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NEW changes to Nashville residential recycling rules

Metro Nashville's residential recycling has gone through some changes. The following are NO LONGER ACCEPTED:

  • plastic take out containers

  • clamshell containers

  • plastic salad containers

  • aluminum foil

Learn how to Recycle Right with this guide from Tennessee Environmental Council.

 

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Reserve your trees for Nashville Tree Fest!

The Nashville Tree Foundation is once again hosting the Nashville Tree Fest! Mark your calendars for August 30 2019 to reserve 3 gallon trees online, or wait to pick up 1 gallon trees on a first come first serve basis. There will be 8 pickup locations throughout Metro Nashville.

Check out their site for more info, and to sign up to volunteer and help give away 800 trees!

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More on Microplastics

From time to time we've posted recent articles regarding microplastics. Here are some recent updates:

A new analysis from the World Wildlife Fund states that on average people may be ingesting around 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent weight of a credit card. Eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. As the break down into very small microplastic pieces, they enter our food chain. This is in addition to microplastics shed from washing synthetic clothing as well.

Check out the full campaign from WWF here.

If you are interested in microplastics closer to home, Cumberland River Compact is hosting an upcoming River Talk on "The Importance of Water Quality and Microplastics in the Tennessee River" on September 26. Check out our Community Events Calendar for more info.

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Drinking water from the ocean and/or sewage?

From ideas.ted.com:

Would you drink desalinated seawater? Recycled sewage water? Journalist Amanda Little explores what could be two future sources of drinking water in a hotter, drier world due to climate change.

 

Check out the full article here, and click on the screenshot for the full

TEDxNashville video!

Matt Blease

Illustration by Matt Blease

Patagonia explores recycling

We can no longer look at recycling as a magic process that always works as we expect it to. Patagonia's Worn Wear program has resulted in a warehouse stockpile as they explore solutions for unusable clothing beyond the landfill or incinerator. Read the full article for more insight of why recycling is difficult, and how designers are approaching product life cycles. Will you demand more action in the life cycle issues from the products you use everyday?

Remembering a Climate Science Pioneer

From Time.com:

Ever heard of Eunice Newton Foote? In 1856 she published seemingly the first scientific paper theorizing that changes in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could affect the Earth's temperature, also known as the greenhouse gas effect. This was three years before another paper was published on heat trapping gases that today is credited as the foundation of climate science.

Women in history are often overlooked, but in the face of today's climate we need everyone on board.

Read on for the full article by Katherine Wilkinson, author and vice president at Project Drawdown, a nonprofit lifting up climate solutions.

Vanderbilt University's Campus Dining to eliminate all single-use plastic water and soda bottles

From Vanderbilt News:

As part of Vanderbilt University's comprehensive plan to be carbon neutral by 2050, this new elimination of plastic bottles will save more than 430,000 plastic bottles per year, which is enough to cover their football field 1.5 times!

Learn more from the full article here!

Register now for the 17th Transit Academy!

The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee works with contributors, community officials and regional leaders to build support for funding regional transit in Middle Tennessee. Their purpose is to educate, empower and mobilize policy to serve our entire region.

The Transit Citizen Leadership Academy is designed to equip private- and public-sector leaders across the 10 counties of Middle Tennessee with the personal and group tools to lead conversations about the value of multimodal transit across the region and about the emerging mass transit options that can address our mobility needs. Applications for the Academy are open now!

The six sessions of tackle these themes:

  • Scanning The Landscape – A look at the historical, economic and social impact of transportation in the United States and Tennessee

  • Field Trip/Mass Transit Experience – What’s new in the region, including next steps and/or trends to watch

  • Understanding Current Reality – An exploration of Middle Tennessee’s transit system and the challenges we face

  • Evaluating the Options – An examination weighing value and cost of options for Middle Tennessee, informed by global best practices

  • Broadening the Scope – Examining the definition of Multimodal Transportation, including technology and other nontraditional alternatives

  • Graduation – Presentations of certificates, lessons learned, ways to engage the community and create the conversation through identification and activation of community resources to support transit conversations

Commercial developers will have to plant more trees under new Nashville legislation

From The Tennessean:

The legislation requires commercial developers to replace or plant more trees during construction and gives incentives for saving large trees on commercial projects, which include office, retail, apartments and condominiums.

 

It stops short, however, of bolstering tree regulations for lots with single-family homes and duplexes.

Nashville has been grappling with the side effects of the unprecedented real estate development over the past few years: increased traffic, construction sites blocking sidewalks, displacement of low-income renters, and the loss of thousands of trees.

From 2008 to 2016, officials from Metro Water Services estimate the city lost 918 acres of tree canopy — the equivalent of 695 football fields.

 

Check out the full article here!

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Metro Water Services brings the Fall 2019 Citizen's Water Academy

Metro Water Services is hosting the second ever Citizen’s Water Academy, a five-session program to learn about our most precious natural resource, water, and how MWS manages it from “river to river.”

Through the Academy, MWS hopes to provide a better understanding of this important resource and MWS processes to build a diverse network of leaders who can share their knowledge as ambassadors with their community.

The program includes tours of MWS facilities, informative presentations, interactive demonstrations in MWS' state-of-the-art lab, and the opportunity to interact with MWS staff and other water experts.

The fall program consists of five two-hour sessions:

  • Tuesday, October 1, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., “Imagine a Day Without Water”

  • Tuesday, October 8, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., “Protecting the Environment”

  • Tuesday, October 15, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., “A Sustainable Future”

  • Tuesday, October 22, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., “Protecting Public Health”

  • Tuesday, October 29, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., “The Value of Water”

 

Class size is limited and the selection process is competitive.

To apply, complete the application form available online at wateracademy.nashville.gov. Participants must be able to commit to attend all 5 sessions.

The application deadline is September 19 and MWS will notify participants of acceptance no later than September 20.

If you have questions about the program or application process, contact Sonia Allman at Sonia.allman@nashville.gov

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Fix-it Classes at Nashville Community Education 

From Nashville Community Education:

Don't throw it out - learn how to repair & reuse! Learn more about classes that can help you stay sustainable and how you might be able to help teach others. 

Cities across the U.S. have been starting programs to help citizens repair items before adding them to the landfill. While our program differs, we still believe that you can learn skills to help save beloved items from the trash. From our sewing classes (including Intermediate Sewing Projects), to Art Journaling, to T-Shirt Quilting we have many classes that help you transform your beloved items!

If you are interested in helping your neighbors become fix-it-uppers instead of land-fillers, we're currently looking for more DIY, home repair, and reuse teachers! Spring 2020 course proposals are due October 14 and we'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about teaching with NCE.

Defend Your Right to Be Involved In Public Land Decisions

Recently we heard from Amanda with the Southern Environmental Law Center on the U.S. Forest Service's proposed rule to significantly alter NEPA, streamlining the process and removing many of the opportunities for public involvement.

If you are interested in commenting, visit OurForestsOurVoice.org, a portal that helps guide users to submit unique public comments opposing this rewrite.

Read more from SELC here and the NY Times here.

Snapshot of a Sustainability Job from local Nashville company Nisolo

Our members interested in sustainability in the fashion industry should check out this recent write up from Nisolo, a certified B corp and local fashion company. This interview of an Impact Associate sheds light on what its like to work in the industry and how brands are considering the social and environmental impact of their processes.

Read more here!

Celebrate Hummingbird Season!

Enjoy the current hummingbird migration at Warner Parks, or in your own backyard! Here's some info from Friends of Warner Parks:

Hummingbird banding will begin soon on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at the Nature Center. Check out the full schedule and bring your questions while you observe the banders!

In you own yard, follow these instructions: Clean out your feeder. Make the sugar water. Put your feeder out. Enjoy the birds. Repeat!

Food Waste Warrior Pilot

Check out this update on Urban Green Lab's food minimization project. For the 2019 - 2020 school year, Society of St. Andrew is working on arranging volunteers to pick up share-table food at Westmeade Elementary, Warner Elementary, and HG Hill Middle each week.

They're raising funds to continue these composting programs! If you would like to help, send funds to:

Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) of Tennessee 701 Gallatin Pike S. Nashville, TN 37115 with the check, etc. made out to SoSA of Tennessee, and a note on the memo line that says school composting.

Recycled Materials Complete the Circle in Tennessee

The Tennessee Materials Marketplace posted an article on how we're closing the loop for materials in Tennessee. "Closed Loop" refers to when all waste generated throughout the item's operations are recycled back through the system.

Read on here and check out more info on the circular economy facilitated by the Tennessee Materials Marketplace.

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Root Nashville Blog Post: Why Urban Forests Matter to Nashville

Have you checked out Root Nashville yet? Root Nashville is a public private campaign, led by Metro Nashville and the Cumberland River Compact, to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050.

The first post in the new blog section highlights Nashville's current urban forests and the need for more -- not just for aesthetics but also for many health benefits! Read the full article and show some appreciation to any beautiful trees you encounter.

Everyone deserved a safe and healthy place to call home

That's the message of the Living Standard from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Their research and toolkit show how the green building industry can engage with communities to support and build in ways that prioritize this standard.

Check out the campaign here

Download the toolkit here

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Upcoming Tour of Lebanon Gasification Plant

Natalia Smothers at Your Green Homestead is leading a tour of the Gasification Initiative facility in the City of Lebanon, TN. This is a waste-free installation that allows to sustainably pyrolyze (or burn without oxygen) landfill waste (such as wood pallets) and turn the resulting heat, gases, and energy into electricity, some by-products, and biochar without releasing any carbon into the atmosphere. If you haven't heard about the discovery of biochar in Amazon forests, Natalia highly recommend to watch a BBC documentary on youtube, titled The Secret Of Eldorado - TERRA PRETA.

Natalia confirmed with the operations manager of the Gasification Initiative Matt Newman that he is happy to lead a tour of the facility for any size group almost any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday nearly any week. Please let Natalia know about your interest either by email natalia@yourgreenhomestead.com or via LinkedIn TWIG group.

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Proposed Trail Connections In Franklin

Franklin Trails has proposed a system to connect the various greenway and blueway trails throughout the city. The new branding concept of Franklin Trails was recently developed to denote different paths and connectivity between neighborhoods, city parks, historic areas, and other attractions.

 

Good luck to those looking to promote these trails and routes in Franklin! Check out more info here.

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Nashville WeGo Bus Update

Bus ride costs will increase to $2, 8 routes will be eliminated, and others will be rerouted. Due to public meeting comments, some routes that were initially going to be cut will remain in place for certain service hours. Changes will take place in September.

Check out WPLN's coverage of the changes to Nashville's bus services here, and read more on WeGo here.

Microplastics in Tennessee Waters

Americans eat a minimum of tens of thousands of particles of microplastics every year, according to a new study. The Tennessee River has the most microplastic of any river surveyed so far! The negative effects of humans ingesting microplastics is not known very well and has only just begun to be studied in depth.

Check out the full article to learn about the study from the Times Free Press here.

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Recycle Right Results

Tennessee Environmental Council kicked off a pilot program to help improve residential recycling through recycling cart scans. Following the scans, they educated residents and then re-measured to see if they had an impact. The good news is that 50% of participants showed improvement in recycling! Check out the full report here.

A Zero Waste Block Party will be held to spread the results and celebrate in The Nations this September. Stay tuned for more info!

Lawsuit between TVA and State of Tennessee on coal ash removal has been settled

In the past we covered the ongoing lawsuit for coal ash removal at the Gallatin Plant. The latest update is that a removal plan must be submitted to the State Department of Environment and Conservation by September 2020. The TVA will have to removed and fix the ash ponds within 20 years of the plan's approval date.

Read more from Fox 17 News here.

New Solar Farm at Chattanooga Airport

The Chattanooga Airport installed a 2.64 megawatt solar farm on 12 acres at the corner of the airfield. The power generated is enough to completely meet the needs of the airport, a first for any airport in the United States!

Read the full article from WDEF here.

New York Times covers Bottle Bill

The New York Times recently covered how bottle bills in many states have led to higher recycling rates. However, the last bottle bill to successfully pass was in 1987 as there are strong beverage industry lobbies against it. With a renewed spotlight of increasing plastic pollution, is the bottle bill a good proposal in states like Tennessee, or does it compete with other programs?

TWIG member and former monthly speaker Marge Davis is featured! Check out the full article here.

For more info on the Bottle Bill in Tennessee, head here.

Can you go plastic-free for a month?

The Nashville Zoo is calling for participants in the Plastic Free Eco Challenge, sponsored by the Coalition of North American Zoos and Aquariums.

Sign up to reduce and refuse single-use plastics during the month of July. On this platform you can share your progress, success, and reflections with other challenge participants (over 10,000 and counting!). If you participate, let TWIG know as we'd love to feature your efforts!

Check out all the info here.

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Vote for your favorite Big Tree!

Do you have a favorite big old tree in Davidson County? Submit it in Nashville Tree Foundation's Big Old Tree contest! These trees that are special to our communities could be protected and registered as a Metro Historic and Specimen Tree.

All you have to do is enter the location and species. More than 800 trees have already been honored! Check out the full map here.

Submission deadline is August 1 -- Enter here!

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Recycle Right Tennessee

Why can't plastic bags be processed on our recycling system? Check out this video from Tennessee Environmental Council featuring Metro Nashville's Waste Management Site Manager, Paul Farley.

For more recycling tips, check out Recycle Right Tennessee.

Scooter Update

Due to safety and accessibility concerns, Mayor David Briley has called for the removal of electric scooters in Nashville, pending a new plan that would support fewer operating companies.

Walk Bike Nashville recently compiled data collected from 6 of the scooter companies for more insight into how scooters are being used in our city.

Check out the new report, which includes data on ridership, trips, and the nonprofit's policy recommendations.

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A twist on a cooking competition - use food scraps!

Vanderbilt recently hosted a cooking competition with 4 Nashville chefs to highlight the problem of food waste. This event was co-sponsored by the James Beard Foundation and the Nashville Food Waste Initiative.

Check out more info on the creative and delicious dishes from the full article, and congratulations to the team led by Kirstie Bidwell of The Old School Farm to Table!

For more info on how to reduce food waste in your daily life, head to savethefood.com.

New land added to City's Parks and Greenways System

The planned acquisition 2 large land parcels in the Bells Bend area was announced recently. Nearly 800 acres will be preserved if approved. The Parks Board, and then the Metro Council will have to approve the purchase, which is said to come from the Metro Parks Department greenways aquisition funds.

Check out the full press release here.

Everyone can participate in recycling food waste at the Nashville Farmer's Market!

The Nashville Farmer's Market has set an ambitious goal of being zero-waste by December 2020. Part of that plan is underway this month -- people will be able to sort their waste into food scraps, paper, and plant material; plastic and aluminum recycling; and trash to landfill.

Learn more about the process and the plan from the full article. We're happy to see such a great initiative take off!

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A new vision of public space over the Cumberland River

Check out the beautiful rendering of the Victory Memorial Bridge Park by Nashville Civic Design Center fellow Elizabeth Crimmins. This space is re-imagined as a way to encourage connectivity and public space between the East Bank and downtown, while highlighting natural features. The design of the walkways are named for tributaries that flow into the Cumberland, and the paths connect to greenways and bikeways.

View the full project here.

A Green New Deal for Nashville

From The Nashville Scene:

Green energy bills were approved by Metro Council this week. Councilman Freddie O'Connell calls the three bills a "green New Deal".

These energy policies will push Metro to use carbon-free energy sources for electricity and fleet, and pursue high green building standards.

Check out the full article here.

WeGo Public Transit Proposed Reductions of Service

Due to lack of funding, Metro Nashville's WeGo will roll out service and fare changes. Prices of fares and passes will increase as the number of routes and corridors served will decrease. Nothing will be finalized until the MTA board meeting on June 27, with the changes to service implemented in August and September.

According to WeGo, Nashville is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country without a dedicated long-term funding source for mass transit.

If you feel strongly about these changes or would like to know more, WeGo is soliciting feedback at the following public meetings:

  • Thursday, May 30 Madison Library 5 p.m.–7 p.m.

  • Tuesday, June 4 Southeast Community Center 5p.m. –7 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 5 East Park Community Center 5p.m. –7 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 6 HadleyParkRegional Center 5p.m. –7 p.m.

  • Monday, June 10 WeGo Central Meeting Room 5p.m. –7 p.m.

  • Tuesday, June 11 Lentz Public Health Center 5p.m. –7 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 12 WeGo Central Meeting Room10a.m. –6p.m.

Take a look at the proposed changes beginning on page 16 of this PDF.

Read up on this press statement from WeGo and this NPR article.

How will climate change affect the Southeast?

Grist has released a breakdown of the National Climate Assessment by region of the country. The challenges of climate change will manifest is many different ways depending on where you are.

Here are the takeaways from their report, but definitely check out the full assessment of the Southeast if you are interested in learning more!

  • Urban and rural areas will experience MORE warm nights than usual, which may compound the heat island effect seen in many Southeastern cities

  • Heat related impacts could affect labor productivity, including in counties that experience chronic poverty

  • Warmer waters could benefit invasive species -- the venomous lionfish is one example mentioned

  • Increase in threats to infrastructure and human health by flooding, heat, and disease

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Nashville's Mayoral Candidates answer Walk Bike's Questionnaire

Nashville's mayoral elections will take place this August. We hope you get to know all the candidates and stay informed about the issues this election. One resource we want to share is Walk Bike Nashville's Mayoral Questionnaire on walking, bicycling, and transportation issues and infrastructure.

Read the full answers here.

IMPACT Benchmarking Challenge beginning soon!

The U.S. Green Building Council Tennessee Chapter is launching the IMPACT Benchmarking challenge for the second year in a row. Buildings can enter their information in energy, water, and waste to establish a baseline by June 30. Each month, buildings will update their progress in these categories until December 15 2019. Those with the highest scores or most improved scores will be recognized at the USGBC Tennessee IMPACT conference in January of 2020.

It is free to participate and any building in Tennessee is eligible!

Check out more info and access the registration site.

Pressure on TVA to Change Direction

From Inside Climate News:

"In Memphis, the municipal utility is conducting an unprecedented examination of its future power needs and where the electricity should come from.

Its new study is partly a response to a report, written by the consulting firm Brattle Group and commissioned by Friends of the Earth, which showed how Memphis Light, Gas and Water could cut its wholesale power supply costs by about a third—roughly between $240 million and $333 million annually—while getting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

To do that, however, the city would have to break away from TVA."

Read more about the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the current pressure to develop clean power sources from Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville in the full article here.

How do our parks compare to other cities?

The Trust for Public Land recently released their 2019 ParkScore rankings. Cities are scored based on access, investment, acreage, and amenities.

 

"Everyone deserves a park within a 10-minute walk of home".

See how we compare with other cities across the country AND where they have evaluated optimal locations for new parks to be created!

Nashville Scene features Cumberland River Compact

Nashville's nonprofits focused on protecting our waterways were recently featured in the Nashville Scene. Highlights include the regular volunteer opportunities to lend our rivers and streams a hand. Read the full article online here.

Gray Perry, Program Coordinator for Cumberland River Compact.

Photograph by Daniel Meigs

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Updates from The Land Trust for Tennessee

The Land Trust for Tennessee celebrates their 20th year in conserving land in our state. Check out their new logo,website, and video featuring their team, projects, and landowners furthering their mission to conserve the unique character of Tennessee's natural and historic landscapes and sites for future generations.

Nashville Community Transportation Platform

The Nashville Community Transportation Platform furthers the conversation on sustainable transportation in our region. This collaborative of area non profits forms a starting point for public dialogue and policy priorities centering around equity, safety, resiliency, and quality. These are their 6 Metro-wide priorities:

  1. Implementing safe streets/vision zero to eliminate fatalities and injuries on our streets

  2. Community driven planning in Metro agencies

  3. Nashville-wide bus improvements

  4. Expanding sidewalk and protected bike lane networks

  5. Reducing the number of cars downtown

  6. Dedicated funding for transportation

Read all the details here!

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Curbside Recycling News

Murfreesboro may pursue a curbside recycling pilot next year, as a step to explore solid waste services options for a future when the Middle Point Landfill is closed. The Middle Point Landfill currently serves 34 counties in Middle Tennessee.

Nashville curbside recycling is set to increase to every two weeks early next year. Nashville received funding from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership, and the brand Love Beauty and Planet, which will pay for more collection vehicles and recycling carts.

Make sure you are recycling correctly to avoid contaminating loads! Brush up on the rules for Nashville residential curbside recycling here.

Green Schools Highlights

USGBC shared highlights from the 2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo held in St. Paul, MN. The event included networking, keynote speakers, educational sessions and workshops to further sustainability in schools.

Read the full article here. Next year's conference will be announced soon, and could be a possible option for a TWIG Member Scholarship!

2019 Energy Education Camp for K-12 Educators

The Tennessee Department of Energy and Conservation is offering 3 programs this summer for educators to teach energy topics at their schools. These camps are offered for free on a first come first served basis. All participating educators will receive $200 in materials to teach in the classroom or after school programs.

These sessions seek to

  • Increase knowledge of energy, energy conservation, and clean energy technology

  • Offer grade cluster sessions with classroom activities

  • Develop service learning projects for students that promote environmental stewardship in their schools and communities

June 18 - 20: Cumberland Mountain State Park

June 25 - 27: Roan Mountain State Park

July 17 - 19: Natchez Trace State Park

For more info, contact Angela McGee at angela.mcgee@tn.gov, or 615.532.7816.

Nashville’s First Avenue Cherry Blossom Tree Trail preservation set aside as city plans for upcoming NFL draft

From the Nashville Tree Foundation, the New York Times opinion piece, and the Tennessean:

 

As we enjoy the many blooms that spring brings to Nashville, we hope to inspire citizens to support nonprofits like The Nashville Tree Foundation that strives to create a culture that values trees and green spaces. Unfortunately, 21 mature cherry blossom trees in downtown will be relocated in response to Nashville hosting the upcoming NFL draft.

  • Metro had approved to cut down 21 mature cherry blossom trees along First Avenue in preparation for a stage to be built when the city hosts the NFL Draft later this month

  • Due to public petition and outcry, this measure was changed to relocate the trees instead of outright removal and apologies were stated

  • It is reportedly unlikely that transplanting mature ornamental trees during the growing season will result in their survival

Learn more about the saga from the Nashville Tree Foundation, the New York Times, and The Tennessean.

5 Tennessee Species Endangered by Human Actions

From Socket: Nashville's Sustainability Outlet:

This year's Earth Day theme is Protect Our Species. As of July 2016, our state has over 75 species classified as endangered. Here are 5 that have become endangered due to habitat loss, hunting or poaching, pesticides, or climate change:

  • Obey Crayfish - only found in TN!

  • Crown Darter - only found in TN and AL!

  • Hellbender - only found in TN and Japan, endangered in both!

  • Streamside Salamander

  • Bachman's Sparrow

Learn more from the full article here.

A female Obey Crayfish, photo credit: Roger Thoma

Nashville Food Waste Initiative featured on Podcast

The Nashville Food Waste Initiative (NFWI) is featured on the Environmental Law Institute's podcast: People Places Planet.

 

Linda Breggin and Sam Koenig discuss the efforts underway in Music City combating the scale and impact of food waste.

Take a listen here!

New Sustainable Brewing Statewide Recognition Program

From the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation:

 

The Tennessee Sustainable Spirits (TNSS) program is a new statewide voluntary recognition and technical assistance program from the Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices. The four pilot members are Jackalope Brewing, Life is Brewing - Mantra, Keg Springs Winery, and Short Mountain Distillery.

Learn more about the program here.

Haynes-Trinity neighbors successfully fight to stop selling green space in Nashville

Excerpt from The Tennessean Opinion piece:

The land is key to the development of a future public park. It connects to 83 acres of conservation land all within two miles of downtown Nashville. Hundreds of residents in the Haynes-Trinity neighborhoods along with the Nashville Tree Taskforce and the Mid-Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club mobilized and dramatically won over the majority of votes from our city’s council members.

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Walk Bike Nashville seeks support for Core Bike Lanes

From Walk Bike Nashville:

Walk Bike Nashville has a petition up to support Core Bike Lanes! Show your support by signing on.

  • These lanes will give bicycle riders (and scooter riders) a safe place to ride through downtown Nashville

  • These lanes will encourage people to move around downtown without driving

  • These lanes will give scooter riders a place to ride, off of the sidewalks

  • These lanes are the next step in all of the established downtown mobility plans and are critical links in the Priority Bikeway Network, recommended by the city's strategic plan for walking and biking: WalkNBike

  • There's no reason not to try out these bike lanes. They are already funded, they will result in minimal impact to car travel lanes, and they will start as a demonstration project, which will allow for adjustment in the future.

Have you tried the Impossible Burger?

From SustainVU newsletter:

Impossiblefoods.com states: "Impossible™ delivers all the flavor, aroma and beefiness of meat from cows. But here’s the kicker: It’s just plants doing the Impossible."

The Impossible Burger can be found around Nashville at a few restaurants, now including Vanderbilt University's Campus Dining. Will these environmental impact stats convince you to try one? Compared to an all-beef burger, the Impossible Burger:

  • Has an 89% smaller carbon footprint

  • Uses 87% less water

  • Uses 96% less land

  • Cuts water contamination by 92%

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage names new historic gardens manager

The historic gardens at the home of the seventh president of the United States now have a caretaker, and her name is Sarah Edmonds. She will be serving as the historic gardens manager at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and will be the public face of the gardens.

 

“Andrew and Rachel Jackson loved the gardens of their Hermitage, as is evidenced by the gardens’ being their final resting place,” said Howard J. Kittell, president and CEO of the Andrew Jackson Foundation Hermitage. “This full-time position dedicated to the care and preservation of The Hermitage’s historic gardens shows our commitment to the focus placed on these gardens during the Jacksonian era. The gardens not only add to the beauty of The Hermitage but also create a more immersive experience for our guests. Dedicating a full-time position to the care of the gardens is a reflection on how important the gardens are to our telling of the Jackson story and the authenticity for which we strive in preserving their home.”

 

Edmonds will be responsible for developing and implementing long-range care plans to preserve and maintain The Hermitage gardens in a manner that is both historically accurate and aesthetically pleasing, while striving to educate visitors and the public about The Hermitage gardens’ history and plants.

 

While in the position of historic gardens manager, Edmonds plans to create a community garden, among other initiatives.  

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Get Ready for Transit Month in April!

Be a part of #transitmonth this year with Transit Now Nashville. Transit Now is a 501c(3) nonprofit whose mission is to engage the Nashville community to promote a vibrant transit system. Check out all of their scheduled events online.

Looking to engage with Tennessee legislators?

Every year on Conservation Education Day, environmentalists can take time to meet with their state legislators in Nashville to promote bills that preserve and protect our water, air and lands, and to block those that would do it harm. This is a joint effort of the Tennessee Environmental Council, Tennessee Sierra Club, and Tennessee Conservation Voters.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, there is an educational meeting of this year's topics and legislative items the day before on March 5 from 6pm-9pm.

These organizations are especially looking for participants from non urban/suburban areas! Click here to learn more.

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Conservation Partnership Expands Fall Creek Falls State Park

From Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation:

Around 27 acres have been added to the northwest side of Fall Creek Falls State Park, one of the most visited state parks in Tennessee. With this partnership between the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, these lands will protect wildlife corridors and enable park staff to more effectively maintain the park area.

Check out the full article here.

The Sustainable Business Administration certificate program is a brand new offering from Columbia State that will provide you with the knowledge and skills to shape solutions to social, environmental and financial sustainability challenges.

 

This program offers six total courses; to receive a certificate, you must complete two required courses and at least two of the four available electives. Classes are held in person on the Williamson Campus in Franklin, TN, once per month for two consecutive days from 9 am to 5 pm (with morning, lunch and afternoon breaks). Lunch will be provided. Most classes are held Friday-Saturday; there is one Saturday-Sunday class and one Sunday-Monday class.

New Sustainable Business Administration Certification in Franklin, TN!

Fisk University becomes the first college to join new environmental improvement program

From our friends at the Nashville Food Waste Initiative:

Fisk University is the first college to join the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's new Higher Education Institution Campus Sustainability Improvement pilot program! Fisk will soon be a model for other institutions to reduce their environmental impacts.

Learn more about the TDEC program here

Learn more about Fisk University here

Rules for Curbside Recycling Pickup in Nashville

There is a new Curious Nashville episode out on recycling in our city! If you'd like to listen to what and why certain materials are or are not accepted in curbside pickup, tune into this podcast from WPLN.

Also *spoiler* -- CURBSIDE RECYCLING WILL EXPAND TO EVERY OTHER WEEK in Nashville starting next year!! Hooray for increasing recycling frequency!!

Tennessee River microplastic pollution among the highest ever measured in the world

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that have broken down from larger pieces of plastic pollution. Although they are beginning to be studied more in ocean environments, there is not much research yet in freshwater. A new report following a 34-day sampling of the Tennessee River show that microplastic levels are substantially higher than other watersheds surveyed. These high levels are theorized to stem from plastic pollution, especially plastic bags, instead of output from a single source. The effect of these microplastic levels on wildlife remain to be studied further. Currently, there is no specific guidance at the federal or state level on how to sample, analyze, and prevent microplastic buildup.

As individuals, we must think about the plastic in our lives and make choices to use alternatives to single-use plastics.

Read the full Knoxville News Sentinel article here.

Local Universities Pilot Food Waste Tech

From our friends at the Nashville Food Waste Initiative:

Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and Tennessee State University have joined in an ongoing Natural Resources Defense Council/Nashville Food Waste Initiative pilot project to use Leanpath, a software to track and reduce food waste. This platform uses data-collection tools, analytics, and coaching to help companies reduce waste. The NFWI will soon release a case study highlighting how measuring food waste can lead to reduced food costs.

Glass now going to trash, not recycling from downtown Nashville bars

From WPLN:

Metro Nashville is halting the Honky Tonk glass recycling pilot program. Contamination from other material, alley and street design, and cost were all factors leading to the end of the program. Glass can still be collected to be recycled at drop-off sites.

Click to read the full article here.

Carbon labels could be the key to helping consumers buy environmentally friendly products

From Research News @ Vanderbilt:

Could carbon-labeled products be commonplace in the future? Consumers don't always have a good idea of how carbon-intensive their food choices are. Labeling products could result in a change in consumer behavior, which may reduce future greenhouse gas emissions if highly carbon-intensive products become less profitable.

Click to read the full article here.

Training Courses from USGBC TN

If you are interested in LEED credentials, there is a new course offered to help you prepare for the Green Associate exam. The one day long course hosted at Vanderbilt University is taught by a USGBC Faculty member and was recently updated to include content related to LEED v4.
 
When: January 26th 2019 – 1:00PM to 4:30 PM
Where:  Vanderbilt University – Buttrick Hall – Room 201

Register here.

There is also a six week course to train for the WELL AP standard via webinar from February 19 - March 26.

Register here.

Coming soon: Gulch Greenway extension!

From our friends at Greenways for Nashville:

The Gulch Greenway is being extended and downtown Nashville is getting a new park! Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation has announced that Frankie Pierce Park is scheduled to open this spring. Located just below the Tennessee State Capitol building, this 2.5 acre park and greenway is a partnership between Metro Nashville and the Capitol View development. The park will feature volleyball courts, a dog park, and a yoga lawn. Additionally, a segment of greenway will be constructed to connect this new park with the existing Gulch Greenway on the south sided of Charlotte Ave.

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The Charlotte Avenue Healthy Corridor

The Nashville Civic Design Center recently released a study on making Charlotte Avenue a "healthy corridor" based on design elements, public transit, and a greenway. This 20-year vision proposes a framework to make sure development also includes best practices for health and wellness.

Check out the full report online here.

Take a look at the sustainability features of the newly opened Family Safety Center

From Socket: Nashville's Sustainability Outlet

Nashville's new Family Safety Center, along with the Metro Nashville Police Department Headquarters, creates a single location that effectively combines civil, criminal, health and social services for victims of family violence. The new facility has been submitted for LEED Silver. The Family Safety Center provides critical resources for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and is the largest of its kind in the country.

Check out all the new sustainability features here.

Metro to install new trees surrounded by recycled rubber

From Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation:

Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County has been awarded funds from the Tire Environmental Act Program to install 95 additional tree surrounds in the downtown Nashville area. 

 

The tree surrounds will consist of recycled rubber from scrap tire, gravel and a polyurethane binder that can be installed in a manner similar to pouring concrete. The porous material surrounding the tree will allow rainwater to pass through the surface and reach the tree roots.


Most of the tree surrounds will replace steel grates that are often broken or become dislodged creating a trip hazard.   Similar projects in other cities have eliminated laws suits from injury due to tripping over dislodged steel grates around trees, while increasing sustainability.

Budget Amendment for Bees

If you are interested in writing to your legislators, Tennessee Beekeepers across the state are looking for more support to include recurring finding in the next state budget to address declining pollinator populations.

Learn more about the state of the TN pollinator populations, and customize this sample letter if you want to contact any state representatives regarding this matter.

Plastic Pollution Regulation Being Blocked?

From Chattanooga's Times Free Press:

"A surprise amendment to a state bill would make it illegal for municipalities to regulate, prohibit or charge a fee for many single-use plastic items that have polluted Tennessee waterways at an alarming rate.

 

The bill would implement statewide standards for auxiliary devices: bags, cups, bottles, straws, to-go boxes, delivery packaging and more — whether they are reusable or single-use. Opponents believe the bill is overreaching and burdensome. However, legislators argue it will create statewide standards that are easier to follow."

Read the full article here.

New Research on Connecting Children to Nature

From Cities Connecting Children to Nature and Treehugger:

Living in an urban environment has many benefits and fits the lifestyle of a lot of families in Nashville. However, urban environments may also lead to children feeling disconnected from nature. Researchers in Hong Kong developed a survey that provides insight to how preschool aged children develop a relationship with nature, and how this can help researchers understand a connection between this relationship and other indicators of psychological well being. Read more here.

Metro Nashville Christmas Tree-cycling Available!

If you are a resident of Davidson County with a Christmas tree, you are in luck! Drop offs will be available at many parks across the county until February 16, 2019. Last year, Nashvillians dropped off over 17,000 trees!

This year they are partnering with Living Earth to compost and chip the trees into mulch. Consider this program to starting the new year off keeping trees out of the landfill!

Funding needed for TN Water Infrastructure

According to the findings in Gov. Bill Haslam's TN H2O Program released this week, Tennessee water utilities need $15.6 billion in upgrades and repairs. Many have not been consistently maintained in decades, and the report states that Tennessee is getting wetter with climate change.

"The investment would stem costly leakage from drinking water pipes and curb sewer overflows that threaten human and ecological health"

Click to read the full Tennessean article here.

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Coal Ash Cleanup Behind Schedule in TN

Excerpt from NPR article:

Exactly 10 years ago, one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history happened near Kingston, Tennessee. Over a billion tons of coal ash spilled from a pit at a Tennessee Valley Authority plant into the Emory and Clinch rivers and surrounding land on Dec. 22, 2008. 

Since then, the state and federal government have cracked down on TVA's handling of coal ash pits, but the utility is still being questioned on whether it’s doing enough to prevent long-term environmental damage for communities that surround them. 

Read more at the full article here.

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New Funds to Restore Native Trout!

Have you heard of the native Southern Appalachian brook trout? This Tennessee fish has been reduced to only 15% of its historic range due to poor land management practices and competition with introduced species. Nonprofit Trout Unlimited donated $11,000 to the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute to benefit a collaborative effort to reintroduce and grow populations in the state! Read more here.

Tennessee Wilderness Act

The Tennessee Wilderness Act has attained the President's signature to become a law as part of the Farm Bill. Under this legislation, almost 20,000 acres within the Cherokee National Forest will be designated as Wilderness. These areas were recommended for this designation by the U.S. Forest Service since 2004, who manage the land. 

A brief summary of the Wilderness designation is: an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions. 

This is the highest level of conservation protection for federal lands!

Read more about it here and here

Calling all Electric Vehicle Drivers!!

Electric vehicles may be the future of transportation. But, without enough charging stations to power those cars, there are limits to how successful they can really be. It's up to electric utilities like NES to ensure that an efficient power system is in place before electric vehicles become the norm.

By monitoring existing electric vehicles, utilities can develop a better understanding of the patterns and needs of the average electric vehicle. When drivers plug in a small data logger called a C2, a car's charging habits and energy consumption can be securely tracked. It's like a fitness monitor for the car.

Through a program called SmartCharge Nashville, NES and its partners are hoping to track 200 electric vehicles to create an accurate picture of elctricity needs for vehicles. To participate, all you have to do it: sign up, plug in the tracker, and drive!

For more info head to fleetcarma.com/SmartChargeNashville

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TN Lagging Behind on Green Energy despite Large Scale Projects

Tennessee will grow in solar production due to a large-scale project for Facebook's data center, moving from 300 MW to about 500 MW. This is far behind other states in the southeast including North Carolina (6,000 MW), Georgia Power (3,000 MW), and Florida (2,000 MW). The TVA has grown from 5 solar installations in 2000 to 3,775 in 2018. Some critics of the Tennessee Valley Authority say that there needs to be more emphasis and help in working with smaller customers, including residential programs.  

Learn more about TVA's solar growth here.

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Transit Alliance of Middle TN accepting applicants for Transit Citizen Leadership Academy

The Transit Citizen Leadership Academy is designed to equip private- and public-sector leaders across the 10 counties of Middle Tennessee with tools to lead conversations about the value of multimodal transit across the region and about the emerging mass transit options that can address our mobility needs. The Academy is built around a six-session program.,

Learn more here.

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Nashville Awarded Grant from the Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund

The Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund (SSCF) is pleased to announce that it will invest a total of $1,798,400 to support six sustainability projects in the Southeast. 

 

In Nashville, $300,000 will be used to establish a green jobs training program at Nashville Career Advancement Center. NCAC will prepare unemployed Nashvillians to perform whole-home, deep-energy retrofits for low-income homeowners, provide nationally accredited certifications upon completion of this training, and connect participants to jobs created by Nashville Electric Service’s Home Energy Uplift program.

Plant a Tree and Grow Our City

Root Nashville is a new public private campaign, led by Metro Nashville and the Cumberland River Compact, to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050!

Nashville is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth – with a 45% increase in population between 2000 and 2017. This growth has led to a loss of trees throughout the county. Trees not only keep Nashville beautiful, but are a key part of our city’s critical infrastructure. As we grow, we must preserve our existing trees and plant new ones to maintain the green and healthy city we love.

You can help by signing up for their newsletter, registering your newly planted trees, donating so more trees can be bought, and requesting a tree for your organization! Check out more at https://rootnashville.org/

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Mayor's Food Saver Challenge Launched!

Nashville Mayor David Briley — in partnership with the Nashville Food Waste Initiative (NFWI), the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association and Nashville Originals — issue a Food Saver Challenge to local restaurants, hotels and event venues to reduce food waste this month. 

“More than 100,000 Davidson County residents — including more than 25,000 children — are food insecure. The purpose of this challenge is to bring businesses together to make a meaningful impact on the lives of many of our residents — especially around the holiday season.”

 

Participating in the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge will reduce the amount of food sent to Middle Tennessee landfills, while helping to relieve hunger by donating wholesome, edible food to local nonprofits serving over food-insecure residents in Davidson County.

Sign ups are still occurring for the Mayor's Food Saver Challenge so if you have a favorite restaurant, let them know to participate! Learn more here.

New feature to help bus riders plan better

WeGo Public Transit and the Music City Star have a new feature in their app to make it easier for riders to connect a route. Riders can now integrate other options, like Nashville B-Cycle, Uber, or Lyft, as part of trip planning since the bus does not always go exactly where you need to.

This New Year you can take a look at the Transit app and you may find it better than driving alone in traffic! Click here to learn more.

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More Tennessee Electric Cars Coming Soon!

This week it was announced that Volkswagen's new electric car manufacturing facility for North America will be in Chattanooga!

Check out the full NPR article here.

Concept model of a Volkswagen electric vehicle pictured.

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Update on Impossible Crossings Report from Walk Bike Nashville

**UPDATE:

A petition is now available to sign for city leaders to commit to eliminating traffic fatalities. Consider contacting your council member if you want their support for this petition.

A new study shows the intersection between high-risk pedestrian crossings and Nashville's busiest bus stops. Hundreds of bus riders navigate these dangerous stops daily and some overlap with the locations of pedestrian injuries and deaths. This report calls attention to the call for city funds to make these places safer and to eliminate traffic deaths. Read more here.

Support our summer breeding birds with cups of coffee this winter!

Warner Parks Nature Center hosts Coffee BEANS and Birds every Saturday from 9:30a-11:00a. Many summer breeding birds in Tennessee overwinter in Central and South America, sometimes overlapping with coffee-growing regions. You can support these birds habitats by buying shadegrown certified coffee instead of coffee grown where forests have been clear cut. Warner Parks Nature Center will have coffee available for purchase.

 

Be Environmentally Aware of Neo-tropical Species!

There are many coffee certifications out there so check out this handy guide from the National Audubon Society to help you make great bird-friendly choices!

Congrats to Nashville Tree Foundation!

Nashville Tree Foundation works to plant and preserve Nashville's urban forests by planting trees, recognizing champion trees, designating arboretums, and providing outreach education.

They recently announced that they are a proud recipient of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee discretionary grant. Funding will be used to plant trees at Metro Public School to shade playgrounds, clean air and water, and provide a community food source! 

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Rethink Holiday Greening

'Tis the season to deck the halls and spread joy! Unfortunately, the holidays can have a large environmental impact. Vanderbilt's Sustainability and Environmental Management Office has put together a great Sustainable Holiday Greening Guide -- check it out for some tips!

Ever wonder about the sustainability or live Christmas trees versus artificial? This article breaks down the impact of each. The short answer is that...it's complicated. Take a look and see what is the best choice for your household!

Skip out on Black Friday and Enjoy TN Trails!

Skip the Black Friday shopping and join TN State Parks on the day after Thanksgiving for a post-holiday hike with family and friends. There are hikes for all ages and abilities, from easy peaceful strolls to rugged ramblings. With 56 State Parks to choose from, it's easy to find just the right hike at a park near you. Learn more here.

Hiking and Hiding Fixed Fees Across Tennessee

From the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Utilities across the Tennessee Valley are hiking fixed fees -- and some of them aren’t even visible on customer bills! High fixed fees mean customers have higher bills, and less control over bills. Because Tennesseans pay fixed fees regardless of how much electricity they use, these fees discourage folks from saving energy or going solar, and punish low-income, elderly, and single households who tend to use less energy.  

Read more from the full article.

Register now for Nashville Design Week events!

Nashville Design Week is a week-long, city-wide series of interdisciplinary programs and events to unite the design community, promote collaboration and idea sharing, engage the public, and elevate the impact of Nashville’s design economy.

TWIG members might be interested in the following events:

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Love Nashville's Rivers? Join the movement to protect them!

Rivive! Nashville is a movement to revitalize Nashville’s streams and rivers. With modern technology it is easier than ever for ordinary citizens to contribute to the scientific process on a grand scale and help monitor the health of our waters.

 

With a smartphone you can become part of a national effort to map the issues impacting our waterways by recording observations right here in Nashville using the Water Reporter app.

Water Reporter allows you to upload geo-referenced photos of erosion, pollution, flooding, or any other issue to a collective database using only your phone. Think of it as a neighborhood watch for our rivers.

In addition to keeping a general eye out around Nashville, you can join Harpeth Conservancy in a campaign to monitor nuisance algae growth in the Harpeth River.

This citizen science data will directly support current efforts by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and stakeholders throughout the watershed to develop a strategy for restoring the Harpeth River to meet state water quality standards!

Southeast Renewable Energy is the networking event where the entire southeast renewable energy community gathers to get the latest insights into the market and to meet key players. It is your best chance to:

  • Learn about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment

  • Meet with utility procurement managers

  • Engage in networking and deal-making with the decision-makers driving the industry forward

It takes place in Atlanta on November 7-9, 2018. Learn more here.

Registration for the Southeast Renewable Energy Summit is now open

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New Leadership at TCWN

The Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) announced the appointment of Kathy Hawes as its new Executive Director. TCWN is a nonprofit with a mission to heal and protect TN waters and to advocate for healthy water and healthy communities throughout the state!

Check out the full press release and TCWN's website!

Come Post your Compost!

Tennessee Environmental Council has launched a new program to encourage Tennesseans to keep food and yard waste out of landfills!

Sign up today!

Watch the video!

Learn more here!

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Do you work in Downtown Nashville?

Join the Commuter Challenge!

Are you willing to try a different commute? 
Downtown commuters are asked to pledge to make at least one trip to work not driving alone during the week of Oct. 22-Oct. 28. You can carpool, walk, bike, take the bus/train or work remotely. Grab your friends and co-workers and let’s challenge each other to give some other commute options a try!

Sign up for the challenge at https://nashconnector.org/!

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Nashville's Transportation Report Card

Check out Walk Bike Nashville's 1 Year Report Card for Nashville's Transportation Goals. Check out where we stand one year out from the Moving Music City Plan, the 3 year Transportation Action Agenda from the Mayor's Office.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival to inspire Activism!

The Belcourt Theatre is hosting another Wild & Scenic Film festival on Monday November 5th! The event explores environmental issues through film and promotes community building, inspires stewardship and connects people with volunteerism locally. The goal of the festival this year is to reach more people and to increase community engagement to give middle Tennessee citizens a chance to make a change.

Sit back and enjoy, while watching films that leave you feeling inspired and motivated to make a difference in your community and the world. These environmental and adventure films illustrate the Earth’s beauty, while also showing the challenges facing our planet and the communities working to protect it. This festival connects film with broader environmental and social context and reminds us that we are participants in a global movement for a more wild and scenic world.

Learn more here!

Pledge Drive for Tennessee Environmental Council

What happens when you add a little eco-friendliness to our traditional southern hospitality? You get the Tennessee Environmental Council working to improve our communities and quality of life! Please consider donating to the current pledge drive now through November 1st (the first day of tree-planting season).

 

For every $5 you contribute, you are investing in nature! 

$5 = 4 trees planted by volunteers

$5 = helping someone learn to compost their food waste

$5 = Tennessee streams being restored & cleaned up 

 

Click Here to invest in nature and support our programs that are improving Tennessee!

 

YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Those 4 trees per $5 we mentioned above? Over the next 50 to 100 years, here's what your investment yields:

  • Removes 10 to 50 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere each year

  • Produces $638 worth of oxygen every year (enough to support two humans) each year

  • Absorbs 1,000 gallons of stormwater each year

  • Provides $1,250 per year in air pollution controls each year

  • Generates $10 in labor value from volunteers who plant these trees 

New Sustainable Business Administration Certification in Franklin, TN!

The Sustainable Business Administration certificate program is a brand new offering from Columbia State that will provide you with the knowledge and skills to shape solutions to social, environmental and financial sustainability challenges.

 

This program offers six total courses; to receive a certificate, you must complete two required courses and at least two of the four available electives. Classes are held in person on the Williamson Campus in Franklin, TN, once per month for two consecutive days from 9 am to 5 pm (with morning, lunch and afternoon breaks). Lunch will be provided. Most classes are held Friday-Saturday; there is one Saturday-Sunday class and one Sunday-Monday class.

Plant a Tree and Grow Our City

Root Nashville is a new public private campaign, led by Metro Nashville and the Cumberland River Compact, to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050!

Nashville is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth – with a 45% increase in population between 2000 and 2017. This growth has led to a loss of trees throughout the county. Trees not only keep Nashville beautiful, but are a key part of our city’s critical infrastructure. As we grow, we must preserve our existing trees and plant new ones to maintain the green and healthy city we love.

You can help by signing up for their newsletter, registering your newly planted trees, donating so more trees can be bought, and requesting a tree for your organization! Check out more at https://rootnashville.org/

GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

We strongly encourage you to vote in the upcoming election. ​​

One resource is the non partisan Nashville Voter Guide.

If you are interested in learning more about Anne Davis's talking points on the Governor's race and the Core54, please see this resource.

Zero-Waste for Local Businesses

Is your local business interested in becoming zero waste? Join the Zero Waste Meetup to discuss challenges to reaching zero waste and tapping into our collective resources to eliminate these barriers. For more information contact Leah Sherry or Ryan Bailey.

Congratulations to the USGBC TN 2018 Leadership Award Winners!

  • Innovative Design, New Construction: Lee Company Corporate Headquarters, LEED Silver. For pushing the envelope of green design in a LEED for New Construction project.

  • Tennessee Environments: Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, LEED Gold. For a LEED project dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee’s landscape and climate

  • Community Champion: Metro Nashville Public Schools. For pursuing LEED certifications in support of USGBC’s vision of green buildings for all

  • Exceptional Leadership: Crosstown Concourse, LEED Platinum. For demonstrating high levels of leadership in all facets of sustainable design.

  • Green Leader, Organization: green|spaces. For their ongoing support of USGBC’s mission in Tennessee.

  • Green Leader, Volunteer: Krissy Buck Flickinger, Looney Ricks Kiss; Cory Duggin, TLC Engineering. For their ongoing support of USGBC’s mission in Tennessee.

Go Green With Us

Sustainability efforts at Tennessee State Parks are as diverse as the Tennessee landscape - from recycling paper in park offices and installing energy efficient LED lighting to creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines at the golf courses.

Since 2015 when the Go Green With Us Program began, state parks have seen increased their environmental stewardship while reducing their carbon footprint. Many campgrounds are now trash-can-free and are served by conveniently located dumpsters and recycling bins. Some restaurants are composting food scrap waste and some have kitchen gardens, providing fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables to the kitchen.

How does your favorite park stand up?

Become a Citizen Urban Forester!

The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and Cheekwood Estate and Gardens are hosting a workshop for citizens interested in urban forestry on Thursday September 13, 2018. This training workshop will include an introduction to urban forestry, why trees are important to Tennessee Communities, tree identification, tree installation, Emerald Ash Borer, and proper tree pruning.

Learn more and register here!

Scooter Safety!

Walk Bike Nashville is partnering with Lime to host a free Scooter Safety class! Learn about sharing the bike lanes and understanding how to scoot legally and safely around town. Also, you'll receive a $20 Lime credit for attending! Sign up here!

Saturday September 22, 9:30am - 10:45am

Threads Fashion Show featuring Biophilia

The upcoming Threads Fashion Show on August 23 2018 will feature works inspired by biophilia.

Teams will design and construct a haute couture garment using materials provided by one Manufacturer Industry Partner influenced by a randomly selected subtheme of Biophilia/Biophilic Design.

The judging criteria will be focused on use of material, the subtheme, craftsmanship, and showmanship. The final garment should contain 75% of the product provided by the Manufacturer Industry Partner.

A Silent Auction will be held benefitting the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) as well.

Tickets and more info

Congratulations to the 2018 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award Winners!

Winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony to be held in Franklin on July 9, 2018. The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation. There were 9 categories this year.

  • Bells Bend Conservation Corridor - Land Use

  • Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum - Materials Management

  • Hytch - Clean Air

  • Whites Creek High School - Environmental Education and Outreach (schools)

  • Knoxville Partnerships for Low-Income Weatherization - Environmental Education and Outreach

  • General Motors of Spring Hill - Sustainable Performance

  • Montgomery County Energy Upgrades - Energy and Renewable Resources

  • Window Cliffs State Natural Area - Natural Heritage

  • Crosstown Concourse - Building Green

6 additional entities will be announced with the Pursuit of Excellence Award and the Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award.

Urban Green Lab & Partners Launch Statewide Curriculum to Inspire Sustainable Living, Prevent Waste in Cities

Urban Green Lab has partnered with Vanderbilt University, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and the Tennessee DCepartment of Environment and Conservation to train 30 metro teachers in this brand new "Sustainable Classrooms" curriculum! Learn more from the press release!

The Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation (TennGreen), in partnership with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), announced the perpetual protection of Dry Creek Headwaters—a 582-acre property in the Mid-Cumberland Wilderness Conservation Corridor of Scott’s Gulf.

“The highly resilient Dry Creek Headwaters property is an invaluable natural stronghold and will facilitate adaptation by wildlife and humans to climate change as the planets warms,” said Peter Howell, Executive Vice President of OSI. “OSI is proud to support projects on the Southern Cumberland Plateau that demonstrate the importance of land conservation in protecting places that will endure indefinitely. We congratulate the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation on their dogged determination to see this land protected.”

Learn more from the press release here!

Success for Conservation in Scott's Gulf

TDEC Announces Inaugural Food Waste Initiative Participants

Get Food Smart TN is a new statewide initiative aimed at reducing food waste. The mission is to promote using food wisely and enhancing the sustainability of Tennessee's food resources. Check out the press release.

If you know a school, restaurant, government, nonprofit, grocer, or industry/agriculture entity that would like to participate, direct them to here!

New Park Addition in Nashville!

Metro Nashville Parks and Friends of Warner Parks recently opened a 250 acre addition to Edwin Warner Park known as the Burch Reserve. An additional 3 miles of primitive trails have been added with a higher level of protection than other trails -- bikers, runners, and dogs are not permitted. Be sure to check out this new preserved land!

Support Greenways for Nashville at SuperCoolFunFest!

Tickets are now on sale for the annual SuperCoolFunFest, a 90's themed charity festival in Cumberland Park. This year, proceeds will benefit Greenways for Nashville! There will be a 90's party zone along with food trucks, beer, and live music from My So Called Band!

Help create a new park in Hendersonville! DEADLINE JULY 1

The City of Hendersonville and local nonprofit Friends of Indian Lake Peninsula are working together to protect 73 acres of open space for the purpose of creating a community park. They are just a bit shy of their $1 million dollar goal that they need.

Find out more about the project here!

Benefit TN State Parks!

Love brunch? Love Tennessee State Parks? Brunch at Bicentennial is a unique brunch experience at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in the heart of downtown Nashville. 

Guests will enjoy an assortment of brunch food + drinks (including a Mimosa bar, a Bloody Mary bar and our very own State Park Blonde Ale), music, a live auction with exclusive park items + experiences, special park guests (and free parking!) Proceeds go to support the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to make Tennessee State Parks even better by raising money for educational programs, health initiatives and special park projects that preserve, protect and enhance the 56 state parks across Tennessee.