Monday, April 28, 2008

Bottled Water -- Vote Tomorrow!

Are you concerned about the environmental impact that sales of bottled water have on our planet? Our committee is co-sponsoring a proposal which is on the agenda for the April 29 General Meeting, and we'd love it if you could come. We're last on the agenda, but come early for Agenda Item #2 also, which is a proposal for forming an official Bike Committee to improve bicycle parking (via valet bike parking), provide information and bicycle-related resources and products to members.

Tuesday, April 29, 7:00 p.m.
274 Garfield Place at 8th Ave. (Garfield Temple social hall)

Agenda Item #3: Bottled Water (55 minutes) Proposal:
Because selling bottled water violates our mission--polluting the environment and handing over public resources for private gain--we resolve to discontinue selling bottled water. Selling bottled water undermines support for and confidence in the public water system, which distributes our most precious common resource equitably. Plastic bottles pollute the environment, required oil and lots of water to produce and fuel to transport. They take up landfill space where toxins can leach into the water table. Selling bottled water allows corporations to exploit public resources for private gain. Bottled water is an unnecessary expense to the consumer. Unloading and schlepping bottled water is backbreaking work and shelf space could be better used.
"That the PSFC discontinue selling bottled water"
--submitted by Susan Metz, David Barouh, Lew Friedman

Friday, April 25, 2008

Brooklyn GreenWalk

On Thursday, May 1, join students from NYC College of Technology on a free, two-hour walking tour of Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO. The tour will explore selected urban environmental challenges and sustainable solutions currently being implemented in these two neighborhoods.

Developed by students in five different disciplines--chemistry, English, communication design, hospitality management and physics--the tour will offer a range of perspectives on environmental concerns in areas immediately surrounding the College. Issues considered will include global warming, the tendency for cities to be warmer than outlying areas (the "Urban Heat Island Effect"), garbage and power generation, while solutions will include recycling and composting, bio-fuel use, green building techniques, absorption of CO2 by trees and local food consumption.

Meet between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. at the southeast corner of Jay Street and Tillary. For more information, visit:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day Continues

Environmental, Recycling and GMO Committee members handed out information at the Coop this past Sunday, as part of our Earth Day celebration. In case you didn't make it, we'll post the literature we handed out, starting with:

You don't have to wait for the next Earth Day to donate recycleables. These stores accept recycled goods year round:

* 3R Living: In-store recycling center accepts: batteries, cell phones, ink cartridges, CDs and their cases, hand-held electronics, and crayons. 276L Fifth Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 832-0951

* Best Buy: Accepts cell phones and rechargeable batteries.

* Staples: Accepts cell phones, PDAs, pagers, used computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes, and all-in-ones, ink and toner cartridges, and rechargeable batteries.

* Provides free recycling services of any brand of used computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes, MP3 players, game systems, cameras/camcorders, and smartphones/pdas through a mail-back program. Those who send items with "trade-in-value" will receive a Costco gift certificate. You do not need to be a member to use this service. Materials are not accepted at Costco retail locations.

* Office Depot: Will accept any brand of used electronics that are not cracked or leaking. These items must be able to fit within one of their three boxes (The largest box is 14"x18"x18", which is big enough for a monitor, but not a large television). The box must be purchased for $5, $10, or $15 depending on the size of the box. The filled box can then be left at the store for recycling.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Anatomy of a Brownstone: Green Roofs, Green Homes

Head to NYC College of Technology this coming weekend for a seminar devoted to the art and science of sustainable homes, NYC style. Learn about green roofs, energy audits, whole house design, and sustainable building products from experts and professionals in the green design and build community. Discover how to save energy, reduce waste, and increase the overall comfort of your home.

Saturday, April 26, 2008
2 sessions, (morning and afternoon) $40
10am to 12pm - Atrium Amphitheatre, 300 Jay St, Downtown Brooklyn
2pm to 4pm - 93 Nevins St, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

For more information, visit:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Street Tree Gardening for MillionTreesNYC

Give a hand to the silent street tree! Street trees do so much to improve our environment, but they receive almost no care. In this workshop, learn the benefits of street trees and how to improve the health of a street tree by caring for its "bed." You'll also learn about the Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest as well as the Mayor's new MillionTreesNYC campaign and what you can do to ensure the survival of these newly planted trees!

Tuesday, April 22nd
at the Coop

FREE -- Non members welcome!

Presented by GreenBridge, the Community Environmental Horticulture Program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Electronics Recycling in Park Slope & Fort Greene

Discarded computers and electronics are toxic hazardous waste!
Keep your unwanted electronics out of the landfill by bringing
them to this neighborhood e-waste recycling event.

***Electronics Recycling in Fort Greene
Saturday April 19, 10am-4pm
Sunday April 20, 10am-4pm
Monday April 21, 4pm-7pm
Fulton St between South Portland Ave and Oxford St
They accept working and non-working:
- Computers (laptop & desktop) and Monitors
- Servers, mainframes
- Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
- Network devices (routers, hubs, modems)
- Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables)
- Components (hard drives, CD ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies)
- TVs,VCR & DVD Players
- Audio visual devices
- Radios/Stereos
- Cell Phones, pagers
- PDAs, other telecommunication devices (phones, answering machines)
- Media (floppies, CD's, zips, VHS tapes)**

**Gets sent to - if you have a lot of media please
go to the website, pay a small fee, download an address label and
send it directly to them. All materials collected will be recycled via Lower East Side Ecology Center's partnership with BuildItGreen. For more information, visit the Lower East Side Ecology Center's website:
LES Ecology Center

***Electronics Recycling in Park Slope
Saturday April 19, 10am-2pm (rain or shine)
Prospect Park YMCA, 357 Ninth St. Brooklyn (bet, 5th & 6th Aves.)
They accept a variety of electronics and compact fluorescent bulbs, but no televisions. Sponsored by the Park Slope Civic Council, Per Scholas, and Council on the Environment of NYC. For more information see:
Park Slope Civic Council

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Celebrate Earth Day with us!

Every day is Earth Day at the Coop -- so Earth Day here has to be twice as good.

Swing by the Coop on Sunday April 20 to see the Earth Day tables. The ever-popular worm composting demo will be back! Members of the Environmental Committee and Recycling Committee will be there to answer your questions and distribute information about upcoming events.

On Tuesday, April 22--the official Earth Day--come to the Coop for a workshop on street tree care. Learn how to nurture the street trees that will be taking root across the city over the next ten years! Event starts at 7 pm.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Zero Waste Initiatives

By Cynthia Blayer
Linewaiters' Gazette 2/16/2006

I was recently asked if old sneakers can be recycled. The answer is
yes, they can. Nike, a company with a checkered past in terms of
certain labor practices, is doing the right thing by taking back its
products at the end of their useful lifespan and reusing the
materials. Their program, Reuse-a-Shoe, accepts all brands of old
sneakers (not just Nike). The sneakers are ground up and the raw
materials are divided into three categories. Rubber from the outsoles
is used to make soccer, football and baseball fields as well as
weight room flooring. Foam from the midsole is used for synthetic
basketball and tennis courts, in addition to playground surface
tiles. The fabric from the shoe uppers is used for padding under
hardwood basketball floors. It takes approximately 3,000 sneakers to
make a basketball court and 100,000 sneakers to make a running track.

The Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program is an example of a zero-waste
initiative. Zero waste is a philosophy and a design principle seeking
to eliminate waste and the need to landfill or incinerate trash. Zero
waste goes beyond recycling as we know it today, partly because it
encompasses a much wider range of materials than are currently
considered recyclable. Items that would ordinarily end up in
landfills or incinerators are broken down into component materials
that are reused to make new products. This reduces the need to strip
the earth of virgin resources such as timber and metals, as well as
the ever-increasing need to find space for landfills.

READ MORE in the Food Coop's Linewaiter's Gazette article archive.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Taking Back the Streets

With congestion pricing a no-go, New Yorkers might want to look at the innovations of city dwellers in other locales. For instance, the Woonerf, or “living streets” found in Copenhagen, where certain streets are traffic-free, i.e. just for pedestrians. Then there are the Swaled Streets in Seattle, which replace some of the customery asphalt with landscaping. In addition to looking nice and attracting birds, swaled streets cost 20 percent less and cut storm water runoff
by 99 percent. For more great ideas, see Jeff Byles Sunday, April 8 NYT article Taking Back the Streets

For more information and pictures see: Seattle's Green Streets

Friday, April 04, 2008

BEST ECO-CHOICE: Wild Alaskan Salmon

• In contrast to farmed salmon, wild Alaskan salmon is free of antibiotics.
• Certified environmentally sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
• Salmon farming pollutes surrounding waters (source: Environmental Defense)
• Due to PCB levels, only 1 serving/month of farmed salmon is recommended, while 4-8 servings/month of wild Alaskan salmon is recommended (source: Institute for Health and the Environment, University of Albany).

All frozen and canned salmon sold at the Coop is wild, as are some brands of smoked (refrigerated) salmon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Say No to Menus and Flyers!

Have you noticed the red "NO fliers, ads or menus" signs around the neighborhood? They are from the Park Slope Civic Council and can be downloaded or picked up at several local retailers. For more information see: No fliers, ads or menus signs