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10 Social Media Content Creation Tips for Non Profits

Image by: Production Perig

By Gregory Kolen.

Are you struggling to come up with content ideas for your non-profit’s social media accounts? You’re not alone! Creating engaging, interesting content can be a challenge, but it’s essential for building relationships with your followers and driving traffic to your website. In this blog post, we will share 10 tips for creating social media content that engages your audience and helps you achieve your goals.

We hope you find these tips helpful and that they inspire you to create content that is impactful and engaging. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

Here are our top ten tips for social media content creation:

Plan ahead: One of the best ways to avoid the stress of coming up with content ideas on the fly is to plan ahead. Set aside some time each week or month to brainstorm ideas and schedule them into a content calendar. This will give you a roadmap to follow and help you stay on track.

Know your audience: It’s important to know who your target audience is before you start creating content. What are their interests? What type of language do they use? What kind of information are they looking for? Knowing these things will help you create content that resonates with them.

Be consistent: Once you’ve identified your target audience and what type of content they respond to, it’s important to be consistent in your approach. Posting irregularly or switching up your style too frequently can confuse your followers and make it difficult to build a relationship with them.

Keep it fresh: While consistency is important, you also don’t want your content to become stale. Be sure to mix things up from time to time and keep your audience guessing. Try new formats, experiment with different types of content, and find new ways to engage with your followers.

Make it visual: People are more likely to engage with content that is visually appealing. In addition to traditional text-based posts, try incorporating images, videos, infographics, or other visuals into your content strategy.

Tell a story: People love a good story, so try to incorporate them into your content whenever possible. Share stories about your work, the people you help, or the impact you’re making in your community. These types of stories will help your followers connect with your mission and feel invested in your work.

Ask questions: Engage your followers by asking them questions in your posts. This is a great way to encourage two-way communication and get feedback from your audience.

Use calls to action: Make it easy for your followers to take action by including calls to action in your posts. Whether you’re asking them to donate, volunteer, or simply learn more about what you do, clear and concise calls to action will help you achieve your goals.

Post at the right time: Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Be sure to post during times when your audience is most active and likely to see your content. Experiment with different days and times to find what works best for you.

Monitor your activity: Keep an eye on your social media metrics to see what’s working and what isn’t. Track things like engagement, reach, clicks, shares, and comments to get a better understanding of what type of content performs well with your audience. Then, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

We hope these tips help you create social media content that engages your audience and drives results. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Shales, Scales, and Sales – Radioactive Fracking Waste

Photo credit: J. Henry Fair

By Hunter Marion.

Within the U.S., 12 states produce the vast majority of the country’s fossil fuels. These states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Three of these states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) sit atop two massive underground geological formations called the Utica and Marcellus Shales.

Shale is a “fine-grained sedimentary rock composed mostly of consolidated clay or mud” that has preserved ancient organic material from hundreds of millions of years ago. Fossil fuels, which are gases or liquids derived from the decay of this material, are plentiful amongst shale layers. Fracking is the most common and lucrative way to extract this organic material from the shale. It is also one of the most destructive forms of energy extraction in our country.

Fracking is the process of pumping pressurized water, chemicals, and a “proppant” (usually sand) to fracture and hold open underground fissures in shale containing oil and gas. The refuse from this process is then removed from the site and either stored at an off-site location or injected into a deep well. Every step in this process jeopardizes public health and ecological stability. But it also produces rampant hazardous waste.

Some of the decaying material in shale is radioactive. Normally, these radionuclides or naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) are buried and do not pose a threat to human health. However, when they are extracted by unnatural means they then become technologically enhanced NORMs (TENORMs) and can be dangerous when concentrated in high quantities – like in fracking.

TENORMs accrue in the instruments used for extraction. Several types of fracking waste like scales, sludge, and brine cause recurring radioactive exposure. Scales are layered mineral deposits that cake the inside of pipes from gas wells. They contain the highest concentration of radioactive material and must be removed by hand. Sludge is a mixture of oil, liquids, sand, soil, and residue that accumulates at the bottom of storage tanks. Although radiation concentrates less in liquid form, sludge poses the greatest threat to health as it can more easily escape into the environment or drain into nearby water. And brine, or liquid waste, is the refuse from the initial pressurization of the fissure. It has repeatedly been found seeping into the groundwater and soil via unexpected ways, such as commercial deicer, road dust suppressants, or “Johnny on the spot” restrooms.

On-site workers are constantly exposed to elevated rates of radioactive waste. One radionuclide commonly found in fracking waste is radium (Ra). Brines from the Utica Shale region have been found containing Ra at 580 times the EPA maximum contaminant level. Consistent exposure to radium is also correlated with elevated risk of developing cancer to chronic blood and bone disease. Reporting has even shown that fracking companies often do not provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE). Employees are typically tasked with manually moving, cleaning, and handling fracking waste without any radiation training or even awareness of the material’s potential harm. These workers then unconsciously expose nearby civilians and buildings to radiation when they leave work.

Lastly, due to a loophole in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal government (i.e., the EPA) cannot regulate oil and gas waste. More specifically, oil and gas waste is not considered hazardous waste under RCRA. Meaning that no matter the amount of TENORMs present in fracking waste, it does not need to be properly disposed of and treated. Thus, these wastes become “orphaned” and get lost in a system of nearby landfills, waterways, or incinerators. In Texas, one company just left deteriorating vats of waste exposed to the desert heat. State and local governments can address these wastes, but they have either not cared to or failed to do enough.

Radioactive fracking waste has been a problem since the 1980s. From Oregon to New York, the disposal of conventional and unconventional fracking well waste has been continuously mishandled and endangered hundreds of thousands of lives. All levels of government should be held accountable for recognizing fracking waste as a hazardous byproduct. Maybe then the country can finally find a real home for this orphaned waste instead of abandoning it near ours.

For more information about radioactive fracking waste, check out these articles by Rolling Stone, the Public Herald, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Pros and Cons of the EPA’s Proposed Rule Against PFAS

Photo credit: Ken Wright/USAF

By Jose Aguayo.

On August 26, 2020, the USEPA released a proposed rule to regulate Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or “Superfund.” These two chemicals are the most widely used ones from a family of chemicals called Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS. They have been used indiscriminately for decades in the aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, clothing, and cooking ware industries. Given their wide usage and their chemistry, which makes them virtually indestructible by natural processes, PFAS widely spread and accumulate in the environment. Additionally, PFAS are strongly linked to health problems in humans, such as cancer and decreased immune response.

The proposal from the EPA looks to tackle the PFAS problem by, ideally, increasing transparency around the release of these harmful chemicals and by helping to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up their contamination. Although this sounds like an amazing move on paper, there are caveats that need to be monitored and potential pitfalls that need to be avoided at all costs.

Let’s start with the positives first – and there are quite a few. Firstly, PFOA and PFOS emissions over a certain threshold will trigger reporting requirements from the industries using these chemicals. The EPA will then be able to investigate and potentially require cleanup at sites contained by releases. Crucially, the EPA will be able to require the industries that released the PFOA and PFOS to pay for the cleanup. Many sites contaminated by PFOA and POFS are military installations that would hold the DOD responsible for the cleanup. Additionally, trash that contains a certain level of PFAS may be required to be disposed of in hazardous waste landfills. Currently, any number of consumer products, construction material, or other waste can freely go to municipal landfills where minimal controls mean these chemicals have a chance of leaching out into the surrounding communities.

Now, the bad news. Labeling these PFAS as hazardous chemicals means that thousands of sites suddenly become eligible to be added to the National Priorities List (NPL), or Superfund list. This list currently has 1,329 sites. With the addition of PFAS sites, this number would easily double if not triple. The current wait time for Superfund cleanup depends on many factors, but the size of the list is one of the main ones. As such, sites currently wait anywhere from a couple of years to more than a decade before cleanup commences. If the list is doubled or tripled, the cleanup times would easily follow suit. A community that has been waiting for cleanup for nearly a decade today, may get pushed further back and wait another decade before the contamination around them is removed.

The argument against this point is that most sites with PFOA and PFOS contamination are DOD installations, thus money would flow from this department. However, that is not guaranteed, and it will require constant pushing from the affected communities to ensure that the money comes in a timely manner. Since PFOA and PFOS have been phased out from many industries, finding responsible parties to pay for cleanup in non-DOD sites will most likely result in lengthy litigation battles that will only delay cleanup of contaminated sites even more.

Another potential pitfall is the disposal of PFAS containing materials. Although the proposed rule would make many PFAS waste go into hazardous waste landfills, a significant number will escape this requirement. The oil and gas industry is exempt from CERCLA, which means their byproducts are not required to follow CERCLA disposal guidelines. Waste from oil and gas drilling, especially fracking waste, contains large amounts of various PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS. This waste would escape regulation and be free to contaminate communities around non-hazardous waste landfills.

All in all, this move from the EPA is a very welcome step to combat PFAS pollution. However, there are several ways in which industries can avoid these implications, and even some ways that the designation can hurt existing communities. CHEJ is weary of these potential pitfalls and encourages the USEPA, as well as the environmental community, to ensure that they do not materialize as detriments to environmental justice communities.