Sunday, November 27, 2011

NYC Public Hearing about Hydrofracking

If you are concerned about the potential health and environmental threats of hydraulic fracture gas drilling want to tell Governor Cuomo not to allow hydrofracking in New York State, here is a chance to speak up.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be a public hearing in New York City on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., New York, NY.

There will be two sessions of the hearing: 1pm and 6 p.m.

You can attend just to listen and support others, or write out a statement of your own to read. If you want to read your own statement, there will be a sign up list when you get to the hearing.

You can also submit your comments about the latest proposed regulations (SGEIS) by mail or email to the DEC until December 12. For some tips on writing an effective letter about these regulations, see this valuable resource suggesting the different topics you might want to comment on. If you can, please write to the DEC now and/or attend the hearing. If the SGEIS is accepted on December 12, gas drilling companies will start drilling.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NYC Lags Behind Other Cities in Recycling

The October 21 New York Times featured an article titled, Lunch, Landfills, and What I Tossed. Author Mireya Navarro counted up the waste she produced in a week's worth of take out lunches:
"Saving all the packaging from a week’s worth of takeout food, I ended up with three plastic yogurt containers, a paper salad box, a paper cereal bowl, two Styrofoam plates, one plastic salad-dressing container and seven plastic food containers — the rigid ones with snap-on lids. Also, five plastic cups (each with a plastic straw), a paper cup with a plastic lid, a plastic water bottle and a plain old paper cup (it held milk for my cereal). Also, one plastic fork, one plastic knife and two compostable plastic spoons, which I threw out rather than composting."

Besides the individual trying to brown bag it and otherwise cut down on waste, there is another problem--New York City is lagging behind many others in its recycling:

"A survey by the Natural Resources Defense Council this year found that more than two dozen large and medium-size cities in the United States recycle all kinds of plastic containers, while New York takes only bottles and jugs."

Environmental advocates call recycling the weak link in the city’s green agenda, even after legislation was passed last year to overhaul the 1989 recycling law that made New York a 20th-century leader, not a laggard.

How far behind is the city? A survey by the Natural Resources Defense Council this year found that more than two dozen large and medium-size cities in the United States recycle all kinds of plastic containers, while New York takes only bottles and jugs. Another study this year ... ranked New York 16th among 27 cities in its handling of waste, though it was third in overall environmental performance.

Cutting-edge green cities, like San Francisco, offer curbside collection of food scraps and compostable items at homes, restaurants and offices. And dozens of places now charge residents for their trash by weight to promote recycling and keep refuse out of landfills."

The author points out that NYC is going backwards as far as recycling, currently recycling about 15% of the waste collected by the Sanitation Department down from 23% in 2001. Environmentalists feel the issue is not getting the attention it deserves from Mayor Bloomberg and City Hall. You can google the title of the article, "Lunch, Landfills and What I Tossed" to read the entire
piece online.

Friday, November 25, 2011

There's Still Time

There's still time, though not much, to write a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) about the proposed hydrofracking regulations. The deadline is December 12.

If you're at the coop this weekend, why not stop at the workshop to help you write an effective letter to the DEC commenting on their proposed fracking regulations:

Saturday, November 26: 1-3 pm

Individual letters make a difference--the DEC is required to read every one, whereas form letters are merely counted. You can stop by any part of the workshop. Handouts will be available if you want to do your writing at home or share the information with others.

Bring friends—coop members and non-members are all welcome!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Towards Zero Waste

Boulder, Colorado visionary Eric Lombardi has a plan to help that city and others move towards zero waste. His plan includes changing America's waste management system by shifting subsidies to green approaches, reducing the amount of waste generated by producers, funding appropriate recycling facilities and, ultimately, mandating recycling by law.

Lombardi said the economics of recycling have never been better.

"The value of recyclables is out of sight. It's now $150 a ton for the basket of goods I've been recycling for the past 20 years, and everyone I know in the business is looking at their landfills and incinerators and saying ‘why am I burying and burning $150 a ton?' It doesn't make sense." Learn more.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Saturday Fracking Comment Workshop

If you're at the coop this weekend, why not stop at the workshop to help you write an effective letter to the DEC commenting on their proposed fracking regulations:

Saturday, November 19: 2-4 pm

Individual letters make a difference--the DEC is required to read every one, whereas form letters are merely counted. The deadline for submitting comments is December 12--fracking may start in early 2012 if we don't speak up.

We will help you complete a letter at the workshop and mail it for you.
Stop by at any point during the workshop sessions.

One more session will be held right after Thanksgiving:
Saturday, Nov. 26: 1–3 pm

Bring friends—coop members and non-members are welcome!

We are very, very lucky to have access to clean, drinkable tap water in New York. Let's not take it for granted and assume that this problem will go away or that someone else will take care of it. Everyone's help is needed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

If You Want to Stop Hydrofracking . . .

Write to the DEC before the December 12 deadline.

For pointers on composing an effective letter to the DEC, see this resource from the Sierra Club and/or this resource from Sourcewatch.


It needn't be perfect; it needn't be long
Use the linked resources to make your words strong

We all tend to wait, but please don't delay
If you care for clean water, please write today!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Way to Track Recycling Online

Would competitive recycling inspire more people to recycle?
A Boston company called Greenbean Recycle is trying to make the act of keeping bottles and cans out of the landfill into a fun, competitive and engaging game for students at MIT.

The company has converted a recycling machine on MIT's campus into a point tabulator of sorts. When students approach the high-tech trash can to dump in their recyclables, they punch their phone number on a touch screen. A bar-code reader in the machine counts the number of cans, bottles and the like that the person has dropped off - and then uploads that data to Greenbean's website. The hope is that even non-recyclers may be inspired to do their part and sporadic recyclers to do even more. Read more.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Tote Those Totes

It's hard to image 3.6 million pounds of plastic bags—and that NYC residents throw away that much every week. You can print Grow NYC's new poster and post it in your building or workplace to help others reduce their usage of plastic bags. There are so many nice reusable bag options today—there's no need to rely on plastic!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hydrofracking Comment Workshops!

Slowing Down the DEC on the
Fast Track to Frack New York State


Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation are putting the Energy Industry on a fast track to frack New York State.
Why the hurry?

The NYS DEC recently issued a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) which, if accepted, will allow hydro-fracking to begin. We have until December 12 to send comments to the DEC. The Environmental Committee is organizing a series of workshops to provide guidance for writing an effective letter to The DEC commenting on
their regulations.

Individual letters make a difference--the DEC is required to read every one, whereas form letters are merely counted.

We will help you complete a letter at the workshop and mail it for you.
Stop by at any point during one of the workshop sessions:

Sunday, 11/06: 12-2 pm

Saturday, 11/19: 2-4 pm

Bring friends—coop members and non-members are welcome!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Haven't Seen Gasland Yet?

Stop by the Park Slope United Methodist Church at Sixth Ave. and 8th St. on Thursday, November 3 for

  • a screening of Gasland, followed by

  • a Panel Discussion w/ fracking experts from the Park Slope Food Coop, NY H2O, United for Action, the Brooklyn Food Coalition and Assemblyman Jim Brennan, plus

  • refreshments

Film starts at 6:30pm; panel discussion begins at 8:30pm

Find out what you can do to protect our water and our food from fracking.