November 15th – America Recycles Day

November 15th – America Recycles Day

Thursday, November 15 marks the celebratory day of recycling, where the goal is to better educate all Americans about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. America Recycles Day is celebrated with local events, pledge contests and prize drawings that drive home the point that we will all do more and be better about recycling in the … Read more


Thursday, November 15 marks the celebratory day of recycling, where the goal is to better educate all Americans about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. America Recycles Day is celebrated with local events, pledge contests and prize drawings that drive home the point that we will all do more and be better about recycling in the coming year. The national recycling rate has increased every year since 1980, and is currently 34%…lets help improve that on campus! The Sustainability Committee will be hosting several events and games, so be on the lookout! Prizes will be awarded.

Find an event near you. (Enter your zip code under Attend an Event to find a local celebration.) Or, check out a list of events near Alliance.

Take the pledge to recycle more this year. (and be entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes).

I recently went to a conference and heard the organization 5 Gyres speak. Its vision is to witness plastic pollution decline in the environment until it is no longer found in the world’s oceans. The video is of a research team that went to investigate the Great Lakes, and they found the same results in the ocean – tons of plastic infested waters.

Take a look around you- most of what we eat, drink or use in any way comes packaged in petroleum plastic, a material designed to last forever, yet used for products that we then throw away. This throwaway mentality is a relatively recent phenomenon. Just a generation ago, we packaged our products in reusable or recyclable materials (glass, metals and paper) and designed products that would last. Today, our landfills and beaches are awash in plastic packaging and expendable products that have no value at the end of their short lifecycle.

The short-term convenience of using and throwing away plastic products carries a very inconvenient long-term truth. These plastic water bottles, cups, utensils, electronics, toys and gadgets we dispose of daily are rarely recycled in a closed loop. We currently recover only 5% of the plastics we produce. What happens to the rest of it? Roughly 50% is buried in landfills, some is remade into durable goods and much of it remains “unaccounted for,” lost in the environment where it ultimately washes out to sea.

Just think…there are 350 million-square-kilometers of ocean, and 73 million pounds of plastic. Take a look at this “plastic soup,” and maybe you will avoid using single stream plastic, or just recycle a little bit more.

Election 2012: My First Time Ever Voting!

Election 2012: My First Time Ever Voting!

This past presidential election was the first time I have been a part of voting, and I was entrenched in all it had to offer. I watched all the presidential and vice presidential debates, kept up on some company campaigns, had my absentee ballot mailed from Wisconsin to me early, discussed policy late into the night with … Read more

This past presidential election was the first time I have been a part of voting, and I was entrenched in all it had to offer. I watched all the presidential and vice presidential debates, kept up on some company campaigns, had my absentee ballot mailed from Wisconsin to me early, discussed policy late into the night with my roommates and stayed up until 2 a.m. when the President was re-elected for another 4 years.

Absentee ballot has been sent to Wisconsin. Voting in my first ever presidential election, check. (Link)

I feel as if I am an independent  on many different topics. I tend to focus more heavily on topics that might directly effect my job outlook and just intrigue me overall, like renewable energy projects, entrepreneurship, foreign trade, etc. It is remarkable though, that when watching the debates several big topics weren’t discussed, and even if they were, both candidates could very well be lying or giving false statistics to help sway the popular vote. Here are the top 6 lies from the vice presidential debate alone. Also, below is a list from Rolling Stone that has 11 very big topics that weren’t even asked in the debates:

  1. CLIMATE
    The candidates were never asked about climate change, whether they believe it poses an existential threat to our future, and what, if anything, they’d do about it.
  2. THE HOUSING CRISIS
    The root cause of the financial collapse of 2008 was the housing bubble. The foreclosure crisis remains a drag on our economy. Obama’s efforts to aid underwater homeowners have been feckless. Romney declared the market should be allowed to “hit bottom.” The moderators thought none of this worthy of discussion.
  3. THE EUROZONE
    The European economy is in crisis. The common currency is in danger of collapse. Would the next American president intervene to save the Eurozone? Who knows?! Certainly not debate watchers.
  4. SUPREME COURT
    The next president will pick at least one and perhaps two Supreme Court justices — but neither presidential candidate was asked anything about what principles would inform his choices for the court.
  5. CAMPAIGN FINANCE
    This election has been waged with ungodly sums of SuperPAC money, leaving both candidates beholden to megadonors. But neither candidate was asked to weigh in on the Citizens United decision that equates money with speech.
  6. GAY MARRIAGE
    Gay marriage is on the ballot from Maryland to Washington state. It first became legal in Massachusetts (over Romney’s objections) and Obama made history by personally backing marriage equality. The Defense of Marriage Act is headed for a date with the Supreme Court. Yet there was not a single question about whether same sex-couples deserve equal protection.
  7. DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL
    Obama made an offhanded boast about its repeal, but there was no line of inquiry from the moderators about whether gays and lesbians would continue to be welcome in the Armed Forces under a Romney presidency.
  8. ABORTION
    There was no effort to clarify where each candidate stands on Roe v. Wade. (The subject of abortion surfaced briefly in the vice presidential debate, but as a personal issue — as a lens for the candidates’ Catholic faith.) A low information voter could have watched all three presidential debates and come away thinking there’s no meaningful difference on choice, beyond Mitt Romney’s plan to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
  9. THE FED
    Ben Bernanke is the most powerful Federal Reserve chairman in living memory and has more direct influence over the unemployment rate than anyone. Romney has said he’d replace him. Why — and what kind of monetary policy he’d seek — remain open questions.
  10. THE DRUG WAR
    Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in three states. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have been killed in drug violence connected to American consumption, for which we continue to incarcerate an insane number of Americans. Yet there was not a single question about the efficacy of the 40-year, $1 trillion War on Drugs.
  11. TAX EVASION
    Mitt Romney’s tax returns have been a central campaign focus since the GOP primaries. They came up repeatedly in the Republican debates, yet didn’t pique the curiosity of the general-election moderators. (Get a detailed look at how Romney avoids paying his fair share.)

Some of these topics, like climate and the eurozone, I wanted to hear about. The only time they talked about climate was regarding energy and energy independence, but both candidates gave their generalities on the subject matter and other questions were asked. Nevertheless, I always try to research as much as I can, stand in the middle from the beginning, and then lean slightly one way to make a political decision. It felt very good to fill in my absentee ballot. By doing so, you really feel strong and a part of your nation.

Whether you are pleased or not about the results this year with Obama, just remember that we still are the United States of America, and now he has himself some proving to do. I do not like talking politics much, but one thing I like to voice is how separate the House is now a days. Bi-partisanship I feel is one of the biggest issues in Washington. Viewpoints are so oddly stretched and beyond from Republican to Democrat that it is deviating away from the interest of the general public. I hope that eventually, our government can realize that the mesh between parties must come closer together. We can move forward, for it is Congress and the House that makes many of the decisions, not just the President.

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit [Results]

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit [Results]

On October 24 in the campus cafeteria the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee hosted its 2nd Annual Food Waste Audit. It is crazy that Americas’ per capita food waste has increased by 50% since 1974 and the average American throws away 20 pounds of food each month or about two-thirds of a pound per person per day! We were on … Read more

On October 24 in the campus cafeteria the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee hosted its 2nd Annual Food Waste Audit. It is crazy that Americas’ per capita food waste has increased by 50% since 1974 and the average American throws away 20 pounds of food each month or about two-thirds of a pound per person per day! We were on par with our results from the first year and hope that the event created a buzz on campus, and people will be more conscious of their waste.

519 pounds of net organic waste in one day!

Note: The 519 pounds is minus the bucket weight of what the waste was measured in. In total, there was 562 pounds of organic waste including bucket weight. Find out more about sustainability on campus here: http://www.mountunion.edu/sustainability.

Just as a refresher…a waste audit is a rather simple and a formal, structured process used to quantify the amount and types of waste being generated by an organization, in this case Mount Union’s student body. Information from audits will help identify current waste practices and how they can be improved. Being waste-wise can mean a more efficient and effective organization, reduced waste management costs and better use of limited natural resources.

Depending on the situation, there can be many objectives of an audit. Mainly it is to determine composition and quantities of waste being generated, to measure effectiveness of existing waste management systems, to identify opportunities for improving waste management systems and strategies and to collect baseline data for measuring the effectiveness of waste minimization strategies. For our event, it is more to create an awareness and try to change the mindset of a wasteful student body.

Don’t be wasteful. A lot of waste can be composted too. Find out how to build a compost bin here, and check out 75 things you can compost but thought you couldn’tincluding: toilet paper rolls, sticky notes, tea bags, coffee grounds, pizza crust and moldy cheese, among others.

A Sandy Perspective

A Sandy Perspective

Not too long ago meteorologists said Sandy would be the largest storm ever to hit the U.S. mainland, and cost more damage than Hurricane Katrina. This massive, what seemed to be “perfect storm,” impacted up to 50 million people from the Carolinas to Boston. Bill McKibben of 350.org said that, “it’s really important that everybody, even … Read more

Not too long ago meteorologists said Sandy would be the largest storm ever to hit the U.S. mainland, and cost more damage than Hurricane Katrina. This massive, what seemed to be “perfect storm,” impacted up to 50 million people from the Carolinas to Boston. Bill McKibben of 350.org said that, “it’s really important that everybody, even those who aren’t in the kind of path of this storm, reflect about what it means that in the warmest year in U.S. history, … in a year when we saw, essentially, summer sea ice in the Arctic just vanish before our eyes, what it means that we’re now seeing storms of this unprecedented magnitude.” I thought I would give you a timeline of how I followed the news via Twitter, and a first hand perspective of my brother living in downtown Manhattan.

To start off…my first retweet was of an amazing vantage point overlooking downtown and the Empire State Building with two cameras set up, probably ready to catch incredible time lapse footage.

10:40 PM – 28 Oct 12 – “@huang_apiaries: On 51. Our hurricane #Sandy cameras.http://instagr.am/p/RWcBF4i1vM/ ” Stay safe @basuhar!

2:28 PM – 29 Oct 12 – On Hurricane #Sandy and climate change: “If There Was Ever a Wake-up Call, This Is It” http://bit.ly/S96vL9

I then wondered how this hurricane would affect the presidential election, since surprisingly enough there were no debates on climate change and environmentalism, other than hitting a little bit on energy.

2:40 PM – 29 Oct 12 - What if NYC invested in climate adaptation like it has on terrorism? Wonder how #Sandy will affect #Election2012http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/what-if-new-york-city-invested-climate-adaptation-like-combating-terrorism.html …

Just before 3 p.m. I had been following Wisconsin Surfrider and caught some awesome shots of wave forecasts and overheard there were up to 30-foot waves in the Great Lakes!

2:51 PM – 29 Oct 12 - RT [Watch] Animation of #GreatLakes wave height during Hurricane #Sandy, thanks to NOAA Forecasting System. A must see! http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/anim.php?lake=l&param=wv&type=f …

8:19 PM – 29 Oct 12 – RT @WISurfrider: Great Lakes getting HUGE swells from #HurricaneSandy! surfrider #SandyPics #GreatLakesSurfer http://instagr.am/p/RYyCL6h5tL/

Now, Sandy gets worse. People are without power. I hear news of the NYU Hospital’s backup generator failing, and staff needing to rush tons of patients down the staircases, into emergency vehicle fleets, and back to safety and care at another hospital. Scary. I saw more images of my friends beach house in Bethany, Delaware and other east coast boardwalks completely destroyed.

8:50 PM – 29 Oct 12 – “RT @pourmecoffee: Empire State Building shines in the dark like a boss. http://instagram.com/p/RYxLr7uhF4/ “ #Epic.

9:14 AM – 30 Oct 12 - RT The earth recycles as our body, its waters are our circulation, its air our breath, its trees our lungs. What we do to it,we do to ourselves

My weather forecast in Alliance, said 45 degrees and rain all week…

3:15 PM – 30 Oct 12 – Drowning leaves from #Sandy at @mountunion http://instagr.am/p/Ra2PUgxh7c/

I check back the tweet of the cameras set up with the vantage point, and sure enough there was a must watch time lapse video of Hurricane Sandy taking over New York City.

10:10 AM – 31 Oct 12 – Amazing time lapse of Hurricane #Sandy…thanks @huang_apiaries and @nytimes. Watch: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/28/nyregion/nyt-webcam.html …

The aftermath…crazy.

2:53 PM – 31 Oct 12 - 1 billion + gallons of water may need pumped from NYC’s underwater subways – A look inside their transit here: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680828/a-look-inside-new-yorks-underwater-subways?utm_source=facebook#1 …

Lastly, my brother Blake recently moved out to Manhattan with his girlfriend, and it was reassuring to know that he was in Zone C of flooding, his lights only flickered, and he was luckily able to avoid much of the chaos of Hurricane Sandy…

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM - Sara and I are safe in our apartment. The weather is not so bad around us right now, just light rain and winds picking up, but we are prepared for power outages if they indeed happen. I’ve attached a picture of our evacuation zones if we need to, and as you can see we are in Zone C, which is least likely to have to evacuate in the case of flooding. If we need to, the high school 2 blocks away is a hurricane shelter, and we would head there.

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM - Hey everyone! Sara and I are safe and sound inside our apartment. That crane is still hanging in the sky, and the rain has died down but the winds have picked up. Right now the big worry is the surge and flooding from all bodies of water surrounding Manhattan. Luckily, looking out our front windows, our street is protected from high winds and there is no flooding. We still have power and i will keep you posted if anything changes.

Patagonia #Becauseilove Campaign

Patagonia #Becauseilove Campaign

Throughout college I have been very fond of the company Patagonia not only because it has amazing products, but I greatly admire its business model. It established the The Footprint Chronicles® which examines Patagonia’s life and habits as a company. The goal is to use transparency about its supply chain to help reduce its adverse social and environmental impacts – and … Read more


Throughout college I have been very fond of the company Patagonia not only because it has amazing products, but I greatly admire its business model. It established the The Footprint Chronicles® which examines Patagonia’s life and habits as a company. The goal is to use transparency about its supply chain to help reduce its adverse social and environmental impacts – and on an industrial scale. Patagonia has been in business long enough to know that when we can reduce or eliminate a harm, other businesses will be eager to follow suit. It believes that a triple bottom line incorporating people/planet/profits will ultimately make the company most successful. It doesn’t necessarily focus on just improving the world we live in, but it’s a better business option, more efficient and cost effective. Patagonia also has great books by founder Yvon Chouinard that I anticipate reading. Grab a copy of Let My People Go Surfing and/or The Responsible Company if you can. Also, if you want to read more about triple bottom line business, read this post about how Corporate Sustainability is Redefining the Future of Business.

Patagonia has extended its business model to an extent that is unimaginable. Last Black Friday the company spearheaded a Don’t Buy Campaign on one of its most popular jackets. Because it wanted to be in business for a good long time — and leave a world inhabitable for our kids — it wanted to do the opposite of every other business today. Patagonia asked consumers to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else. In the end, from a business perspective, I am almost certain the marketing campaign did exactly what the company wanted it to do, drove sales. (Note: Making the R2 jacket requires “135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product.”)

Another great campaign that is going on around this time of year and centered around the #Election2012 is Vote the Environment. Regardless of where you stand politically, this should be a pressing or at the least interesting issue to be handled by the presidential candidates. How will we reduce our deficit, while remaining energy independent and utilizing future technologies? Education, jobs, renewable energies, and much more have a lot to do with this.

From Patagonia’s website, Jack Johnson’s essay explains that, “Not only are we a product of our environment, we are an integral part of it. This statement seems obvious enough, but in our modern culture human beings often feel separate from nature. We see this when we vote: the environment has become only the 10th most important issue on a list after war, healthcare, education and other concerns. As the foundation for all of life and all human endeavors, the environment should be our first and most important consideration…When you vote to improve water and air quality, you are voting to improve human health. When you vote to provide incentives to use renewable energy, you are helping to create jobs and energy independence, in turn making an investment in peace.”

I am very grateful to have some Vote the Environment materials that I will be giving to the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee, but please let me know if you would like postcards or stickers! Tweet @zmsuhar with the hashtag #becauseilove if you want any or shoot me an email!

To follow the campaign even further, Patagonia has gained a lead on social media and on its website. Hashtags are trending, and Facebook posts are consumed with the “Vote the Environment” logos. You can even tweet, register to vote, get benefit tracks, gear and more right on Patagonia’s website (http://www.patagonia.com/us/vote-the-environment/)! Below you can find even more ways to interact…and I look forward to seeing some tweets about Patagonia and #becauseilove.

  • Twitter: Tweet the “#becauseilove” hashtag to share your favorite place, environmental cause or tag a photo to the tweet. Tweets with this tag will be shown on our web site, the Wilco and HeadCount websites and projected on stage at Wilco concerts this summer.
  • Get the Wilco Benefit Track: Download a live, exclusive version of Wilco’s “Whole Love,” the title track from the band’s latest Grammy-nominated album. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the song benefit HeadCount.
  • Watch/Share the Video: What kind of world do you want to live in? Created by Patagonia and Free Range studio.
  • Register to Vote: Register to vote online at HeadCount.org or visit the HeadCount booth at Wilco tour sites this summer.
  • Know the Voting Records of Your Representatives: Check out League of Conservation Voters to know the environmental scorecard of the candidates.
  • Get a Benefit T-Shirt: Purchase a Wilco or Patagonia Vote the Environment t-shirt and Patagonia will donate $5 from the sale of each t-shirt to HeadCount.

I am curious to hear, excluding political opinions, what are the things “you love” in regards to Patagonia’s campaign? Also, what are your thoughts on its business model?

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit

2nd Annual Food Waste Audit

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Who? The Sustainable Management Advisory Committee

What? 2nd Annual Food Waste Audit

When? All day | October 24th

Where? Campus Cafeteria

Why? To be more waste wise!

A year ago, I was studying abroad in Spain, but was able to keep up on some exciting things going on within the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee on campus. The biggest thing we had been working on was an Eco-Rep program, which is now a full-time paid position in most dormitories.

Another event that happened was a Food Waste Audit in the cafeteria to put on display how much organic waste we throw away as students. We have tried different events to raise awareness like “no tray” or “trayless” days, but it seems annoying to our student population more than anything. So, we decided something that was easy for us to put on and easy for students to do – handing your tray to someone instead of putting it on the conveyor belt is pretty simple. The idea is to create an eye opening scene, encouraging students to not be wasteful and take only what they can eat. Before we take a look into what an audit actually is, let’s look at a few eye-opening facts:

  1. Between 1/4 and 1/2 of the more than 590 billion pounds of food produced each year in the United States is squandered during the farm-to-table supply chain. Using this range, food writer and food waste expert Jonathan Bloom estimates that every day America wastes enough food to fill the Rose Bowl – the 90,000-seat football stadium in Pasadena, California – and sometimes it’s as much as two stadiums full.
  2. Americas’ per capita food waste has increased by 50% since 1974.
  3. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2010 discarded food represented the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching landfills and incinerators.
  4. Approximately $100 to $160 billion is spent each year on producing food that is ultimately wasted. (This estimate comes from Jonathan Bloom’s American Wasteland.)
  5. A large portion of food waste occurs in households. The average American throws away 20 pounds of food each month or about two-thirds of a pound per person per day.
  6. Given the water- and energy-intensive nature of growing, processing, packaging, warehousing, transporting and preparing food, it follows that wasted food means wasted energy, water and agricultural resources. Approximately 2.5% of the U.S. energy budget is “thrown away” annually as food waste. This is equivalent to the energy contained in hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. In addition, 25% of all freshwater consumed annually in the US is associated with discarded food – about as much as the volume of Lake Erie.

A waste audit is a rather simple and a formal, structured process used to quantify the amount and types of waste being generated by an organization, in this case Mount Union’s student body. Information from audits will help identify current waste practices and how they can be improved. Being waste-wise can mean a more efficient and effective organization, reduced waste management costs and better use of limited natural resources.

Depending on the situation, there can be many objectives of an audit. Mainly it is to determine composition and quantities of waste being generated, to measure effectiveness of existing waste management systems, to identify opportunities for improving waste management systems and strategies and to collect baseline data for measuring the effectiveness of waste minimization strategies. For our event, it is more to create an awareness and try to change the mindset of a wasteful student body.

Don’t be wasteful. A lot of waste can be composted too. Find out how to build a compost bin here, and check out 75 things you can compost but thought you couldn’t, including: toilet paper rolls, sticky notes, tea bags, coffee grounds, pizza crust and moldy cheese, among others.

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

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It’s prime time of the Fall season. The air is brisk, leaves crunching, pumpkin patches are blossoming, football is in full action, and warm apple cider compliments your seasonal sweater and scarves. Autumn is a very popular season, and even though school can get in the way make sure you take some time to watch the trees change color. Photography has grown into a small hobby of mine, and the changing colors make for the perfect shot. Some of the trees on campus create such a contrasting color, that it makes me wonder how do these leaves create such vibrant colors to begin with? I went to my brother who works at the Urban Ecology Center for some advice, and he directed me to one of his blog posts

“Lianna Bishop from the Urban Ecology Center tells us that Fall is a season known for trees full of beautiful shades of reds, oranges and yellows. But, you may be wondering, why do leaves change color in the fall?  Do trees change to the same color every year?  Our team here at the Urban Ecology Center have been thinking a lot about fall foliage lately. One of our Environmental Educators, Matt Flower, helped fill us in!

The brilliant colors of fall happen when the production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants associated with photosynthesis, slows down. As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, the leaves’ true yellow, red or orange color is exposed.

Weather can also affect the way these colors look during their fall show. The best leaf colors seem to occur after warm, clear days with cool (but not freezing) nights – just like the type of weather we’ve been having lately. No wonder the trees have been so stunning!

Matt helped identify each tree and its respective color: Silver Maples are a light yellow, Green Ash a glowing purple, Shagbark Hickory a golden yellow and Sugar Maple a red-orange. Try picking out your favorite tree near your home, work, or school and watch its colors change over time.”

As the days grow shorter and cooler, I hope you’ll get outside and enjoy nature’s multicolored farewell to the season. Also, check out these creative and intense photos of leaves for some inspiration, and check out this awesomely autumnal song.

 

Surfrider Foundation: East Coast Chapter Summit

Surfrider Foundation: East Coast Chapter Summit

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About a year or two ago my brother John decided to open up a chapter of Surfrider. The mission of the Surfrider Foundation is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. But you can’t surf in the Midwest, right? Think again, and be sure to watch Unsalted: A Great Lakes Experience! In fact, Sheboygan, Wisconsin has some of the best surfing in the Midwest and hosts the annual Dairyland Surf Classic, the largest lake surfing competition in the world. Since there is a chapter up in Minnesota, my brother felt it was necessary to have a presence on Lake Michigan. So, over about a year I have been integral in helping him out with social media, marketing and treasurer duties and was able to attend the East Coast Chapter Summit this past weekend in Long Beach, New York.

Over the weekend at the summit we were able to attend breakout sessions to learn from about 30 other chapters, listen to Jim Moriarty (CEO) speak, and it was overall a wonderful experience. We took away many great ideas that hopefully will drive the membership of our chapter, and listened to some presentations that have inspired programs/campaigns. One was a 5 gyres presentation on the concentration of plastic found in our oceans and lakes. There are 350 million square kilometers of ocean, and 73 million pounds of plastic (a plastic soup in the gyres regions if you will)…wow, but there are easy things you can do to make a big difference. Some other things covered were Jim’s 6-year strategic review, core training, Rising Above Plastics campaign, fundraising/event planning panels, ocean ecosystems and the focus on offshore drilling, coastal preservation, engaging youth and using the chapter website as an interface, among other things.

So why form a WI-Great Lakes Surfrider Chapter? Because, surprisingly, there are actually a good number of people in Wisconsin who surf, whether on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, or other Wisconsin water (rivers/lakes) who believe in the principles and mission of the Surfrider Foundation. The region boasts many sailboarders, wakeboarders, kiteboarders, kayakers, stand up paddleboarders (SUPs), and watermen and waterwomen in general who support the Surfrider vision and want to contribute to preserving our water resources here in Wisconsin. I really hope you can support the organization by liking WI-Great Lakes Surfrider on Facebook, and following them on twitter. Better yet, come surf with us! Just be sure to bring a wetsuit.

 

Presidential Elections: Is Social Media a Game Changer?

Presidential Elections: Is Social Media a Game Changer?

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According to Mashable, Facebook just surpassed 1 billion active users, and there are already 140 million monthly active users on Twitter. It is safe to say social media has become a big player in many companies’ marketing strategies and campaigns. This past week it was also the first night of Presidential Debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, who both use social media actively to drive followers and voter support. According to Huffington Post, the use of social media in the 2012 US presidential election is expected to reach new levels of sophistication as the political parties increasingly use digital techniques to help raise election cash as well as influence the outcome of the vote.

Obama has built on the social media lead he gained on the Republican party in 2008. Based on analysis by SBS World News Australia, Obama had 28,658,765 Facebook fans but also 19,806,314 Twitter followers. Republican candidate Mitt Romney (whose Twitter profile simply reads “Former Governor of Massachusetts”) had just 6,961,665 fans on Facebook and 1,123,637 followers on Twitter in comparison.

Obama is also eager to experiment with the latest social media techniques such as ‘hangouts.’ Over 200,000 people recently tuned in to Reddit to see Obama take part in what’s known as an “AMA” — Ask Me Anything. He personally answered over 1000 questions, no minions intervened, ranging from politics, to philosophy, to Washington’s secret beer recipe. Obama received a mountain of praise for his efforts.

But will all this social media activity keep Obama in the White House? If the Internet were to decide who will be the next U.S. President, Barack Obama would win by a landslide. However, the most recent polls paint a drastically different picture. They show that the candidates are virtually neck and neck.

Article ideas via Huffington Post.

 

Raider Relief Brings You Lemonpalooza!

Raider Relief Brings You Lemonpalooza!

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Raider Relief has been doing “good” within the local and global community since around 2009. In the past, Soles for Souls, Hugs for Haiti, Help to Others, March Makeover and Bottle School Blitz have been great successes, benefiting wonderful non-profit organizations. This year, Raider Relief is partnering with Alliance Ventures, the Regula Center at the University of Mount Union and the United Way of Greater Stark County to bring you Lemonpalooza, a community-wide lemonade sale in Alliance on Oct. 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A cup of lemonade will cost $1. Twelve lemonade stands will be set up in front of various businesses along State St. Volunteers from the University of Mount Union and the community will be running the lemonade stands. United Way’s annual campaign runs until Nov. 29. Eastern Division Campaign Co-Chairs Gerard and Phillip Mastroianni are volunteering their leadership on the United Way Campaign Cabinet, chaired by Thomas Swidarski, to further campaign efforts in the Alliance and surrounding area.

Alliance United Way agencies, including the YMCA, YWCA, SPARK, Interfaith Child Development Center, and the Domestic Violence Shelter, receive more funding from United Way than any other city in Stark County. Unfortunately, Alliance has the smallest number of annual donors to the nonprofit organization. The goal of Lemonpalooza is to raise funds for United Way of Stark County while promoting awareness of their presence in Alliance. The proceeds will be dispersed to United Way agencies throughout Stark County.

For more information please visit raiderrelief.org!