Celebrating Earth Day 2024

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Every day is Earth Day for the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) but that doesn’t mean we don’t participate in the nationally dedicated Earth Day efforts.

We began our participation on Friday, April 19 with a tree planting in the College Hill area of Cedar Falls, IA. 

Tammy Turner Memorial Tree Planting on College Hill

man and woman in work clothes and shovels planting trees
Jennifer Wittenburg and Joe Bolick

The College Hill tree planting brought together so many organizations and community members in memory of our friend Tammy Turner. Tammy was a long-time environmental advocate in the Cedar Valley and worked with the IWRC during her time as an environmental educator as well as with the Iowa Waste Exchange. Tammy passed away in February and 25 trees were planted in her honor.

On Saturday, April 20, we divided and conquered two separate events across the state of Iowa. 

SingleSpeed River Clean Up blue poster on white brick wall with entrance doors to the left and bicycle icons on doors

As part of our Iowa Green Brewery Certification Program, we have the pleasure of developing strong relationships with breweries across the state of Iowa. We were honored to partner with SingleSpeed Brewing's Des Moines location to do a river cleanup and enjoy a fresh craft brew as a thank you to all volunteers. As a result of this event, over 150 pounds of trash was picked up from the banks of the Des Moines River just behind the brewery. As an added bonus, SingleSpeed donated $1 from each Whirled Wide Haze sold over the weekend (April 20-22) to the IWRC to continue our work helping Iowa's environment.

Celebrate Earth Day at the Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation in Central City

This was the second consecutive year that our Environmental Specialist Jason Clay was invited to participate in the Earth Day at the Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation in Central City event. Jason joined over a dozen education and conservation organizations in this family friendly event organized by the Hawkeye Area Council – Boy Scouts of America. The event was free, open to the public and included hands-on activities and conservation education with a focus on conservation, the environment and sustainability.

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From Farm to Kitchen: The Environmental Impacts of U.S. Food Waste

With over one-third of food produced in the United States wasted and food waste being the most common material landfilled (24%) or incinerated (22%), Jason hosted a station where attendees could learn more about reducing and recycling food waste through composting and vermicomposting.

Participants learned how they can turn food scraps and yard waste into an excellent soil amendment that improves soil structure, reduces our reliance on fertilizers, sequesters carbon in the soil, reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and can help improve water quality. 

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Quantifying Methane Emissions from Landfilled Food Waste

Attendees also had the opportunity to explore Jason’s vermicomposting bin, learn more about composting worms and even get their hands dirty sifting their own worm castings to take home.

young man holding dirt and worms in his hand to three young children
Jason Clay showing children how to find worm cocoons

A special thanks goes out to all the dedicated volunteers of the Hawkeye Area Council Conservation Committee – Boy Scouts of America for all their work organizing such a great Earth Day celebration!

That’s A Wrap

With another Earth Day in the books, it reminds us just how important both community and business play a role in protecting and enhancing our environment for generations to come.