Sunday, September 30, 2012

Upcoming Electronics Recycling Events

People have been asking about upcoming electronics recycling events in the area. We have a list of upcoming events in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.
Visit the Lower East Side Ecology Center website for additional locations in the 5 boroughs as well as a list of electronics that are accepted for recycling. These events are held rain or shine.

Saturday, October 6 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Smith Street between President Street and Union Street, Brooklyn

Sunday October 07 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
8th Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, Brooklyn

Saturday, October 13 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
119 W 23rd Street between 6th & 7th Avenues, Chelsea, Manhattan

Saturday, October 20 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Cortelyou Road (between Rugby and Marlborough Roads), Brooklyn

Sunday October 21| 10:00am - 4:00pm
PS 29, Baltic Street between Henry Street and Clinton Street, Brooklyn

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Living Cheap is the New Green

I wish I had come up with this great title, but I didn't. It's actually from an article on Mother Nature Network, which caught my eye, because I am interested in living ecologically as well as inexpensively and was glad to see an article about those aims often being one
and the same.

You can read their six basic tips for yourself (and I'm sure Coop readers will be able to come up with many more), but I want to discuss one in particular, #4: Ditch the Disposables.

It makes sense that anything you use once and then throw away would not be a sustainable choice, yet how many of us think of it as a poor economic choice as well? We'll list a few disposables we can do without and invite readers to add more suggestions of
their own:
  • Paper plates, plastic knives and forks: Even if you don't use these at home, you may be seeing them in the workplace. If so, can you convince the powers-that-be at you place of work to ditch the disposables and stock up with some reusable plates and mugs for people to use, plus encouraging folks to use their own.
  • Disposable pens: Back in the day there were fountain pens, which got replenished from an ink bottle. The modern mostly disposable pens you can buy in bulk may seem inexpensive, but how much is spent continually buying new ones? There are pens which let you replace the ink cartridge when done--a modern version of the fountain pen.
  • Paper towels: At about $1+ dollars a roll, these too seem cheap, but how many do each of us use in a year? Reusable rags and clothes are a better option, but if there are some task that you feel do work best with paper towels--get recycled paper. Even if you're not near the Coop, most bodegas and grocery stores stock Marcal paper towels and toilet paper, which are made of 100% recycled paper.
  • Disposable packaging: When we get prepackaged grains, nuts, tea and other items--we are using the packaging it comes in once and throwing it away. Yes, we can put some of this in our recycling bin, but if you can bring a reusable container to the coop and buy from the bulk bins, you will save money and avoid disposable packaging
Feel free to comment with suggestions of your own.

Friday, September 21, 2012

E-Waste Recycling on Saturday, 9/20

Date: Saturday, September 20

Time: 10am-4pm, rain or shine

Location: Brooklyn Ave. between St. Marks Ave. & Prospect Place in Bedford Stuyvesant—See map

Directions: Take the C train to Kingston-Throops Ave., walk 6 blocks south and 1 avenue east or take the B43 bus to Brooklyn Ave.and St. Marks Ave.

According to the EPA, electronic waste contributes 70% of the toxins (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, phosphros and flame-retardants) found in lnadfills.  Recycling your ele ctronics waste decreases energy and water use, reduces pollution and keeps haqardous chemicals out of our air and water.
Acceptable items include:
  • Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
  • Monitors
  • Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
  • Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
  • Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, cords, chargers, etc.)
  • Tablets and E-readers
  • Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
  • TVs, VCRs, DVRs, & DVD Players
  • Digital Converter Boxes, Cable/Satellite Receivers
  • Portable music players
  • Audio-visual equipment
  • Video-games
  • Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
  • Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)
They do not accept not accept home appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, or air conditioners. For more information, see the Lower East Side Ecology Center website

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10 Year Old Changes Jamba Juice Policy


Smoothie chain Jamba Juice announced last month that it plans to phase out its use of polystyrene cups by 2013, a decision that may have been influenced by the efforts of a 10-year-old girl.

When Carlsbad, Calif. fifth-grader Mia Hansen stopped by Jamba Juice for summertime refreshment, she noticed that every smoothie was being delivered to customers in a polystyrene cup. With 752 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Philippines, South Korea and the Bahamas and sales totaling $263 million in 2010, that’s a whole lot of polystyrene entering the waste cycle every day. So she decided to do something about it.

Hansen went to and started a petition to end Jamba Juice’s use of polystyrene in all aspects of the business.

“I'm 10 years old and when I was at Jamba Juice a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a smoothie and they gave it to me in a Styrofoam cup! The person behind me ordered yogurt and they gave her yogurt in a Styrofoam container, too,” Hansen wrote on the petition landing page. “That's just ridiculous. It bothered me so much, my mom encouraged me to start a petition.”

Nearly 135,000 signatures later, the smoothie chain heeded the call and decided to phase out polystyrene cups by the end of 2013. It’s similar to a transition the company already made in Seattle when polystyrene was banned city-wide.

“Jamba Juice responded to me within three weeks of starting this petition! I spoke with them on the phone and they just sent me a letter that says very clearly that they will not have polystyrene cups in any of their stores by the end of 2013,” Hansen recently wrote in an update to the petition. “Can you believe it??!!!”

Polystyrene, widely known as "Styrofoam," is not widely recycled largely due to its composition, which includes as much as 98 percent air and makes it costly to ship and store. Learn more about why styrofoam is bad for the environment.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sustainable Sipping

According to, Americans use 500 million straws each day —enough disposable straws to fill over 46,400 large school buses
per year.

In February 2011, Milo (then 9 years old) founded the Be Straw-Free project, to work together with members of the straw industry, restaurants and other businesses, schools, environmental groups and concerned citizens to reduce the use and waste of disposable plastic straws.

There are reusable options, such as the stainless steels straws sold by Reusit.This is something we can all try —it will make a difference!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Make Your Mark

Here's an idea NYC students, parents and teachers might want to try:

Earlier this year, elementary school students and thousands of online supporters petitioned Crayola to start a 'take back' program to recycle the company's markers.

Last month, rival art supply manufacturer Dixon Ticonderoga answered the call and started a marker recycling program of its own.

It's an unexpected result of a campaign that started in May at San Rafael, Calif.'s Sun Valley Elementary School. As they worked with school art supplies, students at the school noticed that, as markers run dry, they’re simply tossed into the garbage bin.

The students, along with the help of school volunteer and award-winning children’s book author Land Wilson, decided to launch a petition to ask Crayola to start a “take back” recycling program, since markers can’t simply be tossed in the recycling bin as-is. So far, over 82,000 people have signed the online petition.

While Dixon Ticonderoga is admittedly smaller than Crayola, which manufactures a staggering half a billion markers each year, according to the petition, Dixon agreed to start a “take back” program simply because it’s “the right thing to do,” CEO Timothy M. Gomez said in a press release.

Dixon Ticonderoga’s recycling program will process the company's Prang line of markers for recycling. The company will offer prepaid UPS shipping labels for marker hauls of seven pounds or more.

The Crayola petition is still available to sign online at Parents and kids: make your mark!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Reusable Coffee Cups

Sometimes you just need a cup of coffee or iced tea while out and about. But you can do it in a more sustainable way by using a reusable coffee cup.
Fact: Americans throw away about 25 billion foam coffee cups a year.
Many places will pour your coffee or ice drink into a reusable container if you ask. Smartplanet, Reusit and Starbucks make reusable coffee containers. Many of these products are BPA-free and therefore healthier to use. You can have your coffee on the go and be sustainable too!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Alec Baldwin's New Lifestyle

Alec Baldwin has been looking really good lately, due to a combination of factors—studying yoga, marrying the yoga instructor, and last, but not least, adopting a super-healthy plant-based diet.

In this photo, he is appearing at a benefit for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research (i.e. they are opposed to animal testing.)

On Monday, September 3 they are starting a 21-day Vegan Kickstart, for those who want some tips on adopting a healthier lifestyle. Coop members already have access to all kinds of healthy food, at low prices—the Vegan Kickstart can provide recipe and meal ideas, no matter what your general lifestyle. Alas, meeting Alec Baldwin isn't part of the program!