Archive for the ‘Environment’ CategoryMay 2, 2013
If you’re looking for a way to get healthier, a new program from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in partnership with Des Moines Water Works and several Iowa organizations, provides you resources and recognition for spending more time outdoors.
The Healthy & Happy Outdoors initiative, or H2O, connects you to Iowa’s natural resources and helps you enjoy an active lifestyle.
It’s easy to get started:
- Register online at www.iowadnr.gov/h2o.
- Get outside. Log your outdoor recreation activities on the H2O website.
- Need some recommendations? Find more than 1,600 recreation locations across the state in an interactive map (including Water Works Park and Maffitt Reservoir Park) along with suggestions for outdoor opportunities you might enjoy.
- Win prizes! Each activity you log counts as an entry for regular drawings of outdoor-themed prizes, with a first-year celebration of H2O at the Iowa State Fair in August 2013.
The DNR and the program’s partners aim to have 1,000 participants sign up for H2O in the first year, and 50,000 participants by 2016. Program partners include the Healthiest State Initiative, Des Moines Water Works, Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Tourism Office.
“Our goal is to help Iowans increase mental and physical health through outdoor recreation in Iowa’s natural spaces,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR Director.
The H2O website will continually grow with tips, healthy resources, additional activities and more. You can also help improve the map – if you visit a recreation area not shown on the map, just include it in your activity log and the H2O team will add it.
Des Moines Water Works is pleased to be a part of this exciting initiative. Get healthy and happy outdoors today!Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Healthy & Happy Outdoors, Healthy and Happy Outdoors, Iowa DNR Posted in Customers, Environment, Health, Parks April 25, 2013
Here’s an exciting opportunity for river enthusiasts! Plan to participate in Iowa Rivers Revival’s “Master River Steward Program” in the Des Moines/Raccoon River Watershed. This will be Iowa Rivers Revival’s second year offering this program. The eight week course, beginning May 14, will focus on riverine systems, including skills to paddle and navigate rivers, restore aquatic habitat, improve water quality, and understand policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.
The “Master River Steward Program” will build on a network of river experts in various partner agencies and organizations. It will help adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa’s rivers, so that current and future generations can enjoy these resources. Visit Iowa Rivers Revival’s website to view an outline of last year’s program: http://iowarivers.org/education/river-stewards/.
Registration Cost: Participants will pay a fee of $50 which will include program materials. Participants will be expected to attend each session and there will be “homework” assignments following each class – materials will be provided. Please register by April 30, 2013.
Feedback from 2012 Pilot Participants:
- “Great class, thoroughly enjoyed each and every session.”
- “Great leadership. Great resources/readings. Great speakers. Great group.”
- “Really enjoyed class. Had zero expectations coming in. Was surprised by the amount of river experience/Project AWARE tie in. Really enjoyed meeting such passionate people. Each week gave me something to think about and discuss with co-workers.”
- “This was a fantastic program. I came in with no expectations, but left every night excited to share what I learned with others… Thanks so much for putting this together. I will become active in the stewardship of rivers at a far greater level due to this program.”
For more information and to register, contact:
Rosalyn Lehman, Executive Director
Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72, Des Moines, IA 50301
Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) is Iowa’s only statewide river education and advocacy organization committed to protecting one of our most precious natural resources – our rivers and streams. Since 2007, IRR has been working to engage individuals, organizations, communities and our government leaders in river awareness, responsibility and enjoyment in an effort to improve and enhance the condition of Iowa’s waterways – ensuring a quality, safe and lasting resource for future generations.
The Center on Sustainable Communities, Des Moines Water Works, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Metro Waste Authority and MidAmerican Energy will honor six organizations with Environmental Impact Awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The awards program will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines.
The Environmental Impact Awards were established in 2011to recognize organizations and leaders who exemplify environmentally sustainable practices. The 2013 Award Winners are:
Built Environment (presented by Center on Sustainable Communities)
Business (presented by Greater Des Moines Partnership)
Civic (presented by Metro Waste Authority)
- Government Body: City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation
- Non-governmental Organization: Iowa Legal Aid
Two organizations will receive special recognition for excellence in water management and energy efficiency at the May 15 luncheon. These excellence awards are provided by Des Moines Water Works and MidAmerican Energy, respectively.
Tickets for the luncheon are $25 per person and registration is available online at www.icosc.com.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Environmental Impact Awards Posted in About Us, Conservation, Environment March 14, 2013
Des Moines Water Works is a sponsor for City of Des Moines’ 2013 Trash Bash on Friday, April 19. This year’s event is dedicated to improving Iowa’s waterways and water quality. Teams of volunteers will kick-off the event at Nollen Plaza, where DMWW will have an educational booth and the DSMH2O Mobile Water Station for visitors to fill up their reusable water bottles! Trash Bash volunteers will then set out to pick up trash in various locations around the city, including Water Works Park.
Last year, over 1,000 volunteers on 64 teams in 50 project locations removed over 24,000 pounds of litter, brush & recyclables as well as beautified our public lands, cleaned up storm damage, and cleared away invasive species in an effort to improve Iowa’s water quality and waterways. They even collected 37.7 pounds of cigarette butts.
Volunteers are needed for Iowa’s largest Earth Day volunteer event to continue these efforts! For more information, visit http://www.dmgov.org/Departments/Parks/Pages/TrashBash.aspx and sign up by March 29, 2013.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines Water Works Green Iniative, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Earth Day, Trash Bash Posted in Environment, Parks January 7, 2013
The Center on Sustainable Communities, Des Moines Water Works, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Metro Waste Authority and MidAmerican Energy will honor local organizations and leaders for their sustainability efforts in the Greater Des Moines area. Environmental Impact Award applications will be accepted through Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. To commemorate Earth Month, winners will be announced April 4.
Now in its third year, the Environmental Impact Awards were established to recognize organizations that exemplify environmentally sustainable practices. Awards will be given to businesses (large and small), civic organizations (governmental and non-governmental), and for the built environment (residential and commercial construction). Special honors will be given to an award winner for with the best water management practices and an award winner for the best energy efficiency practices. The award applications are available at www.desmoinesmetro.com/events. All interested parties are encouraged to apply.
Last year’s award winners were Sun Prairie Apartments, City of West Des Moines for the Historic City Hall Renovation in Valley Junction, Strategic America, Kum & Go, Des Moines Bicycle Collective and Pat Boddy. Their many sustainability initiatives are highlighted at http://www.mwatoday.com/initiatives/environmental_impact_award.aspx.
Winners will be recognized at the Environmental Impact Awards luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, at the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge in West Des Moines. For more information, contact the Greater Des Moines Partnership at (515) 286-4950.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Environmental Impact Awards Posted in Environment, Green Initiatives December 20, 2012
The holidays are busy, but that’s no reason to put extra stress on your septic system. Sending cooking grease, paper towels and coffee grounds down the drain can be a harmful holiday present for our sewer infrastructure, and for your plumbing at home as well. These simple steps can help put grease in its proper place:
- Collect cooled cooking oil, poultry and meat fats in sealed containers and discard with your regular garbage.
- Dishes and pots coated with greasy leftovers should be wiped or scraped clean into the trash can prior to washing or placing in the dishwasher. Scrape, don’t rinse!
- Place fat trimmings from meat in a plastic bag and discard them with your trash, rather than dumping down the garbage disposal.
- Never pour grease down the drain – place cooled grease and oils in a sealed container and dispose of it with your garbage.
- Other materials that cause trouble in sewer lines include ‘flushable wipes,’ kitty litter, plastic/cardboard feminine hygiene applicators, disposable diapers, prophylactics and personal care products, and cigarette butts.
For more information on Des Moines metro area’s wastewater operations, visit Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority.
More holiday tips:Labels: Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Holiday tip, Proper disposal of grease, WRA Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Environment December 19, 2012
Washing dishes by hand is a chore most people dislike, especially when the dishes pile up after a delicious holiday meal. The good news is washing dishes in a dishwasher is more economical, saves energy, saves water and saves time.
Even older models of dishwashers use less water (15 gallons) than the average American who washes dishes by hand (20 gallons). Since 2009, Energy Star models have proven to be even greater water savers, using only about 6 gallons of water. Hand-washing costs about $430 more in energy and water than an Energy Star dishwasher per year. Using a dishwasher rather than hand-washing can save about 5,000 gallons of water per year.
Dishwashers can easily achieve the recommended level of 140 degrees or higher for proper disinfection, whereas hand-washing cannot. And since our time is so precious around the holidays – dishwashers save over 230 hours a year – that’s almost 10 days!
If you want to save even more in energy costs, open the door and let dishes air dry during the drying cycle. Use water wisely with your dishwasher by making sure it is full before you run it.
More holiday tips:
Question: Am I better off feeding my leftover mashed potatoes into the garbage disposal, so they don’t end up in a landfill or should I throw them in the trash can, so they don’t end up the water supply?
Royce Hammitt, Operations & Maintenance Manager at Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority, explains options for disposal of your leftover holiday feast, from best for the environment to the worst.
Prevent food waste before it is created.
Donate fresh, wholesome food to those in need.
Feed safe, fresh food scraps to animals.
Turn food waste into a valuable soil amendment utilizing a backyard composter.
Sewer Disposal vs. Landfill
Food waste contains fats, oil, and grease which can coat and block sewers leading to sewer overflows. Sending food waste to landfills may produce methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas which can escape to the atmosphere. Fortunately, Metro Waste Authority captures methane and utilizes it to produce green electricity.
More holiday tips:
Maintaining the integrity of our watersheds provides economic benefits through ecosystem services. Degradation of stream banks, aquatic species and the natural course of water can cause negative economic impacts locally and far from the altered site.
Protecting Healthy Watersheds:
- Lowers drinking water treatment costs
- Avoids expensive restoration activities
- Sustains revenue generating recreational and tourism opportunities
- Minimizes vulnerability and damage from natural disasters
- Provides critical natural system services at a fraction of the cost for engineered services
- Increases property value
- Supports millions of jobs nationwide
- Ensures we leave a foundation for a vibrant economy for generations to come
We cannot afford not to protect our watersheds. For more information on healthy watersheds visit Healthy Watersheds at US Environmental Protection Agency – www.epa.gov/healthywatersheds
Most people want to help the environment by doing the right thing, but they don’t always know where it should go. Properly disposing of unwanted items is important to keep pollution off the street and out of our source water. Here are some of the things that people often have questions about.
Plastic bottles: Bottles with twist-off lids (e.g. milk, water, detergent, mayonnaise, medicine bottles) can be recycled in your CurbIt! cart. Rinse them out and the lid can be left on or off. If they contained hazardous materials, throw the bottle out if empty.
Plastic containers: Only margarine and yogurt containers can be recycled. Rinse out and throw lids in trash. Sour cream and ice cream containers cannot be recycled.
Cardboard milk and juice cartons: Rinse out and recycle in CurbIt! cart.
Phonebooks: Recycle in CurbIt! cart.
Aerosol cans: If held non-hazardous materials and are empty, recycle in CurbIt! cart.
Shredded paper: Can be recycled by putting in paper sack or box (not plastic bag) and placing in CurbIt! cart.
Light bulbs: Throw incandescent bulbs in trash and take fluorescent bulbs to Metro Hazardous Waste Drop-off in Bondurant.
Plastic bags: Take to grocery store that has containers for recycling them – do not put them in your recycling cart.
Batteries: Rechargeable batteries (lithium, cadmium) and car batteries should be taken to the Metro Hazardous Waste Drop-off. Alkaline batteries can be throw in the garbage or taken to Batteries Plus, Interstate Battery or Home Depot.
Packing peanuts: Take to a UPS store to be reused.
Hazardous chemicals (toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive): If still some left in the container, take to Metro Hazardous Waste Drop-off, if empty, throw container in trash.
Medicines: Check out the Iowa Pharmaceutical Take Back Program at http://www.iarx.org/takeaway/ or double-bag them and put them in the trash.
Yard waste: Never put in the trash! Put in CompostIt! bags at the curb to be picked up.
To find out more, check out Metro Waste Authority’s “Where It Should Go Guide” for a list of where everything from A to Z should go.