The Cataylst Newsletter
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Zero Waste TN
On October 27, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and its partners will celebrate Tennessee’s third annual Zero Waste Day. The event aims to raise awareness about waste in Tennessee and educate citizens on actions they can take to reduce it. On Zero Waste Day, TDEC and its partners are encouraging citizens to take the “Zero Waste Challenge” and complete each of the following actions that support the Zero Waste Hierarchy:
  • Re-think – adjust your behavior as a consumer and make purchasing choices that limit your impact on the environment
  • Reduce – be mindful of unnecessary and wasteful items and learn to live without them
  • Reuse – give possessions a second life through creative reuse, repurposing, or donation
  • Recycle – use existing products to create new ones and reduce dependence on virgin materials and associated natural resource impacts
  • Re-Earth – compost your organics to divert the single largest waste stream from landfills
This year, in addition to the annual “Zero Waste Challenge,” TDEC is hosting a series of webinars throughout the week of October 24-28th to teach Tennesseans how to go Zero Waste. Designed to help Tennessee residents, businesses, higher education institutions, and entrepreneurs take charge of their waste, the week will feature a variety of guest speakers in the Zero Waste industry. We will focus on educating Tennesseans on the importance of zero waste, and how to implement these practices within your own entity. Some of our partners and guest speakers for the week will include the non-profit Tennessee Environmental Council, Metro Nashville’s Zero Waste program, The Good Fill Store Nashville, and NewTerra Compost.
In addition to the webinar series, TDEC is partnering with The Good Fill Store, at their West Nashville location, to host a “zero waste take back” event in which they will accept miscellaneous and hard to recycle items from residents. TDEC will have a small collection area set up in The Good Fill Store to collect items such as CDs, batteries, small electronics, light bulbs, and ink cartridges. This will also be an excellent opportunity for shoppers to learn about their local zero waste resources. The event will take place on October 27th from 10 am to 6 pm.
Click Here to see the agenda for the week and register for webinars. To learn more about TDEC’s Zero Waste TN Program, or find zero waste resources, you can visit the program’s website.
Zero Waste Webinar
Community Corner
There are roughly 20,000 species of butterflies and 325 species of hummingbirds. On October 3rd, we celebrate National Butterfly and Hummingbird Day. It’s a chance for each of us to learn more about and support these creatures that are so important to our ecosystem.
While bees are the most significant pollinators in North America, butterflies and hummingbirds also help to pollinate our plants. One way that you can observe this day is to consider planting a butterfly or hummingbird garden or install a feeder that can serve as a supplemental source of nectar to help them through times when there aren’t as many blooming flowers nearby.
Several of our Tennessee State Parks have planted gardens to support our butterflies and hummingbirds and will be holding events in early October that provide Tennesseans the opportunity to see these creatures up close. One such event is at Seven Islands State Birding Park where the public can assist park staff with tagging Monarch butterflies to help understand their migration patterns.
Click here to learn more fascinating facts about these animals and for some ideas on how you can observe this day.
Business Corner
This year’s Pollution Prevention Workshop focused on greenhouse gas emission reporting, reductions, and offsets. It took place at the Florim USA manufacturing facility on September 12th. Speakers covered the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Program, how to reduce energy usage and ultimately emissions from your facility, and the world of carbon offsets and options in Tennessee. Following presentations and discussion, Florim, winner of the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Sustainable Performance, showcased their facility with a tour highlighting their sustainability accomplishments and initiatives.
State Government Corner
Recently, Tennessee State Parks were recognized as the recipients of the 2022 President’s Award from the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) for their Go Green With Us initiative. The award is given to an individual or organization that has made an extraordinary contribution, innovation and/or best practice at a state, regional or national level, furthering the goal of a state parks system.
The Go Green With Us (GGWU) Program began in 2015 as a recycling initiative. Today, it is a comprehensive program that helps park staff and citizens protect and preserve our State Parks through resource conservation, sustainable operations, and recycling. This program provides more earth friendly options for park guests such as water bottle filling stations, earth-friendly merchandise, and environmentally friendly lodging and recreational opportunities. It also implements sustainable initiatives throughout park operations that include energy efficiency, recycling upgrades, food recovery, recycled tires, solar panels, and electric vehicle charging stations.
Learn more about the great work happening in Tennessee State Parks through the Go Green With Us Program HERE.
Small Business Environmental Assistance Program
TDEC’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) wants to remind you that many of your TDEC-issued permits have expiration dates! There are several useful reasons why permits expire. Draft permits on public notice provide you and your community an opportunity to review the permit requirements and provide feedback on the feasibility of the permit conditions. Reissuing permits also provides TDEC the opportunity to update permit conditions to meet new, federally issued guidance and promote more effective treatment technologies.
Different permits have different expiration dates, depending upon the permitting division and the type of permit issued. Create a reminder for yourself to double check the expiration dates of your existing permits. Many permits require a renewal application to be submitted 60 – 90 days prior to the expiration date of your current permit. Don’t know how to check the status of your permits? Reach out to us via telephone (800-734-3619) or email, and we can help you find that information.
Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo
Recipe of the Month 
Balsalmic Roasted Beets
Balsalmic Roasted Beets
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