In part two of our conversation with Katherine Romans of the Hill Country Alliance, we'll hear about what you can do to conserve water, to keep our night skies dark and starry, and to preserve the character of small towns in the hill country.
What happens when an area known for its natural beauty and resources experiences rapid population growth? The Texas hill country is such an area, and the swift influx of people is resulting in a severe strain on resources. The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is a group of local citizens who organized to take on the challenges to the environment. I spoke to Katherine Romans, executive director of the HCA to talk about the challenges, what the HCA is doing, and what you can do.
What is a MRF? It is a Material Recovery Facility, and it is where your recyclable trash goes to be sorted, and eventually reused. Workers and machines at theTexas Disposal Systems MRF sort through the millions of pieces of paper, cardboard, glass, metals and more that arrive daily. It is a staggering task and in this program, we’ll find out how they do it, and what you can do to make the system more efficient.
Herbs are those marvelous plants we use to make our food taste better. Herbs also have a long history of being used as medicines, and if that's not enough, they are used to provide pleasant fragrance in soaps and body products, and to scent the air. On Mothering Earth, we talk to herbalist and botanist Robyn Clark to learn more about these amazing plants.
Most people who plant fruit and nut trees and herbs look forward to harvesting and using their bounty by themselves, or perhaps sharing some with friends and neighbors. So imagine an urban park, planted with fruit and nut trees and other edible plants, that is completely open to the public. This is the concept of an urban food forest, where anyone can come, harvest, and enjoy what grows there.
Did you know that honey bees visit two million flowers to make one pound of honey? That’s a lot of work for that sweet treat that you spread on your toast! In this program, we visit Tara Chapman, chief beekeeper at Two Hives Honey to find out what else bees do for us, and what we can do for them.
Bicycling is a fun activity for both children and adults. It has a positive effect on the environment because unlike automobiles, bikes don’t emit harmful pollutants into our atmosphere. Biking is also good for your health, as we hear from Doug Ballew, from the City of Austin Public Health department.
The term permaculture is a combination of the words “permanent” and “agriculture” and describes a way of thinking about food production that is both sustainable and self-sustaining. It appeals to the practical gardener who wants to design a garden where all the parts work together in a natural harmony, as you will hear in this program.
We may live in urban and suburban places, but we still crave a connection to nature, to green-spaces and to the birds and the bees. Urban horticulture is about designing cities and towns that nurture that connection, as we learn in this conversation with Dr. Alice Le Duc of Texas State University.
Food Co-ops are communities of people who care about food and the environment. In this program, Mothering Earth goes to the only food co-op in Texas--the Wheatsville Food Co-op, which is located in Austin, TX.
Dark night skies allow us to view the stars and the Milky Way, but keeping the night dark also has health benefits and affects your wallet. In this program Cindy Luongo Cassidy explains why dark night skies are so important for humans, animals and even plants.
Artists, creatives and educators alike can find repurposed materials at very low cost for projects of all kinds. Founder and Board President Rebecca Stuch takes us on a tour of this amazing resource center that helps keep valuable materials out of the land fill and available to the public.
Rain is free water falling from the sky that you can capture and use for watering your garden, and for cooking, bathing and drinking. That’s called rainwater harvesting and in this conversation with Kathi Thomas, coordinator of the Rainwater Revival educational festival, you’ll learn what you need to get started.
Keeping the San Marcos river clean, clear and flowing is no easy task, as Dianne Wassenich can tell you. Dianne has been an essential part of the San Marcos River Foundation for more than 30 years and in this program, she tells us what it takes to carry out this important mission.
San Marcos, Texas residents Betsy Robertson and her husband Todd Derkacz have found fun and effective ways to lower their carbon footprint. In the process, they enjoy a healthier lifestyle that is better for the environment and saves money.
There are things we can do, on the land we live on, to alleviate the severe effects of a lot of rain in a short period of time. In this conversation with land management consultant Jamie Kinscherff, we hear about simple land management practices that help minimize the effects of flooding.
The clothes we wear have an impact on our environment in many ways. There’s the environmental impact when the materials used for the fabric is grown, or harvested, or manufactured, the impact at the clothing factory, the impact on the people who make the clothes, the environmental effect when you wash and dry the items and finally the impact when you dispose of them. That environmental circle is what we talk about with Dr. Gwendolyn Hustvedt at Texas State University.
Central Texas and many other areas around the country experience periods of drought followed by flooding. There are best practices we can all follow that help mitigate the effects of flooding and in this program, Christine Middleton of the Hays County Master Naturalists shares ideas of what helps, and what doesn’t.
In the second part of our interview with Andrew Dobbs, we talk about convincing companies to use minimal packaging and about what happens with electronic waste from computers, cell phones and the like. Learn how you can make a difference!