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"The region is facing so many big challenges related to climate change, food security and land use," said Detz, who is ecoRI News' executive director. "It is our role as journalists to give people the information they need to become better stewards of the environment and to hold policymakers accountable for the decisions they make." As the news organization grew, Carini and Detz decided they wanted to do more than just report on the environment. They wanted their organization to have a direct impact in Rhode Island communities through education and outreach. In 2010, they created a public outreach arm of ecoRI, which they charged with offline/real-world education. As part of this effort, staffers conduct educational presentations at schools and businesses about relevant environmental issues. In 2012, the organization gave more than 100 presentations to school kids about how to reduce waste at home by recycling and composting. In 2013, ecoRI launched a residential food-scrap collection program called ecoRI Earth that has diverted roughly 70,000 pounds of food scrap from the Central Landfill to small urban farms where the material is used to grow more local food. These outreach programs work in tandem with the news side of the organization to give citizens the information and the tools they need to become better stewards of the environment. ecoRI News, with a full-time staff of just four, is still small, but it is making a big difference in southern New England. Learn more at ecori.org.

Clean Green Living spring/summer 2016  

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