Monday, November 29, 2010

LA County Passes Plastic Bag Ban

Parts of LA county will be banning disposable, single-use plastic as of next year. County supervisors recently approved the measure 3-1, in hopes of preventing billions of bags from polluting neighborhoods and waterways. This will affect about 1.1 million people.

In addition, paper bags in LA County will now cost 10 cents apiece-- providing yet another incentive for southern Californians to start adopting reusable bags. Read more about it.

If L.A. can do it . . .

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Please Make a Call for Clean Water in NY

Action: On Tuesday 11/23 (and every day until the Assembly passes the bill), please call and ask the Speaker, influential members of the Assembly and the Governor to attend the Special Session in Albany and "bring the Sweeney hydraulic fracturing moratorium bill A11443B to the Assembly floor for a vote and pass the bill!"

Essential calls:
  • Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
    518-455-3791, or, 212-312-1420 or mail to:

  • Assemblyman Herman Farrell (Chair of Ways & Means Committee)
    518-455-5491, or, 212-234-1430, or, 212-568-2828 or mail to: FarreH@assemblystate.nyus

  • Your Assembly person!
    Find Them Here

  • Governor David Paterson
    518-474-8390 or email Paterson here
    -Ask the Governor to bring the bill to a vote and then sign it into law.

And if you have the time, please call:
  • Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (Chair of Codes Committee)
    518-455-4477, or, 718-383-7474 or mail to:

  • Assemblyman & Sponsor of Moratorium Bill Robert Sweeney (Chair of Environmental Conservation Committee)
    518-455-5787, or, 631-957-2087 or mail to:
Last summer, New York made history in a stunning midnight vote when the State Senate voted by 48 to 9 to declare an 11 month moratorium on fracking. The moratorium bill passed with an overwhelming majority of bipartisan support thanks to an outpouring of grassroots action from ordinary citizens—phone calls, emails and lobby visits.

The New York State Assembly is scheduled to come back Monday, May 29 and if they don't pass this companion bill, all of our hard work will be undone! Since this is the final time the Assembly will meet this year, it's going to be our last chance to pass the moratorium bill in the Assembly to stop fracking in New York State this year.

If the Sweeney Bill (A11443B) fails to be brought up for a vote, the Department of Environmental Conservation could begin issuing fracking permits at any moment and all will be lost! We cannot let that happen! It is critical that the Assembly and the Governor hear from you as a member of our powerful movement!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Simple Action for Safe Water

Many people are becoming are worried about the possibility of gas companies using hydraulic fracture drilling in New York State and compromising our supply of safe, clean drinking water. The State Senate has already approved a one year moratorium on drilling--time for everyone to study and assess the situation further.

Now it’s the Assembly’s turn to act. The Assembly will be back in the state capital soon. Before lawmakers return to Albany, let’s fill their inboxes. Click here to ask Speaker Silver and your Assembly Member to protect New York’s water when he or she returns
to Albany

New York needs these important protections, because each time a new well is drilled, 2.5 to eight million gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals is required. With thousands of wells proposed that could be fracked multiple times, that adds up to billions of gallons of water will be used every year! Withdrawing this volume of water from local waterways and aquifers could be devastating.

Right now, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has limited authority to regulate water withdrawals like these, leaving a gaping hole in the state's water protections. And recent deep cuts in staffing at the agency threaten its already reduced enforcement capacity. That’s why it’s so important that the Assembly not only pass a timeout on fracking, but also act to responsibly manage our water resources.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fractivists are the New Activists

Tune in to 60 Minutes Sunday, November 14th at 7pm, (CBS) for a report on Hydraulic Fracturing/Horizontal Drilling.

Leslie Stahl interviewed Tim and Christine Ruggerio, fractivists from Texas. Since New York activists (fractivists?) are currently fighting to keep hydrofracking out of our state, this update from Texas is especially germaine.

See our hydrofracking handout for more information and please sign the petition to ban gas drilling in New York State.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gasland Screening on November 11

If you haven't had a chance to see Gasland yet, there's a
NYC screening on Thursday, November 11 @ 7 pm at
"the Gallery" at John Haynes Holmes House,
the Community Church of NY
28 East 35th Street, bet. Park & Madison Avenues
suggested donation $5

The gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing ("fracking")
has unlocked a "Saudi Arabia of natural gas" beneath us.
Josh Fox travels the country, uncovering the secrets, lies and
contamination of the industry.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Keith Olbermann Interview with Josh Fox

Keith Olbermann recently interviewed Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox about hydrofracking. This interview is preceded by a bit on Karl Rove and an explanation about how the lack of regulation that is allowing gas companies to create so much environmental damage came about. See this short and informative interview and pass it on to others.

Please sign the petition to ban natural gas drilling in New York State.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Got Leaves?

Don't Leave It to the Landfill!

Citywide leaf collection is currently suspended, but many community gardens are making it possible to recycle this natural resource into mulch or compost. Visit to find a list of participating gardens and drop-off sites near you or to add your community leaf collection.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Holy Cow!

Holy cow! was my reaction when I read Treehugger's article on some everyday things that contain animal products. For instance:
  1. Downy fabric softener contains Dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride, which comes from the cattle, sheep and horse industry.

  2. Many plastics, including shopping bags, contain 'slip agents', which reduce the friction in the material. What are those made of? Animal fat.

  3. Sugar: purified ash from animal bones is used in filters to refine sugar by some brands, though there are other companies that use filters with granular carbon or ion exchange systems. What not all may know is that brown sugar is also refined, only to have molasses added after.You can opt for unrefined organic sugar or choose the brands that PETA says are vegan.

  4. Some toothpastes: Glycerin is found in animal and vegetable fats, which have a chemical composition containing from 7% to 13% glycerine. When separated from it, it's used in a wide variety of products, including toothpaste.
We expect that the soon-to-be-formed animal issues committee will help us research which coop products are truly animal free, for those who want to know.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Voting wasn't always a given right for many people in America—it still isn't in some other parts of the world. Exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, November 2. Learn more about the environmental positions and records of New York candidates from the League of Conservation Voters.