As I sit here transcribing the interviews for this article, I hear a local TV commercial on in the background advertising water safety test kits for homeowners.
The commercial lists the ways the water we consume could be making us sick. This makes me wonder if the basic necessities of life have become unsafe in America.
Growing up, I never remember needing to filter water. Nowadays, every home I go into has a built-in water purification system or a Brita container in the refrigerator. How will future generations come to know water? Two state-wide organizations are working hard to make sure future generations can enjoy the planet we know today.
Our Children’s Trust
Our Children’s Trust is an Oregon-based organization with chapters throughout the United States. While the name sounds like a bank account, the mission of Our Children’s Trust is to protect earth’s atmosphere and natural systems for present and future generations by amplifying the voice of the youngest generation through film and legal action. Jim Poyser, the executive director of Earth Charter Indiana, is the representative for the Indiana chapter.
“For me personally, I am rather an alarmist about climate change. It can be a very dismal experience over five, 10, 15, 20 years and see a world that has become increasingly chaotic when it comes to its weather,” Poyser said.
Fighting climate change with adults through policy and government can paint a dark picture of doom and gloom. In taking a different approach, Poyser now spends his days visiting schools throughout Indiana educating kids about climate change. Poyser feels that working with kids builds a more conscious community, society and world.
“I tell kids the truth, that fossil fuel emissions create a different physics for the atmosphere and that change changes the way the atmosphere behaves. That is why we have more massive rain storms and droughts,” Poyser said.
Action items for kids
While kids do not have the right to vote or have the say to put solar panels on their home or erect a wind turbine in their yard, there are three ways Poyser believes kids can have a big positive impact.
First, they can be conscious of how much power they use and to be sure to turn off the lights when they leave a room, check to see if they have all the right light bulbs, and check if there are any drafts in the house. Secondly, while kids can’t drive, they can encourage their parent(s) to carpool, take mass transit, walk or bike.
Finally, an area kids can have the biggest impact in is how much they waste. They can learn about everything they consume and ways to reduce the waste they produce.
In the end, Poyser says focusing on the kids does so many great things. Mostly, it gets us adults out of our own individual perspectives and spaces. It gets us thinking about our kids and our grandkids and all of the challenges they will be facing due to the decades of treating our environment like an open sewer that we pour the bi-products of our lives down.
Mom’s Clean Air Force
Wendy Bredhold of Evansville became interested in air quality long before she ever became a mother. Bredhold is outraged by the idea that there are days that we are told that the air is not healthy enough for us to go outside and breathe.
“Air should be something that we can take for granted, that we can breathe and not damage our health. We should not have to be concerned about our children developing asthma and respiratory diseases. There shouldn’t be warning days that children with asthma, elderly and active people should stay inside,” Bredhold said.
Instead of just complaining about the problem, Bredhold has been taking action. She is Indiana’s field organizer for Mom’s Clean Air Force, a project of the Environmental Defense Fund. The Moms Clean Air Force campaign, specific to Indiana, is on the issue of mercury pollution and how it affects infants and young children in particular. Because of all the coal-fired power plants in Indiana, all bodies of water in the state (lakes, streams, rivers) are contaminated with mercury, which falls from smokestacks. Pregnant women, nursing women, women that may become pregnant and young children should heed eating many types of fresh fish and seafood from any waterway in Vigo County. Click here for more information: fn.cfs.pur
Bredhold says there is a consortium of utility companies that are suing the EPA to stop them from putting Mercury Air Toxic Standards into effect. MATS was a part of the 1970 Clean Air Act, which has never been enforced. According to a 2010 United States Geological Survey, mercury contamination in water and fish throughout Indiana has routinely exceeded levels recommended to protect people and wildlife. About one in eight fish samples tested statewide had mercury that exceeded the recommended safety limit for human consumption. The causes include mercury in the rain and mercury going down the drain.
“Climate supersedes every other issue for me because I want my daughter to grow up on the same planet that I grew up on,” Bredhold said. “I feel that it is my duty to try and fight for her future, since I brought her here. I don’t want to sit back and say ‘ya know there is nothing we can do about it’ I think that we should try and preserve it and pass it on as is to our children.”
Bredhold’s job is to put pressure on coal power plants to get them to drop their suit against the EPA. I asked Bredhold if she is intimidated about going up against big money. With her boxing gloves held eye level, Bredhold is unlikely to back down, since she has the support of a national organization. She says she feels more empowered than before Mom’s Clean Air Force invested in Indiana. If Bredhold wins the fight, it could mean millions of dollars will need to be spent to make the power plants put out purer emissions. The cost could then get passed down to consumers. I asked her if she would be willing to hold that weight of adding that additional cost to every homeowner, her answer was simply yes.
“We are already paying the cost of the carbon economy just in completely different ways. We are paying with our health, we are paying with our children’s future. I would rather pay ten to fifteen extra dollars a month,” she said.
Bredhold is seeking Indiana moms who are willing to go to the EPA listening session on new Carbon Pollution Standards in Chicago on Friday. For more information contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Santucci is an environmental freelance writer for the Tribune-Star. Santucci is a proud volunteer with TREES Inc. and Our Green Valley. She also sits on the Wabash Valley Goodwill Industries Board of Directors. Share your environmental stories and tips with her at JaneSantucci@yourgreenvalley.com.
As I sit here transcribing the interviews for this article, I hear a local TV commercial on in the background advertising water safety test kits for homeowners.
ISU to bring The Color Run to Terre Haute
Indiana State University is planning a colorful kickoff event for the 2014-15 school year.
The university is bringing The Color Run to Terre Haute on Aug. 23. One of the largest event series in the nation, the race douses participants from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. Billed as the “happiest 5K on the planet,” the event caters to everyone — first-time runners to professional athletes — and has no winners or official times.
‘Sound of Music’ this weekend and next at Maple Avenue UMC
Maple Avenue United Methodist Church’s Summer Theatre will present six performances of “The Sound of Music” beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, July 25.
Brazil Concert Band sets ‘German Musikfest’ concert for July 27
The Brazil Concert Band will present “German Musikfest” at 7 p.m. Sunday at Forest Park in Brazil, rain or shine.
It takes a village: Terre Hautean encounters legends of national pastime yearly in tiny Cooperstown
Diehard baseball fans dream of such chances.
On his annual pilgrimage to Cooperstown, N.Y., Keith Pittman found himself seated at a table along with Harmon Killebrew, Ralph Kiner and Rollie Fingers, as they all listened to a speech by Juan Marichal — each a Hall of Famer. Pittman handled the moment wisely. “You just sit there and be quiet,” he recalled, “and if they are talking baseball, you just listen.”
What will you bring to the table?
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard; recipes, classes, even the Farmers Market, can help you and your family get started
‘Slick’ production: Documentary to show a lesser-seen side of Bobby Leonard, just days before his Hall of Fame induction
In a new documentary, Indiana basketball legend Bobby Leonard serves as the leading man. His hometown of Terre Haute provides much of the supporting cast.
Rock ’n’ Camp: New camp teaches details of forming, running garage band
A handful of friends. Second-hand guitars and amps. A drum kit. A garage. Big dreams.
Those are all the ingredients needed to create a rock band, right?
Helping Hands: Fill your free time this summer by becoming a volunteer
Summer is upon Terre Haute and with the warm weather and open swimming pools comes an exuberant amount of free time for busy children. Outside sports are one way to fill the time and energy, but what else can families do together to benefit their youth and communities? Volunteer.
Rings of Fire: Amateur astronomer, photographer’s hobby has led him across the world in pursuit of total eclipses of the sun
Some people might think amateur astronomers are the kind of people who enjoy star gazing from the safe confines of their homes or perhaps an observatory, but for Clinton-area resident Spencer Young, being an astronomer is a far cry from safe and easy armchair activity.
Clowning around: Performers have been delivering smiles to faces across Wabash Valley for nearly a quarter of a century
“If by chance some day you’re not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I’ve said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.” — Red Skelton
Timeless Talent: Self-taught artist still creating smiles as 99th birthday approaches
The colorful scenery of Indiana countrysides illuminates every page of John Christopher’s album. It contains dozens of photographs of his paintings and drawings. They’re Christopher’s visions of covered bridges, bird dogs, barns, ducks, deer and creeks — images from his boyhood, etched in his memory.
VIDEO: If These Cars Could Talk: Readers take nostalgic look back at their ‘first loves’
Brilliant sunshine beams down on Danny Weir and his “first love” in that photograph from the summer of ’63.
He’s 18, looking country cool in rolled up sleeves, jeans, loafers and a straw hat with the southern Indiana countryside stretched out in the background. Weir’s companion in the picture gleams, sublime.
Readers reminisce about first cars: ‘I still miss that tank’
Dozens of readers responded to the Tribune-Star’s callout for “Remember Your First Car” stories.
From the Ground Up: Idea takes root as Cayuga family grows a vineyard and winery
Russell McLain poured a sample of sweet red wine, called Splish Splash, into a glass atop a counter inside a cozy tasting room with trophy animals and a widescreen TV perched on its walls.
Rockville native remembers ride through Pacers’ last championship season
The star player greeted the rookie with a bold promise.
It revealed the caliber of the team that surrounded Bill “Fig” Newton, a 22-year-old center, fresh out of Louisiana State University. He found himself in training camp with a virtual all-star squad.
GRAPE SENSE: Find unexpected rewards in the path less traveled
NAPA/SONOMA, Calif. — Repeating the familiar is an easy way to go through life, as is taking the safe road. We all do that but find unexpected rewards when taking the path less traveled.
TRIED ’N’ TRUE: Stuffed ‘mangoes’: A recipe to eat or can
Mrs. Mable Gard from West Union, Ill., put this into the Extension cookbook.
‘On the Banks of the Wabash’ band festival set
Seven bands from Indiana and Kentucky will join the Terre Haute Community Band and special guest Gymnasium Heide-Ost Symphonic Band from Heide, Germany, to present the fourth annual “On the Banks of the Wabash” Community Band Festival on Friday and Saturday. Five bands are making their first appearance at the festival. All concerts are at Fairbanks Park and are free.
Crossroads Rep offers a different show each night
Patrons still have time to see all four shows in this summer’s Crossroads Repertory Theatre season at Indiana State University. During the final two weeks of the season, a different play is presented each evening, with a Sunday matinee.
YOUR GREEN VALLEY: The importance of preserving green space — in and out of the city
Before Sullivan County resident Joan Osburn bought her home in the mid-1970s, the current owner wanted to make sure she and her husband were going to treat the land that came with it with respect. “The first time we came to look at the property, it was kind of funny because she walked our legs off,” Osburn said. The 40-acre property resembles McCormick’s Creek State Park, fit with walking trails, ravines and waterfalls.
CHRIS DAVIES: Don’t have fun exercising? Learn to play
One may wonder why most adults don’t exercise. Many reasons come to mind. Most excuses that I hear translate to laziness and not making time. The real reason I believe, stay with me on this, is we have forgotten how to play.
Country act Parmalee to perform at Hi-99 Summer Bash
The Carolinas lie more than 500 miles from Terre Haute, but a musical slice of that region is coming to town.
Ohio Boulevard home built to promote 1948 movie
It isn’t often that you get to meet a movie star right here in Terre Haute, but on July 20 you’ll have the chance to do just that — almost.
TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: A recipe for oyster lovers
I have been looking through some old recipe books. I was looking at Gene’s mom’s cookbook. It is a Clark County Extension book. It’s fun seeing some of the women who we knew when I was really young.
GRAPE SENSE: Exploring everything a new wine region has to offer
SIENA, ITALY — From the lush green countryside of Oregon’s Willamette Valley to the majesty and golden valleys of Tuscany, a common refrain connects wine lovers. There’s nothing better than good food and good wine.
St. Ben’s plans Community Festival July 11, 12
St. Benedict Church is planning its 17th annual Community Festival for July 11 and 12 at Ninth and Ohio streets. Activities are scheduled from 5 p.m. to midnight both evenings.
YOUR GREEN VALLEY: Microbeads found in personal care products damaging to waters
For the past six years Julie Manson has been working to get plastics and chemicals out of her home. She also tries to cook as many from-scratch meals as possible with local food from the Terre Haute Farmers Market and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) she participates in. During a visit to the Farmers Market last year, her daughter, Madeleine, told her mother she wanted to be like the vendors she saw there and sell something. Julie then went to work trying to find a niche for the two of them to enjoy together.
TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: Take your pick: Apple, blueberry, cherry for this cake
We have this every once in a while in church. You can have this for brunch or as a desert. Everyone sure enjoys this cherry cake.
A family musical and true war hero at Crossroads Rep
Crossroads Repertory Theatre at Indiana State University continues its summer season the next two weekends with shows written by people connected to the Department of Theater. “The Untold Story of Little John,” opening Friday, June 27, was written by Rachelle Martin Wilburn with music by Travis Dillon. Both are Indiana State alumni and former students of Arthur Feinsod. Feinsod is a professor in the ISU theater department, artistic director of Crossroads Repertory Theatre and is also the playwright of “Coming to See Aunt Sophie,” the season’s third offering, opening July 2.
TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: Bake, kabob chicken nuggets for a healthy change
I think we all love chicken nuggets. But to fry them is messy and isn’t real good for you.
I like this recipe because you can bake them or make kabobs. Add your veggies. They can be fried if you want.
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