Butte Environmental Council Newsletter, October 2020
BEC's Mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education. Our monthly newsletter is designed to keep our community informed about local issues that impact our region's environmental quality and bring you opportunities to become involved.
Your Support in Action
There are three ways we are calling on you to support BEC's work right now. BEC is a community powered non-profit dedicated to a healthy environment for us all. Become a BEC Angel by contributing $35 or more, monthly or quarterly. Become a Sustaining Member by contributing between $3 and $30 a month. Or make a One-Time Donation of any amount in the name of the 33rd Annual Cleanup and the largest removal of creek waste in Chico history! We can't do this without YOU
The Results Are In
The results are in and we are incredibly grateful to all who contributed to this massive effort to keep our parks and waterways clean. Together, we were able to remove a total of 43,403 lbs. or 21.48 TONS of harmful material from our environment. This two-day cleanup event goes down as the largest cleanup in BEC history and the City of Chico. In addition to the amazing 584 volunteers who made this impact over two days, our community supporters and local business sponsors helped Butte Environmental Council raise $15,650 to sustain our community based environmental work in a very challenging year. Thank you to all who donated and supported! We are encouraged to continue working towards sound solutions to this environmental issue, and as always, will be here to serve as a platform for positive community engagement to protect and defend the land, air, and water of Butte County. Learn more at www.becnet.org/bec-cleanup
Save the Date to Help Us Honor 45 Years of BEC!
Help us celebrate 45 years of environmental leadership with the showing of an inspirational environmental film at the Meriam Park Drive-in Theater on Tuesday, November 24th. This is a fun and socially distanced way to support BEC and highlight the hard work our organization has contributed to Butte County's environment for 45 years! Tickets wills be on sale November 4th, keep your eyes peeled for a message from us so you don't miss your chance to join us. The evening will showcase a silent auction and concession bar. Environmental awards will be highlighted on the big screen, thanking 3 special individuals for their hard work in our community, and a portion of all proceeds will go to BEC to continue our mission driven work in the year to come. We can't wait to see you there.
Our Urban Forest Program - revitalization with the City of Chico
How much do you know about the benefits of Chico's Urban Forest? Our urban forest is exactly what it sounds like, a forest of trees thriving in an urban setting. Pictured here is Chico's Esplanade, known for its abundance and variety of picturesque trees. Not only are these trees aesthetically pleasing, they also bring in many benefits to us and our local environment. Imagine what the rest of Chico would look like, and how many benefits we would acquire, if all of our streets and neighborhoods had more trees. Our partnership with the City of Chico's Urban Forest Revitalization Project aims to do just that—to plant more trees and increase the urban forest canopy so all may enjoy the benefits of these trees equally. The bottom line is, planting trees prepares us for the effects of climate change and addresses an issue of environmental injustice in our community in terms of who would be most affected by the lack of trees in their area. We will need your help to plant hundreds of trees in targeted areas, click HERE to join a volunteer list to help with this effort in the coming months and check out the Enterprise Record Article on this partnership below.
Closing a Chapter and Analyzing the Data
Thank you to all who joined us to set our established oaks up for long-term success! This 7 year BEC program, funded by the CA Wildlife Foundation, has come to a close. Our beloved Bidwell Park has gained 57 healthy young oaks that are now strong enough to take care of themselves in the years to come. These oaks will provide invaluable benefits to the oak woodland habitat in our park, shading those who wander under them and reducing C02 in the valley. Our sincerest thanks to all who joined us on this journey to water and caretake these young oaks, it has been a wonderful 7 years of education and involvement! Learn more about this project and stay up to date with the results at www.becnet.org/oak-restoration
Virtual Zero Waste Forum - watch the recording now
Thank you to our panel of experts and over 40 community members who joined us for this live virtual zero waste forum. If you missed it, don't worry! You can view the recorded forum at the button below and become more aware of important efforts coming up in Butte County and what businesses and local education programs have to say about zero waste during this time. Gratitude to ChicoBag, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Recology Zero Waste, Butte County, and the BEC RARE Program for this partnership!
Our RARE Program - waste reduction education in Butte County
See the Enterprise Record article below on how the RARE Program has adapted in a challenging year. RARE provides FREE Educational Workshops for students K-12 about the importance of the “Four R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot! Teachers may choose a workshop focused on either recycling or composting. In the recycling workshop, students will learn which materials can be recycled in Butte County and which cannot, the process of recycling, and creative ways to reuse items. Students will turn trash into treasure together through an interactive crafting activity! In the composting workshop, students will learn all about the components of healthy soil and the ways in which composting benefits our environment. Virtual workshops feature a live demonstration of how to make your own compost bin at home using a storage container, food waste, newspaper, and red wiggler worms!
Submit a Proposal to the This Way to Sustainability Conference!
This year's TWTS Conference is centered around "Resilience from the Ground Up". The need for strengthening diversity in soil, communities and economies couldn't be more poignant of a topic in our world today. If you, or a Butte County group you are involved with, believe you have important and compelling information in the following focus tracks, please submit a proposal to present virtually this year! Knowledge is power and this is a great avenue to get your message out. The deadline to submit a proposal is November 1st. Tracks: 1. Environment, Land Planning & Natural Systems 2. Built Environments, Engineering & Waste Management 3. Health, Wellness, Diet & Nutrition 4. Sustainable Food Systems & Regenerative Agriculture 5. Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Supply Chain Management 6. Social Justice & Public Policy 7. Arts, Humanities & Creative Expression
Zero Waste - article by Neil Bajaj, local high school student & BEC Member
In continuation of BEC's zero waste initiative, let us pledge to downsize our trash pile. According to National Geographic Magazine 1, the average American produces 1,500 pounds of trash a year- imagine 15 grocery bags filled with trash piled up on every global shoreline yard. That's how much land-based plastic trash ends up in the oceans in a year. According to World Bank researchers, the world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day. The U.S produces 250 million tons a year—4.4 pounds of trash per person daily. Due to the Pandemic, there has been an uptick in the landfill waste- increased takeout food, resulted in more packaging, such as Styrofoam containers, straws and plastic utensils, single-use masks, PPE, shopping bags. Due to the Pandemic response, the global plastic packaging market size projects to 1012.6 billion by 2021 (an annual growth rate of 5.5%)3. One way to help is to buy local food at farmers' markets, reuse, repurpose worn-out items, using cleaning towels versus wipes and paper towels. Communities across the country2 are coming together for zero waste. For example, the City of San Francisco, zero waste initiative, is about sending zero discards to the landfill or high-temperature destruction. The Fantastic Three program 2 is a term used to refer to San Francisco's easy-to-use three-bin system. Each resident and business have three bins- a Blue bin for recyclables, a Green bin for compostable, a Black bin for landfill-bound material. Another zero-waste philosophy followed in Alameda, California is using less toxic, manufacturing materials, developing more durable products, and repairable and easily disassembled products at the end of their useful life. The conservation of resources from production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products and packaging will enable Butte county towards zero waste. - Neil
1) https://www.epa.gov/transforming-waste-tool/how-communities-have-defined-zero-waste
2) https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6509/1314.full
Thank you for your continued support of the Butte Environmental Council.
General Manager
Butte Environmental Council
(530) 891-6424