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Posts Tagged ‘Earth’

It’s Earth Day!

Mother Earth

Holy Bat Cave!

Bats. Not sure about ‘em. My basic introduction to them began at an early age Saturday mornings while watching Sir Graves Ghastly horror flicks and seeing a vampire manifest itself into a bat. Come to find out it doesn’t really work that way.

Holy Bat Cave!

“Unfortunately,” according to the Organization for Bat Conservation, “due to many years of fear and misunderstanding, bat populations are decreasing and some are nearly extinct.”  Don’t be afraid. But you don’t need to open up your home to them either. Since their natural habitat is quickly disappearing, bat houses give them a place to call their own.

John Bradburn is General Motors’s resident expert on waste reduction and recycling. Rather than just recycling, which uses more energy and resources, he focuses on repurposing materials and what to do with unwanted scraps. So, with his love and appreciation of the earth and its wild life –  combined with his job, he came up with a pretty cool idea. While trying to figure out what to do with scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers, he came up with bat houses! So, he along with the help of Rob Mies, founder of the Organization for Bat Conservation located at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, figured out how to make the habitable environment for bats out of them.

I had no idea that the Little Brown Bat can eat up to 6,000 insects each night. Bats are the primary predators of night-flying insects including moths, beetles, flies, and mosquitos. And if one of these bat houses can hold up to 150 bats, that’s 900,000 bugs in a night – gone!

Put away the Raid® and get yourself a bat house.

If you’re a school or organization and would love to adopt a bat house, wood duck nesting habitat or a screech owl house, contact john.bradburn@gm.com and see if he can hook you up with your very own habitat.

Want to find out even more? Check out this link! GM and Detroit Youth Turn Chevy Volt Battery Covers into Wood Duck Homes; Michigan Kids Go Batty for Chevrolet Volt Battery Covers

And, for additional fun stuff about bats visit www.batconservation.org

Earth Movers

You know it’s just rained when you walk outside and get hit with…..the smell of earthworms. I’ve helped a worm or two in my day by picking them off the sidewalk and planting them back in the grass, but my friend Thom takes it even a couple of steps further. Not wanting to squish the little guys, he clears them out of the way before pulling the car out of the drive. What he may not know is that he’s helping in other ways as well.

I feel the earth move under my feet

I knew little about earthworms but learned quite a bit through the University Of Illinois’ “The Adventures of Herman.”* I was flabbergasted to find out that there are around 500,000 worms in an acre of soil, (and some accounts say up to a million in really good soil). With all that burrowing going on, they’re the ultimate aerator. The work they do down there is equal to a drainage system of a 6-inch pipe 2,000 feet long. Crazy.

While moving through the earth, these little guys are also eating and casting (if you catch my drift) at the same time. These 500,000 earthworms can fill up 100,000 one-pound coffee cans with “castings”. I’m not even going to ask how the people who farm worms collect that fertilizer to sell to gardeners.

So, the worms increase the amount of air and water that gets into the soil, breaks down organic matter, mixes it, aerates it and then fertilizes it. Next time I see a stranded earthworm on the sidewalk you bet I’ll help him back to Mother Earth. It’s the least I can do.

*urbanext.illinois.edu/worms