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Cathcart group chair Lauren Economos writes . . .

Happy February! January was eventful with Bob Bender coming to speak to us about the unique Port Royal estuary. Thank you, Bob, for an educational and entertaining presentation, complete with "critters!"

Recycle. I came across an article by Linda Sivertsen in the June 2007 issue of Sky magazine from Delta Airlines. Apparently, if you are confused about what we can and can not recycle, not to worry, you are not alone. Not surprisingly, recycling is a very easy way to do our part to help the environment. However, it is not without some snafus in the system. Plastics are the least efficient because they lose their purity and strength each time they are recycled. Metals and glass can be reused indefinitely, while paper can be reused about eight times. And in case you were wondering, corrugated cardboard is good for about seven times before it goes defunct. So, here is a synopsis of the breakdown: when you look at the triangulated arrows on the plastics those numbers in the middle actually mean something. We can recycle numbers 1 and 2 pretty much anywhere, but numbers 3 through 7 are trickier. Call your local recycling center for details. And a final note, a good rule of thumb is if it is greasy, sticky, or soggy, don’t recycle it. If your plastic has a lid, recycle that too, but take it off of the container first.

On the subject of local recycling, the Nancy Cathcart executive committee wrote a letter to Hilton Head Island Mayor Tom Peeples supporting his recycling initiative. We do hope he will mandate all businesses on the island to recycle. We would like more specifics about his plan.

Welcome new members! We look forward to seeing you soon. Please plan to attend the next meeting on March 25. I hope to see you there. Until then, good luck with the recycling!

Lauren Economos, Chair

Check it out:

Previous Communications:

Like most of us, I was traveling this holiday season. I was sitting on the first of many planes, waiting to push back from the gate when I picked up the United magazine–Hemispheres. I don’t like to read, but thought flipping through the pages would help pass the time. I came across several interesting articles, one of which was about “going green” in Santa Barbara, California. Many ways to help the environment were mentioned. Some were obvious and well known, such as encouraging people to take public transportation, while others were not as well known, like a company that makes sneakers from recycled materials. EcoSneaks from Simple (a subsidiary of Deckers Outdoor Corporation) are made from recycled car tires, plastic bottles, organic cotton, and water-based glue. I had never heard of them and thought the idea was great. Check it out:

But then I got to thinking. We see so much of the “green movement” from BP commercials, to TV shows, to ski resorts changing the way they use energy, to clothes, makeup, and cleaning products being environmentally friendly. I began to wonder how much of it is really having a long-term impact on the average person. I also wondered why some people feel this is just a phase or a bandwagon type situation. Clearly, it is in the best interest of everyone and the planet to reduce our “carbon footprint” for several reasons.

I understand that change is slow and many times difficult. I also understand that people will not make drastic changes to improve the environment if it means drastically altering their comfort levels and daily routines. However, I do believe that little efforts from many add up to help make a lasting change on the positive side for the planet and all its people.

Yes, I drive a car that gets excellent gas mileage, yes I recycle, yes I buy organic and local whenever I can. But, there are still things I can do better, like take shorter showers and remember to take the canvass bag with me ALL the time to Publix. I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions. Maybe now is a good time to start. Be the change you wish to see in the world, right? For “going green” is no fleeting concept. It is becoming a way of life–thank goodness!

Please remember we have an outing on January 19 to the SNWR and a meeting at the Seabrook on January 22 with Bob Bender speaking about our estuaries. The holiday party at Kathy Seyalioglu’s was a big success. Thank you for having us Kathy and Halim! We welcome new members and look forward to seeing many of you at upcoming events.


Lauren Economos, Chair

 2007 Reviewed

This has been a busy year. Hurricanes, typhoons, tornados, wildfires, flooding, drought, and oil spills have certainly shown us the worst. But it has not been all bad. We saw the human spirit shine as people on all seven continents came together to perform for environmental awareness and protection. We were privy to a politician winning a Nobel Prize for his commitment to the environment. We saw numerous TV shows about the planet in danger. We watched a Governor pray for rain. We even heard about President Bush inviting Al Gore to the White House to discuss global climate change. Will these events actually make a difference to help stop and eventually reverse the effects of global warming? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it is a start.

I am proud to say that on a more local level, we helped prevent Barnwell Nuclear Waste Site from being open to all states for the next several decades. We took action to help scale back the docks at Pinckney Colony. We listened to a Senator share her views about improving the environment. We learned a lot on our nature walks. We helped clean the beaches and Pinckney Island. We helped a butterfly garden flourish. We assisted the Costal Discovery Museum in building the Butterfly Pavilion with a small contribution. We brought two grandfathers from upstate to talk to us about the polluted state of the rivers in South Carolina. We put pieces in motion to start a Cool Counties campaign.

I don’t know if these will make a significant impact on changing our environment for the better, but I do know that every effort, big or small, helps. The little things add up to big things.

Thank you to each of you for your support and your hard work in making this a better town, a better city, a better state, a better country.

Please join us for the holiday party on December 15 at the home of ex-com member Kathy Seyalioglu. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Hello! October was a busy month for the Nancy Cathcart Group. Twelve of us enjoyed a nature walk at Spring Island on the 20th. The knowledgeable Bill Hamel led us through many mushrooms, vines, spiders, and a host of other natural wonders to a beautiful salt marsh, where we saw a small tree filled with butterflies. The no-see-‘ems were out in full force and the temperature was cool, but the sun was shining. What a great way to start a Saturday morning! Thank you, Bill.

On the 27th we had a table set up at the Bluffton Oyster and Seafood Festival. Although I was there just a short time, Janet sold a calendar and a membership. Way to go Janet! The day was warm, the music was fun, the food was delicious, and we were lucky to be close to the action this year on Calhoun Street. I want to send a huge thank you to volunteers Kathy Economos, Eleanor Lehmann, Barbara Marhoffer, Allyn Schneider, Janet Wedlock and Joe Whetstone. I know that is hard work and we all appreciate your efforts. Thank you!

Please join us on November 17th at the Blue Heron Nature Center to help restore and revitalize the butterfly garden.

Finally, welcome to all our new members. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival.  Pictured left to right: Lauren, Joe Janet and Allyn. You can email Lauren at Photo thanks to Kathy Economos.

Barnwell Victory

By Lauren Economos, Nancy Cathcart Group Chair

On March 27, we had the pleasure of hosting Bob Guild, environmental Lawyer and SC Sierra Club Chapter Chairman, to Beaufort County. Mr. Guild gave an excellent presentation at USCB on the Barnwell Low-Level Nuclear Dump Site in Barnwell County. This site takes the most dangerous radioactive material for the entire country.

In addition, the dump site does not have appropriate holding designs for the nuclear waste. There is no lining in the ponds, which allows the waste to seep into the groundwater. Half a mile from the site is a creek which feeds into the Savannah River. The water for the people of Beaufort and Jasper Counties comes from the Savannah River.

In particular, tritium, a fast-moving radioactive substance, is leaking from the site into the water. To add insult to injury, Barnwell is expected to receive and store the number 2 reactor from the Three Mile Island disaster.

Although the dump site is 90% full, there is the question of what to do with the remaining 10%. Even though Utah is much more suited to take the hazardous material (because it does not rain as much there), we get it.

However, there is some good news. On March 28, South Carolina lawmakers decided to vote no on keeping the Barnwell site open for another 15 years to the entire country. This is a significant victory for all of South Carolina. We just hope it is not temporary. We must be vigilant on this matter to ensure that proponents for the site do not come in the back door and reverse the ruling.

Thank you to Bob Guild, Joe Whetstone, The Island Packet, and all of you who contributed to this victory. Keep up the good work!

The Cathcart Group meets at various locations on the fourth Tuesday of September, January, March, and May. Outings are held on the third Saturday of the month except November, July and August.

For South Carolina Sierra Club information contact Dell Isham, Chapter Director, (803) 256-8487. Visit their web site at South Carolina Sierra Club Chapter

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