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Hit the Trail

Hit the Trail

What would you expect a four-and-three-quarter-year-old to say at the end of a four-and-a-half-mile hike that she just finished using her own two feet? “What a wonderful day,” Sofi announced when we walked past the old Tavern (that I was wishing was still a tavern) at Great Falls National Park.

Prince George's County Fire Department Appears in "101 Gadgets That Changed The World" Premiere

Prince George's County Fire Department Appears in "101 Gadgets That Changed The World" Premiere

 

Earlier this year the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department was asked to be part of an upcoming cable TV show.  The Fire/EMS Department was selected from all other Departments throughout the Country to discuss two "gadgets" and how they have changed the life of firefighters and civilians since they were invented.

 

Heat Advisory for Prince George's County

Heat Advisory for Prince George's County

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Prince George’s County until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

A heat advisory means that a period of excessive temperatures is expected.  Because this is the first round of seasonal heat and bodies are not acclimated yet, heat exhaustion and heatstroke will be a bigger threat than they would be later in the summer. The Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security recommends the following tips:

Earth Day: Safely Dispose of Techno Gadgets

Earth Day: Safely Dispose of Techno Gadgets

I am a Nerd Chick, but first and foremost I define myself by one word: Mommy. As a parent of young children, I can’t help but see the world through their eyes. My son celebrates the drive to the park, exclaiming “Look at all the TREES, Mommy! Mommy, there are TEN trees!” I love his pure joy with the world around him, and I would love to preserve that world for his generation and the generations to come. When I look around the house and see the bevy of old techno gadgets, batteries, ink cartridges and electronic toys the kids have outgrown, I wonder: is there a safe way to dispose of these things? We can all help our community by donating, recycling and/or safely disposing of old techno gadgets. Let’s help save the world this Earth Day, one monitor at a time!

Your first stop should be the EPA website  for an extensive list of companies that offer take backs, mail-in or even trade-in incentive programs for your e-waste products. For example, Office Depot applies a $2 cash award to your rewards card for each printer ink cartridge you turn in, and Sprint has a “Buy Back” program that gives Sprint customers an account credit for returning eligible Sprint or Nextel model of phones. There are also links to where to recycle any electronic device, like computers, printers, televisions and monitors.

If you’re not sure if you should sell or donate the gadget you’re ready to replace, enter the make and model number at www.ecosquid.com. After answering a few quick questions about the shape it’s in and the parts you have for it, you’ll be provided with a list of options for selling or recycling in your area. The account you create is free, and you can earn points for reselling or recycling your tech that you can use in their gadget store.

Would you like to do something for the environment AND help our servicemen and women? The “Cell Phones for Soldiers” program turns old cell phones into prepaid calling cards for U.S troops stationed overseas. Cards are given to the soldiers’ families to stay in touch with their loved-ones in the field. You can donate any cell phone by visiting http://cellphonesforsoldiers.com and clicking on “Donate a Phone” to get a pre-paid mailing label, or find local drop sites in your area. Before donating your used cell phone, just make sure that your personal data has been removed. Security experts recommend that you first log out of all internet-based remote accounts the phone is linked to, then “factory reset” your handset before passing it on. If you’re not transferring the SIM card to another handset, you’ll want to step on it, crush it or chop it up with scissors.

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to recycle and donate to help others in your community, you can donate locally to charities like the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Many are considered e-waste certified, so they can properly dispose of any gadgets deemed un-sellable. Proceeds from working gadgets you donate help families in need in your local community, and any donations you make are tax-deductible. Go to www.salvationarmy.org and follow the locations link on the left side of the page, or http://locator.goodwill.org/ to locate a drop-off center near you.

Lastly, one of the best tech-savvy ways to help the environment is to consider waiting before you run out and buy that new gadget. I know, I know, it’s hard to pass up the shiny new toy (even harder to convince the kids to!), but holding out for the second, or even third, round of a product gives the manufacturer time to work out any development kinks. Buying later can save you money as most manufacturers will lower the price on the first generation gadget when they release a new version. The old saying, “patience is a virtue” can reduce electronic waste and save you a bit of cash too!

Do you have a tech-savvy way you’re helping to preserve the environment this Earth Day? We’d love to hear about it. Send us a note on Facebook (facebook.com/nerdsoncall) or email us at nerdchick@callnerds.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

5 Tips for Greening the Closet

5 Tips for Greening the Closet

With Earth Day just around the corner, it is a good time to think about greening the home. One place that most people overlook when trying to make environmentally friendly choices is the closet. While it may be tucked way and largely out of site, the closet can play an important role in creating an environmentally friendly home. Greening the closet is not only important, but is actually quite easy!

“Our closets hold so much of who we are, from the clothes we wear on a daily basis to the special vintage items we want to preserve,” says Fred Silber of Creative Organization, a New Jersey-based company that has created a line of sustainable, eco-friendly closet organizing products. “Because they tend to hold so much, and such a variety of things, it is important to make sure that it is an area of the home that is not overlooked when trying to live in an environmentally friendly way.”

Here are five tips to keep in mind when greening the closet:

Vigilance Must Remain High in Prince George's County

Prince George’s County has certainly suffered through a rough start in the beginning of 2011 as 13 people have been killed in 13 days.  The interim Prince George’s County Police Chief, Mark Magaw, has implored to residents, “These homicides do not appear to be random acts, I expect this cycle of violence to be stopped.”    

He also stated that most of the crimes have been drug-related because of some of the victims’ criminal past.  So far Oxon Hill,surrounding areas Fort Washington, Temple Hills and Suitland, have suffered five of the 13 killings.  Even with that said, it is still important that residents do not let their guard down and continue to practice fundamental safety precautions.  Here are a list of some important tips that can help you keep yourself and your family safe.

Saturday: Paint Branch Trash Cleanup

Surfrider Foundation and the Anacostia Watershed Society are teaming up this weekend to clean up Paint Branch. Join us on Saturday, November 20, from 10 am to 1 pm. Please sign up for the Paint Branch event prior.

Paint Branch flows through Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. In 1974, Paint Branch was designated as Natural Trout Waters by the state of Maryland, and the stream supports a population of Brown Trout. This cleanup will help protect this fragile habitat, and stop the trash from flowing downstream.

Meet in the Acredale Park parking lot (first lot on the left after you turn onto Metzerott Rd from Route 1). Dress for cold weather and mud (long pants, sturdy shoes, etc). Cleanup supplies and snacks provided.