Monday, February 27, 2012

The Shopper

Announcing the Environmental Committee's PSA: The Shopper.

Brought to you by members of the the Zero-Waste Sub-Committee: Ilyana, Eric, and Jenna.

Watch and learn how to shop with a re-usable bag!

Reminder: Join us on Feb. 28th at the General Meeting for a discussion on "Phasing Out Plastic Roll Bag Distribution on the Shopping Floor." 

 UPDATE :  If you missed the February General Meeting, check out our presentation PDF, which outlines the Proposal, Committee Findings, and Recommendations. We welcome your feedback.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NY Judge: Town Can Ban Hydrofracking

A New York State judge ruled on Tuesday, February 21, that the town of Dryden in Tompkins County can ban natural gas drilling within its boundaries. Read more about this in the 2/22/12 New York Times.

What does this mean? In the absence (so far) of statewide or nationwide legislation that would ban hydrofracking, the town of Dryden in upstate New York has established a precedent, creating it's own legislative protection. Expect to see other towns following suit.

In the meantime, activists are still working to get Governor Cuomo to pass statewide legislation to protect all New Yorkers from the dangers of hydrofracking. Those of us in NYC, while not likely to be next door to a hydrofracking site, will have our water supply and food supply from upstate New York affected by the many toxins associated with this drilling process.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 28: Plastic Produce Bags @ the General Meeting

Please join us at the next General Meeting on Tuesday, February 28th from 7 to 9 pm, where our proposal to phase out plastic roll bags on the shopping floor is on the agenda as a discussion item.

Item #2: Phasing Out Plastic Roll Bag Distribution on the Shopping Floor (40 minutes)
Discussion: "The Environmental Committee and concerned members recommend phasing out distribution of plastic roll bags on the shopping floor. They will present alternatives, which will help us comply with the Coop’s Environmental Policy, and address our role in the financial, environmental, health, and social injustice of plastic production, recycling, and pollution." —submitted by the Environmental Committee

We are hopeful that the vote will be scheduled at the March or April General Meeting; details will be announced here on our blog as soon as they are available.

Related posts:
Finally, we want to hear from you with any questions or concerns.
Please don't hesitate to post a comment to share your thoughts or email us at ecokvetch at Let us know if you want to get updates about the issues we are working on.

The Environmental Committee

Monday, February 13, 2012

NYC Council Hearing: Fracking-caused Earthquakes

NY City Council Hearing: Fracking-induced Earthquakes

Open to the Public

When: February 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Where: 16th Floor Committee Room, 250 Broadway, New York, NY
New York City Councils Hearing Committee on Environmental Protection public hearing re: "Geophysical Evaluation of Infrastructure Risks of Natural Gas Production on New York City". In other words, this is about how underground faults and fracking-induced earthquakes pose catastrophic risk to New York City residents.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Recycling Egg Cartons

Q. Member Jessica writes: Is there a way to recycle egg cartons? I put mine in with the mixed paper recycling, but it seems like we could ship empty cartons back to the farmers.

A. Cardboard egg cartons can certainly be recycled with mixed paper in the NYC's curbside recycling. Also, there are some farmers at the greenmarket who accept egg carton returns, either cardboard or the ones made of polystyrene. See for a list of NYC farmers market locations, including seasonal schedules. The smaller-scale farmers are generally more able to accommodate a hodge-podge of colors and styles in egg carton reuse, and simply pop their own label on top of the old one.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Austin Texas : Ban the Bag

I think of Texas as the king of non-renewable resources and the last place to consider a plastic bag ban, but this week Austin "considers whether to impose a wide-ranging ban on plastic bags."

"Exchanges like this are increasingly common around the world, as communities wrestle with questions about regulating shopping bags distributed at checkout counters. Already countries including China and Ireland and cities including Mexico City have adopted bans or taxes in some form on plastic bags. On Tuesday, officials in San Francisco voted to expand a ban already in place on plastic bags and to require shoppers to pay 10 cents each for paper bags."

Read more in today's New York Times article:
Should Plastic Bags Be Banned?

Image Credit: Surfrider Foundation

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Plastic Bag Bans Around the World

We consider the Coop a pretty progressive place. But is it?
Regarding the Phase Out of plastic bags from the produce aisle (one of our missions!) we’re far behind other coop’s, grocery stores, towns, states and even entire countries!

Here’s a round-up of plastic bag bans around the world:
  • Thirty villages in Alaska have banned plastic bags.
  • Ireland passed a law in 2002 charging shoppers for every plastic bag, and use has plummeted by 90%.
  • South Africa banned the thinner plastic bags in 2003 and imposed a levy on thicker ones.
  • Taiwan banned free light-weight plastic bags in March 2003.
  • Eritrea, Rwanda and Somalia banned plastic bags in 2005.
  • Tanzania introduced a total ban in 2006.
  • Kenya and Uganda banned thinner bags and introduced levies on thicker ones.
  • Belgium imposed a tax on free plastic bags in July 2007.
  • Paris, France banned plastic bags in 2007.
  • San Francisco became the first city to ban plastic bags from large supermarkets and pharmacies in March 2007 – resulting in five million less bags used every month!
  • In 2008, China (whose consumers use 3 billion plastic bags per day) put a nationwide ban on plastic bags – saving them 37 million barrels of crude oil every year!
  • South Australia banned plastic bags in 2008. The Northern Territory soon followed with their own ban.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina banned plastic bags in 2008.
  • Malibu, California has banned plastic bags.
  • Italy has banned plastic bags.
  • Maui banned plastic bags in 2009.
  • Palo Alto, California has banned plastic bags.
  • Westport, Connecticut banned plastic bags in 2009.
  • Switzerland requires markets to charge shoppers for bags.
  • Mexico City has banned plastic bags.
  • In India, there are plastic bag bans in Delhi and Mumbia.
  • Burma has banned plastic bags.
    Bangladesh has banned plastic bags.
  • Westport, Connecticut has banned plastic bags in grocery stores.
  • Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon have banned plastic bags in large supermarkets and retail outlets.
  • Rye, New York became the first Westchester County community to implement a plastic bag ban.
  • Southhampton, Long Island banned plastic bags.
  • Easthampton soon followed.
  • Los Angeles (LA County) was working towards a ban, but it died in court in late 2011. Opposition came from the American Chemistry Council, the lobbying group that represents the plastics industry. But the tide shifted and now the ban is in effect in LA County.
  • San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the US, put a plastic bag ban into place in January 2012.