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Environmental Resources

Here are some helpful books and videos that share in the spirit of GreenFriends, plus resources related to plastic source reduction and the Tree Planting Campaign. If you have a favorite resouce you would like to share with the GreenFriends community, send it to info@greenfriendsna.org.

Videos and News Stories

Solar Panels
Green Tips for Students
Solar Calculator: Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity that you can use to power appliances in your home. The sun’s light, and not heat, generates direct current, (DC), an inverter then converts the direct current into alternate current that you can use in your home to power your electrical appliances. IvyPanda: You might think that one person’s actions couldn’t possibly have an effect on the overall situation, especially since there’s so much waste being produced every hour. However, it’s incredible how small steps can become giant leaps! In this article, you can learn about the benefits of adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle, including 18 tips on how you can go green today!
Plastic fibers and beads in dusts collected from remote National Parks and Wilderness areas in the United States.

Janice Brahney Utah State University vis Scientific American

Scientifc American: New research helps unravel how vast amounts of plastic particles travel both regionally and globally on the wind. PBS Newshour: An interactive video discussion on plastic straws. A movement to ban the use of plastic straws in restaurants is spreading across the United States. Recycling of small plastics such as straws is challenging because sorting machines must first separate recyclable waste from non-recyclables, and straws are often too small to be captured.
Plastic Industry Promoted Recycling to Boost Oil and Gas Prof
Guide to Green Loans and Energy Efficient Tax Credits
In a joint investigation, NPR and the PBS Frontline found that oil and gas companies, the makers of plastic, have known that all along the vast majority of all plastic produced can't be or won't be recycled. Rider University has put together a helpful guide to support small businesses and individuals who want to go green and become more energy efficient. The guide defines some of the federal tax credits that businesses and homeowners can receive with their energy-efficient improvements, as well as information on some state tax credits and private loans available for green initiatives.
How dirt makes you happy
Photo by Gabriel Jimenez
How to Bring life to Dying Soils
Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain as Prozac, but without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. BBC - Around the world, soils are in trouble. Unless we take action, so will be the farmers and consumers who depend on them. Follow the Food is an eight-part documentary vidio series that questions where our food comes from and how this will change in the near future, thanks to new technologies and innovative ways of farming.
Do You Know Where Plastic in the Oceans is Coming From?
Mattress disposal guide
BBC - Around 1,000 of the world’s rivers are the source of 80% of the global ocean plastic pollution. The research was carried out by The Ocean Cleanup, who are developing technology to remove plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean, as well as from rivers themselves. Learn about your options to donate a mattress or recycle it depending on its condition with this mattress disposal guide.
Recycling is broken
Gizmodo - Nationwide, municipalities are facing higher costs and being forced to find stopgap solutions, from incinerators to landfills, for recyclables that have nowhere else to go.
It’s Time to Rethink How Recycling is Done

China doesn’t want to sort your trash anymore. The NIB explains the recycling crisis.

Eco-Friendly Vehicle Recycling
98% of a car can be recycled
Each year over 14 million vehicles reach the end of their lives in the US. 80 percent of these car materials can be recycled, reused, and become something new. The Clunker Junker is making the earth a better place to live by helping people get rid of their junk cars in a way that's safe for our planet.
Trader Joe's
One mans's massage on climate change
Photo by Ben James for NPR
Trader Joe’s has kicked those notoriously hard-to-open, and horrible for the environment, plastic produce bags to the curb and replaced them with eco-friendly compostable ones. NPR - Richard McLachlan is part of Extinction Rebellion, the climate group best known for shutting down main arteries in London. In New York City, steeped in the subway din, McLachlan delivers a crushing litany of food shortages, forest fires, more and bigger storms.


Plastic Source Reduction Resources

Envronmental Protection - In the next five years, single-use plastic production is projected to grow by 30 percent. This is fueling the contribution to global warming and ocean pollution, according to researchers who published a list of companies that manufacture and fund throwaway plastic. NPR - It doesn't make sense economically or even environmentally to recycle plastic. If recycling most plastic is not working now, did it ever work? And why did it take us so long to learn the truth?
4 Ways To Reduce Plastics In Your Kitchen
Can Bacteria Build a Better Plastic?
Photo- Kristen Hartke for NPR
NPR - A Silicon Valley startup is trying to get the plastic out of clothing and into biopolymers that can be broken down into natural materials. NPR - Americans toss 185 pounds of plastic per person each year while also going through 13 billion pounds of paper towels as a nation. Here are some suggestions for reducing that waste.
Using  signage to reduce plastic consumption
Undercover Plastic Detective
The Kind Planet - Each year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags. Eva Pollard and Rebecca Miller use signs in the produce dept. to encouage shoppers to go plastic-free. Anita Horan goes undercover to a recycling plant in Australia. Is recycling an effective method to deal with the enormous amount of waste that we constantly generate?
What Kinds of Plastic Bags Can be Recycled
Clothes Are Part of the Problem
Recycle Coach - Are all plastics bags recyclable? Are their differences between plactic bags? How are you supposed to know? This great resource explains both where and how to recycle plastic bags. VOX - More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Synthetic plastic fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide.
How much plastic is in the ocean
The battle of the bag
A PBS video on what can you do to make the oceans plastic-free. A CBC documentary on international efforts to prohibit plastic bags.
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Marine Debris Tracker
The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution. The Marine Debris Tracker takes a few seconds to easily report where you find marine debris or litter anywhere in the world and then prevent it from impacting our oceans.


Tree Planting Resources

Flash Forest: Using Drones to Plant 1 Billion Trees by 2230 Keeping Trees in the Ground is an Effective Low-Tech Way to Slow Climate Change
Using Drones to plant trees
Keep trees in the gound to slow climate change
The timber industry has engineered and mastered efficient harvesting technologies, capable of quick clearing with minimal human involvement. Tree planting still operates with bags and shovels. Flash Forest is a reforestation company that aims to plant at 10 times the normal rate using drone engineering. Protecting forests is an essential strategy in the fight against climate change that has not received the attention it deserves. Trees capture and store massive amounts of carbon. And unlike some strategies for cooling the climate, they don’t require costly and complicated technology.
Tropical Forests Were Destroyed at a Rate of 10 Soccer Fields a Minute in 2021 Boreal Forests Could Begin Emitting Carbon Dioxide Instead of Absorbing It
Tropical Forests Were Destroyed at a Rate of 10 Soccer Fields
Boreal Forests Could Start Emitting C02
Yale - Globally, an area of forest the size of Wyoming succumbed to fires, logging, or other destructive forces last year, according to new report from Global Forest Watch, a project backed by the World Resources Institute. Wildfires in boreal forests release large quantities of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. Research highlights the climate risk that boreal wildfires pose and point to fire management as a cost-effective way to limit emissions.
One-In-Three Trees Face Extinction in the Wild
1 in 3 Trees Face Extinction in the Wild
Trees talk to each other
BBC - At least 30% of the world's tree species face extinction in the wild, according to a new assessment.Conservation groups are calling for urgent protection efforts amid threats such as deforestation, logging and climate change. NPR - Trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in cooperative ways says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Trees are linked to neighboring trees by an underground network of fungi that resembles the neural networks in the brain.
What if Everyone in the World Planted a Tree? Richard Powers Recommends 26 Books on Trees
What if Everyone in the World Planted a Tree?
Books about trees
BBC - Trees are one element in the fight against climate change. So what would happen if everyone in the world planted a tree? Check out this playlist featuring new, challenging and even visionary thinking around climate change and sustainability. PBS Newshour - Richard Powers, the author of The Overstory (a fictional book about trees and a group of people who decide to defend them) recommends 26 other books on trees.

Photo: Sean McMinn/NPR
Sikhs planting trees
Image Courtesy of EcoSikh
NPR - Trees can play a huge role in the health of people living in cities, but across the country, cities are losing millions of trees year after year. And many poor urban neighborhoods — often home to a city's most vulnerable — are starting at a disadvantage. Commemorating the 550th year since the birth of the Sikh religion’s founder Siri Guru Nanak Sahib, the global community of Sikhs has begun a mission to plant a million trees as “a gift to the planet.”
The Best Time to Plant Trees
Creatively United Community
Planting trees at the right time makes them more likely to thrive. Here’s when to plant so you get the most value from your landscaping investment. Based in Victoria, BC this wonderful website is dedicated to "Bringing together people & organizations who care about the quality of life in our region."
Arbor Day's 9 Tree Care Tips
How to Keep Trees Alive
Nine comprehensive tree care tips will take you step by step, from selecting and planting the right tree to the care and upkeep of a mature tree. A PDF on instructions for watering trees, espcially in cities or in drier areas.
How to Plant Your Trees
.The Story of Bottled water
An excellent Arbor Day resource with videos and instructions for planting trees based on the root configuration Arbor Day tree experts have created this Tree Wizard to help US residents decide which is the best type of tree to plant.
Call of the Forest
How to Plant Trees Without Land
Follow visionary scientist, conservationist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, in this film on her journey to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere. A downloadable PDF that includes a series of suggestions on how to plant trees if you don’t own land.

Diana Beresford-Kroger

Cartoon coloring sheets
A series of instructive tree-related videos from Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a world recognized author, medical biochemist and botanist. Topics include collecting seeds from conifers and deciduous trees, planting oaks from acorns, choosing trees to plant plus tree suggestions for Canadians, by region based on postal code. Download this shareable cartoon colouring sheet created by British Columbia cartoonist Nelson Dewey.

Animal Coloring Sheet
Another coloring sheet about protecting nature (best printed 1n 11x 17 format)

Colored cartoon poster

Find a tree app
How a tree works
Discover the health benefits and planet benefits of trees local to where you live. Here's a look at how the parts of a tree work together to help a tree get the food, water, and minerals it needs to survive. Includes instructions for a group of children to learn and act out the parts of a tree.
Environmental Learning Takes Root
Environmental Education for Teachers
TreePeople.org has been working with Vena Avenue Elementary in the Northeast San Fernando Valley in California to help bring new green learning spaces to their campus. TreePeople offers hands-on environmental, professional development trainings and technical workshops that are designed for elementary, middle school and high school teachers.
Why Trees Matter

Top 22 Benefits of Trees

“We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade, but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems.”

Jim Robbins, author

From cleaning the air, to saving water, to cooling the streets in cities, learn the top twenty-two reasons why we need to plant and care for trees.


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