For Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 (Playing catchup, posted Dec. 18)
1 – People are encouraged to give less trash this holiday season.
In other words, put the brakes on waste and recycle as much as you can.
Michigan’s environmental agency notes that Americans create 25 percent more garbage between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other time of year.
That includes boxes, packing materials, wrapping paper, electronics and disposable utensils. And a lot of those things are recyclable.
The state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has been spreading the recycling message since June with a statewide “Know It Before You Throw It” education campaign featuring the Recycling Raccoon Squad.
The primary goal is to improve the quality of materials people are putting into recycling containers by educating them about best recycling practices. The agency also aims to double the state’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2025.
Recycling rules can vary by community or even from one recycling center to another, so residents are urged to check with their local provider about what is acceptable in their area.
For tips, see recyclingraccoons.org.
2 – New funding is available for battling the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Organizations including nonprofits and local governments can apply for funding through the state’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters program.
The new program is for organizations interested in conducting outreach and education about aquatic invasive species to boaters.
Grants can be used for signs, invasive species removal supplies and staff time to perform watercraft inspections and demonstrations of boat cleaning techniques.
Funding requests can range from $1,000 to $3,000 and do not require a local match or cost sharing.
The application deadline is Feb. 19. Contact Michigan State University Extension for more information.
3 – The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running community science bird census in North America.
You can join a local count to tally up the number of species in your area.
The events take place during one day between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.
You can check an online map to find a nearby count.
More information is online at audubon.org.