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Hit the Trail

Hit the Trail

What would you expect a four-and-three-quarter-year-old to say at the end of a four-and-a-half-mile hike that she just finished using her own two feet? “What a wonderful day,” Sofi announced when we walked past the old Tavern (that I was wishing was still a tavern) at Great Falls National Park.

Prince George's County Fire Department Appears in "101 Gadgets That Changed The World" Premiere

Prince George's County Fire Department Appears in "101 Gadgets That Changed The World" Premiere

 

Earlier this year the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was asked to be part of an upcoming cable TV show.  The Fire/EMS Department was selected from all other Departments throughout the Country to discuss two "gadgets" and how they have changed the life of firefighters and civilians since they were invented.

 

2011 Charles County Earth Week Symposium

This story comes to us from Lauren Smith:

Earth Day: Safely Dispose of Techno Gadgets

Earth Day: Safely Dispose of Techno Gadgets

I am a Nerd Chick, but first and foremost I define myself by one word: Mommy. As a parent of young children, I can’t help but see the world through their eyes. My son celebrates the drive to the park, exclaiming “Look at all the TREES, Mommy! Mommy, there are TEN trees!” I love his pure joy with the world around him, and I would love to preserve that world for his generation and the generations to come. When I look around the house and see the bevy of old techno gadgets, batteries, ink cartridges and electronic toys the kids have outgrown, I wonder: is there a safe way to dispose of these things? We can all help our community by donating, recycling and/or safely disposing of old techno gadgets. Let’s help save the world this Earth Day, one monitor at a time!

Your first stop should be the EPA website  for an extensive list of companies that offer take backs, mail-in or even trade-in incentive programs for your e-waste products. For example, Office Depot applies a $2 cash award to your rewards card for each printer ink cartridge you turn in, and Sprint has a “Buy Back” program that gives Sprint customers an account credit for returning eligible Sprint or Nextel model of phones. There are also links to where to recycle any electronic device, like computers, printers, televisions and monitors.

If you’re not sure if you should sell or donate the gadget you’re ready to replace, enter the make and model number at www.ecosquid.com. After answering a few quick questions about the shape it’s in and the parts you have for it, you’ll be provided with a list of options for selling or recycling in your area. The account you create is free, and you can earn points for reselling or recycling your tech that you can use in their gadget store.

Would you like to do something for the environment AND help our servicemen and women? The “Cell Phones for Soldiers” program turns old cell phones into prepaid calling cards for U.S troops stationed overseas. Cards are given to the soldiers’ families to stay in touch with their loved-ones in the field. You can donate any cell phone by visiting http://cellphonesforsoldiers.com and clicking on “Donate a Phone” to get a pre-paid mailing label, or find local drop sites in your area. Before donating your used cell phone, just make sure that your personal data has been removed. Security experts recommend that you first log out of all internet-based remote accounts the phone is linked to, then “factory reset” your handset before passing it on. If you’re not transferring the SIM card to another handset, you’ll want to step on it, crush it or chop it up with scissors.

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to recycle and donate to help others in your community, you can donate locally to charities like the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Many are considered e-waste certified, so they can properly dispose of any gadgets deemed un-sellable. Proceeds from working gadgets you donate help families in need in your local community, and any donations you make are tax-deductible. Go to www.salvationarmy.org and follow the locations link on the left side of the page, or http://locator.goodwill.org/ to locate a drop-off center near you.

Lastly, one of the best tech-savvy ways to help the environment is to consider waiting before you run out and buy that new gadget. I know, I know, it’s hard to pass up the shiny new toy (even harder to convince the kids to!), but holding out for the second, or even third, round of a product gives the manufacturer time to work out any development kinks. Buying later can save you money as most manufacturers will lower the price on the first generation gadget when they release a new version. The old saying, “patience is a virtue” can reduce electronic waste and save you a bit of cash too!

Do you have a tech-savvy way you’re helping to preserve the environment this Earth Day? We’d love to hear about it. Send us a note on Facebook (facebook.com/nerdsoncall) or email us at nerdchick@callnerds.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

5 Tips for Greening the Closet

5 Tips for Greening the Closet

With Earth Day just around the corner, it is a good time to think about greening the home. One place that most people overlook when trying to make environmentally friendly choices is the closet. While it may be tucked way and largely out of site, the closet can play an important role in creating an environmentally friendly home. Greening the closet is not only important, but is actually quite easy!

“Our closets hold so much of who we are, from the clothes we wear on a daily basis to the special vintage items we want to preserve,” says Fred Silber of Creative Organization, a New Jersey-based company that has created a line of sustainable, eco-friendly closet organizing products. “Because they tend to hold so much, and such a variety of things, it is important to make sure that it is an area of the home that is not overlooked when trying to live in an environmentally friendly way.”

Here are five tips to keep in mind when greening the closet:

Happy Brawlidays

Happy Brawlidays

Give the gift of derby this holiday season! Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your coworkers or just bring yourself to the DC Armory this Saturday, Dec. 18, to see the DC DemonCats fight it out against Scare Force One. Both teams will certainly be in the brawliday spirit as they trade gifts of hip checks and bruises.

This bout is sure to leave the Armory shaking, as these two teams—so far undefeated—will be fighting to take the lead this season. Scare Force One, who came out on top in Seasons 1 and 2, are eager to show their dominance over the Season 3 and 4 champion DemonCats. With a roster heavy on members of the DC All-Stars (Condoleezza Slice, Chinese Cheker, Marion Barrycuda, Velocityraptor, Soledad and Lois Slain), Scare Force has a strong base. But the DemonCats are confident that smart strategy can get them ahead.

Two Forums to be Held About Water Resources Element of Charles County Comprehensive Plan

The Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management is inviting the public to be a part of drafting the water resources element of the Charles County Comprehensive Plan.

The DPGM will have two open forums to discuss the plan.  One meeting will take place on October 13 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the commissioners' meeting room of the county government building in La Plata, and the second will be on October 14 in the cafeteria of Matthew Henson Middle School in Bryans Road at the same time.

The forum will allow citizens to provide input regarding the plan, which has a goal of  creating a blueprint for sustaining public drinking water supplies and protecting the county's waterways.