Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thursday, April 30 Watershed Event

If you missed our March 21 Watershed Symposium, you can read about it in the current Linewaiters' Gazette.

You can also attend the following panel discussion and film preview:

Water Under Attack:
Does Natural Gas Drilling Threaten NYC Drinking Water?

Thursday, April 30, 2009, 7 pm

The Community Church Assembly Hall
40 East 35th Street, Manhattan, between Park & Madison Avenues

$10 suggested donation

Topic: Did you know that plans are underway to drill for natural gas in the vast Marcellus Shale layer, which spans Pennsylvania, parts of New York, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio? In New York State alone, tens of thousands of wells are being proposed over the next few years. Those who own the mineral rights stand to make millions of dollars, while gas companies would reap billions, yet they would be exempt from many environmental protection regulations, thanks to the Bush administration. The hydraulic fracturing process for extracting natural gas uses a toxic, dangerous brew of over 275 chemicals. If these plans go through, New York’s most precious resources - one of only 5 pristine/unfiltered water systems in the US - would be contaminated.

The Speakers:

Albert Appleton is a former NYC DEP Commissioner and world-wide watershed expert.

James L. Simpson is Staff Attorney for Riverkeeper Inc., a non-profit organization working to protect the ecological integrity of the Hudson River and safeguard the drinking water of New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.

Josh Fox will present excerpts from his film-in-progress about the horrific environmental effects of Natural Gas Drilling in the United States.

Barbara Arrindell holds a degree in Bioengineering from Columbia University’s School of Engineering. She is co-founder, Director and Chief Science Officer of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability.

Joseph Levine is co-founder of DCS and NY-H2O, groups which are working to prevent upstate gas drilling. He is an architect/partner with Bone/Levine Architects, which conducts research involving New York City’s essential infrastructure.

Image from Wild Education

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reactions to the White House Organic Garden

The news that first lady Michelle Obama was planting an organic garden at the White House has been met with great, but not universal, praise. The Mid America Croplife Association (MACA), an industry group representing the agribusiness and biotech giants, wrote a letter to Mrs. Obama. The letter, cosigned by Executive Director Bonnie McCarvel and Program Coordinator Janet Braun, extolled the virtues of the industry and its practices. Then, as reported by Jill Richardson in the food blog "La Vida Locavore" MACA apparently forwarded the letter to their subscribers, accompanied by the following note:

"Did you hear the news? The White House is planning to have an "organic" garden on the grounds to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the Obama's and their guests. While a garden is a great idea, the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder. As a result, we sent a letter encouraging them to consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy."

"Crop protection products" is, of course, a euphemism for pesticides.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day is here!

It's Earth Day today--though we think every day should be Earth Day. Check out some of these great Earth Day websites.

It's also the first full day of hearings on global warming legislation in the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. You can watch today's hearings on C-SPAN's website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day with Us!

Swing by the Coop on Sunday April 19 between 9 am - 3 pm and meet members of the Environmental, Recycling and Safe Foods Committees. Learn more about the isssues we work on and pick up some informative handouts.

- Bring your old Brita filters to drop off for recycling.

- The ever-popular worm composting demo will be back!

We'll be outside of the Coop, right in front of the bicycle mural.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Green Cleaning Returns to the Slope

Some of you may remember the green dry cleaner that used to be on Union Street opposite the Coop. Unfortunately that store left--leaving us without a healthful alternative to regular dry cleaners. Most dry cleaning is done with solvents that are harmful to our health and the environment. Perchloroethylene, or perc, has the potential to cause kidney and liver damage, developmental problems in the unborn and possibly cancer. Green cleaners, such as the new Green Apple Cleaner at 78 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, uses CO2 to clean clothing.

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.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New Version of Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides

The Environmental Working Group has updated its helpful shoppers' guide. Learn which foods tend to retain the most pesticides--these are the ones you definately should try to buy organic, if you can't buy all your produce organic.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Green Screens Film Tonight!

Green Screens presents:

Addicted to Plastic! The Rise and Demise of a Modern Miracle
and Eco Trip: Water Bottle

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 7PM

Place: Walter Reade Cinema at Lincoln Center

West 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam,
2 blocks from 66th St. stop of #1 train
(look for Cinema sign and escalators to the 2nd story)

Q & A following the screening with: Join the director and the other panelists for a post-screening reception in the Furman Gallery.

The Story: Plastics are now found in nearly every product we own, and they are ending up everywhere they shouldn't: oceans, treetops, inside fish and birds, on the roadside. But while this level of pollution is daunting, new technology is finding ways to recycle this indestructible material and create a form that is truly biodegradable. Explore 12 countries and one ocean floor in this insider's guide to the most versatile material ever invented. You will never look at plastic products the same way again.

Tickets & information: http://filmlinc.com/wrt/gs/addicted.html

Friday, April 03, 2009

Celebrate Earth Month!

With just a few weeks until Earth Day there's lots of environmental events going on not just at the Coop but around the city as well. Here are a few happenings in the next week:

Sunday, April 5th:
The Lower East Side Ecology Center sponsors electronics recycling on April 5th from 10am-4pm on the North Plaza of Union Square, Manhattan. Keep those working and nonworking computers, TVs, cellphones and other electronics out of landfills. For more information, visit the LESEC website.

Monday, April 6th:
The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is sponsoring an Apartment Building Recycling Initiative this spring as a grassroots way to build recycling awareness. The next training session is on April 6th from 6-8pm at the DSNY Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling in downtown Manhattan. For more information, visit NYC WasteLe$$.

Tuesday, April 7th:
Small business owner? The Lower East Side Ecology Center's EcoBizNYC Sustainable Business Workshops are for you! Learn strategies for working with your employees and customers to green your business. This FREE workshop will be held on April 7th from 10-11:30am at 228 E. 3rd St., 7th fl. (ring bell labeled CR). For more information, visit the LESEC website.