Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sustainability at Toxic Free NC

by Fawn Pattison, Executive Director

At our office, we try to be as green as we can. We use only recycled paper, we have a local purchasing policy, we recycle everything we can, and recently we even bought non-toxic dry erase markers. But why stop there?

This week at staff meeting we decided to start up a new Sustainability Initiative. Each quarter, we'll choose a new step to reduce our carbon footprint, toxics exposure and/or cost efficiency. One staff member will captain each quarter's project and see it through.

This quarter's project: Ditching paper towels. We're going to get a little laundry system going so that we can have washable hand towels, cleaning rags and cloth napkins.

Next quarter will be composting. Stay tuned to find out how it goes!

Want to start a Sustainability Team at your workplace? It's fun and easy! Check out Duke University's guide to starting a Green Team in your office for tips and ideas.

Need some new ideas for your office Green Team? Get inspired by the City of Portland (OR)'s Green Team Guide!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Organic Gardening from Scratch

by Fawn Pattison

It's almost spring in North Carolina, and garden catalogs are filling up the mailbox. Are you thinking of starting a new garden? Or perhaps expanding the one you've got? 

A lot of folks are also looking for ways to cut costs these days, and what better way to save money and enjoy the weather than by starting your own garden! Growing your own food means that you are eating the freshest, most local produce possible. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing exactly what chemicals aren’t in your food!

Here are a few tips for starting a new garden from Toxic Free NC and Tom Mekus, owner of Native Elements Landscaping in Raleigh.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Take Action! US EPA dragging its feet on farm worker pesticide protections

by Fawn Pattison 

"The laws are very important, because they are the only way that the rules for each pesticide will be respected."
– Migrant farm worker, Harnett County, NC

Pesticides are one of the leading dangers that workers face when they go into the fields to harvest our food. The US EPA sets the standards for the safe handling of toxic pesticides in the field.

Unfortunately, the EPA has been dragging its feet for over a decade on new rules designed to strengthen basic pesticide protections and training requirements for farm workers.

We can’t let another growing season arrive without taking action. Join us in asking US EPA Assistant Administrator Jim Jones to release the new Worker Protection Standard rules. Check out our action page to send your message now.