Thursday night’s premiere of Before the Flood at the Paramount in downtown Charlottesville was a sobering look at how climate change is affecting our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems, and native communities across the planet.

I was absolutely thrilled to see so many Betties and Better World Bobs (Betty’s male counterpart) of all ages, races, and religious creeds turn out for the film and panel discussion! Over 900 according to organizers the Local Energy Alliance Program and their many sponsors! (Cville REA, Generation 180, Southern Environmental Law Center, Latitude 38, Think Little, Wild Virginia, and more)

Whether you like his acting or not, the time, attention, and leadership demonstrated by Leonardo DiCaprio is admirable and inspiring.

We realize that Leonardo has at least three multimillion dollar homes and the movie industry has a super-sized carbon and water footprint (which the movie revealed when producers of “The Revenant” ironically had to move the set halfway across the globe because of record-high temps!) But Leonardo DiCaprio has admirably stepped up and invested his time, talent, and treasure in the fight against climate change. He has been an environmental truth teller and advocate around the world — who can forget his powerful speech at the UN climate change summit in 2014? And his  foundation has to date given 61 million dollars to 65+ organizations around the globe!

Here are Betty’s TOP FOUR TAKEAWAYS from the film:

  1. Vote for people who support climate action!
  2. Eat less meat. America’s burger binge must stop.  70% of crop lands in the US go toward feeding cattle.  Cattle produce loads of methane which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  Apparently one unit of methane is equal to twenty units of carbon dioxide!
  3. Ditch the palm oil habit. A thirst for the consumer product ingredient palm oil, found in a myriad of products like popcorn, is leading to massive deforestation in Southeast Asia and in particular the Orangutan habitat. Check out saynotopalmoil and join Betty in the 28-day no palm oil challenge and sign petitions to make companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s to commit to 100% procurement of sustainable palm oil by joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
  4. Besides the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), we need the 3 L’s: large-scale leadership (from all sectors of life), local involvement, and lifestyle changes to reverse the affects of global climate change. We CAN do it with an uprising of folks just like you reading this right now! Betty is here to help.  Download Betty’s Home Menu of actions and begin taking meaningful action.

Better World Betty is your local resource for going green. Check out our great resources if you have a question Ask Us at

Here’s to a Better world for all sentient beings on the planet,


More takeaways from the Global Citizen website

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Recently my friend called me asking for Betty’s help. There was an email exchange on her neighborhood listserv about a neighbor who was asking for recommendations on how to get rid of mosquitoes this summer and a couple folks encouraged her to use the local mosquito control companies that use insectides. She is a bird and bee lover, like Betty, so we wanted to help.

First of all, it’s understandable that folks would seek a solution for mosquito bites with the growing concern folks have of contracting life-changing, if not life-threatening diseases like tick-borne illnesses, west nile virus, and zika virus.

But do we really want to be blanketing our backyards (and in some cases parks and public spaces) with harmful insecticides? The biting beasts can certainly turn a backyard barbecue into a chorus of hand-slapping, which is annoying. And of course we don’t want our kids, families, and pets to become infected with a serious illness.

For those of us concerned about our feathered friends and all-important bees, it’s good to think twice about using these harmful chemicals. There are many preventative measures and alternatives you can choose to do instead of continual spraying of insectides.

First, the facts. We found a great fact sheet:

Here is a fact sheet from the National Pesticide Information Center on Bifenthrin

The bottom line for wildlife?

Can bifenthrin affect birds, fish, or other wildlife?

Bifenthrin is low in toxicity to birds. There are potential risks for birds and mammals that eat aquatic organisms because bifenthrin can last in a long time in the environment and it may accumulate in fish.

Bifenthrin is highly toxic to fish and small aquatic organisms. It’s also very highly toxic to bees.

And here is information on pyrethrins, a commonly used ingredient in insecticides:

So here’s what we recommend:

  1. Educate yourself and your friends on these products. Ask for the MSDS sheet (the material safety data sheet) and do some investigative research. As it seems we keeping getting new lawn care folks in my neighborhood, this is the first thing I do. And talk to your friends and neighbors about alternatives.
  2. Before you go the chemical route, take preventative measures by ridding your yard of all standing water (mosquito breeding ground). You can also plant species like lavendar, marigolds, and basil that mosquitoes don’t like.
  3. Try an alternative to spraying first. Mosquito Squad does offer a solution that is all-natural and essential-oil based. There are also many creative ideas on the web including like this one from
  4. If you are not convinced of the safety and ecological risks and decide to go ahead and spray, do it for one or two occasions, but not on a regular basis.

In 2014 this conundrum came up for our neighbors to the North, Loudoun County, where the parks department was considering spraying due to lyme disease concerns. Due to an outpouring of concerned citizens they voted to NOT spray their parks. Here is the article from the Washington Post.

Here’s another article you might be interested in from the Environmental Health News – I always like to plug my friend Pete Myers organization when I can

Pyrethroids raise concerns

We hope this helps your neighbors decide the right thing to do for themselves, their family, and at the same time the ecology. Because about one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination, we all have a vested interest in keeping the bees healthy.

All the best,




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5 Things You Can Do After You March

April 29, 2017

If you went to the Science March last weekend or today’s Climate March in D.C. or attended a local march, there is plenty to do in the wake of the positive collective energy that is gathering! 1. Make Your Voice Heard! Wield your phone eco-warrior by calling your local, state, and federal representatives and let […]

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3 Steps to Eco Friendly Hosting

April 13, 2017

Having a dinner party or Memorial Day BBQ? Concerned about how to be an Earth conscious host? Betty has a few tips to keep your event clean and green! Download the PDF guide

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Celebrate Earth Week in Charlottesville

April 13, 2017

Earth Week is a week long celebration leading up to Earth Day, which happens each year on April 22nd. In Charlottesville, there are many April activities and events focused on celebrating, exploring and defending, the Earth. Check out what’s coming up. UVA Earth Week Events by UVA Sustainability 4/17 – 4/23 Mon 4/17: UVA Farmers Market from […]

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On Valentine’s Day Show Your Love for the Planet

February 7, 2017

As with many other holidays in the United States, Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays where we tend to spend money on stuff. Cards, flowers, candies and gifts. We often share a message about buying and consuming less stuff, and we believe you should show appreciation of your significant other or loved ones every […]

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A Green App a Day Keeps the Greenhouse Gasses Away!

March 17, 2016

For those of you who weren’t able to join us at Firefly for yummy green appetizers and some favorite apps, here is a list of some of our favorite FREE apps! Light Bulb Finder I loved this app when we switched our candle-style bulbs from ancient incandescents to the latests LEDs (super savings!).  It will ask […]

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Betty’s Sweet 16! 16 tips for 2016

February 9, 2016

16 Tips for 2016 FOOD 1. Join a CSA to get farm fresh local food! 2. Lower your cookprint: use the right size burner for pots and be sure to cover them. 3. Waste less food. Go to to find creative recipes to use up just about anything that’s about to go bad! 4. […]

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What about broken stuff that I don’t want to send to the landfill, Betty?

December 13, 2015

November’s Repair Cafe at the IX building was a grand success.  Fixin’ not ditchin’ items was the theme! 80+ people brought their bikes, clothing, old vacuums, electronics, etc to be repaired.  Betty was there helping folks know where to take stuff locally so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill. We’ve published a list […]

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Lighting Made Simple

October 22, 2015

This article is part of a series on the theme of Simplifying which have been published in Echo Magazine in Charlottesville, VA. The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and unfortunately this may mean our wallets are getting lighter due to our electric bill! Indoor lighting can account for up to 25% of your […]

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