Category Archives: Environment

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Is use of Bathroom Tissue an Environmental Issue?

by Don Corrigan

“I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.” Several readers sent this piece of humor to me about a month ago. Unfortunately, it’s still relevant in the continuing age of the 2020 Pandemic.

I shopped at several grocery stores just in the last week. The squeeze on Charmin supplies is still ongoing. The cupboards were bare at several stores, except for a sign about rationing – only one package of Charmin, Angel, Coronet or Cottonelle per customer.

Toilet paper is still one of the most coveted items for care packages being assembled at local food banks and beyond. Rolls of paper are gladly accepted at Webster-Rock Hill Ministries. State Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, has put out a call for this essential commodity for those in need on so many levels.

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Flood Recovery Advisory Working Group to Meet May 13: Public Comment Period Included

City of St. Charles’ Frontier Park. Photos by Holly Shanks.

The Flood Recovery Advisory Working Group will meet at 1 p.m. on May 13. Out of caution surrounding the spread of COVID-19, participation in this meeting will be online only at dnr.mo.gov/videos/live.htm. When the public comment period begins, which will take place near the end of the meeting, the host will announce the call-in number individuals should use to comment.

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All Gassed Up — Nowhere To Go

BP station at the corner of Big Bend Boulevard and South Elm Avenue in Webster Groves. Photo by Ursula Ruhl (WKT)

Carl Campbell, editor of Carl’s Climate Letters, tells Don Corrigan that gas prices will continue to nosedive. He says the era of fracking is over due to the collapse of oil prices. 

 

By Don Corrigan

All gassed up, and nowhere to go. That’s a common refrain right now. Gasoline is cheap, but concert sites, sports stadiums, and amusement parks across the country are shuttered, thanks to the worst pandemic in America in over 100 years.

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St. Louis Cardinals Recognized For Sustainable Food Management

Cardinal Nation’s Kenny Chang, a 2008 Lindbergh High School grad in St. Louis, shows off some fan wear for the sustainable-conscious St. Louis Cards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2019 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award.

“Food Recovery Challenge participants are leaders in showing how preventing food waste and diverting excess wholesome food to people is an environmental win and a cost-saving business decision,”said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Their accomplishments serve as excellent examples to other companies, governments, organizations and communities.”

As part of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results.

“We applaud the St. Louis Cardinals for their continued commitment and success in reducing food waste from their operations, said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.“Thanks to their initiative and innovation, the St. Louis Cardinals have helped the greater community reduce hunger, while also protecting our environment by diverting food waste from landfills.”

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Q&A: How COVID-19 Is Impacting The Food Supply Chain and Animal Welfare

Graphic courtesy Purdue University

Purdue University’s College of Agriculture offers the following questions and answers to provide background and insight into how COVID-19 is impacting the food supply chain and animal welfare. The information is provided by Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, and Candace Croney, professor, animal behavior and well-being, and director, Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University.

If there’s a surplus at the farm, why is there a shortage in the grocery store?

See answer and more below.

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Don Corrigan’s Top 10 Earth Day Songs!

By Don Corrigan

This is pitiful. It’s Earth Day Week. It’s Earth Day Month. And it’s dangerous to be outside and too dangerous to be too close to each other. A lot of us are sad and angry. We are angry because we are too smart for this. We were warned. We had time to prepare. We knew this could happen. We could have staved off the worst of this. We are sad, because we know this can and will happen again. Or will it? Maybe we will learn something. Or maybe we will point fingers and tear each other apart. So, it will be worse next time.

These songs are about degradation of the Earth. They are songs about losing our planet, because we did not take care of it. I think we need to face the music. I know there are those who will say that these songs are all too depressing. Why not, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” at a time of despondency and pandemic. Well, I don’t like Annie and her little dog, Toto, even after the witches have melted and there’s cotton candy at the baseball game. There’s not going to be cotton candy at a Cardinals’ game for a good while, so I am putting together my Top 10 songs about saving our planet. Some of them I listened to 50 years ago. I am not sure we are any closer to saving our earth, or ourselves, then in 1970. Isn’t that when  the first Earth Day began?

See the top 10 list of songs below.

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Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Now In 78 Missouri Counties

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Chariton, Lafayette, and Moniteau counties, bringing the statewide total to 78 counties known to have the pest. EAB is a small, metallic green beetle native to Asia that attacks all species of ash trees, killing more than 99 percent of the trees it attacks.

According to MDC Forest Entomologist Robbie Doerhoff, one of the best ways to keep track of EAB and its march across Missouri is to look for bark blonding, a term that refers to woodpecker damage on ash trees.

STAY INFORMED: Listing Of Coronavirus Resources

We want our community and readers to stay safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic. This virus has caused hardships and pain on every level of our social, economic and well-being around the globe. An important part of protecting ourselves, our families, our friends, our front line and emergency workers and our community members who are at risk is to make sure we stay informed.

Below find a compiled list of resources relating to COVID-19 information.

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MDC TRIM Grant Removes Invasive Trees At St. Louis Community College

Certified arborist David Slane removes an invasive white poplar tree at St. Louis Community College’s Meramec campus. Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy MDC.

16 down, one to go. That was the count on a gray and rainy Thursday in early March when students from the horticulture class at St. Louis Community College’s (StLCC) Meramec Campus gathered to watch a dentist take down a tree. It was being funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

For David Slane, DMD, this was merely a routine extraction, just one more dendro than dental. Dr. Slane is also an arborist, certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. In fact, Slane’s self-appointed nickname is “Arbor Dave”. When he’s not working at his Kirkwood practice on teeth that have roots under the gum, he’s at work on trees with roots underground.

“They have things in common,” Slane said. “In both cases you diagnose and treat problems.”

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#BringTheStlZooToYou

Saint Louis Zoo ads-2Connecting people to animals is the core of the Saint Louis Zoo’s mission, and that doesn’t stop when its doors are closed. Stay connected with the Zoo’s #BringTheStlZooToYou  online resource providing access to stories, videos and photos of the animals and animal care, educational activities, conservation programs and more to help you stay connected to the Zoo during the temporary ​public closure because of COVID-19. You can find the fun and informative resources on the zoo’s social media and website.

“We know how important the Zoo is to the St. Louis area community,” says Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. “We are happy to continue to provide everyone with opportunities to view our animals and see firsthand how well our zookeepers and other critical staff are working.  Likewise, we hope all those parents who are teaching their children at home can take advantage of some of this information.”