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Green Living

Prince George’s County ups the fight against ­single-use plastics

     Fighting the bane of single-use plastics, Prince George’s County joins the battle against straws and stirrers.          The county council voted unanimously to approve the council bill banning the sale or distribution of single-use plastic straws and stirrers in all county restaurants and retail establishments. Now it goes to county executive Angela Alsobrooks for approval.

Waging a fight against Japanese stiltgrass

    Microstegium vimineum. It’s a mouthful to say. A more common name for this uninvited guest to the Bay region’s forest floors is Japanese stiltgrass. On the first day of November, a cool crisp fall day, three nature-lovers — including myself — inspected a local infestation of the grass in the Severn Run Natural Environmental Area in Gambrills.

Area locations make the switch to new paper cup

      You’ll skip the Styrofoam when you order coffee at the Dunkin’. The multinational chain — which most of us still think of as Dunkin Donuts — announced its commitment to get rid of all expanded polystyrene cups in its global supply chain by mid-2020.          Dunkin’ locations in Annapolis, Arnold, Edgewater, Lothian and Severna Park have already made the switch from foam cups to a new, double-walled, paper cup.

Proposed no-discharge zone would save area waters from boaters’ treated waste

      By next year’s fall boat shows, Annapolis Harbor and Anne Arundel County’s Bay tributaries will be a little cleaner. That’s because boats in those waters will no longer be allowed to discharge any sewage.          Discharging treated sewage is allowed in much of the Chesapeake and the Atlantic even within three miles of the coast. Only Herring Bay and the northern coastal bays near Ocean City are no-discharge zones, with no flushing allowed since 2002.

New electric options for boaters

      The 2019 Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their work developing lithium-ion batteries. The results of their work were on display at the U.S. Sailboat Show, applied in ways boaters can use to keep the beer and other essentials cold while using little or no fossil fuel.

Electric cars take over City Dock

     More than 500 Chesapeake residents are likely one step closer to hitting the streets around town in an electric vehicle.          They took that step at Annapolis Green’s Electric Vehicle Showcase at City Dock this weekend.          The annual event — now in its seventh year — is part of National Drive Electric Week, a celebration to heighten awareness of the widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight their benefits.

Turning a crab feast into an eco-success

       Twenty-two hundred crab-lovers filled their bellies with crabs, barbecue, beer and watermelon at the 74th Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast earlier this month.             Trash cans were filled as well, with shells, claws, cups and plates. Instead of the landfill, all that waste is going to recycling.

Kids On the Creek get to know the water

      Visit Truxton Park in Annapolis Saturday, August 24, with your kids and they’ll learn who’s swimming in Spa Creek. Biologists will identify the fish you pull up in seines. They’ll also hear about the 12 types of animals that make the park home and enjoy a scavenger hunt with prizes.             Experienced captains are standing by to take kids out on the water. Or you might try out paddleboards.

Potomac gives up 376,933 pounds

 

     Giant tires, propane gas tanks and shopping carts bogged down with mud.     Trash-picking volunteers found this trash and more in the littered waters of the Potomac River at the 31st annual Watershed Cleanup. The Alice Ferguson Foundation initiative sent out 9,745 volunteers between mid-March and late-May. They scooped 376,933 pounds of trash into garbage bags.

They’ll create school monarch gardens 

    Deep in the woods of Millersville, 10 volunteers surrounded a sprawling, lush-green monarch garden. Insect life teemed among towering milkweed plants. A black swallowtail butterfly fluttered down, landing atop a green milkweed to spread its wings.     The disparate 10 had gathered to learn how to grow monarch gardens at local elementary schools.