Bald Eagle Watch Month: How litter can endanger birds

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in News, Uncategorized

Image courtesy of www.wallup.net There is nothing quite like catching a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring over the trees. Unfortunately, habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, litter and contamination of its food source all led to the decline in population of our national symbol roughly 40 years ago. The once endangered species has made a remarkable comeback due to strong conservation efforts, protective legislation and increased awareness. Arkansas is home to a large number of the species, making the sport of watching them increasingly popular across The Natural State. While conservation efforts are widespread across the country, it is important for us to understand what we can do to ensure the bald eagle’s safe future. Here are some contributing factors that led to the bald eagle’s decline, and ways that we can ensure the bald eagle’s safety for years to come: BIG, BAD Balloons Bald Eagle caught in string Image courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com Despite the innocence and beauty of balloons, they have unintended dangerous consequences for birds and other wildlife. The natural latex used is biodegradable and environmentally safe, yet the balloons are treated with multiple preservatives and chemicals to safeguard against bacterial decomposition. Aside from the chemical dangers, balloons can also cause starvation and tangling among the bird populations. Through inadvertent ingestion, birds mistake the balloon for food and consequently cannot digest the latex. Therefore, the bird is unable to take in enough nutrition to survive, thus starving. If the balloons released have ribbon or string attached, tangling is a huge threat as well. Tangle injuries can include malformed nestling growth, open wounds from chafing as the tangle tightens or mobility restriction of the legs, wings or bill, all making the bird more vulnerable to predators and infections. Perilous Plastic Image courtesy of www.cbc.com In many areas around the globe, birds inadvertently feed on plastic floating on the water mistaking it for food, which can directly lead to death and even the death of their young. Large plastic debris, such as bottles, has major effects on bird populations as it can strangle them and can also transport alien species to new waters. Millimeter-sized plastic pellets (what is used in most plastic production) soak up toxic chemicals from water, poisoning the creatures that swallow them. Because these plastic pellets are magnets for toxic chemicals they effectively become poison pills. Japanese researchers found that concentrations of these chemicals were as much as a million times higher than in the water. Seeing that the bald eagle’s primary food source consists of water prey, they are incredibly susceptible to the dangers of plastic litter. What You Can Do Knowing what we do about the decline of the bald eagle population in America and the factors contributing to it, we must all make the conscious effort to be proactive in the conservation of our national symbol. By simply reducing our use of...

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RSS

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

What is an RSS feed? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a way for new and updated content to be delivered to someone via subscriptions. Almost all subscriptions are free, and unlike e-mail, where unwanted spam is delivered, the subscriber has complete control over what content is received and when that content is delivered. To properly receive and view the content, you must have an application/reader or use an online service that provides access to RSS feeds. Many customizable home pages like those from Google and Yahoo! allow for RSS subscriptions. Another great use is that someone can place this content on their own hosted website. Software and methods for doing this are readily available, and we encourage you to use our content delivered via RSS feed in this manner. Add “Latest News” RSS feed: To add the Keep Arkansas Beautiful “Latest News” RSS feed please select a link below.              Manually add “Latest News” RSS feed: Copy and paste this following address into your RSS reader: http://www.keeparkansasbeautiful.com/index.php/rss/news?format=feed&type=rss Add the “In The Spotlight” RSS feed: To add the “In The Spotlight” feed to your home page, please select a link below:              Manually add the “In The Spotlight” RSS feed: Copy and paste this following address into your RSS reader:...

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Litter Facts

Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Cigarette Butts Cigarette waste is the most abundant form of litter in Arkansas and on the planet. Collected cigarette litter weighs in the millions of pounds annually. Cigarette filters are not biodegradable; they are made of plastic, not paper and cotton. Cigarette litter lingers in our environment up to 25 years. Cigarette butts are lightweight and can easily move through our storm drains into our waterways and water supplies. Water will leach the toxins from cigarette litter, making it deadly to most aquatic life. In fact, the toxins released from one cigarette butt left in a gallon of water for one day will kill about 80 percent of aquatic life added to that water. Source: Clean Virginia Waterways Plastic Foam Plastic foam from items like cups does not break down naturally. Annually, Americans produce enough plastic foam cups to circle the earth more than 400 times. Plastic foam can stay in the environment for up to 500 years. Source: Valley Vista Services Food Wrappers and Containers One of every five items of litter is food-related. 10 percent of all litter is food wrappers. Most fast-food litter is found in close proximity to a fast-food restaurant. People who eat fast food in their vehicles are twice as likely to litter. Source: Don’t Mess With Texas Paper For every ton of paper that is recycled, 17 trees are saved. In this decade, Americans will throw away almost 5 million tons of office paper and nearly 10 tons of newspaper. Each person in the United States uses about 675 pounds of paper a year. 40 percent of all waste is paper. Arkansans use more than 18 million pounds of paper a year. Sources: Coshocton County (Ohio) Litter Prevention and Recycling Office, www.recycleit.com and Georgia-Pacific Corp. Glass 6 percent of all waste is glass. Glass bottles can stay in our environment up to 1,000 years. In this decade, Americans will throw away more than 11 million tons of glass bottles and jars. There are as many as 800 glass bottles along each mile of rural road in Arkansas. Sources: Georgia-Pacific Corp., The Rosemary Garden and www.recycleit.com Plastic Plastic pieces usually include plastic caps and lids, plastic straws and plastic bottles. In fact, 10 percent of all waste is plastic. More than 80 percent of Americans reuse plastic products and packaging in their homes. It takes 36 two-liter bottles to produce one square yard of carpet. Plastic bottles can stay in our environment indefinitely. Five recycled plastic bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket. Sources: Georgia-Pacific Corp., www.plasticsresource.com, Erie County (Ohio) Recycles, The Rosemary Garden and www.recycleit.com Aluminum Cans Aluminum cans can stay in our environment up to 500 years. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt light bulb burning for almost 20 hours or power a television for three hours. 20 cans can be made from recycled...

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Beautification

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Benefits of Trees: A Tree Is More Than Just Leaves Trees are important to the economic vitality and environmental quality of our communities. Air quality, property value, community beautification, economic attractiveness and general livability can all be positively impacted from the planting and care of trees in your community.  In summer, shade trees can save up to 50% of air conditioning costs. In winter, windbreak trees can reduce heating bills as much as 30%. Trees create oxygen, prevent ground runoff, create habitats for wildlife and play a large part in regulating climate change. Resources America in Bloom American Forests Arbor Day Foundation Arkansas Adopt-A-Highway Arkansas Master Gardeners Arkansas Urban Forestry Council Arkansas Wildflower Program Backyard Woods The Garden Club of America The Grove Keep America Beautiful Liberty Gardens Main Street Arkansas National Garden Clubs Inc. Plant a Wish Tree City...

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Recycling

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Looking for facts about recycling? Find out how recycling in Arkansas can improve the environmental quality of communities and businesses around The Natural State. Start recycling today! In 1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators. Today, this country recycles 28 percent of its waste – a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years While recycling has grown in general, recycling of specific materials has grown even more drastically: 42 percent of all paper, 40 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles, 55 percent of all aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 57 percent of all steel packaging, and 52 percent of all major appliances are now recycled. Resources I Want to be Recycled Campaign – Black and White Versions I Want to be Recycled – Bench (PDF) I Want to be Recycled – Bike (PDF) I Want to be Recycled – Denim (PDF) I Want to be Recycled Campaign – TV Spots I Want to be Recycled Campaign – Bottle (extended version) I Want to be Recycled Campaign – Bottle I Want to be Recycled Campaign – Stadium I Want to be Recycled Campaign – Color PDF/JPG I Want to be Recycled (color) – Bench (PDF) I Want to be Recycled – Bench (JPG) I Want to be Recycled (color) – Bike (PDF) I Want to be Recycled – Bike (JPG) I Want to be Recycled (color) – Denim (PDF) I Want to be Recycled – Denim (JPG) Other Resources Recycling PSA Rock – MP3 Format (2MB) Recycling PSA Country – MP3 Format (2MB) Recycling PSA Hip Hop – MP3 Format (2MB) Hot Springs’ “What’s In Your Trash” PSA Campaign “Recycle Here” Sign (PDF) “Recycle Cans Here” Sign (PDF) Recycling in Arkansas More Arkansans are recycling today than ever before. The Arkansas recycling rate and the benefits to Arkansas from recycling continue to increase. Arkansas recycled 1.9 million tons, or 40.2%, of its waste in 2004. Want to learn more about recycling in your community? Recycling can be one of the best things you can do for the environment and your town. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality offers a variety of programs to aid in municipal waste reduction, including grants and assistance for recycling programs. When businesses join with communities, recycling efforts can really make a difference. ADEQ offers a variety of programs to aid businesses in their recycling efforts. Recycling Programs Cars to Donate Making a used car donation to Keep America Beautiful is yet another way to create clean, beautiful public places; reduce waste and increase recycling; and generate a positive impact on local economies. The proceeds of your car donation will be shared between Keep America Beautiful and the certified Keep America Beautiful affiliate of your choice. America Recycles Day (ARD) is a national all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that encourages Americans...

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