your Planet

Earth Day is on April 22nd, and it’s just right around the corner! Earth Day is an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental problems. First off, let’s watch the video below to learn some history about this special day.

There are many Earth Day events that will take place in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., other parts of Virginia, and in Maryland.

Don’t forget about SpringFest on Saturday, April 25th! Want to make difference? Volunteer for SpringFest.

If you have an Earth Day event to share in your area, please leave a comment below.

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.


Photos taken by Hala Elbarmil


Turtle shell


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


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.


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.