Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Public Forum on Clean Energy Sources for NYC


When: Thursday July 31, 2008, 9:30am-1:00pm

Where: Hunter College, West Building (southwest corner of Lexington Avenue and East 68th Street in Manhattan) in the 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room.

The Infrastructure Task Force (ITF) of the New York City Council and the Council's Environmental Protection Committee will jointly hold a Public Forum on the subject of on the benefits and challenges of clean distributed energy sources, such as solar photovoltaics, in the New York City context.

The public is invited to attend the forum to hear industry leaders and experts address this important subject, and provide substantive testimony on what the city can do to establish itself as a national leader in clean energy adoption.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tonight's GM: Bring Your Ideas about Plastic Produce Bags!

Come on out to the Coop's General Meeting tonight (7pm @ Temple Beth Elohim, 8th and Garfield Aves.) to discuss ways that we can reduce (or eliminate!) the use of plastic produce (roll) bags at the Coop. Here's the agenda item:

Item #2: How to reduce use of plastic produce bags (40 minutes)

Discussion: "Plastic bags are useful and practical, but have many adverse environmental consequences. Shopping (t-shirt) bags have been eliminated at the Coop (and other places), but produce (roll) bags are a thornier issue. We would like to brainstorm with members to solicit ideas about (a) whether we can substantially reduce the number of produce bags we use at the Coop, and (b) how to do so without making the shopping experience more inconvenient or burdensome."
--submitted by the Environmental Committee, the General Coordinators, and concerned Coop members

We'd love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where are the Reusable Bags in the Coop?


Now that the Coop's no longer providing plastic bags at checkout, where in the Coop can you find reusable bags?

Near the checkout:
• Lightweight but sturdy red or blue tartan plaid plastic bags with handles (& they zip!)
• New lightweight solid color plastic shopping bag with Food Coop logo

Near the wire shelves near the checkout (right by the day-old bread):
• Sturdy canvas PSFC bags (a classic!)

Near the wire shelves just below the hanging scale at the end of the bulk aisle:
• String bags (European style)
• Chico bags (nylon with its own stuff sack)
• Sturdy canvas PSFC bags (a classic!)

Up above the end cap shelves containing juicers:
• Lovely patterned cloth bags that fold into a small packet (many patterns--great as gifts)

Plus. . .
At the beginning of the produce aisle, hanging right above the mangoes:
• Reusable produce bags
• Reusable cloth (muslin) bags
• Reusable green plastic bags (keep your fruit & veggies fresh for weeks!)

Come on out to the General Meeting on Tuesday, July 29th @ 7pm at Temple Beth Elohim, 8th and Garfield Aves., and bring your ideas on how Coop members can reduce our use of the plastic roll produce bags!

Monday, July 21, 2008

NYC's Plastic Bag Recycling Law

Starting next Wednesday, July 23rd, NYC's new Plastic Carryout Bag Recycling Law goes into effect. Here are the details on which establishments are effected:

"New York City stores that are either chain stores (more than 5 locations in the city) or are over 5,000 square feet and provide plastic carryout bags must accept all plastic bags, such as plastic carryout bags (shopping bags), newspaper bags, and dry cleaning bags, for recycling, during normal business hours, no purchase necessary. Restaurants are exempt from the law."

Since the Food Coop stopped providing plastic shopping bags for members, we're exempt from this law, too. Space is so tight in the Coop, and it's hard to imagine where we'd be able to store all of those plastic bags!

For more information, visit the city's recycling website at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/recycling/plastic_bag.shtml

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Ways to Recycle Your Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

While more energy efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury. When CFLs are thrown away with the trash, this toxic metal end up in landfills and can eventually seep into surface and ground water -- contaminating our drinking water and the fish we eat, and constituting a major threat to human health. (For more on health effects of mercury exposure and consumption, see: http://epa.gov/mercury/health.htm)

While each borough in NYC has a special sanitation drop-off site, these locations are inconvenient for many people. And though the city does allow residents to throw the bulbs in with their normal trash, for many it just doesn't feel right to add mercury to the solid waste stream.

But now there are a couple of new ways to recycle CFLs. Ikea, which recently opened a new store in Red Hook, accepts CFLs for recycling. And last month Home Depot, of which there are several in Brooklyn and the rest of the city, announced that it would accept CFLs for recycling at every store.

For more information, visit http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/social_environmental/environment.html and http://www6.homedepot.com/ecooptions/stage/pdf/cfl_recycle.pdf (pdf)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

July 29: Plastic Produce Bags @ the General Meeting

Come out to July's General Meeting and offer your opinions and suggestions regarding plastic produce bags at the Coop! Here's a more detailed description of this item on this month's GM agenda:

Item #2: How to reduce use of plastic produce bags (40 minutes)

Discussion: "Plastic bags are useful and practical, but have many adverse environmental consequences. Shopping (t-shirt) bags have been eliminated at the Coop (and other places), but produce (roll) bags are a thornier issue. We would like to brainstorm with members to solicit ideas about (a) whether we can substantially reduce the number of produce bags we use at the Coop, and (b) how to do so without making the shopping experience more inconvenient or burdensome."
--submitted by the Environmental Committee, the General Coordinators, and concerned Coop members

Feel free to offer your suggestions here on our blog, as well!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Green Cleaning Comes to New York

By Cynthia Blayer
Linewaiters' Gazette, 9/14/2006

We rely on cleaning products to keep us safe from dirt and germs. In recent years, it has come to light that many standard cleansers contain ingredients that are actually harmful to us. Although they take away dirt and germs, these cleansers can leave toxic residues on surfaces as well as release them into the air. Green or ecological cleansers, which don't contain harmful ingredients, give us a safer, healthier alternative. Increased interest in these green cleansers has lead to some positive changes in New York State policy.

Manufacturers of cleansers are not required to list all ingredients on the labels of their products, so they are not readily apparent to the average consumer. The popular cleansers Fantastik and Windex both contain butyl cellusolve, which is neurotoxic. Many common cleansers contain asthmagens, which are ingredients that can cause asthmatic reactions. A 2001 study reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that janitorial workers have twice the rate of respiratory health problems as other workers.

READ MORE in the Food Coop's Linewaiters' Gazette article archive here:
http://foodcoop.com/files_lwg/lwg_2006_09_14_vAA_n16.pdf

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Green Living from the Natural Resources Defense Council

The Green Living guide, from the nonprofit environmental group National Resources Defense Council, is a handy resource with lots of useful environmental information. The site has loads of tips on recycling, eating local, responsible product choices, and other environmental issues that affect us all. There's even a section highlighting simple steps to take to live more sustainably, conveniently categorized into low-, medium- and high-effort actions.

To learn more, visit the NRDC website at: http://www.nrdc.org/greenliving/

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sustainable Cities Science, Art Exhibition and Lecture Series

This summer, take the free ferry to Governor's Island for a Saturday lecture series on sustainable cities. This summer's program seeks to engage the public by approaching sustainability in the city from all lenses, drawing lectures from the public, private and research sectors.

Lectures are Saturdays at 12:30pm, and cover such varied topics as urban gardens, waste reduction strategies, water efficiency and wind power

For directions, schedules and more information, visit the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities website: http://www.cunysustainablecities.org/outreach/govisland2008.php