The Cataylst Newsletter
Why Regulations Matter
By: Crystal Warren
What aspects of life are you grateful for? Family? Friends? Clean air to breathe? Clean water to drink? If the last two didn’t immediately come to mind, read on to learn how regulations were created to prevent environmental disaster and protect human health.

In 1948, the town of Donora, PA housed several industries, including a zinc smelter, a steel manufacturer, a wire fence manufacturer, and numerous rail lines to supply these industries. During a dense fog in October, pollution from these manufacturing industries contributed to the death of nineteen people in a 24-hour period. In response, President Richard Nixon and federal legislators enacted the Clean Air Act of 1970 to limit the exposure of U.S. citizens to air pollution by authorizing regulations limiting harmful emissions from air pollution sources.

Before the 1970s, cities and industries also commonly discharged raw sewage and chemical wastes into local waterways. Beginning in the 1800s, industrial development, including iron ore, coal, oil, and rubber industries, discharged their waste into the Cuyahoga River in Ohio. Due to the amount of chemical waste and raw sewage in the water, it was not uncommon for the river to catch fire. One fire that occurred in 1969 attracted the attention of Americans when Time Magazine published an article that described the river as one that “oozes rather than flows.” Consequently, also under President Nixon, federal legislators enacted the Clean Water Act of 1972 to control the discharge of pollutants into our waters to protect human health and aquatic wildlife. Before these regulations, only one third of U.S. waters were deemed safe for swimming and fishing, that number has now doubled.

State and federal environmental regulations have significantly increased the quality of life for most Tennesseans and Americans with cleaner air to breathe and cleaner water to drink. Let’s remember to be grateful for these protections that we often take for granted.
Be a Food Hero
Did you know that 1 in 9 Tennesseans are food insecure? This week is Food Waste Prevention Week, a time to learn how to reduce our grocery bill and impact on the planet while also reducing food insecurity. Feed your neighbors by donating to our statewide food drive (April 1-14)! Find a donation location near you HERE.

The learn more about how to reduce your food waste and serve your community, join us this Saturday, April 6th, for free and family-friendly events at breweries in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. Click the button below to learn more!
Learn More
Native Landscaping
Spring has arrived in Tennessee and many of us may be landscaping to brighten up our yards. If you are planting trees, shrubs, or flowers in the coming weeks, please help to promote biodiversity by landscaping with native plants. Native species are those that naturally occur in an area and are specially adapted to live in that area. Planting native species can contribute to the health of an ecosystem. In an urban setting, natives restore regional character and place fewer demands on resources.
When getting started, make sure to match the right plants with the right conditions in your region. Consider using plants that occur together in their natural habitats. Visit a natural area and observe where plants grow best. Tennessee State Parks has developed a helpful brochure that discusses the benefits of natives, highlights the physiographic regions of Tennessee, and provides recommendations for native plants.
To further ensure our state is free from invasive plant species, our State Parks host their annual Weed Wrangle event. Last month, 233 volunteers came out to 38 parks and together put in over 700 hours of work removing non-native invasive exotic plants.
 Pollution Prevention Webinar
Explore the intersection of business and environmental responsibility in our upcoming webinar, "How to Incorporate Sustainability Concepts into your Business" on April 10 at 1:00pm CST. Discover actionable methods for integrating sustainability principles into your daily operations, with expert guidance on material handling, soil health management, and preserving biodiversity. Hear firsthand from distinguished speakers from Bailey Company and Lick Skillet Farm, recognized for their outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship as recipients of the 2023 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award. Join us as we explore practical solutions and inspire positive change, empowering your business to thrive sustainably while safeguarding the planet for generations to come.
Register Here!
Recipe of the Month
Use up fresh herbs in this cillantro green sauce
Pro tip: Fresh herbs can go bad quickly. Extend the freshness of cilantro and parsley by storing them upright in a glass of water in the fridge.
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