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New York Bee Sanctuary to Open Wildlife Conservation Site Dedicated to Observing, Protecting and Understanding Honey Bees

The Sandal Falls Project

Savory Snack that Packs a Powerful, Healthy Punch

Napa Green - A Deeply Rooted Commitment to Sustainability

Online Coffee Shop Offers Consumers Recycling Solution for Used Sngle-Serve Capsules

nature conserve

New York Bee Sanctuary to Open Wildlife Conservation Site Dedicated to Observing, Protecting and Understanding Honey Bees

One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest. To combat further degradation of the world’s declining bee populations, New York Bee Sanctuary has announced plans to build a wildlife refuge in upstate New York dedicated to pollinator conservation, advocacy, research, and education. The unprecedented initiative is designed to create one interconnected hub for beekeepers, researchers, educators, environmentalists, artists, businesses, universities, and the general public. By bringing these groups together, this nonprofit organization aims to create solutions for safeguarding honey bees and wild pollinators. The public opening of the sanctuary is tentatively set for summer 2016.

“More than $15 billion worth of U.S. crops are pollinated each year by bees, and they produce $150 million of honey. Bees touch at least 40 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of our wild plants. Most people don’t realize that without bees, many plants and food crops would die off,” said Guillaume Gauthereau, executive director of New York Bee Sanctuary. “The problem is honey bees and other pollinators are facing a major crisis due to loss of habitat, pesticide contamination, and diseases. We felt the need to take action to prevent these beautiful and vital species from suffering and disappearing.”

Founded by CEO and serial entrepreneur Guillaume Gauthereau, New York Bee Sanctuary will protect New York State’s honey bees and pollinators by setting aside a natural landscape rich in biodiversity. It will provide education opportunities for beekeepers and farmers with examples of bee-conscious practices, as well as workshops, art classes, and tours for students and other visitors. The sanctuary will also develop research programs to better understand honey bees and pollinators by collecting samples from local beekeepers and creating a hub for bee science in New York.

“Visitors to New York Bee Sanctuary will experience floral landscapes from the perspective of a pollinator so that they can appreciate how pollinators, in turn, shape our environment,” added Gauthereau. “The landscape will inspire and teach visitors how they can help to improve habitat, protect bees from harmful pesticides, and promote bee health and diversity. The overall aim is to integrate humans within a landscape that is fit for both pollinator and human health.”

New York Bee Sanctuary will be located on approximately 50 acres of land, a short drive from New York City, in or near Catskill Park. The natural landscape will be enhanced with help from permaculture specialists who will cover the sanctuary with a variety of bee- and pollinator-friendly flowers, fruit trees, and berry bushes. The permaculture gardens will provide an ongoing food supply for the bees as well as seasonal organic produce for humans.

While construction of the site is underway, New York Bee Sanctuary will provide various offsite programs and events, including WILDFLOWER BOOM, a planting initiative that will designate schools, community gardens, public buildings, private lands, and roadways as bee-friendly through the use of native flora. Supporters can subscribe to the sanctuary newsletter to learn about events that advocate for our vital insect friends.
 
New York Bee Sanctuary also announced the addition of Evan M. O’Neil as director of development. Prior to working with the sanctuary, O’Neil edited the online magazine Policy Innovations for Carnegie Council, focusing on renewable energy, environmental politics, and conservation. He is a board member of Climate Ride, a charity cycling event that supports green organizations across the United States. Additionally, the sanctuary has assembled an impressive advisory board of environmentalists and bee experts, including Heather Gamper, Nicolas Vidal-Naquet, Mark A. Izeman, Dan Carr, Noah Wilson-Rich, and Sarah Red-Laird.
 
To support the construction of New York Bee Sanctuary and learn more about its programs, please visit http://www.newyorkbeesanctuary.org.

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The Sandal Falls Project

As a university founded by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, known as the "Great Apostle of Charity," Niagara University and its students take public service to perhaps a higher level than most colleges and universities.  

For nine years in a row, university community partnerships and projects at Niagara University have made the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, noting colleges and universities that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.  Programs operate via the university's Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement, headed by Dave Taylor, Ph.D., a former police officer who did his doctoral dissertation on homelessness and spent time living on the street as part of his research.

One of the stand-outs, known as "Sandal Falls," (and particularly active during the summer) is extraordinary in its own right because it saves hundreds of thousands of lives.

Since 2010, this campus organization has collected 1.5 million shoes.  Volunteers and supporters of the project sort, sanitize, and box the sandals, which are then distributed to individuals in need of footwear whether it is around the corner or across the globe.

Locally, the Sandal Falls Project gives the sandals to churches, missions, soup kitchens, community centers and street outreaches. The sandals are also sent to organizations nationally to be distributed to their missions. Internationally, the sandals are sent to areas in need of shoes, such as Cuba, Haiti, India, Kenya and Malaysia.  The name "Sandal Falls" comes from the origination of the sandals—they are donated by tourists at the Cave of the Winds attraction in Niagara Falls, N.Y.  When tourists are done using them, they have the option to keep the sandals as souvenirs or to discard them. The unwanted sandals are cleaned and repackaged before making their way to the needy.

By providing these communities with shoes, the "Sandal Falls" project helps to eliminate podoconosis, a debilitating disease that causes painful swelling of the feet and legs that can lead to amputation and, possibly, death.  Through such a simple solution, disease can be prevented, making it possible for people to work and help their families survive.  Click here to find out more.

David Taylor, Ph.D. is director of the Levesque Institute, which has implemented the above program since its inception in 2011. In his role, he is working to expand Niagara's partnerships in the community and to strengthen community based learning and research at the university.

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Savory Snack that Packs a Powerful, Healthy Punch

Garden Lites, the delicious vegetable company, announces the debut of its newest wholesome snack, Garden Lites Veggie Bites.  Available for the first time in stores, Garden Lites Broccoli & Brown Rice Bites are perfectly poppable Bites! The kids are out of school, and everyone is traveling, which makes these bites a great snack to bring to summer camp, on vacation, or even as a quick appetizer.

With 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of whole grains per serving, you'll enjoy this fresh flavor and stay full longer. Eating veggies has never been easier or more delicious.  Enjoy this savory, healthy snack on-the-go, with the filling fiber-rich Garden Lites Broccoli & Brown Rice Bites, which have only 130 calories in a serving of four.
  
“Fueling your body with wholesome, natural foods has never been easier, especially with Garden Lites Veggie Bites,” said Julie Gould, Assistant Brand Manager of Garden Lites.  “The first ingredient is Broccoli, and combined with the hearty brown rice, this makes for the perfect snack to help sustain you and your kids throughout your busy day.”

Garden Lites Veggie Bites are easy to prepare. You’ll find Garden Lites Broccoli & Brown Rice Bites in the freezer section of your favorite grocer. Just pop into the microwave for 1 minute, or bake in the toaster oven, and enjoy the natural blend of vegetables and whole grains.

New Garden Lites Broccoli & Brown Rice Bites are available at select retailers. The Bites come in a box of 12 SRP at $3.99. They can be found in the frozen section of stores nationwide, including: Target, Publix, and ShopRite. For more information on Garden Lites products, visit www.GardenLites.com.


Napa Green - a Deeply Rooted Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability is a common topic in winemaking, but not all environmental initiatives are created equal.  Bringing consistent quality wine and landmark sustainability initiatives together, Napa Green goes beyond the legal environmental requirements to create even higher standards of compliance for vintners and grape growers in Napa Valley.  Through highly concerted efforts, Napa Green has become a model for wine sustainability practices around the world. 

Created by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) in the early 2000s, Napa Green is a third-party certified, voluntary environmental certification program for vintners and grape growers divided into two initiatives: Napa Green Certified Land and Napa Green Certified Winery.  Just the latest step in the region’s history of strict land-use regulations, the Napa Green program is the most comprehensive in the wine industry.  It is designed to affect positive change for the local environment and community by enhancing the ecological quality of the Napa River watershed, as well as of the overall region.  Few wine sustainability programs factor in wild land, but Napa Green Certified Land includes initiatives for unfarmed land including stream banks, and roadways, not to mention a focus on vineyards and farming practices.  Vintners can also participate in the Napa Green Certified Winery program, which concentrates on winery operations and carbon footprint reduction, with many participants committing to both aspects of Napa Green.

Recently the NVV raised the standards even higher by announcing their goal for all 500-plus members to be in the Napa Green program by the year 2020.  Currently more than 61,000 acres of land are certified or pending certification in Napa Green Land, this includes 17,000 acres of vineyards, more than one-third of the total vineyard acreage in Napa County.  Napa Green Certified Wineries produce more than 4.5 million cases of wine each year, and last year significantly reduced their carbon footprint saving 3.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

In addition to Napa Green, the Napa Valley Vintners also show their commitment to giving back to the local community.  Since 1981, the NVV has donated over $145 million to community health and children’s education nonprofit organizations.  Some results of these investments include establishing a community health center that serves one in six local residents, ensuring access to health insurance for every child in Napa County, and funding the initial stages of the Napa Valley Vine Trail pedestrian and cycling path.  This commitment to social equity exemplifies how the Napa Valley Vintners is raising the bar for environmental and community stewardship internationally.

While being “green” may be trendy, to the NVV it is more than that; it is a way of life. Through Napa Green, the NVV has made sustainability the lynchpin of Napa Valley winemaking. The longtime standard-bearer for wine quality is now the leader of wine sustainability, which makes every sip of Napa Valley wine just that much more delicious.


Online Coffee Shop Offers Consumers Recycling Solution for Used Single-Serve Capsules

Founded in 2001, TerraCycle, Inc., is the world’s leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, ranging from used chip bags to coffee capsules to cigarette butts.  The waste is collected through free, national, brand-funded platforms called "Brigades," as well as various consumer and government-funded models.  The collected waste is reused, upcycled or recycled into a variety of affordable, sustainable consumer products and industrial applications.  Each year, across 21 countries, TerraCycle collects and repurposes billions of pieces of waste, donating millions of dollars to schools and charities in the process.

CoffeeForLess, the Internet coffee shop of Coffee Serv Inc., is offering customers a way to recycle their used single serve coffee and tea capsules instead of sending them to the landfill. The website sells TerraCycle’s® Coffee Capsule Zero Waste Box™ which means purchasers fill the box with used coffee or tea capsules and use the pre-affixed postage-paid label to return the box to TerraCycle where the capsules will be recycled.     

Details on the box can be found at http://www.coffeeforless.com/terracycle-zero-waste-box.html. The Small Coffee Capsule Zero Waste Box retails for $70 and shipping and processing of the used capsules is included in the retail price. Once a box is filled, individuals can ship it to TerraCycle for processing. TerraCycle separates the received waste into metals, organics and plastics. Metals are smelted and recycled, organics (such as the coffee grounds) are composted and the plastics undergo extrusion and pelletization to be molded into new recycled plastic products. 

Since 2007, TerraCycle has used innovative processes to recycle consumer packaging waste that would otherwise be destined for landfills.  By partnering with major companies to collect their waste from consumers, TerraCycle is able to offer recycling programs for certain waste streams.   Now through Zero Waste Boxes, there are almost no limits to what can be recycled.