Ecological Integrity

Promote tree planting and sustainable garden maintenance

Lunch & Learn: Plant Southwest Virginia Natives

Bring your lunch and learn about Native Plants in Southwest Virginia, why you should choose native and how your garden and yard can make a difference in the natural ecosystem. We are joined by Nicole Hersch, a Regional Planner and Community Designer at the New River Regional Commission. She has a background in landscape architecture …

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Week 21 Recap: Reduce the Amount of Waste You Send to the Landfill

The U.S. Environmental Agency estimates that we generate 4.9 pounds of trash per person per day and about half of that ends up in the landfill! Although many aspects of our system work against us, we have a lot of control over the amount of waste we generate in our own homes. We have covered …

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Week 21: Too Much Waste in our Landfills

A little over a month ago I briefly touched on the amount of waste sent to our landfills when discussing “Choosing Reusables.” The numbers are so staggering though, I think it warrants another look. The EPA collects data on how much trash (or as they refer to it, municipal solid waste) is generated each year and where …

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Week 20 Recap: Reduce Your Home Energy Use

Sobering statistics on the contribution of U.S. home energy use to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions: “According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average home in America consumes about 11,000 kWh (kilowatthours) per year, which accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. If considered a country, these emissions would …

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Week 20: Home Energy Use

According the the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average home in America consumes about 11,000 kWh (kilowatthours) per year, which accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. If considered a country, these emissions would be considered the world’s sixth largest GHG emitter, comparable to Brazil and larger than Germany. The …

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Week 19 Recap: Utilize Shared Community Resources

A lot of our actions have been related to how we accumulate and reuse “stuff,” because consumerism is at the root of many of our most severe environmental problems. We advocate refusing, reusing, borrowing, giving directly to others, and buying secondhand because recycling just isn’t enough. Another way to cut our accumulation of stuff and …

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Week 19: Shared Community Resources

These past four months, we have discussed ways in which we can wisely use our resources so Blacksburg can be a sustainable, special place. Sustainability assumes that resources are finite and must be used wisely in order to meet our needs while making sure future generations can meet their own needs. This includes decreasing our …

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Week 18 Recap: Reuse or Repair Something You Already Have Instead of Buying New

We have talked a lot about the need for a circular economy that keeps returning items, or the materials from which they’re manufactured, to the system to be used again and again, instead of the mostly linear economy we currently have in which items are manufactured, used and then disposed of. One of the key …

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Week 18: Reuse or Repair Something You Already Have Instead of Buying New

By now, hopefully it’s pretty obvious that a major component of sustainability includes careful consideration of our purchases and making sure we get the maximum life out of the “things” we use. We’ve talked about sustainable gift-giving, buying smarter, reducing our use of single-use plastics, choosing reusables, buying secondhand items, and donating items so others …

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Week 17 Recap: Donate or Give away Something You No Longer Need

To truly break away from the take-make-waste cycle we need to put things we no longer need or want back into the cycle so others can use them. Continuing to just pile up stuff in our houses makes it more likely it will end up in the landfill as it becomes outdated, obsolete, or maybe …

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