Have a Green- And Cheap- And Happy Halloween!

Boo! Happy Halloween!

If you’re still working on your ideas for Halloween or want some ideas for next year, check out these sites to get you on the green-fright-train!

Top 10 Ways to Go Green This Halloween – The Daily Green

TheGreenGrok’s Top 10 Most Sustainable Halloween Costumes

25 Homemade Costumes from Recycled Materials

Remember, the best way to minimize impact is to minimize use and waste. If you can re-use something, that’s great! If your something doesn’t create a lot of waste, at least a lot of non-recyclable waste, even better! Candy and stuff is great and for special occasions it’s fine; but you could start the neighborhood trend of giving Fair-Trade chocolates (usually sans HFCS too!) and promote social justice during the holiday. What else can you do to green your Halloween? Go over to the Moraine Valley Center for Sustainability Facebook page and let us know!

Keep a breast of daily toxins exposures

Each year, the Environmental Working Group ranks supermarket produce by its pesticide load. The top most loaded with pesticides become the Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables you should consider buying in their organic form. I’ve been aware of this list for years and turn to it for guidance often.

But then, I just learned of another “dirty dozen” the EWG has released. They’ve partnered with the Keep-A-Breast Foundation to develop a new list; this one involves everyday toxins, not just those in food.

“EWG researchers compiled the new Dirty Dozen list by scouring the scientific literature and identifying the most hazardous and widely used hormone-disrupting chemicals that pollute the environment and ultimately our bodies.” Find the full press release here.

Hormone-disrupting chemicals are being blamed for a ton of ailments, including breast and other cancers. The new list includes things like, BPA, phthalates and other well-known endocrine disruptors that are widespread in consumer products such as plastic containers, food cans and fragrances. The list also includes things often not understood as hormone disruptors like arsenic, mercury, lead and others that are less familiar, such as glycol ethers and perfluorinated chemicals. The guide is intended for consumers of all ages, particularly young people who are most at risk from these dangerous chemicals.

Is exposure to these chemicals completely avoidable? No. It’s not likely. But we can take steps to reduce our exposure by avoiding as many as possible, whenever possible, to minimize any compounding effects. We can also reduce risks by keeping an active voice in democracy. For example, a group of very active folks (mostly moms) were responsible for getting the dangerous endocrine disruptor, BPA, out of baby bottles back in 2012. I wonder (and hope it is) is it possible to continue that effort to eliminate more?

Moraine Valley takes steps to tackle climate change!

HOORAY!!!

Dr. Jenkins agreed to sign the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), pledging to eliminate Moraine Valley’s net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a reasonable period of time.

The ACUPCC defines climate neutrality as having no net GHG emissions, to be achieved by eliminating net GHG emissions, or by minimizing GHG emissions as much as possible, and using carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions.

Through Dr. Jenkins’ leadership, Moraine Valley now joins the other signatories in the necessary cooperative and united action to make positive change for today and tomorrow.

Contact sustainability@morainevalley.edu for more information about this new effort. Please read the formal press release below for more. This is really exciting news!

Moraine Valley President Dr. Sylvia Jenkins signs Presidents’ Climate Commitment

Moraine Valley Community College President Dr. Sylvia Jenkins joined a growing list of university, college and community college presidents across the country who have signed a commitment to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from their campus operations before 2050. She signed the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment on Sept. 30.

Through this commitment, Moraine Valley agrees to complete an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions; create and implement a climate action plan; reduce emissions while the plan is being developed; integrate sustainability into the curriculum; and make the plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available annually. An important element of this pact is to educate students about climate neutrality—having no net greenhouse gas emissions—and sustainability.

By signing, Moraine Valley joins more than 670 institutions concerned about the growing adverse effects of global warming on people’s health, economy and the environment. This group recognizes the need to reduce emissions by 80 percent by at least mid-century to avert further global disaster.

“I’m pleased that we can join in this effort, and I know that Moraine Valley is fully committed to accepting this challenge and meeting those expectations well before the 2050 deadline,” Dr. Jenkins said. “We have worked hard over the last few years to cut down our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our sustainability efforts. We already have a LEED platinum certified campus center in Tinley Park and have earned a bronze rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System that are testament to our dedication to this cause.”

MVCC president Dr. Jenkins signing climate commitment

PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, center, signs the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment with members of Moraine Valley Community College’s Green Team as witnesses.

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            For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley public relations generalist, at (708) 974-5742 or VizzaM@morainevalley.edu.

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