In our December newsletter, we celebrate a successful coat, costume and shoe drive as part of America Recycles Day; and we congratulate Napa County RCD for being awarded an environmental education grant from the EPA. We also share resources for energy saving and recycling this holiday season.
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December 2016 E-News


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
Dear friend,

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season are the traditions that come with it. Some of these traditions are universal and shared by many others; some are specific to my family and, truth be told, are probably just plain weird. I bet we all have these wonderful (and weird) rituals that make our experiences unique to us and our time with loved ones that much more special.  

I’ll confess one of mine. And it all starts with a beautiful white dove tree topper my family purchased in the early 1970s. The dove had a dense Styrofoam body and head, with very realistic feathers covering the body and creating the tail and wings. It had two orange wire legs and from a (long) distance, looked every bit like a real dove. The bird of peace, with wings spread, graced the top of our tree for several years in those early days of my childhood.  

Then we moved several times over the years and the dove, while packed and stored away, was gnawed on by critters in the attic. It was fairly large chunk out of the...uh...back end area but since it too was white, barely noticeable.  Then a few years later a few of the wing feathers fell out.  And then some tail feathers. And then a black glossy eye fell out and we glued it back on. And then a few years later one of the wire legs came loose and like a broken limb, hung at an awkward angle.  Then a few years later the great flood of 1986 hit and our home in Healdsburg, near a swollen tributary of the Russian River was flooded. We awoke in the middle of the night and dashed to our basement trying to save everything we had stored there – including our Christmas ornaments and, you guessed it, the dove. Sopping wet and covered in silt, we dried it out – along with pretty much everything else we owned. The dove survived.  

It is less graceful and elegant looking these days; it appears as if it has been through great battles, small skirmishes, possibly a bar fight or two, and overall, has led a pretty hard scrabble life. But despite the rather undignified appearance, the dove is still unpacked each year; we trade it back and forth between us now so no one is spared the honor. Or the opportunity to share the story when others catch a glimpse of the scrappy dove as it comes in for its bumpy landing, and ultimately its perch, at the top of our tree.  

If you’d like to see a few photos of this beauty of a tree topper, you can find them at Awe-Full Ornaments, a fun photo project started by a friend several years ago which features the infamous dove.

Happy holidays!

Jeri Gill
CEO, Sustainable Napa County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded an environmental education grant to Napa County Resource Conservation District, as well as two other nonprofits in California: the Plumas Audubon Society in Quincy, and Education Outside in San Francisco. The grant funds will be used to educate students on the effects of climate change on wildlife, help elementary students understand the science behind their local watersheds, and to engage high-school students in stewardship, conservation, and natural resource management issues in their local community.  Read more...  

On Saturday, November 12, the City and County sponsored a coat, costume and shoe drive in celebration of America Recycles Day at Vallerga’s Market. Residents were invited to donate unwanted coats, costumes or shoes in exchange for an indoor recycling bin or compost pail. This year, approximately 340 coats were collected and subsequently donated to the Salvation Army, and 30 costumes were collected to be used in the City’s costume exchange event in 2017. Additionally, 500 pairs of shoes were collected and provided to the nonprofit Soles4Souls for reuse or recycling (any shoes that cannot be reused by those in poverty, both domestically and overseas, will be recycled). This was the first year that shoes were collected at Napa’s America Recycles Day event and a good portion of the collected shoes will go to assist people in the Country of Haiti that was recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew. 

In the News


An estimated 92 percent of Napa County homes and businesses are now using a majority of “clean energy” to power their homes, offices and wineries. Read more...

Making Connections


RCD calendar2017 Watershed Awareness Calendar Now Available!  
This year's calendar illustrates the wide variety of hiking trails throughout Napa County. Explore the natural beauty of your home watershed by leafing through the pages of this calendar; then grab your shoes and head out for a hike! Pick up your copy from the RCD office (1303 Jefferson St, Suite 500B, Napa). Learn more...

Give the Gift of Energy Saving 
Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well. Although rechargeable batteries cost more initially, they can be reused hundreds of times and last for years. Even better, rechargeable batteries’ performance is superior to disposable batteries for many uses. Read more...

Green Your Winter and Your Holidays
Have your home heating serviced to keep it efficient. Make sure your fireplace or wood stove is working properly and burns smoke-free indoors.
Saving energy 
Safer, smoke-free fires
Wood smoke and Asthma

Annual Christmas Tree Pick-up & Recycling Day
On Saturday, January 7, local boy scouts troop will be picking up Christmas trees to recycle into mulch, compost or fuel for renewable energy. Trees must be curbside by 9 am and free of ornaments, nails, tinsel, stands, and metal spikes. Learn more...

Fire Safety Tips for Natural Christmas Trees
As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow very large quickly. These tips will ensure you have the freshest—and the safest—tree possible. Learn more...

2017 Enviro Ed Nominations 
Know a teacher who teaches about the environment? The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who use innovative approaches to environmental education, and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. The nomination period is open now thru March. Learn more...

Remember: Lead Safe Work 
If you're planning to have work done on your home, look for contractors certified for lead-safe renovation. Lead paint is the main way people are exposed to lead in the U.S., and lead exposure can cause a range of health problems from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children and their developing nervous systems at the greatest risk. EPA has fined contractors who violated lead-safe work practices designed to prevent or reduce hazardous lead dust from common renovation or home repair activities. Check if your contractor is certified for lead-safe work. 
Learn more...

Napa Valley Give! Guide: Inspiring a Community of Givers
Napa Valley CanDo continues its novel approach to year-end giving with the Napa Valley Give!Guide. The program is intended to raise awareness about local nonprofits and to cultivate a culture of year-end giving. Through December 31, donations of $10 or more will be accepted, and every penny of your donation will go to the nonprofits you’ve selected. You make a choice. You make a difference. Give!Guide makes it easy. Read more...

Mark Your Calendar

Sunday, December 11, noon-3 pm
Creating Holiday Wreaths from your Garden

Thursday, Decemer 15, 10-11 am
EPA Advancing Sustainable Materials Management

February 28 and March 1, 2017
5th annual California Climate and Agriculture Network Summit

Click here for more details on these events.

Did You Know...

59 percent of real Christmas trees harvested are recycled in community programs. -  source 

Batteries work due to a chemical reaction inside the battery that causes electrons to flow from the negative to positive terminal of the battery. When you recharge a battery, you’re essentially reversing the chemical reaction using electrical energy. - source

Holly is a popular holiday greenery decoration and has long been revered for its mysterious powers. From ancient times, people would hang branches of holly above their doorways to entice woodland spirits into their homes during the winter solstice. - source

Copyright © 2016 Sustainable Napa County, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1556 First Street, Suite 102, Napa, CA 94559 
(707) 927-3858 

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