Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Educated Eater Seminar this Weekend

The Council on the Environment of New York City's Greenmarkets' Educated Eater Series presents what looks to be an interesting event this weekend:

"Did you know there are eggs and wheatgrass from Brooklyn, rooftop beehives in the Bronx, a thriving 2.5 acre community farm in Red Hook and livestock roaming on 47 acres in Queens? These are just a few examples of what urban pioneers are doing to revive agriculture in the city.

Join us for an engaging conversation with leaders and innovators in the urban agriculture movement followed by a Q&A, moderated by Greenmarket Director and Co-founder of Added Value (Red Hook Community Farm), Michael Hurwitz."

Date: Saturday February 28, 2009
Time: 2:00-3:30pm
Cost $5, including New York State wine and light Greenmarket snacks
Location: First Presbyterian Church, 12th St & 5th Avenue, Manhattan

For more information and to buy tickets online, visit:

Image of Added Value Farm courtesy of taf's Flickr pool.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coop Plastic Recycling Changes

The Food Coop's plastic recycling program has recently changed their policies. Unfortunately, the current economic climate has had a negative effect on the market for recycling, and the Recycling Committee can no longer collect #2 and #4 plastic containers.

Currently, the recycling program accepts the following plastics (must be CLEAN and DRY!):
  • #1 transparent plastics (Labels OK. Mouth is wide or wider than the body, meaning NOT bottles.)

  • #5 plastic tubs, cups & specifically marked lids and caps. Must be especially clean and dry. (Discard any with paper labels, or cut the labels off.)

  • Plastic film and bubble wrap. 100% transparent only -- must be able to see through the plastic. No colored or opaque. No paper labels. Minimal writing OK.
For more information, see the plastic recycling page on the Coop's website.

Image from mag3737's Flickr pool.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Columbia University Watershed Lecture

The Future of New York City Drinking Water: Drilling for Natural Gas in the Catskill Watershed

When: Thursday, February 19th, 8 pm

Where: Columbia University Mathematics Building, Room 312,
2990 Broadway (Enter campus on 116th Street)

New York's Catskill watershed supplies drinking water for 9 million New Yorkers. However, industrial gas development throughout much of the West-of-Hudson watershed threatens this important region. Today, gas companies aim to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation which underlies much of southern and western New York State. New extraction technologies risk a wide range of potential environmental impacts, not least of which is possibly contaminating the drinking water supply of New York City.

Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, will discuss the environmental and public health risks associated with development of the Marcellus Shale formation, as well as how to carefully and safely approach new natural gas drilling technologies and avoid creation of a cautionary tale.

For directions to the building, see: Columbia map


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ask Your Governor to Think Outside the Bottle

When: Thursday, February 12 at 11:30 AM

Where: Union Square New York, NY 10003

In less than a month, thousands have signed onto letters urging their governors to cut state bottled water contracts and reinvest in public water systems. Now we’re ready to present the letter and its signatures to your governor.

Now will you join us at an event that takes the next step in the campaign?

In all 50 states this week, thousands are asking their governors to cut bottled water spending. Official action would be seen as a gesture of confidence in public water systems; systems that now stand to get an infusion of much needed dollars as part of the national economic stimulus package. Action by governors would also send the essage that in these difficult economic times, state government is intent on cutting frivolous spending and investing in shared public resources upon which local economies rely, such as water.

From Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle campaign.

Contact: John Stewart, 214-707-0340 or

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bottled Water News

A small news item may reveal big things. The 2/4/09 Pittsburgh Business Times reported that Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. will close a Pennsylvania bottling plant that bottles its Dasani Water brand, citing decreased consumer spending on bottled water.

Could this be a turning point for bottled water, which has undergone explosive growth over the last few decades, and the beginning of a payoff for all the work done by the many water activists and grassroots organizations that have been fighting to protect our public water resources? Stay tuned for updates.

Image from Trinitas Imaging's Flickr pool.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Keep Your Nose (and the Trees!) Happy

With Winter in full swing we're in the heart of the cold and flu season. The typical abundance of sniffles, coughs and runny noses means that lots and lots of tissues are consumed at this time of year.

Frustrated by escalating tissue use at home, and especially my kid's none-to-thrifty wish for a new square for each blow, last year I decided to try switching to a greener solution: handkerchiefs! Now all three of us have a stash of hankies, and we haven't looked back since.

Handkerchiefs are greener than tissues in two ways. Of course they're reusable -- just throw them in the wash when they need it. But since they're also larger and more absorbent than tissues, I can usually make one hankie last for a whole day. Just fold the hankie with the used portion on the inside, and you've got a neat and dry package that fits in your pocket or bag.

Not only are hankies better for the environment, it turns out that they're better for cold-ridden noses, too. We've each had several of those dreary, week-long colds this season. While even the softest paper tissues leave poor noses red and irritated within a few flu-filled days, with hankies our noses remained comfortable and soothed (well, as comfortable as a nose with a cold can be).

Men's handkerchiefs are readily available in department and discount clothing stores, in standard white as well as a variety of colors and patterns. Women's hankies, which tend to run a bit smaller than men's, can be more difficult to find. I was able to locate several online retailers by searching for women/ladies hankies/handkerchiefs. Vermont Country Store, in particular, has a set of very cute handkerchiefs with embroidered ladybugs.

Happy hankie hunting!

Image from dutch blue's Flickr pool.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Questions About Recycling in NYC?

Recycle This! has answers. This grassroots recycling group was formed in the wake of the city's recycling program cuts in 2002. Although New York City's glass and plastic recycling was restored in 2004, the group continues to offer recycling info, news and events.

For more information, visit

Image from kino-eye's Flickr pool.