A BIG FREAKIN’ REWARD: After the discovery in Georgia of three whooping cranes killed by gun shots, the reward for information leading to the arrest of the one responsible has grown to $20,800 after the board of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) pledged a $4,800 contribution. Whooping cranes are an endangered species with only 570 left in the world and 400 left in the wild. The birds were discovered by hunters on December 30. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents are leading a joint investigation with the GDNR. The cranes were part of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership effort to reintroduce them to the region and are protected not only by the federal Endangered Species act but by state laws and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. AM
PLAY CARDS AND SAVE GAIA: That’s right, Greenies. You can save the earth by playing with the Boom Boom! Cards Green Deck, a so-called “kindness card game” designed to engender “eco-friendly actions and a sustainable lifestyle.” Each deck contains 26 cards with suggestions for simple acts that make a positive impact on the world, according to a news release from the manufacturer, Boom Boom! Revolution (BBR) of Santa Cruz, Calif. For example, Card #3 states: “Stop. Bend over. Pick up that piece of trash you’re about to walk by. Repeat.” Cute. But my favorite card says, “Catch your neighbor dumping motor oil on the ground. Get medieval on his ass with a Taser. Laugh while he convulses. Repeat.” (Yes, I’m kidding.) The Green Deck is, we’re told, a sustainable product made in the U.S. with soy-based inks and eco-friendly paper and packaging. BBR says that it donates 10 percent of the purchase price to the charity of the buyer’s choice. Learn more at www.boomboomcards.com. JC
KILL THE HOGWARTS! O.K., we ain’t killing any damn Hogwarts. I don’t mess with no Harry Potter. But Queen’s University Belfast is gonna kill the dog crap out of some hogweed along the rivers and streams in Ireland and Scotland, as part of a European Union-funded program starting this week. See, the giant hogweed is one of the invasive plant species wreaking havoc along the waterways in those ancient lands. These species, according to a Queen’s University news release, are often bigger, faster growing and more aggressive than native plants. They destroy eco-systems and limit the use of the rivers for fishing and other recreation. The non-native plants can also cause health problems for those who come into close contact with them. For example, if you touch the hogweed, you turn into a toad, and you have to BEG one of them little Harry Potter punks to change you back, and it’s HARD to beg when all you can do is croak. JC
CHOCOLATE FOR WILDLIFE: Saturday, February 12, from 7-10 p.m., Alabama Wildlife Center will host its annual Wild About Chocolate Event at The Harbert Center downtown. The evening will feature chocolate dishes from 20 Birmingham restaurants, bakeries and caterers, silent and live auctions and live music from The Neo Jazz Collective. Proceeds from the event go toward the Alabama Wildlife Center, Alabama’s largest non-profit animal rehabilitation organization. The live auction will be hosted by Ken Jackson, founder of the Remy Fund for Pets and Animal Services. The emcee for the evening will be Scott Mauldin, a member of the AWC’s board. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at www.awrc.org or by calling (205) 663-7930 ext. 8. Buy a ticket, gorge yourself and help out local wildlife all at the same time. What’s not to love? AM
LEARN COOL STUFF & HELP THE GULF: The annual Legacy Environmental Partnership Conference (LEPC) will be held Thursday, February 24, and Friday, February 25, in Guntersville, according to a Legacy news release. Attending the conference is a chance for you to learn about environmental initiatives happening around the state and to network with other Alabama Greenies. This year’s theme is “Alabama and the Oil Spill: Exploring Cause and Effect,” and 20 percent of each conference registration fee will go to the Alabama Gulf Coast Environmental Recovery Fund. The LEPC annually brings together educators, politicians, environmentalists, business people and others interested in protecting Alabama’s environment. Legacy’s mission, according to the release, is to help create environmentally responsible citizens through balanced, fact-based education that considers diverse views. The registration fee is $50, which covers all sessions, including a grant writing workshop, a reception and dinner on Thursday, and breakfast and lunch on Friday. For details, call (800) 240-5115 or visit www.legacyenved.org. JC
GREEN BABIES: Parents. Have you ever looked at your baby and immediately thought, “I’m concerned you’re not environmentally friendly enough.” Well, worry no more! The Natural Baby Company recently signed with Hevea, a Danish baby product manufacturer, to be the North American distributor of their eco-friendly pacifiers and bath toys. GroVia, the Natural Baby Company’s diaper brand, is also coming out with several environmentally friendly diapers, including reusable cloth, eco-friendly disposable and hybrid. Finally, with GroVia and Hevea, you’re just a bucket of green paint away from having a 100-percent green toddler. AM
I CAN BREATHE IN A SMALL TOWN: You like that John Mellencamp song “Small Town.” You do? Great. I DON’T, particularly. But I need a lead, man. See, I noticed that Audubon International— during its New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, to be held February 3-5 in Charlotte, N.C.—will present a seminar called “Making a Lot with a Little: Long-Term Sustainability Strategies for Rural Communities.” The session will discuss the future of small towns, given the economic, environmental and demographic challenges they face, and consider innovative methods that provide hope for their long-term sustainability. The Smart Growth Conference will also feature discussions of the effort to create a green economy, reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and build healthy communities. For information, visit www.auduboninternational.org. JC
Jesse Chambers is a Birmingham Weekly contributing editor. Andy McWhorter is a Weekly editorial assistant who also writes the “Hot Seat/Limelight” feature. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.