Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Earth 911: Everything You Wanted to Know About Recycling

We've added several links to our blog's sidebar. The Earth 911 website ( provides a wealth of information on the three R's: Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. You can search for recycling locations by zip code as well as by the specific item or material you want to recycle. They've got news and tips on many types of materials (plastics, electronics, etc.) as well as composting. Click away!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Plastic Produce Bags: Can We Reduce Their Numbers?

Now that the Coop's stopped providing plastic "t-shirt" bags at checkout, the Environmental Committee is cosponsoring a discussion item about reducing the usage of the thin roll bags used for produce and bulk items. It hasn't been scheduled for a General Meeting yet -- we will keep you posted.

In the meantime, we invite you to help us brainstorm this issue! Some of the ideas that we've come up with at our meetings are: charging for them (and having a swipe card attached to the checkout stations that can be swiped for each bag used, so that the checkout person doesn't have to spend time searching the menu each time a roll bag is passed before them), a roll bag vending machine (buy only what you need!), selling boxes of roll bags, and offering alternatives such as muslin bags (reusable and washable).

An anonymous comment came through earlier this week letting us know about a store that recycles containers and provides them for shoppers featured over at the No Impact Man blog. It's a great idea, but the Coop's space is so tight, I wonder if there would be room (ditto for the vending machine, for that matter).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer's here -- protect your skin

Now that summer has truly arrived, it's time to slather on the sunscreen. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group has created Skin Deep, a database of over 20,000 cosmetic and personal care products, including sunscreens. Each product is assigned a safety rating based on the EWG's research on the content of its ingredients. Skin Deep features many products sold at the Coop, and is a handy way to check the safety or toxicity of all of the personal care products you use.

Visit Skin Deep at:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This Friday: Elizabeth Royte reads from Bottlemania

Head to Community Bookstore in Park Slope this Friday night and join author (and Coop member) Elizabeth Royte for a reading and discussion of her timely book, Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It.

In the follow-up to Garbage Land, her influential investigation into our modern trash crisis, Elizabeth Royte ventures to Fryeburg, Maine, to look deep into the source--of Poland Spring water. In this tiny town, and in others like it across the country, she finds the people, machines, economies, and cultural trends that have made bottled water a $60-billion-a-year phenomenon even as it threatens local control of a natural resource and litters the landscape with plastic waste.

Friday, June 13th @ 7:30 p.m
Community Bookstore, Park Slope
143 7th Avenue
(718) 783-3075

Free and open to the public

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Paint Recycling

Recycle your leftover paint and let it help others, instead of ending up in a landfill and potentially poisoning our groundwater.

Materials for the Arts accepts donations of paint for distribution to nonprofit cultural organizations and arts programs. Call them at (718) 729-3001 or visit

NYC Dept. of Sanitation Self-Help Special Waste Drop-Off Sites accept up to five gallons of latex paint per visit can be dropped off at any site. See

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Best Eco-Choice: Durable Shopping Bags

Each year, 12 million barrels of oil are needed to produce the 100 billion plastic bags Americans consume annually. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Many cities and countries are banning or heavily taxing plastic shopping bags.

Choose one of the lightweight, durable, reusable shopping bags sold at the Coop instead! A ChicoBag comes in it's own stuff sack, perfect for carrying in your purse or pocket. Larger canvas, string and thick plastic bags are great for bigger and heavier groceries.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Coop Stops Providing Plastic Shopping Bags

Coop members voted this week to no longer provide plastic shopping bags at the coop! The proposal (which was co-submitted by the Environmental Committee) passed by a vast majority of May General Meeting attendees, and will apply to the plastic shopping (t-shirt) bags which are stacked at the check-out counters.

Thanks to everyone who came out and voted this week!

Read The Brooklyn Paper article about the vote here: