Sunday, December 30, 2012

Clean water, air and farms in NY State at Risk

The risk to the clean water and produce we enjoy from upstate New York, not to mention the beautiful land itself is at risk from hydrofracking. The time to comment on the latest plans from the NYC DEC is now—the deadline is January 11, 2013. Please don't put it off—every comment helps. The easy-to-use form at the New Yorkers Against Fracking site will help you quickly construct a few comments and send them. Otherwise, New York State may look like this:

Learn more about how hydro-fracking affects the food and water supply, as well as air quality and global warming.

Farms in upstate New York: Photo by Keturah Stickann/John Menier
Fracking image by J. Henry Fair

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Azerbaijan Creates Control System for GMO Crops

by Vladislav Vorotnikov21 Dec 2012 Source: 
In December a decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers, has approved the rules for determining the possible dangers posed by genetically modified plants for consumers and the environment in Azerbaijan.

These rules in particular provide the establishment of the Expert Group of the Scientific and Technical Council, who will determine the direction of research into the possible harm of the genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Azerbaijan plans to establish a control system to clarify how dangerous the GMO products are that currently can be found on the markets of human food and animal feed.
According to the document, the research team will be studying the impact of areas planted with GMO crops on the nearby crop plants, the elements of the natural flora, as well as  farm animals and wild animals that will be feed with such products. This group will conduct research in the laboratories of state agencies, members of the Scientific and Technical Council, which will develop measures necessary to prevent the possible risk of GMO products.

On the basis of this research the use of GMO products as well as their cultivation and import can be additionally restricted. The representatives of the Consumers Right Protection Organization generally support the initiative.

"Scientists have not fully examined the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in human health. However, experiments in animals have shown to have a negative impact of GM foods, said the chairman of the Free Consumers Union of Azerbaijan Eyyub Huseynov in an interview. He also pointed out that the use of GMO in the country should be banned immediately, before the results of the research is ready.  “It is necessary to restrict access to the domestic market of GMO or prevent its occurrence in Azerbaijan until it can be proven that genetically modified products are safe. "

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Brief History of Recycling

Thanks to Earth911 for this history of recycling infographic. Read the accompanying article to find out more fascinating details.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Letter from Dr. Theo Colburn

The following letter was sent from Dr. Theo Colburn, who first discovered and coined the phrase "endocrine disruptors."  Her Colorado-based non-profit, the the Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), advocates for more widespread information and protection from endocrine disrupting chemicals in our environment.

Dear friends and colleagues,
I recently gave a presentation at a TEDxMidAtlantic event in Washington DC in which I read a letter I sent to the President and First Lady of the United States. In this letter I remind them of the current epidemics of endocrine-related disorders and describe how the laws that were supposed to protect us have let us down. I close with two practical suggestions for the President to take action.

Please take a minute (actually 16 minutes) to view this, and if you agree, share it with everyone you know .

You can also copy the link and paste it in a message directly to the President.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season,

Theo Colborn

Sunday, December 16, 2012

30 Days to Send Your Comments

The following is about protecting our air and water from hydrofracking—please read what Sandra Steingraber has to say and help out by sending your comments to the DEC now:

A note from acclaimed ecologist and author  Sandra Steingraber:
I’m writing to recruit you into a writing project I’m doing with Grassroots Environmental Education–and also ask if you will be an ambassador for it.  It’s called Thirty Days of Fracking Regs, and it’s a fun-yet-deadly-serious approach to commenting on the newly released, and completely absurd, draft regulations for fracking in New York State.
The story so far:  On Nov. 29, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation  issued draft regulations to allow fracking in New York. It was a cynical and reckless move—especially because the state’s own limited health review is not even finished, and Governor Cuomo has made no decision yet on whether to permit or prohibit fracking in our state.  The effect of the regs release has been to shift public perception toward the conclusion that fracking is on its way, like it or not.  (NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE.)
To add insult to injury, we have only until January 11th to speak out against these regulations as part of an official 30-day public comment period.
The rulebook of proposed regulations is complicated, long, tedious and scary.  One of the regs  would allow a drill rig to be erected only 500 feet from homes and water wells.  Another would allow drilling and fracking operations to tunnel under our rivers and streams.  None of them mandate how drillers have to dispose of their toxic waste water, some of which is radioactive.  None of the compel the industry to reveal the identity of the fracking chemicals that they are pumping into the ground.
So, we need to flood the DEC with huge numbers of critical comments on huge numbers of mind-numbing regulations during a thirty-day period that falls right in the middle of the holiday season.
It’s the writing assignment from hell.  I had to think really hard about how to make it engaging and meaningful for lots of people.  I decided it would be far less painful–and generate a lot more comments–if I served this task up as a series of small, daily, meditative writing assignments synced to the various days of the calendar (winter solstice, Advent, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, Epiphany, etc.).
So, I’m inviting people to compose and send in their thoughts on one reg a day for the next 30 days.  I’m doing the hard part–investigating the regs, translating them into everyday language, and providing the scientific context and evidence for each one.  And also attaching it to the right date on the holiday calendar, so we can get some lyrical, symbolic resonance going.  (Look for the solstice reg to have something to do with darkness and light.)
Click here to go to 30 Days of Fracking Regs and submit your comments to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec-16: Pedal Power and Solar Cooking Demo

Pedal Power and Solar Cooking Demo
Sunday December 16 • 11am - 2pm

at the Cortelyou Greenmarket (on the corner of Cortelyou and Argyle)

Sustainable Flatbush brings a fun and delicious twist to being green at the Cortelyou Greenmarket with a demonstration of our Bike Blender and Solar Oven!

Everyone is welcome to join in the fun — using human-powered energy to pedal-puree fresh seasonal ingredients from market vendors for a delicious soup, which we’ll pair with fresh bread, baked using energy from the sun. 

Thanks to our sponsor ConEd for making the Bike Blender and Solar Oven Demo possible, and to GrowNYC market manager/chef Samantha Blatteis for providing all the materials, utensils and ingredients for the day's demonstrations. 
See you at the Greenmarket!


DIY Human Powered Energy

    • Bike your way to yummy snacks!
    • Fun for all ages!
    • Burn calories not fossil fuels!

    Fun with the Sun

    • Bake delicious treats using energy from the sun!
    • Easy, safe, and friendly to the environment!
    • Solar Power = Renewable Energy = No Fossil Fuels!

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Our Organic Food Threatened by Fracking

    Park Slope Food Coop member Elizabeth Royte has written a new article, "Fracking Our Food Supply" for the Nation. She discusses, among other things, the effects of hydrofrack oil drilling on nearby farms and how that alters the safety of our food supply. Elizabeth interviewed farmers and learned of the increasing and sometimes bizarre illnesses and deaths of farm animals since fracking began in the area.

    This article is a must read for all of us, especially our lawmakers who are allowing this to happen. There is just no replacement for the clean air and water in New York State

    Sunday, December 09, 2012

    Solar Sandy

    Those who erroneously assert that such environmentally friendly power sources as solar are impractical  apparently overlooked the kind of conditions found in some coastal NYC neighborhoods since Sandy.  After flooding, using electricity from the grid is impossible until all electric has been replaced and approved.   This is  one situation in which solar can do what grid electricity cannot:  simply provide power.

    Mobile solar generators provided by the Solar Sandy Project are already helping  New Yorkers left without electricity by Sandy's flooding.  The solar generators, brought in by truck and set up in community gathering places in the Rockaways, Queens, Red Hook, Brooklyn, and Midland Beach,  Staten Island, make it possible for people to charge phones, power tools, and laptops, heat food, and run other critical equipment.

    At the Solar Sandy Project's website you can see a map of the solar installations, look at photographs, find about about volunteering, or follow links to donate or to reach the organizations that banded together to form the Solar Sandy Project.

    photo courtesy of Jason A. Howie, on flickr

    Sunday, December 02, 2012

    E-Waste Recycling in Park Slope

    When: December 08, 2012 |
    10:00am - 4:00pm

    This event will be held rain
    or shine

    Where: P.S. 321 located at
    180 7th Ave. between 1st & 2nd Streets, Brooklyn, NY 11215

    See a list of acceptable materials for recycling.

    Electronics are accepted from households, not-for-profit organizations, and small businesses (less than 50 employees, please call ahead). We do not accept home appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, or air conditioners.