Archives for posts with tag: environment

 Kathy-Bates

 World Water Monitoring Day is, Sept. 18, 2017

By Kathy Bates, instructional chair, MATC environmental health and water technology 

America’s Clean Water Foundation established an annual “World Water Day” in 2003 to increase public awareness and involvement in protecting our precious water resources locally and throughout the world. Educational and training opportunities are held throughout the year both locally and globally to empower and enable citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water resources, such as lakes and rivers.

We are so fortunate to have Lake Michigan and the three rivers in this part of the state:  Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic.  Lake Michigan is the source of drinking water for many Milwaukee communities, as well as municipalities adjacent to Lake Michigan to the north and to the south of Milwaukee County. Other Wisconsinites that do not have access to Lake Michigan obtain their water from groundwater sources.

How will you celebrate World Water Monitoring Day?  Some ideas include:

Participate in a nearby river or beach cleanup.

Consider using water-saving appliances and plumbing fixtures.

Educate yourself and others about water resources.

Buy sustainable products.

Install raingardens and/or rain harvesting systems.

Challenge yourself and others to use less water.

Resources:

Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup             http://www.greatlakesadopt.org/

River Cleanup                              http://milwaukeeriverkeeper.org/

U.S. EPA WaterSense                 https://www.epa.gov/watersense

FreshCoast740                            http://www.freshcoast740.com/

EarthEcho Water Challenge    http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org/

Read more about MATC’s Environmental Health and Water Quality Technology program:

https://www.matc.edu/business/degrees/environmental-health-water-quality-technician.cfm

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Ted Wilinski

By Ted Wilinski, MATC automated building systems instructor

MATC will host the 14th annual Sustainability Summit at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus May 3-4. The theme of this year’s summit is “Building a Sustainable Future: Making it Work!  The event is free and includes a job fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on May 3.

The summit will feature speakers and breakout sessions that address emerging global realities. Topics include energy, water, lifestyle, business, workforce, education, energy efficiency, financing, green agriculture, green building, green business and manufacturing, green careers, innovation, recycling, renewables, social responsibility and transportation.

Among the major speakers are Dr. Vicki J. Martin, MATC president; Peter Feigin, Milwaukee Bucks president; Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power; Dr. Mark Mone, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee chancellor; Richard Appaiah Otoo, chief manager, Ghana Water Company, Ltd.; Stephen Hargarten, associate dean, Office of Global Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Momodu Maligi, minister of water resources, Sierra Leone.

For a complete listing of speakers, events, and to register, visit the summit website at http://www.sustainabilitysummit.us/

There are many actions we can all take at a personal level to help reduce costs and our carbon footprints. Here are some suggestions:

 If you are not using it, turn it off:

  • space heaters
  • extra refrigerators or freezers
  • televisions
  • lights
  • Always use the energy saving mode on your computers (for monitor and the CPU), and always turn both off when not in use! The saving mode is available for those times you forget.

Transition lighting to LEDs: 

  • You may prefer warm white to soft white or day bright bulbs, because they are are closer to color of incandescent lights.
  • If choosing lighting by color temperature, the lower the number (3000K or less), the closer to an incandescent bulb color.
  • Often, the less expensive bulbs don’t “put out as much light” as people are used to seeing. You may need to buy a 75W equivalent as opposed to 60W equivalent to get the same effect.
  • Sometimes the less expensive bulbs hum, although this problem is becoming less prevalent.

Other lighting tips:

  • Use motion sensors.
  • Use photo sensors on outside lights.

Water savings:

  • Use rain barrels instead of city or well water for watering plants in the summer.
  • Let yard go dry. Dry grass naturally goes dormant.
  • Install low-flow toilets. These work well and are quieter than the old style units.
  • Buy high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines. This saves both water and energy.
  • Use low-flow shower heads.
  • Limit the time you are in the shower to less than 10 minutes.

Saving on heat and air conditioning:

  • Seal all leaks around doors, windows, foundation, etc.
  • Space heaters – When using space heaters in the house, use only electric heaters for safety. Use them sparingly. These are best used when staying in one room, so you can keep the rest of the home at a cooler temperature.

Appliances:

  • Always try to buy high-efficiency Energy Star appliances.

Solar power:

  • Consider using solar power after making your home as energy efficient as possible. Many financing options are available and the price has dropped tremendously.