Posts Tagged 'earth day'



Celebrating Earth Day every day

Yesterday we joined the country in celebrating the 40th Earth Day…but we do our best to care for and protect the Earth every day by incorporating simple actions into daily life at the Aquarium. Here are just some of the simple actions we take:

  • In the Aquarium cafes, our utensils, cups, straws and lids are made from potatoes and corn, which are compostable and biodegradable. We also offer three bins for waste: compost, recycling and trash.
  • The Aquarium Animal Programs staff repurposes toilet paper tubes, used towels, plastic bottles, old phone books, and other materials for education programs and animal enrichment.
  • Staff members have the option to join a community-supported agriculture program that delivers organic, locally grown produce right to the Baltimore venue.
  • We turned 53 wetsuits into 575 bottle cozies, available in our gift shop, which kept 92 pounds of neoprene out of landfills.
  • When you walk across the newly reopened exterior harbor footbridge, do you feel a little spring in your step? We used 98,342 plastic milk jugs to renovate it!
  • Last year, we recycled 50 tons of plastic, glass, aluminum, cardboard and paper; 388 pounds of “technotrash”; and 489 pounds of batteries. We also send in corks and energy bar wrappers to companies that “upcycle” them into new products!
  • Every month, the Aquarium recognizes and rewards three staff members who conserve natural resources by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit to work.
  • Power-generating water valves are installed in Aquarium restrooms, which create and store power.
  • Each year, every full-time Aquarium employee gets a paid day off to participate in a conservation event, such as a wetland cleanup or a tree-planting event.

You can read about more actions the Aquarium takes here and get some more tips for what you can do here. And come join us at the National Aquarium this Saturday for our continued Earth Day celebration!

What simple actions do you, your family, or your workplace take every day?

Simple Action: Share your yard with wildlife

Today’s Simple Action is to share your yard with wildlife.

Spring has arrived, and for many, yard maintainance and gardening has been added to the weekly to-do lists. There are very simple things you can do in your yard that will make a world of difference for our environment and wildlife.

 Americans directly apply 70 million pounds of pesticides to home lawns and gardens each year and, in so doing, kill birds and other wildlife and pollute our precious water resources. Instead of using pesticides, control insects using natural controls.

Also, plant native trees and shrubs because they use less fertilizer. Landscaping with natives, commonly referred to as “bayscaping,” also provides better food and shelter for wildlife, and requires less maintenance. These plants are adapted to local soil, rainfall and temperature conditions, and have developed natural defenses to many insects and diseases. Because of these traits, native plants will grow with minimal use of water, fertilizers and pesticides. 

Continue reading ‘Simple Action: Share your yard with wildlife’

Simple Action: Volunteer your time

To celebrate Earth Day, every day this week we are sharing a simple action that can be taken to impact change. Everyone can do something to impact the health of our planet. Today, we’d like to encourage the simple action of volunteering.

Volunteering just a few hours of your time at a neighborhood cleanup or planting event is an easy way to show support for a healthy planet, and can really make an impact. In addition to Earth Day, organizations around the country are also celebrating National Volunteer Week.

In 2009, the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) helped restore 119 acres of Chesapeake Bay habitat, planted more than 1 million grasses and removed 539,936 pieces of debris from public parks! Only with the help of our dedicated, passionate volunteers are we able to restore habitat and create a cleaner, thriving environment.

While at a dune restoration event last week in Virginia Beach, ACT! stopped by a 2006 project site for monitoring. We are pleased to report the successful revival of the sand dunes at Little Creek, Virginia.

Continue reading ‘Simple Action: Volunteer your time’

Simple actions can impact change

This Thursday, April 22, organizations around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. At the National Aquarium, this event marks the global recognition of the need for environmental change.

Let’s make a difference! To show how simple actions can impact change, we invite you to take part in our Earth Day 40th Anniversary “I Like This” Challenge…and Contest.

Visit our Facebook page and pledge to “attend” our Earth Day 40th Anniversary “I Like This” Challenge and Contest event. Make it known to family, friends and the social community that you want to make a difference. Now through Earth Day, April 22, replace your Facebook profile picture with one of the two graphics in the event. By showing your support, you’ll be entered into a special contest!

And then spread the word! Encourage others to “attend” our Earth Day 40th Anniversary “I Like This” Challenge and change their picture too. Let’s see how many we can inspire to make a difference. Can we reach 10,000?

Throughout the week we will be sharing simple actions that you can make to celebrate Earth Day and help impact change.

Simple action #1: Visit local nature centers, museums and aquariums, for fun, family-friendly activities. Often these places will offer free tours or talks about the flora and fauna of the area, as well as some of the history of the place you’re visiting.

Join the Aquarium this Saturday, April 24, during our Earth Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. And in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, enjoy a special discount for this weekend only: Take $4.00 off Total Experience tickets to the National Aquarium, Baltimore, for visits on April 24 and 25. Max 4 per order. Valid at aqua.org only. Enter code EARTH40.

Transforming Experiences

It is important to recognize that ocean health starts with each of us. At the Aquarium we have seen first hand that action follows experiences that change our thinking. For some,  its seeing the Chesapeake Bay for the first time through a school field experience. For others, its getting face-to-face with the Aquarium’s amazing animals or attending a thought-provoking lecture. 

Our friends and associates have wonderful stories of experiences at the National Aquarium that have transformed their lives, actions and behaviors. We’d like to share one of those experiences with you:

I met my wife Kathy in the rainforest, while she was working as a volunteer for the Aquarium. I was standing on a ladder sculpting a natural looking rock planter near the waterfall. She asked if I wanted her help. We started talking about things like the animals in the rainforest and photography, which was the other half of my job at the time. Kathy had a great interest in insects and herps. She kept an iguana named Iggy for 29 years! We decided to get married in the Rain Forest because we both have a deep appreciation for nature, and we had to return to the “scene of the crime.” Kathy and I have been all over the world photographing wildlife above and below the water’s surface. When people view my images, I want them to see and feel what I see in that subject. The drama and the intrigue; the shape, color, and beauty. All the work I do for the Aquarium and outside the Aquarium, promotes a strong conservation message. With Kathy and my colleagues, I feel I am a part of some greater good.

George Grall
Staff Photographer, National Aquarium/Professional Freelance Photographer, National Geographic

Continue reading ‘Transforming Experiences’


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