Category Archives: Our Natural World

skiing-winter-snow-ski

What will covid restrictions look like for top VT ski resorts this winter?

By Mazzy Ricklefs

Ski season is right around the corner and many are curious what it will require to be out on the slopes safely this year. How will it compare to last year? According to CVU students and the Burlington Free Press, these are the top resorts in Vermont and some of the requirements needed to enjoy your time. 

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Sugarbush Resort 

 Sugarbush is definitely a favorite of many in and out of state skiers. According to the Burlington Free Press, Spokesman John Bleh says Sugarbush plans on not having any restrictions outdoors, but if things drastically change the resort will follow local guidelines. “If the town of Warren decided to reinstate masks, we would as well,” Bleh said. As far as being indoors, masks are recommended and required for unvaccinated staff. Sugarbush’s owner, Alterra Mountain Company, is considering more aggressive measures but hasn’t made any final decisions. 

 

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Smuggler’s Notch Resort 

Smugg’s will be similar to Sugarbush this year, in the sense that the ski area will be pretty open and flexible. As far as indoors, masks will be required rather than just recommended, even if you are vaccinated. “Now that we’re going into the ski season, it’s an outdoor sport so naturally people are wearing goggles and masks,” Spokeswoman Stephanie Gorin said. “We’re not requiring masks on the lifts, but most people wear them.”

 

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Jay Peak Resort 

Jay Peak plans to follow any mandate the State of Vermont issues concerning masking and distancing. Jay Peak will not be limiting the number of tickets sold, according to Toland. Spokesman J.J. Toland states that, “One of the advantages we have up here is that we are so far up here,we don’t see the crowds that some of the southern resorts get and those that do make the trip (to Jay Peak) take comfort in that fact. The short of it, we expect to have a great winter.”

As far as places like Killington Resort and Bolton Valley Resort, they are still deciding what their COVID-19 protocols will be for this year. Last year, Bolton followed all guidance from the State of Vermont, CDC and OSHA so it is assumed that will most likely be the case this year as well. 

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COP 26 Leads the Climate Concern Conversation

by Vivie Babbott

Are you concerned about our climate? Starting on October 31st and continuing through November 12th, over 100 world leaders are attending the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 26. This year the conference is being held at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. The purpose of this assembly is to assess the world’s progress towards the 2015 Paris Agreement, and for world leaders to agree upon coordinated action to combat climate change.

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(Photo courtesy of Reuters.com)

Though most countries will be represented in one way or another, Chinese president Xi Jinping, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, and Russian president Vladmir Putin will not be attending the conference. Along with these three key absences, presidents of  Mexico, South Africa, and Iran will also be missing COP 26. Queen Elizabeth of Britain, who was originally attending, has pulled out of the meeting due to doctor’s orders to rest. She will continue to participate virtually.

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(Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)

COP 26 has already seen the start of climate successes so far. The European Commission President announced around 100 nations have signed a global pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% (as of 2020 levels) by 2030, which is expected to immediately slow climate change. In addition to this, the US, France, UK, Germany, and European Union have agreed to fund South Africa´s shift away from coal. This could pave the way for other developing countries, who contribute largely to pollution. The pledge to end deforestation by 2030 turned into solid budget commitments including the European Union, US, and UK. Their budgets are, respectively, $1.1 billion, $9 billion, and $2 billion (all in USD).

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) is a group which brings together the top 48 countries most at risk from climate change. CVF held a meeting at COP 26 on Tuesday, calling upon rich countries to assist in their transition to green economies. Ghana is one of the countries in CVF, and Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo stated ¨The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows Africa is warming faster than any continent in the world even though we are the least emitters.¨ One of the CVF´s request was 500 billion in climate finance between 2020 and 2024. Half of this for mitigation through reducing carbon emissions, and half for adapting to climate impacts.

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(Photo courtesy of https://panafricanvisions.com/)

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Why Are Horses Dying In The West?

 By Olivia O’Rourke -

Where there once was a natural pond, there is now barely a trickle of water surrounded by the carcasses of horses decomposing on the cracked dry earth. The drought in the western United States is the worst it’s been in 100’s of years. As a result, wild horses are suffering major casualties. To stop these deaths, saving these horses is not only the right thing to do, it is also a law and the Bureau of Land Management is doing what they can to save these horses. 

 According to Climate.gov, the drought in Arizona is the worst since the 1200’s. Other western states such as Nevada and Utah are also seeing record drought.In an interview with NPR radio, Lisa Reid from the Bureau of Land Management said she is working on finding homes for more than 6000 wild horses that are living in the desert and will soon die if they are not rehomed. To make sure these horses are sent to good homes and not just to be slaughtered, there is a $1000 incentive given one year after the adoption.

 People like Lisa Reid and Suzanne Roy are doing what they can to save these horses, but for every one saved there are more that are dying. They continue to work to save more horses. Their hope is that the majority end up at small stables in other parts of the country and avoid being slaughtered.

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The Sweet Story of Maple Syrup

by Méline Palkovic

Shelburne, VT – You may know that Vermont is famous for its maple syrup, but do you know how it is made ? With what ? How long does it take ? How many trees are used ? As someone who has only lived in Vermont for a short time and is interested in the subject, I have been looking into the matter and have done some research. I live in Shelburne, so I decided to start my investigation locally. 

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The Palmer’s Sugarhouse has been maple sugaring for over 50 years. It started with their grandmother who ran out of sugar to cook with during the World War ll. She decided to tap a tree and get some sap and then she became the first woman maple-maker in Vermont to be inducted into the Maple Hall of Fame. 

At first it was a necessity, then it became a hobby, then it gradually grew and now there are snow parties where you can find all the maple and sugar served on snow. 

In the United States, Vermont is the state that produces the most maple syrup, in 2020 more than 2 million gallons of syrup was produced(about 50% of the country’s production). There are about 1,500 sugar shacks in Vermont.

The maple syrup production process begins in February. First, the trees must be tapped, which involves inserting a spout into the tree with a hammer or drill. Then, when the weather becomes warm enough(above freezing [32 Fahrenheit, 0 Celsius] during the day and below freezing in the evening), usually between March and April, the sap begins to flow. Afterwards, the sap is transported by tubing or collected in buckets to the sugar factory and arrives in tanks.   

Type of spout:

 

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Tanks:

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Then the sap is boiled using an evaporator. The sap is mostly water(about 95% of water), it is clear when it comes out of the tree and once it is boiled, that is where the inverted sugars are obtained. One tap yields about 10 gallons of sap and it takes 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. This is why maple syrup is very expensive because most of the sap has to be boiled down to water and the rest is sugar and it takes hours and hours to boil the sap into maple syrup.

At the beginning of the season, the sap is at first the lightest, which is called delicate flavor, then it gradually becomes darker, until it becomes robust, which is the more flavorful. These changes are due to the gradual warming during the spring. As the temperature rises, the sap becomes darker(this evolution is produced by a chemical change in the composition of sugars and other elements).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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-Golden, delicate taste                                                                    

-Amber, rich taste

-Dark, robust taste

-Very dark, strong taste   

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Maple syrup candy:

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What’s really useful about maple syrup is that you change the temperature when you cook it at and you get a lot of different products without adding anything. Like maple cream that goes on donuts, cookies and toast, candy (“caramel”) and maple sugar that is good on granola and coffee. All of these can be achieved just by changing the cooking temperature.                                                                    

Maple syrup is also good because it has a low glycemic level, which is better for people who have problems with sugars like diabetes. It’s versatile, you can cook with it instead of cane sugar, you can put it in a balsamic maple sauce for a salad, you can use it on salmon as a marinade; there are many things you can do with it.

The maples are trees of the family Sapindaceae. They can grow from 10 to 45 meters in height. There are more than a hundred different maple trees in the world. The three main trees used to produce maple syrup are the sugar maple, the black maple and the red maple. To produce maple syrup, it is necessary to wait until the maple tree is generally 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter. A sugar maple can live about 400 years. Maple syrup producers use trees in the wild but some plant their own trees. 

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This maple is 5 years old. We have to wait another 25 years before we can tap it. 

Finally, if no one in your family is a sugar maker but you want to become one (whether it’s for hobby, for you and your family, or if you want to start a business), just go to any hardware store for the supplies you don’t have and if you don’t know how to do it ask some sugar maker friends or look on the internet. Many hobbyists are tapping their own trees in their backyard. Anyone can really become a sugar maker!

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Ski Mountains around VT: Where are YOU skiing this year?

By- Mia Kenney

Looking for a place to ski and snowboard?  Vermont has a lot of mountains to choose from. Here is a list of 5 more popular ski resorts and some facts about each, including cost, how many lifts, kinds of lifts, and some of the things that draw people to these mountains. Hopefully this helps you and your family decide where you might want to go skiing or snowboarding this season! 

Cochran’s

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https://skimap.org/data/207/66/1453225164.jpg 

Cochran’s is a non-profit organization. That is one of the reasons people are so drawn to it even though it is a small mountain with only 1 t-bar, a rope tow and a “mighty-mite” A season pass there is about $206.70. Cochran’s has about 8 trails with all different levels. Cochran’s is not a resort so there is no staying there but they do have a lodge where you can take breaks and warm up. Cochran’s is all about family so they love doing things like Friday night dinners, not I’m not sure if they are doing it this year because of Covid, but this is something that they have been doing for years. 

Smugglers’ Notch

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https://www.smuggs.com/pages/winter/skiride/trail-map.php 

A season pass at Smuggs is about $419. Something that draws people to Smuggs is that they technically have 3 mountains. Smuggs also has the fun zone which is an indoor play area with bouncy houses and games. Smuggs is a resort, so they have condos that people can rent. There are 8 chair lifts with about 78 trails. Their hours are different for different lifts, most lifts open at 9am but some open at 8:30. 

Jay Peak

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https://jaypeakresort.com/skiing-riding/snow-report-maps/trail-map 

A season pass at Jay Peak is about $669. Their hours are 9am till 4pm. Opening day is estimated to be November 24th. Something that draws people there is that the Jay Peak water park along with the hotel is at the bottom of the ski mountain, so people can finish skiing and go to the water park. There are 9 chair lifts and about 78 trails. The trails are all different, some with moguls, some glades, and some groomed. They also have a variety of trail levels, for example they have easier trails for less advanced skiers and they have harder trails for people that are more advanced. 

Bolton Valley

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https://www.boltonvalley.com/winter/trail-maps-snow-reports/trail-maps/ 

A season pass for one adult at Bolton is about $846.94. Bolton has both Backcountry skiing and Nordic skiing, and they also are very accepting of snowboarders. Bolton currently has six lifts and 64 trails that can be accessed by the lifts. Bolton does have a ski lodge; it is a little on the smaller side and because of covid, you can’t be in the lodge for very long… but at least there is a lodge! Bolton is also a resort, so they have a hotel which draws a lot of people there. Bolton’s lifts are chair lifts so they are easy to get on and off of and they are accessible to everyone. Bolton’s hours are 9am till 10pm. Opening day is November 26th.

Stowe

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https://www.stowe.com/-/media/stowe/files/maps/stowe_winter2122_map.ashx 

A season pass at Stowe is about $1024.00 but they do have sales, so they can be a little cheaper. It also depends on when you want to buy them; if you buy them super in advance they will be cheaper than if you buy them in November or even October. Stowe is also a resort, so they have hotels you can stay in. Stowe has 12 lifts and 116 trails. Their opening day is November 19th. Their hours are 8am till 4pm. Stowe also has both chair lifts and they have gondolas.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/18279541619

Not as organic as you think

By Ethan Cook

Small farmers in Vermont have taken a hit during the COVID pandemic, and they are about to be hit even more. In August of 2022, Horizon Organic is ending contracts with nearly 90 farms based out of the Northeast. This is because factory farms, which have been manipulating their “organic” label, are taking lots of business from them. However, New York senator Charles Schumer hopes to give them an edge against the bigger farming corporations.

Factory farms have gotten away with swapping animals in and out of organic environments, giving them the “organic” label on their products, and creating more of an appeal among the public. This strongly benefits the owners of these large scale farming companies, but we aren’t always getting exactly what we pay for.

A page on Jane’s Healthy Kitchen notes the prerequisites for a farm’s product to be considered organic. “Organic foods are required to ensure cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Livestock must have regular access to pasture without routine antibiotics or growth hormones. Products must follow strict production, handling and labeling standards, and go through a certification process. The standards look at many other factors such as soil quality, animal raising, pests and weed control. Synthetic fertilizers, human sewage sludge, irradiation, and GMO ingredients are not allowed.”

The problem is that the products we are buying from the grocery store are not always as “organic” as we think they are. Schumer says that these big farms are able to rotate their livestock in and out of organic management while keeping the “organic” label because of technicalities in the laws regarding organic dairy farming. This creates a disconnect between the general public and the people bringing them their food.

A press release stated several New England Senators, including Schumer, created a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, requesting him to approve the Origin of Livestock rule. This law would close the loophole for factory farms, and hopefully make family owned farms a much better looking alternative for local grocery stores to get their dairy, meat, and other farm products from.

From an article by Isabella Colello, “New York’s dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy and after years of being wrung dry by a system that disadvantages them, they’re now at the edge of an economic precipice,” Senator Schumer said in a press release. “For an industry that has razor-thin margins as it is and saw historic losses during the COVID crisis, for many family-owned organic dairy farms, losing their contracts with Horizon Organics will be the final pull on the rug under them.”

An article on Valley News says that “the number of dairy farms in Vermont has decreased by 37% in the past 10 years and by 69% in the past 24 years.” Farming, an industry that used to be a major source of income for Vermont and its people, has more than halved in the 21st century, showing the urbanization of both our land and our jobs of choice. Cancelling the contracts with small farmers only influences the decisions of our younger generations, and makes the lives of current farmers that much harder.

Vermont’s small farms have become much more of a novelty and less of a provider for food, animal products, and income in the last few years. Much of these are produced by large farms owned by corporations, and these are pushing the picturesque Vermont farmers out of business.

To pour salt on the wound, factory farms, which are thriving off of the deals they have with food distributors, aren’t being completely honest about the way they take care of their animals. The farmers that are dominating the profession, or rather, majority shareholding corporations, are lying about the state of their livestock, yet they continue to stay on top. Hopefully, Schumer and other senators will be able to take this option away from them and benefit small farmers substantially.

CVU Goats

C3 Enact Club profile

Meline Palkovic

At CVU, the clubs that take place during C3 offer many opportunities for students to have fun, learn, rest or just go outside and breathe fresh air.                                                                                                         

In the EnACT Club led by Katie Antos-Ketchum, students learn about environmental issues but also go outside to see the animals in order to become aware of and connect with nature.

“WE ARE FACING THE HARD TRUTHS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND TAKING ACTIONS AGAINST IT. WE CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AND WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THROUGH ADVOCACY, ACTION AND EDUCATION. IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU AND YOU WANT TO BE AROUND PEOPLE WHO FEEL THE SAME, JOIN OUR CLUB TODAY!” follow us @ENACTCVU

All original photos by Meline Palkovic
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CVU’s Top Three Swimming Spots!

Brennan Murdock, Fri, June 4, 2021.

Wondering where to cool off this summer while still staying local? CVU has you covered! I sent out a school wide survey to find out where CVU students enjoy swimming the most. I’m here to bring you the results in the form of a top three.

Bristol Falls

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Coming in the number one spot by a large lead was Bristol Falls. This lovely location features waterfalls, swimming holes, and cliff jumping spots. Just be careful if you try the latter!

 

North Beach

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The number two spot was left in a tie between Lake Iroquois and North Beach in Burlington on Lake Champlain. These locations are quite different, so choose one according to the types of beaches you prefer. North Beach is a typical sandy public beach that features a playground, benches, grills, showers, and restrooms. If that’s your thing, then this is the place for you.

Lake Iroquois, on the other hand, is a small, pristine, tributary and spring-fed lake set in the hills of mid-Chittenden County. It is a quiet and calm getaway in the countryside if that’s more of your thing.

Lake Iroquois iroqouis

 

Warren Falls warren

Lastly, in third place was Warren Falls. Located on the Mad River in Warren Vermont, it features several cliff jumping spots and swimming holes. Warren Falls is a nice alternative to Bristol Falls. Once again, be careful when cliff jumping, but most importantly, have fun!

 

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Ghost Coral 

Kaylee Eaton

Coral reefs are turning  ghostly white, causing that area to become lifeless and barren.

 Coral reefs are home to thousands of species, but half the world’s coral reefs are dying due to bleaching and without the coral, many of the tropical fish species will go extinct. 

Unfortunately, most bleaching happens due to climate change, meaning if the water temperature gets cold and doesn’t warm up fast enough the coral will die.  But as people we can’t just cut everything that gives off carbon emissions because the world relies on businesses and technology which causes mass amounts of carbon pollution. 

Scientists have found other ways to revive the dying reefs. One scientist by the name of DR David Vaughan found that cutting the coral in small pieces will grow faster and he has been using that technique in his coral farm/nurseries. 

Unfortunately, according to Frank Mars, he has found that many farms aren’t paying attention to where they relocate the new coral to because coral farms can’t be built where there has never been a reef and resilient coral can’t be grown on floating nurseries which are located on the ocean’s surface. 

Mars Coral Restoration Foundation  came up with a better idea by focusing on physically restoring the reefs that have been killed. Mars coral foundation installed more that 8,000 “spiders” which cover more than 8000 sq ft of the ocean floor in Indonesia. Spiders are cages which are helping regrow coral by providing a structure for the coral to properly re-grow on. 

A Biologist by the name of DR Tom Goreau  has put to use the biorock structure as a way to restore coral. Biorock structures are a metal frame with coral on it that is electrocuted with low voltage to stimulate the new growth.  According to a study done by Thomas J. Goreau shows that coral will grow 3-4 times faster and have higher rates of survival when biorock structures are used. 

This is an international issue; 16% of the world’s tropical reefs died in 1998 And 70% of the earth’s coral was damaged in 2016. Many have ignored this global issue but if this continuous, by 2050 it’s estimated that 90% of the coral reefs in the world will be gone.  

If the coral reefs die, costliness  will be damaged more due to flooding, hurricanes, and cyclones. And many fishermen will suffer from lack of their only income because of the lack of fish and coastal towns will suffer from lack of tourism the coral reefs would have brought in. 

Image courtesy of Wall Street Journal

Stand Up for the Lake

Racers at the 2020 SUFTL
Racers at the 2020 SUFTL

By: Phoebe Henderson, June 1st 2021

BURLINGTON, VT– In early August 2021 (the specific date has not been decided yet), the 13th annual Stand up for the Lake event will take place at the Burlington Surf Club, hosted by the team of Wnd & Wvs, Hula, The Spot and The Spot on the Dock. This event will be filled with activities and celebrations on the waterfront. 

I spoke to Jeff Henderson, creative director and team member of Wnd&Wvs and Hula, about the event and what’s expected for this year:

“Stand up for the Lake is a paddle board race with probably around a few hundred competitors. There are two races: a six-mile race for the elite athletes and a three-mile recreational race. Basically, there’s a course on Lake Champlain and you start on the beach and then you ride the course and race on a 14-foot paddle board against men and women who also like to paddle race. It’s a day filled not only with the race but a fun party. There’s usually food trucks and it’s really a great place for the stand-up paddle community to get together and have a fun time.”

 

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How will the event look compared to last year’s?

“This will be the first year after a lot of the Covid restrictions, so we’re hoping to get even more people because we’re not limited to I think it was 150 last year, there will be no limit and there will definitely be loosened mask requirements. I think a lot of people with their mentality will be a lot more joyous that they’re out on the lake and you know feel like they’ve gotten their lives a little bit back to normal, so I think it’s going to be a really fun event this year after what we went through last year.”

What can people do to be involved?

“Really the event is mostly about community and not so much the competition, although it does get very competitive. We normally have a cash prize of $3,000 that goes out to the top five winners of the race. We have a great community in Burlington, a lot of people that either work with the event or just friends who are just big fans of what we’re doing, they often want to help out with the event. Originally the event was a fundraiser for the Burlington Sailing Center, but for the last five years it hasn’t been. There are also opportunities to sort of come and be at the event on a sponsor level if you want to kind of showcase your (usually water sport-related) business or product, people can come and set up tents and usually those folks also offer prizes or goodie bags that type of thing for the racers. There’s lots of opportunities to be a part of the event even if you’re not into stand up paddling.”

Who organizes it?

“Primarily, Stand Up for the Lake was started I think even before Wnd and Wvs started, and it was just a group of people that like to paddle. But stand up paddle is a sport and our team wanted to basically have a party and get some friends together and have some light competition. Then Wnd and Wvs really took it over. Now it’s become part of a bigger sort of community with the Hula project down on the waterfront and the Burlington Surf Club as well as Wnd and Wvs and you know we’re just trying to make it bigger and better every year.”

Learn what it takes to become a stand up paddle board racer, or stop by to watch and experience the amazing facilities that Burlington Surf Club has to offer! 

Link to Burlington Surf Club: http://www.burlingtonsurfclub.com/

Sample schedule of SUFTL events from 2020: https://www.standupforthelake.com/

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How Hannaford is Handling Food Waste

By Shayne Waite

Hannaford, one of the Eastern Regional Food Chains, is doing its part in reducing food waste.

Thousands of people shop at Hannaford daily, but almost 40% of the food on the shelf never gets sold, leading to it going into the landfill. Here in Vermont, it is more regulated than other states due to our very progressive composting law. 

During a WCAX interview with George Parmenter, sustainability manager at a Hannaford based in Maine, said, “When food gets wasted, it typically goes to a landfill. Not so much in Vermont because you guys have very progressive laws about food waste bans, but most everywhere else… it ends up in a landfill.” Parmenter continued, “last year Hannaford achieved its goal of sending no food waste to landfills, and that includes all of its 183 stores in New England and New York. Hannaford says the zero food waste program kept 65 million pounds of food waste from reaching landfills last year.”

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How this works is through inventory management and pulling food that is clearly out of date or isn’t going to sell.  Over 10,000 pounds of food cannot be sold, but it still can be eaten, which gets donated to food banks across the state to feed people in need. According to State officials, most, if not all, grocery stores are sorting food waste because it’s the law.  Brian Phelps, the Produce Manager at Hannaford in Williston, says all produce that goes bad or is damaged goes into the compost bin and none of it goes into the landfill.

People should be encouraged by local stores to do their part in making sure no food gets to a landfill and also do it in their own home by composting as well.

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Can Hiking Help Your Mental Health?

By:Katrina Kajenski 5/4/2021

Hinesburg-This pandemic has taken a toll on student’s mental health. Without sports, and an overall lack of access to exercise, student’s mental health has certainly suffered. Studies from the Primary Care Companion Journal, show that lack of exercise can decrease mental help substantially. A senior from CVU in Hinesburg Vermont, Charlotte Couperthwait is a mental health advocate from Bring Change to Mind Club, and a two-varsity-sport-athlete. I spoke to her on May 4th about how mental health and exercise/sports correlate. 

When asked about how the pandemic has affected her mental health, Charlotte said that, “Covid definitely took a toll on my mental health. My anxiety was heightened dramatically and it was really hard to handle sometimes.” One strategy she recommended to the CVU community that helped her was to go outside on a hike with her family. In correlation with exercise and mental health, she said that “exercise can help. For me, it makes me feel productive and puts me in a growth mindset which I think is eneficial for mental health.” One thing she also wanted to share with CVU is to recognize that, “everyone is struggling right now, especially with the pandemic going on, but really try and focus on yourself and make sure you are doing stuff you enjoy. Look at the little things that make you feel better and try and do it more frequently.”

A study done by the Primary Care Companion Journal of Clinical Psychiatry claims that just a short walk can affect brain function. The study states that, “thirty minutes of walking can reduce anxiety, depression, and negative moods… This is done by improving self-esteem and cognitive functions.” Covid-19 has put many students into a “slump” and a great way to get over that hump is to start going outside. Listed below are some places in each town where you can go on a hike or a bike path. See you outside, CVU!

Willison: Williston Community Park/Cross VT Trail Location

Hinesburg: Geprags Community Park Location

Shelburne: Shelburne Bay Park  Location

Charlotte: Mt. Philo State Park Location

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Redhawks Go Green!

Abby Niquette, Hazel Civalier, Maddie Connery

An adaptation of EnACT’s Stall News Publication

 

Join in on a Green-Up, Win a Prize!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 1st to join Vermont’s annual clean-up! Green Up Day is a great chance to clean up trash in your community with family and friends. If you are interested in helping, you can get green-up bags at specified locations throughout the CVU school district. The Environmental Action Club has some amazing prizes for participants who upload photos to Instagram stories and tag @enactcvu or share with kantosketcham@cvsdvt.org. Learn more at greenupvermont.org or contact Ruby Opton, Ava Rohrbaugh, or Olivia Brand!

 

Earth-Friendly Tips for the CVU Community

  1. Vegetarian/Meatless Mondays: Try to eat only plant-based foods one day a week!
  2. Transportation Challenge: Pick a distance (eg. 2 miles) and challenge yourself to use alternative modes of transportation, such as walking or biking, for any travel of that distance or less. 
  3. Sustainable Fashion - Check out these local second-hand stores: Hinesburg: Twice is Nice. Shelburne: Schip’s Treasure Resale Shop. Williston: Once upon a Child, Plato’s Closet, and Style Encore. Burlington: Dirt Chic, Old Gold, Downtown Threads, Replays, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Possibility Shop. 
  4. Grow Your Own: Try growing some of your own food in a backyard or community garden. Find local community gardens at https://vcgn.org/garden-directory/
  5. Legislative Activism: Advocate for environmental legislation like the Expansion of the VT Bottle Bill (see the top left article). 

Statewide Action in the Works

According to the VT Department of Environmental Conservation, “out of all the waste Vermont generates annually, only about 35% gets sent somewhere other than a landfill to be recycled, composted, or reused.” This April, in honor of Earth Day, consider taking action to reduce statewide waste. Check out the Green Up Vermont webpage and commit to picking up trash on May 1st. Last year, over 421 tons of trash were taken from our roadsides, giving incredible relief to the surrounding environment. Or take it a step further and spend few minutes writing a letter or email to one of our Senators asking them to move forward with the proposed bill H.175. This bill intends to expand on our current state Bottle Bill and “would increase recycling, create green jobs, and is another step forward in our work to reduce plastic pollution,” according to Vermont Conservation Voters. Additionally, consider encouraging your family and friends to do the same and take action for the environment this April. Help to keep the “Green” in Green Mountain State!

A Brief History of Earth Day

Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 22nd, 1970, through teach-ins and protests organized by thousands of colleges and universities. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, these actions sought to harness student activism to bring visibility to growing concerns about environmental degradation, including air and water quality in the US. Last year, at least one billion people in 192 countries celebrated the 50th Earth Day. Observances include Global Unity And Regeneration Gathering in Lanjaron, Spain, with environmental presentations and workshops; Earth Day Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan, which highlights sustainable businesses and environmental organizations; and Earth Expo in Johannesburg, South Africa, which includes educational forums on nutrition, fashion, technology, and sustainable entrepreneurship.  

Activism on Social Media to Get Involved With!

Want to help out from the couch? Consider taking a look at an account below! Environmental activism is often falsely stereotyped as judgy and inconsiderate, but there are many underrated influencers who offer a variety of tips on how to be more eco-friendly. Addressing the threat of climate change requires widespread awareness. Social media is a powerful tool for environmental activism, as it enables a vast array of environmental opportunities that are accessible to all! This earth day, it may be hard to see a bright future with the numerous challenges our world is facing, but the accounts below examine the many ways in which our biggest problems intertwine, while also offering simple yet powerful actions to be taken. Small steps are key. Take a second to look at one of the accounts below and discover just how empowering and interesting climate activism is!

Instagram:

  • @zerowastecutie
  • @climatediva
  • @greengirlleah
  • @queerbrownvegan
  • @intersectionalenvironmentalist

Twitter:

  • @greenpeace
  • @treehugger
  • @gretathunberg

Tiktok:

  • @solanathagreenfairy
  • @sustainablecherub