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Environmental Resources

Here are some helpful books and videos that share in the spirit of GreenFriends, plus resources related to plastic source reduction and the Tree Planting Campaign. If you have a favorite resouce you would like to share with the GreenFriends community, send it to info@greenfriendsna.org.

Videos and News Stories

Plastic fibers and beads in dust

Plastic fibers and beads in dusts collected from remote National Parks and Wilderness areas in the United States. Credit: Janice Brahney Utah State University vis Scientific American

Scientifc American: New research helps unravel how vast amounts of plastic particles travel both regionally and globally on the wind.

PBS Newshour: An inertatcive video discussion on plastic straws. A movement to ban the use of plastic straws in restaurants is spreading across the United States. Recycling of small plastics such as straws is challenging because sorting machines must first separate recyclable waste from non-recyclables, and straws are often too small to be captured.

Plastic Industry Promoted Recycling to Boost Oil and Gas Prof
In a joint investigation, NPR and the PBS Frontline found that oil and gas companies, the makers of plastic, have known that all along the vast majority of all plastic produced can't be or won't be recycled.
Guide to Green Loans and Energy Efficient Tax Credits

Rider University has put together a helpful guide to support small businesses and individuals who want to go green and become more energy efficient. The guide defines some of the federal tax credits that businesses and homeowners can receive with their energy-efficient improvements, as well as information on some state tax credits and private loans available for green initiatives.

Plant more trees
Photograph by Hannah Reyes Morales

Washington Post - Trees are the most efficient carbon-capture machines on the planet. They absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into energy. That energy creates new leaves, longer stems and more mass - locking away carbon. That makes healthy forests carbon sinks. An international grassroots movement is seeking to plant trees everywhere.

Mattress disposal guide

Learn about your options to donate a mattress or recycle it depending on its condition with this mattress disposal guide.

Recycling is broken
Gizmodo - Nationwide, municipalities are facing higher costs and being forced to find stopgap solutions, from incinerators to landfills, for recyclables that have nowhere else to go.
It’s Time to Rethink How Recycling is Done

China doesn’t want to sort your trash anymore. The NIB explains the recycling crisis.

Eco-Friendly Vehicle Recycling

Each year over 14 million vehicles reach the end of their lives in the US. 80 percent of these car materials can be recycled, reused, and become something new.

98% of a car can be recycled

The Clunker Junker is making the earth a better place to live by helping people get rid of their junk cars in a way that's safe for our planet.

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s has kicked those notoriously hard-to-open, and horrible for the environment, plastic produce bags to the curb and replaced them with eco-friendly compostable ones.
One mans's massage on climate change
Photo by Ben James for NPR

NPR - Richard McLachlan is part of Extinction Rebellion, the climate group best known for shutting down main arteries in London. In New York City, steeped in the subway din, McLachlan delivers a crushing litany of food shortages, forest fires, more and bigger storms.

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Plastic Source Reduction Resources

4 Ways To Reduce Plastics In Your Kitchen
Can Bacteria Build a Better Plastic?

NPR - A Silicon Valley startup is trying to get the plastic out of clothing and into biopolymers that can be broken down into natural materials.


Photo- Kristen Hartke for NPR

NPR - Americans toss 185 pounds of plastic per person each year while also going through 13 billion pounds of paper towels as a nation. Here are some suggestions for reducing that waste.

Using  signage to reduce plastic consumption

The Kind Planet - Each year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags. Eva Pollard and Rebecca Miller use signs in the produce dept. to encouage shoppers to go plastic-free.
Undercover Plastic Detective
Anita Horan goes undercover to a recycling plant in Australia. Is recycling an effective method to deal with the enormous amount of waste that we constantly generate?
What Kinds of Plastic Bags Can be Recycled
Recycle Coach - Are all plastics bags recyclable? Are their differences between plactic bags? How are you supposed to know? This great resource explains both where and how to recycle plastic bags.
Clothes Are Part of the Problem
VOX - More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Synthetic plastic fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide.
How much plastic is in the ocean
A PBS video on what can you do to make the oceans plastic-free.
The battle of the bag
A CBC documentary on international efforts to prohibit plastic bags.
Plastic Pollution Coalition

The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution.
Marine Debris Tracker
The Marine Debris Tracker takes a few seconds to easily report where you find marine debris or litter anywhere in the world and then prevent it from impacting our oceans.

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Tree Planting Resources

What if Everyone in the World Planted a Tree? Richard Powers Recommends 26 Books on Trees
What if Everyone in the World Planted a Tree?

BBC - Trees are one element in the fight against climate change. So what would happen if everyone in the world planted a tree? Check out this playlist featuring new, challenging and even visionary thinking around climate change and sustainability.

Books about trees

PBS Newshour - Richard Powers, the author of The Overstory (a fictional book about trees and a group of people who decide to defend them) recommends 26 other books on trees.


Photo: Sean McMinn/NPR

NPR - Trees can play a huge role in the health of people living in cities, but across the country, cities are losing millions of trees year after year. And many poor urban neighborhoods — often home to a city's most vulnerable — are starting at a disadvantage.

Sikhs planting trees

Image Courtesy of EcoSikh

Commemorating the 550th year since the birth of the Sikh religion’s founder Siri Guru Nanak Sahib, the global community of Sikhs has begun a mission to plant a million trees as “a gift to the planet.”

The Best Time to Plant Trees
Planting trees at the right time makes them more likely to thrive. Here’s when to plant so you get the most value from your landscaping investment.
Creatively United Community
Based in Victoria, BC this wonderful webiste is dedicated to "Bringing together people & organizations who care about the quality of life in our region"
Arbor Day's 9 Tree Care Tips
Nine comprehensive tree care tips will take you step by step, from selecting and planting the right tree to the care and upkeep of a mature tree.
How to Keep Trees Alive
A PDF on instructions for watering trees, espcially in cities or in drier areas.
How to Plant Your Trees

An excellent Arbor Day resource with videos and instructions for planting trees based on the root configuration
.The Story of Bottled water
Arbor Days tree experts have created this Tree Wizard to help US residents decide which is the best type of tree to plant.
Call of the Forest


Follow visionary scientist, conservationist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, in this film on her journey to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere.
How to Plant Trees Without Land
A downloadable PDF that includes a series of suggestions on how to plant trees if you don’t own land.

Diana Beresford-Kroger


A series of instructive tree-related videos from Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a world recognized author, medical biochemist and botanist. Topics include collecting seeds from conifers and deciduous trees, planting oaks from acorns, choosing trees to plant plus tree suggestions for Canadians, by region based on postal code.

Cartoon coloring sheets
Download this shareable cartoon colouring sheet created by British Columbia cartoonist Nelson Dewey.

Animal Coloring Sheet
Another coloring sheet about protecting nature (best printed 1n 11x 17 format)

Colored cartoon poster


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Find a tree app
Discover the health benefits and planet benefits of trees local to where you live.
How a tree works

Here's a look at how the parts of a tree work together to help a tree get the food, water, and minerals it needs to survive. Includes instructions for a group of children to learn and act out the parts of a tree.
Environmental Learning Takes Root
TreePeople.org has been working with Vena Avenue Elementary in the Northeast San Fernando Valley in California to help bring new green learning spaces to their campus.
Environmental Education for Teachers


TreePeople offers hands-on environmental, professional development trainings and technical workshops that are designed for elementary, middle school and high school teachers.
Why Trees Matter

“We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade, but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems.”

Jim Robbins, author

Top 22 Benefits of Trees



From cleaning the air, to saving water, to cooling the streets in cities, learn the top twenty-two reasons why we need to plant and care for trees.

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