Saturday, December 26, 2009
There are dry cleaners that use the word "green" in their name or advertising, and are actually no different than other cleaners. It is important to inquire how they do their cleaning, if they use PERC or some alternative, and if so, what.
If you do use a regular dry cleaner (with perc), you can minimize potential health problems by removing the plastic wrap at the store and letting your clothes air out on the way home. Avoid storing freshly dry cleaned clothes in a baby or child's room, as they are more susceptible to the effects of perc and other toxins.
Image courtesy of Austin Cleaners
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Food Coop carries some gift items such as naturally scented soaps and lotions, recycled paper gift notebooks, scented candles, and some holiday cards that contain seeds--they can be buried in the garden where they will biodegrade and grow into wildflowers in the spring!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Recycle your holiday cards and promotional mail. This time of year, we get inundated with mail and catalogs. When you’re done with these, recycle them with your mixed paper and cardboard. Do this year round with all unwanted mail!
Recycle paper gift wrap and cardboard boxes. Paper gift wrap and cardboard tubes are recyclable. So are the cardboard boxes that contain your presents. Recycle these along with your other mixed paper and cardboard.
You can also recycle many of the beverage containers that hold your favorite holiday drinks, such as wine and beer bottles. You can even recycle the carton that holds your eggnog. Recycle these along with other designated metal, glass, and plastic recyclables.
Also, consider reusable totes, boxes or scarves to wrap your gifts.
If you use wrapping paper, the Coop has a selection of recycled wrapping paper as well as cards.
Check the Department of Sanitation's holiday collection schedule to know when to set out your recyclables.
For more green holiday tips, see NYC Wasteless.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Greenpeace International's new executive director, Kumi Naidoo of South Africa, is in Copenhagen for the climate summit now taking place there. He is the first African to head Greenpeace, and his appointment can be seen as a change of direction for the legendary environmental organization from discreet environmental campaigns toward connecting the dots of environmental activism with human rights and poverty.
In this respect his background is appropriate, if unusual, for his new role as Greenpeace director. Born in Durbin SA, he was part of the African National Congress' struggle against South Africa's apartheid system. He had to flee the country in 1986 for violating the country's emergency regulations, and returned after Nelson Mandela was freed from jail. He has been a human rights and anti-poverty activist both as part of the ANC and apart from it ever since.
Kumi Naidoo sat down for an interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman in Copenhagen on Thursday, December 10th, and spoke about Obama’s Peace Prize, Obama’s War, Copenhagen and Climate Debt. You can watch the interview online.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The package of four bills is expected to dramatically reduce the City’s energy usage, saving consumers $700 million annually in energy costs, while creating 17,880 jobs and reducing New York City’s carbon footprint by nearly 5%.
In addition to the four pieces of legislation, the six-point Greener, Greater Buildings Plan includes two PlaNYC programs that will train workers for new construction-related jobs, and help finance energy-saving improvements using $16 million in federal stimulus funding.
The plan will also result in cleaner air, since pollution from boilers, furnaces, and local power plants will also be reduced. Learn more details about the plan.
Monday, December 07, 2009
- Contaminated sites
- Waste management
- Recycling issues
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Worldwatch is going to provide updates on this week's Climate Conference in Copenhagen, beginning Monday, December 7. You can visit the Dateline Copenhagen Blog or download their Climate Change Pocket Reference Guide.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Event Date: Wednesday, 12/02/09
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: NY Academy of Sciences Conference Center,
7 World Trade Center,
250 Greenwich St., 40th Floor
This panel discussion will highlight New York City as an example for cities around the globe and examine the key role cities play in climate change adaptation going into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (Cop15) discussions in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Presented by the Green Science & Environmental Policy Discussion Group and New York City Panel on Climate Change
Find more information on this event and register here.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Find recycling collection boxes at the following Greenmarkets:
Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall, 8am-6pm
Court & Montague
Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8am-6pm
E. 47th St & 2nd Ave.
97th Street Greenmarket, 8am-2pm
W 97th & Columbus
Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall, 8am-6pm
Court & Montague
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, 8am-4pm
NW Entrance to Prospect Park
Fort Greene Park Greenmarket, 8am-4pm
Washington Park at DeKalb
McCarren Park Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
Driggs & Union
Inwood Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
Isham St b/t Seaman & Cooper
For more information, visit the CENYC website.
Image courtesy of 's Flickr pool.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Eco-logic at WBAI 99.5 FM
on Tuesday, December 1
11 am-12 noon
The topic will be:
Hydraulic Fracturing for Gas
Guests will be:
Deborah Goldberg, managing attorney with Earthjustice and
Annie Wilson of the Atlantic chapter of the Sierra Club.
From host Ken Gale:
Exploding toilets. Exploding wells. Contaminated drinking water. This is what has happened in other states that have allowed Halliburton's hydraulic fracturing process to reach natural gas deposits in shale. Chesapeake Energy Corporation put out a press release on Oct. 28 stating they won't drill in New York City's watershed.
- What does that really mean?
- What about the other companies that are taking out drilling leases?
- What about the rest of the state?
- Why is the governor allowing these leases?
- What about other dangers to the water supplies?
- What about the already-contaminated water in Pennsylvania and other states?
- We already do without the gas. We cannot do without the water. I will explore these topics in detail.
(archived at Ecologic archives)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The episode will air on TV in Brooklyn this Tuesday and in Manhattan on Thursday.
LOCAL TV SCHEDULE LISTINGS:
Tuesday, November 24th, 8PM, TimeWarner Cable 34 / Cablevision 67 / RCN 82 / Verizon 42
Thursday, November 26th, 8:30PM, TimeWarner Cable 56 / Cablevision 17 / RCN 83 / Verizon 34
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Many of these issues are complex, and there are a wide variety of certification criteria. What does it mean to say that coffee is shade-grown? Just how organic is an organic bean? Should you choose a brew from Costa Rica or Nicaragua? The Coffee & Conservation blog at http://www.coffeehabitat.com/ is an in-depth tour through the mysterious plantation of the facts, dedicated to untangling the environmental and social issues surrounding coffee cultivation and guiding caffeine fiends to the most sustainable fix.
Short of time? Check out their Top 5 Indicators of Sustainable Coffee list to help you make a snap judgment. Or read the product reviews to see how your current choices stack up.
Photo courtesy of:
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
*** Use Less Stuff Week starts Thursday, November 19 ***
Use Less Stuff (ULS) Day, which has fallen on the third Thursday of November since 1995, will expand to an entire week this year to further educate consumers about the increase of waste generated during the holiday season.
The organization is promoting concepts such as using rechargeable batteries in electronic gifts for the holidays and reusing gift wrap or wrapping with alternatives such as newspaper. Both of these ideas prolong the life of products, thereby reducing what needs to be thrown away.
According to the U.S. EPA, recycling diverted 68 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2001, up from 34 million tons in 1990. The ULS report claims that not only is the waste generated between Thanksgiving and New Years higher than at other times during the year, but the amount of this waste is actually growing. When the campaign first began, the estimated waste totaled to 5 million tons, and now it is closer to 6 million tons.
ULS has also released a program called CalcuLess that lets consumers quantify the impact of the packaging they use. Simply type in a product and how much it weighs and receive tailored information about the item, such as what it’s made of and how often it’s recycled, according to the EPA.
Read the rest of this article at Earth 911.
Image courtesy of Washington State University.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Master Composters will be available at many of the participating gardens with information about how to make nutritious “brown gold” compost in your own garden, yard or apartment and the convenience and importance of recycling.
Garden groups wishing to join Project LeafDrop and register as drop-off sites, to find specific drop-off dates at a participating garden near you, or for more information about Project LeafDrop, see the group's website: http://www.NYCLeaves.org or email them at email@example.com.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The article states that, "[w]hat scientists call naturally occurring radioactive materials...are common in oil and gas drilling waste, and especially in brine, the dirty water that has been soaking in the shale for centuries...[T]ests taken so far suggest the amount of radioactive material measured in New York is far higher than in many other places."
The DEC has issued draft guidelines for drilling in the Marcellus Shale, the underground rock formation extending from Southern New York all the way to West Virginia, and which encompasses New York City's watershed. You can submit comments through the online submission system or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org until December 31, 2009. And a petition to sign has been created by an alliance of New York state-based environmental, political and citizen groups to ban gas drilling in New York State.
There is a public hearing tonight, Tuesday, November 10th at 6:30PM at the Stuyvesant High School Auditorium, 345 Chambers Street, Manhattan.
For more background, see our previous posts on this topic and/or Damascus Citizens for Sustainability or the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.
Monday, November 09, 2009
A: Not really because of the absence of food labeling laws governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
What are genetically modified organisms and why should you want to know?
Come to the panel discussion to find out!
When: Friday, November 13th at 7pm
Where: Park Slope Food Coop
782 Union St., Brooklyn (btw 6th & 7th Av.)
Image courtesy of U. of Michigan
Saturday, November 07, 2009
1pm - 5pm
Location: MS 51 & the Old Stone House
5th Ave @ 4th St in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Bring your old Jack - O - Lantern!
We will supply the shredded leaves.
This is a pilot program at MS 51 to demonstrate how simple waste materials - leaves and pumpkins - can be turn into benefit. Thanks to BBG and Jon Pope, a master composter and carpenter, we have 3 giant rodent-proof bins to fill with material. Finished compost will be distributed in the spring to our historically referenced gardens of useful plants.
Please pass the information on and come on down to see the fun.
Good beer is available right across the street!
Volunteers are welcome to contact Claudia at email@example.com
For more information: 718-768-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, November 06, 2009
- The comment period, which began Sept. 30 with the release of the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), now extends through Dec. 31, 2009. You can submit comments through the online submission system or via email to email@example.com
- The second public hearing on the environmental review, which will be held Tuesday, November 10 at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St. in Manhattan. Doors for the hearing will now open at 5:30 p.m. for individual questions and speaker sign-up and the hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m.
- Please add to the over 1400 signatures on the petition created by an alliance of New York state-based environmental, political and citizens groups to ban gas drilling in NYS.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
As we mentioned last week, the city has suspended their electronics recycling events because of budget cuts. But the Council on the Environment of New York City is publicizing two collections of electronic waste in November:
Tuesday, November 10, 11am-7pm
Church of the Heavenly Rest
90th St and 5th Ave, Manhattan
Sunday, November 22, 8am-3pm
West Side of 1st Ave, between 93rd and 94th Sts, Manhattan
Bring cell phones, computers, laptops, copiers, fax machines, IPods and PDAs, modems, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, stereo and radio equipment, telephones and telephone equipment, televisions, typewriters, speakers, digital cameras, VCRs, DVD players. All E-Waste collected will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner in the U.S.
For more information, download this flyer from the CENYC.
Image from vision63's Flickr pool.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
November 4 at 7pm:
Panel Discussion on
Natural Gas Drilling near
NY’s Drinking Water Supply
• Kylie Harper, Founder, TapIt
• Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney, Earth Justice
• Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
• Moderated by The Sierra Club Watershed Committee
Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall
435 W 116th St., rm. 107
(between Amsterdam Ave. & Morningside Dr.)
Why should you – New Yorkers – care?
Large-scale gas drilling in the Catskill area could result in the irreversible pollution of our water supply and cost us billions of dollars in the process.
Hydraulic Fracturing is the suspected cause of impaired or polluted drinking water in western Pennsylvania, Colorado, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Kansas, Montana, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
If it is allowed to occur without strong restriction in the Catskill watershed area, it is only a matter of time before our water is affected as well. Once the watershed becomes polluted, New York will have to cough up ~$10 billion for a water processing plant to treat the water.
Panelists wil discuss the risks and benefits of hydrofracking, the environmental impacts, alternatives to drilling, the current policies and DEC rules concerning this industry in New York State, and what we can do to protect our precious water supply.
Learn more about the issue at Damascus Citizens for Sustainability.
Sign the petition to ban hydraulic fracture drilling in New York State.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Tuesday, Nov. 3 - 7:00 p.m.
School of Visual Arts, rm. 302 (Ampitheater)
209 East 23rd St., bet. 2nd & 3rd Avenues, Manhattan
Join us for a lively discussion about the safeguarding of New York's water. Please share this invitation with friends, family and fellow New Yorkers.
"Water for Gotham" author Gerard Koeppel will open the discussion, and provide a historical look at New York's water supply. NYH2O's Joe Levine and NRDC's senior attorney Kate Sindingwill will provide a practical look at New York State's recent recommendation, and what every New Yorker can do.
Called "the most important health and environmental issue ever facing NYC that nobody knows about", hydraulic gas drilling will change life for all residents and businesses in New York State. Understand the implications and how to be heard.
For those of you who can't make it on Tuesday, there is a similar event at Columbia University on Wednesday, November 4, 7:00pm - 8:30pm, 435 W 116th St., rm. 107
To learn more about protecting NY’s water resources, go to NYH2O .
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Street trees improve air quality, reduce inner city asthma rates, provide shade and lower urban temperatures, help fight climate change, increase property values and make our sidewalks beautiful. Stewardship is vital to increasing NYC's canopy as young, newly planted trees face numerous threats in this urban environment and require care if they are to survive into maturity.
Caring for Street Trees 101
Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 5:00-7:00pm
Green Depot, 222 Bowery, Manhattan
For more information and to register, visit the LESEC website.
Image from epc's Flickr pool.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Several speakers at the hearing pointed out that giving the public only 60 days to review the 805 page SGEIS is absurd, and what was the rush? Governor Patterson and the gas companies seem anxious to start drilling ASAP. An alliance of environmental groups in NY have gotten together and started a petition to tell Governor Paterson that there are too many dangers and unknowns in the hydraulic fracture drilling process, it will put our water supply, our upstate farmland and the health of over 9 million New Yorkers at risk, and we request a state-wide ban on hydraulic fracture drilling for gas.
Tuesday, November 10 at 7pm is the second of 4 public hearings, a chance for people to comment on the SGEIS. So far, it is the only one in NYC. It will be at the Stuyvesant High Auditorium, 345 Chambers Street, at North End Ave (west of West St) in Manhattan . While there is the hope that the comment period will be extended beyond November 30, right now that is the deadline we are working with, so it is important for people to attend the meeting if possible and/or comment online.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Q: Member Anne writes, "I'm a PSFC member and love your blog. I was wondering if any electronics recycling events are planned for the future. If not, do you know of a local responsible electronics recycler?"
A: Unfortunately, the city's Department of Sanitation has suspended their electronics recycling events due to budget cuts. However, here are some options:
- If you are talking about cellphones, calculators, or other handheld electronic devices, you can drop them off at 3R Living in Park Slope. See the last sentence on their "About Us" page.
- You can drop off your old computer and peripherals (keyboards, mice, printers, etc.) at any Goodwill store or donation site for FREE. Goodwill accepts any brand, in any condition. Equipment will be responsibly recycled, thanks to RECONNECT, a partnership between Dell and Goodwill. Residents are responsible for removing data from hard drives.
- The Lower East Side Ecology Center will be having e-waste collection events again after the holidays in January 2010. The dates will be posted on their website.
- If you want to recycle computers and other larger equipment, you can drop it off at Per Scholas in the Bronx. Or, if there are more than 25 computers, they will come and pick them up.
- For comprehensive information about donating your computer for reuse, about manufacturer and retailer take-back programs, and a look forward to early 2010 when NYC's Electronic Equipment Collection, Recycling and Reuse Act takes effect, see the Department of Sanitation's web site.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This Friday, October 23 a public hearing on the issue of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, part of NY's watershed, will be held at City Hall. You can catch up on the issue via our related posts.
Friday, October 23 at 10 am
City Hall Committee Room
36 Chambers St. in Manhattan
If you can't attend the hearing, you can still email or call your City Council member in support of Rep. Tony Avella's Resolution 2191, which calls for a statewide ban of hydraulic fracture drilling. The City Council website will search for your city council member by your address.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Bronx-based coop/diner, featured in current Gazette
Green Hill Food Coop
Bay Ridge Food Coop
South Bronx Food Coop
Photo of Bronx Food Coop Founder Zena Nelson. Read about how Zena, a 29 year old graduate student, had the idea to start a Coop in the Bronx.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Watershed Update: State Releases Drilling Guidelines. Environmental Groups Skeptical; Say Watershed Still at Risk
A new technology, hydraulic fracturing, makes drilling possible in the Shale. Millions of gallons of fresh water along with sand and chemicals, some toxic, are injected under high pressure miles down the drilling hole to fracture deep underground formations and prop them open in order to release oil and gas trapped within. The technology has been promoted in articles such as a recent New York Times piece (“New Way To Tap Gas May Expand Global Supplies”) as nothing less than the solution to the world's energy and global warming crises.
In that article, no mention was made of the technique's having been implicated in accidents and contamination of water supplies in Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Residents and environmental groups, many formed around this very issue, have raised alarms about the threat posed to the City's famed water supply and have demanded that no drilling take place in the watershed. Some have called for a moratorium on drilling in all of New York State. Also at risk is the State's EPA exemption from filtering required for surface water supplies that the City enjoys. If the water becomes contaminated and loses it's exemption, a filtration plant would cost the City—not the drillers—an estimated $4billion, according to the New York City Independent Budget Office. Some estimates are as high as $6 billion.
The SGEIS lays out the proposed regulations for drilling in the watershed. Those regulations, as reported in The River Reporter of Narrowsburg, NY, include disclosure of the fracturing fluids used, testing of wells within 1,000 feet of drilling sites, or if no wells are within 1,000, extending the testing area to 2,000 feet, following established protocols for water withdrawals, preparing plans for greenhouse gas emissions, visual, noise, and traffic impacts, and restrictions on storage of wastewater in open pits.
The drilling industry has readily accepted the guidelines, but environmental groups are not satisfied. Riverkeeper's comments are typical; it has promised to carefully go over the guidelines but has stated it is frankly skeptical that any drilling can safely be conducted in the watershed.
The DEC has a public comment period in effect until November 30th, and will hold four public hearings, with one here in New York City on Tuesday, November 10, 7PM at the Stuyvesant High School Auditorium, 345 Chambers Street in Manhattan. Several environmental groups, including Environmental Advocates of New York and Riverkeeper are asking for it to be extended to 90 or even 120 days.
Also available for comment is the overall New York State Energy Plan into the forseeable future. The deadline for those comments is October 19th.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering. A search feature on the web page allows readers to look for sources of pollution in their state. There is also a selected list of reader comments, which are quite fascinating.
This article is part of a series of articles by NY Times reporter Charles Duhigg on water pollution in the United States.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This weekend, bring your child’s outgrown clothes to the Coop to trade with other members.
When: Saturday, October 17th, 10am-1:30pm
Where: Park Slope Food Coop, upstairs
Attention moms-to-be: Come to the swap to find newborn clothes! Non-members welcome.
Please bring only items that are in good condition. Collect clothes for your own children, only. At 1:30, any remaining clothes will then be available to anyone. Do not bring clothing to the Coop before the hours of the exchange.
Image courtesy of Christaface's Flickr pool.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Bits of plants? Yes. Because one of the many interesting facts that middens demonstrate is that biodegradation, although it seems like a powerful and immutable law of nature, is surprisingly easy to thwart. Lack of oxygen and sunlight, the wrong temperature, or the absence of suitable microbes can slow it to a crawl. Thus prehistoric packrats, who had never even heard of a time capsule or a paleontologist and probably wouldn’t care if you told them, were able to preserve grains of pollen, leaves and stems in such conditions that they eventually fossilized rather than breaking down into the soil and can be identified to the species level today.
Modern landfills have come a long way from the old principle of digging a hole and tipping the waste in. For perfectly good reasons like keeping toxic sludge out of the surrounding air, water, and soil, today’s landfills are sealed up far tighter than any packrat could ever dream of. In addition, they are compacted using heavy machinery, which results in still darker, drier, more anaerobic conditions on the inside.
The results are startling: University of Arizona researchers excavated landfills in three states, and discovered well-preserved 25-year-old hot dogs, half-eaten steaks and even grapes as well as 40-year-old newspapers that could still be read; they estimated that food refuse in the landfills they excavated decomposed by only about 50% every twenty years. Meanwhile, that fifty percent that does decompose doesn’t just disappear innocuously; it produces quantities of methane, which has been implicated in global warming, and liquids appetizingly known as leachate. Leachate can be contaminated with almost anything that the indiscriminant mingling of decades of household wastes might bring to the party – heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and more.
Read the rest of this article on page 14 of the April 23, 2009 Linewaiter's Gazette.
Photo courtesy of D'Arcy Norman.
Friday, October 09, 2009
When: Tues., October 13th at 7pm
Where: Park Slope Food Coop
Population growth, pollution and scarcity are turning water into the oil of the 21st century. Global corporations are rushing to gain control of this dwindling natural resource, producing intense conflict in the U.S. and worldwide, where people are dying in battles over control of water. The world is poised on the brink of epochal changes in how water is stored, used and valued. Will these changes provide clean water to the billions who need it or save the children dying from contaminated water? Thirst shows that popular opposition to the privatization of water sparks remarkable coalitions that cross partisan lines.
Monday, October 05, 2009
When: October 9, 2009 at 7 pm
Where: "The Gallery" at John Haynes Holmes House
28 East 35th Street, Manhattan
suggested donation $5
*New York State’s water supply is currently threatened by gas drilling in the Marcellus shale. Joe Levine, chair of NYH2O, will be on hand before the screening to discuss this critical local issue and what we can do to prevent the destruction of our watershed. He will also be showing an 8 minute clip from Josh Fox's film "Water Under Attack".
Friday, October 02, 2009
“The Morgan green roof is the largest in New York and one of the largest in the country,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president of Sustainability with the Postal Service. “Not only does it provide employees with a beautiful, serene outdoor environment, the green roof will help us meet our goal to reduce energy usage 30 percent by 2015.”
The rest of the article can be found at Earth 911.
I wonder if they allow visitors.
(Photo is actually Chicago's City Hall green roof)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Just in time for harvest season, Greenmarket and Edible magazines present the first annual Edible Eat Drink Local Week to celebrate the farmers, artisans and chefs who fill our bellies, green our region and enrich our lives.
Support the restaurants that support the Greenmarket. September 27 through October 4, 2009, all week long, partner restaurants will showcase the mouthwatering bounty of local food and drink, and make voluntary contributions to Greenmarket to benefit its Youth Education Project, which works to teach and nurture the eaters of tomorrow.
For more information, including a list of participating eateries in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, click here.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Alongside the Greenmarket farmers' market, visit interactive booths, make art from recycled products, attend a free workshop, and more for the whole family! The event is the largest of its kind in Brooklyn and engages all citizens, regardless of prior knowledge of sustainability and environmental issues, in actions they can personally take to lower their own environmental impact.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn
Opening remarks at 11:30am, fair 12pm-6pm
For more information, visit Green Brooklyn, Green City
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Th Sep 17 – A Sea Change (2008, 85 mins)
Fr Sep 18 – The Garden (2008, 80 mins)
Sa Sep 19 – Burning in the Sun (2009, 65 mins)
These screenings are held at Solar One’s outdoor location in Stuyvesant Cove Park, overlooking the East River south of E. 23rd St. in Manhattan.
For more information, visit Solar One.
Image courtesy of solaronenyc's Flickr pool.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
A list of acceptable materials can be found here.
WHEN: Saturday, September 12, 10am-4pm
WHERE: Tekserve, 119 West 23rd St New York, NY 10011
For more information, visit the LESEC website.
Image courtesy of kid_entropy's Flickr pool.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
As of August, Kimberly-Clark yielded to public pressure and announced a new policy that places it among the industry leaders in sustainability, bringing the Kleercut campaign to a successful completion. The company has set a goal of obtaining 100 percent of the wood fiber used in its products – including the flagship brand Kleenex – from environmentally responsible sources. By 2011, Kimberly-Clark will ensure that 40 percent of its North American fiber is either recycled or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – a 71 percent increase from 2007 levels, representing over 600,000 tonnes of fiber. Also by 2011, Kimberly-Clark will eliminate any fiber from the North American Boreal Forest that is not FSC-certified.
You can read more about it on Greenpeace's Kleercut site.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Alarmed that genetically engineered crops may be finding their way into organic and natural foods, an industry group has begun a campaign to test products and label those that are largely free of biotech ingredients. A campaign hopes to back up claims some food makers are already making.
With farmers using gene-altered seeds to grow much of North America’s corn, soybeans, canola and sugar, ingredients derived from biotech crops have become hard for food companies to avoid. But many makers of organic and natural foods are convinced that their credibility in the marketplace requires them to do so.
The industry group, the Non-GMO Project, says its new label is aimed at reassuring consumers and will be backed by rigorous testing.
“There’s a vulnerability here that the industry is addressing,” said Michael J. Potter, the founder and president of Eden Foods and a board member of the Non-GMO Project, the organization responsible for the testing and labeling campaign.
As plantings of conventional crops with genetic modifications soared in recent years, Mr. Potter put in place stringent safeguards to ensure that the organic soybeans he bought for tofu, soy milk and other products did not come from genetically engineered plants. He even supplies the seed that farmers use to grow his soybeans.
But many other companies have not been so careful, and as a result, Mr. Potter said, the organic and natural foods industry is like “a dirty room” in need of cleaning.
“What I’ve heard, what I know, what I’ve seen, what’s been tested and the test results that have been shared with me, clearly indicate that the room is very dirty,” Mr. Potter said.
Hundreds of products already claim on their packaging that they do not contain genetically modified ingredients, but with little consistency in the labeling and little assurance that the products have actually been tested. The new labeling campaign hopes to clear up such confusion.
The initials GMO stand for genetically modified organism. Participants in the Non-GMO Project include major players in the organic and natural foods business, like Whole Foods Market.
Read the rest of the NYTimes article.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The MTA funding crisis is settled for now, but while it raged, New Yorkers were a captive audience, albeit a jaded one, knowing that all the funding plans had one thing in common—mass transit fares would increase in the teeth of tough times.
The most game-changing plan of them all, with roots going back over 40 years, was ignored—the Kheel plan—from Theodore Kheel, longtime labor mediator and, at age 95, New York City icon and visionary miles ahead of the city's transportation establishment.
The original Kheel plan, introduced in January 2008, would have made subways and buses free!—paid for by doubling the Congestion Pricing fees proposed in the CBD to $16 for cars and $32 for trucks, charged once per day including weekends, raising taxi fares 25%, and charging curbside parking fees in the areas bordering the CBD. The latest plan, introduced in January 2009, would moderate congestion pricing fees and make subways free at night and on weekends, while reducing fares during weekdays, especially during off-peak hours. Buses would remain free 24/7. Called the Kheel-Komanoff plan (acknowledging the work of Kheel's collaborator, energy-policy analyst, transport economist, and former Transportation Alternatives president Charles Komanoff), this plan acknowledges political “realities,” yet still faces widespread media indifference.
Read the rest of this article in the on page 12 of the July 30 Linewaiter's Gazette.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Mexico City becomes the second large metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw the bags. San Francisco in March 2007 enacted an ordinance that gave supermarkets six months and large chain pharmacies about a year to phase out the bags. Los Angeles is set to impose a ban if the state of California does not enact a statewide 25-cent fee per bag by July.
China has adopted a strict limit, reducing litter and eliminating the use of 40 billion bags, the World Watch Institute said, citing government estimates.
In Tanzania, selling the bags carries a maximum six-month jail sentence and a fine of 1.5 million shilling ($1,137).
Mumbai, India, outlawed the bags in 2000 and cities in Australia, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan have imposed bans or surcharges. Ireland reported cutting use of the bags by 90 percent after imposing a fee on each one.
The bags are also a major threat to ocean wildlife, causing the deaths of 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals that mistake them for food.
Mexico City, which has had some of the worst air pollution in the world, also is looking at improving its environment in other ways. The municipal government announced this month it will place more than 1,100 bicycles at 84 stations throughout the city for residents to use. Officials said they hope to increase bicycle use as a form of transportation to 5 percent, up from the current 1.2 percent.
The complete article can be found at CNN.com
Friday, August 14, 2009
Interested in environmentally-friendly employment? Head to the Brooklyn Public Library's Business branch in Brooklyn Heights next week for the Green Jobs workshop.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 18, 6-7:30pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Public Library, Business Library
280 Cadman Plaza W. at Tillary St.
The workshop is free, but you'll need to register on the library website.
For more information and to register, visit the Brooklyn Public Library's website.
Image courtesy of greenforall.org's Flickr.
Monday, August 10, 2009
"Starting August 1, 2009 the Lower East Side Ecology Center Garden will only accept kitchen scraps on Sundays during open hours, 8am-5pm. We are still accepting kitchen scraps at the Union Square Greenmarket on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 8am-5pm.
We do not have the capacity to deal with the ever-increasing amounts of bags filled with compost at our garden."
For more information, visit the LESEC website.
Image courtesy wisemandarine's Flickr.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Worried about toxic chemicals in your children's products? This year, when you send your kids off to school, send them off with school supplies that are free of PVC,the poison plastic. PVC contains dangerous chemical additives such as phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins. These toxins can leach out or evaporate into the air over time posing unnecessary dangers to children. More than 90% of all phthalates are used to soften or plasticize PVC products - that's over five million tons a year!
Get your free copy right now. Here's a handy wallet-sized version of the guide for your shopping needs on the go.
Friday, July 31, 2009
The movie is about a small town with a big secret and you can be one of the many people who are going to be moved by this film and pushed to action. The single most powerful thing everyone who sees "The Cove" can do is to spread the word.
Click here to learn more about activism inspired by "The Cove" and what you can do to help.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Quoting the OCA:
"Michael Taylor has shuttled between positions at the FDA and USDA and as a lawyer and lobbyist for GMO-seed giant Monsanto. According to OCA, he "is widely credited with ushering Monsanto's recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) through the FDA regulatory process and into the milk supply -- unlabeled."
"Taylor is also responsible for the FDA's decision to treat genetically modified organisms as 'substantially equivalent' to natural foods and therefore not require any safety studies. The 'substantially equivalent' rule allowed the FDA to ignore evidence that genetically engineered foods, including soy, are in fact very different from natural foods and pose specific health risks."
On this point, an article in the Huffington Post by Jeffrey Smith linked to this evidence. The FDA's press release about Taylor made no mention at all of his time spent working for Monsanto.
Dennis Wolff is the Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Pennsylvania. According to the OCA, Wolff is notorious for having championed agribusiness interests as Pennsylvania's Secretary of Agriculture, including unilaterally banning local dairies from marketing their products as free of rBGH. (He is himself an rGBH-using dairy farmer.) Wolff is a member of the Agriculture Technical Advisory Committee to the World Trade Organization, which the OCA say "is largely credited with forcing so-called "free trade" on farmers and consumers around the globe, undermining national sovereignty and food safety."
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturdays this summer, from 12:30pm - 5:30pm, Coop members can leave their bikes with our valet parking service, which is like coat check for bikes. FTOP workers will check in and watch your bike for you.
Just drop off your bike, do your shopping or your shift, and hop back on. No locks, no worries, no theft. Service operates rain or shine in front of the yellow wall. (Note: no bike check-in after 4:30pm).
Valet bicycle parking at the Coop is brought to you by the PSFC Shop & Cycle Committee.
Image courtesy of wallyg's Flickr pool.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Every Saturday the Greenmarkets at Grand Army Plaza and Union Square accept clothing and other textiles for reuse or recycling, even if they are ripped or worn--the fabric can still be recycled. You drop off clean clothing, shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts and other textiles in usable or non-usable condition.
In addition, CENYC is expanding their textiles recycling program to include Fort Greene Park Greenmarket, McCarren Park Greenmarket, and others. For more information visit us online at CENYC or call 212-788-7989.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Don't send it to the landfill -- recycle it this weekend instead!
Saturday, July 18th
9am - 6pm
88 9th St. between 2nd Ave and Smith St. (next to Lowe's)
Park Slope, Brooklyn
Computers, Laptops, Monitors, Printers, Fax Machines, Cables, Cell Phones, PDAs, Cameras, Radios, Calculators, Switches, DVD Players, VCR Players, Tape Players
For more information, visit NYCWastele$$.
Image courtesy of georgehotelling's Flickr pool.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This meetup happens in cities across the globe. Greendrinks.org says: "Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome."
For more information, visit http://www.bklyngreendrinks.org/.
Image courtesy of phot0matt's Flickr pool.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
There are several different ways to compost your food and garden waste. Some use one of the many types of outdoor compost bins, and others prefer vermiculture: indoor composting with red wiggler worms. The New York City Compost Project's website has loads of great information to help you get started with composting right here in the city, including a schedule of composting workshops, reduced-price bins, and more.
And if composting at home isn't right for you, check out our list of community gardens and other locations that accept food/garden waste for composting.
Image courtesy of normanack's Flickr pool.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
The second proposal was to commission a survey of the Coop membership, to cost a maximum of $300, on bike and general transportation related issues to and from the Coop. Both proposals passed by large majorities.
The Committee has already produced some results, having successfully petitioned the Department of Traffic for new bike racks near the Coop. You may remember that almost two years ago, the Environmental Committee first successfully petitioned the DOT for additional bike racks. Those racks were quickly overwhelmed, such was the demand for bike parking. So these newly installed racks come as a welcome addition. The new committee has also begun to set up valet bike parking trials at the Coop.
An intriguing discussion arose about the possibility of a fleet of pedicabs servicing the Coop. Imagine shopping at the Coop and then instead of calling a car service to transport you and your groceries home, you called a pedicab service. Better still, imagine if a member of the Street Squad rode you and your groceries home in one of the Coop's very own pedicabs, instead of just returning Coop carts that members use to transport their groceries to their cars. Such a service would extend the reach of the Street Squad far beyond its current range and help eliminate the need of many members to use their cars to shop at the Coop.
Traffic on Union Street and 7th Avenue is fairly legendary. A recent Transportation Alternatives study of traffic in Park Slope found that 45% of traffic on 7th Avenue are cars looking for parking, that during normal business hours, 97% of free and metered spaces are occupied, and that cars sometimes cruise for nearly an hour looking for a space. Clearly, any trend away from driving would dramatically improve air and noise pollution, congestion, and general quality of life in the the Coop's 'hood.
Friday, June 26, 2009
"This summer's lecture series includes expert speakers on a variety of topics, including a workshop on how to start composting (yes, even in a New York City apartment!), how to eat locally while saving money and eating better, top tips on how to make your home more energy efficient and save bundles of money in the process, easy ways to green your workplace, a workshop on how to grow a mini garden in your apartment or on your fire escape (and, of course, in a community garden), and info from experts on the best places to bike in New York City (and how to take care of your bike so it lasts longer than everyone else's), among many more!"
Click here for more information.
Image from jonmeyer's Flickr pool.