Our 18 volunteers on the quickly warming morning of July 14 were mostly from the organization Duke Live for Life. While Duke Hospital is a tobacco free campus, there is still an issue of cigarette butt litter.
People often believe that cigarette butts are biodegradable because of their paper-like appearance. Many cigarette butts and filters are synthetic and take up to 10 years to decompose! In the mean time, animals find the scent of tobacco to be tantalizing and ingest the cigarette butts. Eventually, they can die of starvation due to the quantity of cigarette butts in their stomachs. This is a misconception one of our volunteers, Trisha, acknowledged when she said, "When a ranger at the Eno River told me he couldn't give a littering ticket for cigarette butts, I thought that was insane. That's when I realized what a problem it was. I don't think there's any reason to be too busy to come out here and help. I really do think I'm making a difference."
This choice to come out for just two hours resulted in 26,400 cigarette butts cleaned up!! We interacted with people who are smokers and they were appreciative when we offered them portable ash trays. One police officer said she typically saves her cigarette butts until she sees the next ash trays or trash can, so the portable ash trays would help her with this mission. Another man visiting the hospital was happy to receive one because "you have to respect the space and people around you" and tries to show that respect by not littering cigarette butts.
Thanks to our volunteers who came out check out more pictures in our Flickr album.
We are happy to announce that we have a new board member!
Joseph has a great deal of academic and professional experience in meteorology and currently works at the EPA. He obtained his doctorate degree last year from St. Louis University in Meteorology. His work has focused on air quality, atmospheric chemistry, and modeling with an emphasis on pollution, biomass burning, and urban/regional variability. We are excited to have someone with such a knowledge base to join our team.
Joseph joined Keep Durham Beautiful to be more than just a volunteer; he wants to have a larger reach to make the positive changes he sees KDB enacting. He is particularly interested and enthusiastic about building pollinator gardens as he has had experience with research gardens and loves the positive impact gardens can have on the community. Joseph values the idea of bringing residents, businesses, and community organizations together to work on the mission of improving the community.
Pollinator Plant Giveaway!
Love plants? Love your local pollinators? We have a pop-up plant give away where you can get a pollinator plant!
This will take place Saturday, August 12th from 9am-1pm!
Location is to be announced so make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find out where you can get a lovely pollinator plant.
We are so excited to partner with Animal Protection Services of Durham to host this event. Meet us at the Duke East Campus Wall Trail and walk with some adoptable pups while cleaning up litter left behind.
Spend just a few hours with us to walk a pup, pick up litter and transform the area; maybe you will find a new furry friend whose life you can transform! If you aren't able to join us on Sunday, check out the APS Amazon wish list!
This cemetery holds a great deal of history and is in need of help. Join us and students from Durham Tech to preserve and maintain this very special resting ground. To learn more about its history, visit Friends of Geer Cemetery. We will provide tools and a meaningful community service opportunity.
Celebrate the amazing journey of the Monarch butterfly! There will be music, educational booths, food and fun for all ages. The Durham Monarch Festival at Sandy Creek Park takes place at a certified waystation for Monarch butterflies as they migrate to Mexico. The park features milkweed, nectar sources and shelter that help sustain Monarchs on their long journey.
Durham released its Sustainability Report this past month! This report's purpose is to communicate the effects of the numerous sustainability programs that have been put into place since the 1980s. This report was compiled by the City's General Services Department and City/County Sustainability Office.
Durham has seen a 7 percent decrease in residential greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, despite the population growing 10 percent during this time.
Durham has the second oldest park system in North Carolina with 50 percent of residents living within 1⁄2 mile of a park.
Durham residents use 23 percent less water than the average North Carolinian in large part due to City-led water conservation programs focused on customer awareness, water- efficiency devices and fixtures and programmatic incentives.
A recent tree canopy study found that Durham has a 52 percent tree canopy and has planted over 3,000 trees since 2014.
City buildings are 13 percent more energy efficient today than they were in 2009 due to lighting upgrades, replacing old heating and air conditioning units, and adding automatic controls on systems to turn off when not in use.
A commitment to providing diverse transportation choices for residents, including biking, walking and public transportation options, has resulted in increases in bus services, 575 miles of sidewalk, and 40 miles of bike lanes.
Learn more about the efforts towards our #sustainabullcity by reading the report. IndyWeek also published an article about these findings!
Let us know what you think by using the hashtag #sustainabullcity
Oracle + Bronto at George Watts Montessori Elementary
Thanks to volunteers from Oracle + Bronto for helping us beautify George Watts Montessori Elementary School! The summer heat and sun didn't hold them back from helping weed and garden in the school's edible plant garden!