Monday, December 16, 2013

Update: Plastic Roll Bag Vote

The vote to approve the new and improved Proposal to Reduce Plastic Roll Bag Use has been scheduled for the February 25th General Meeting at the Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School.

The Environmental Committee met with the General Coordinators and other members to discuss improvements to the original proposal and the proposal has been amended to address membership concerns.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Shopper

"A short comedic film, inspired by The Artist, about a woman learning to shop without disposable plastic bags. Created by the Environmental Committee of the Park Slope Food Coop,  one of the oldest and largest active food co-ops in the United States, in an attempt to educate Coop members about the ills of plastic bag overuse/consumption and how easy it is to shop without them. The Environmental Committee is currently introducing a proposal to reduce plastic bag use at the Coop."

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Plastic Roll Bag Update

Dear Coop Members and Friends of The Park Slope Food Coop Environmental Committee,

You are over due an update and apologies for the delay. First of all, let me direct you to the link, "Reduce Plastic Roll Bag Use-Learn More" (see image above right). If you click this link it will take you to the amended proposal that our Committee worked on over the summer and is now being looked at by the Coop's Agenda Committee.

This amendment came out of our committee spending much time in the Coop (during our tabling events -see photo above), listening to members concerns, as well as sitting down several times for meetings with General Coordinators and hearing their concerns. Our main goal with both the original proposal and the amended one is to REDUCE PLASTIC ROLL BAG USAGE IN COOP and ENCOURAGE RE-USE of PLASTIC.

Here are the main points of our amended proposal:

This proposal aims to reduce the Coop's reliance on plastic roll bags on the shopping floor. 

We propose to achieve this goal by:
  • Ending the free distribution of plastic roll bags and making them available for purchase.
  • Insuring the Coop stocks a selection of low-cost, lightweight, re-usable roll bag alternatives.
  • Improving floor signage and access to reusable bags.
  • Encouraging members to reuse plastic bags already taken from the Coop and elsewhere.
The Coop's free distribution of plastic roll bags, when sustainable options and practices are available, violates our Mission Statement and Environmental Policy. The goal of this proposal is to encourage bag reuse, help reduce plastic waste, and raise awareness about this environmentally damaging material. Educational activities and communications will be provided to help with member transition.

Here is the time line from MAY 28th to Present:

  • MAY 28th 2013- GM Vote was held for Original Proposal- "Plastic Bag Phase Out".
    Due to the small size of space where GM was held (Public School in Park Slope) and the size of crowd of coop members that showed up (500+),  not all who showed up could not fit in space and the vote was tabled, to be rescheduled in bigger space.
  • June 20th 2013- The Environmental Committee, at our regularly scheduled meeting, decides to set up a meeting with general coordinators to discuss what happened at that GM, listen to their concerns about current proposal and how we would proceed to schedule next vote.
  • July 25th 2013- Environmental Committee members have the meeting with Park Slope Food Coops General Coordinators. The general coordinators have time to voice their concerns and we, the committee, have time to voice our goals and priorities for this proposal and our hope, that we could work together with General Coordinators, to educate the coop members about plastic usage and re-use.
  • August 27th 2013- After the July meeting with GC's,  the committee meets again and decides to amend the original proposal.
  • October 2013- This amended proposal is now being looked at by Coop's Agenda Committee, who is deciding whether the amended proposal requires another GM Discussion or a VOTE can now finally be rescheduled.  
We will keep you posted, thanks for reading and we appreciate your support!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

6/24 EVENT: Ban the Plastic Bag, NYC!

The Environmental Committee is co-sponsoring an great event on Monday June 24 at 7 PM at the Greenwood Baptist Church!

Please join City Council Member Brad Lander, the Green Party of Brooklyn, Sierra Club, NRDC, No Impact Project, Citizens Committee for New York City, Sane Energy, NYC Friends of Clearwater, and BagItNYC for an informative evening to learn about the massive environmental impact that single-use plastic bags have in NYC, and the NYC campaign to do something about it.

This free event will take place at:
Speakers will include:
  • Council Member Brad Lander, who will be introducing legislation on plastic bags
  • Jennie Romer, who spear headed successful efforts in California to ban / restrict single use plastic bags and will discuss the various possible approaches (ban, fee, tax, etc)
  • Colin Beavan (No Impact Man)
  • Carl Arnold from the NY Green Party and the Sierra Club
  • Peter Kostmayer, former CEO of Citizens Committee for NYC.
The event will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about this issue and find out how you can get involved with the plastic bag campaign in NYC.

Bring some plastic bags to add them to the "Plastic Bag Mandala" and receive a free reusable bag!

Single use plastic bags have been banned or restricted in cities across the US, including California (75 local jurisdictions including LA County and San Francisco), Washington, DC and Austin, TX. In LA County, a ban on single-use plastic carryout bags and a 10-cent charge on paper bags lead to a 95% reduction in single-use plastic bags in the first year.

In a recent NY Times article, the city’s recycling director pointed out that “Plastic shopping bags are an enormous problem for New York City,” noting that the city pays $10 million annually to landfill 100,000 tons of plastic bags. When plastic bags are carelessly placed into recycling bins for general plastic — which they often are — the bags jam and damage expensive sorting machines, which cost huge amounts to repair.

For more information, please contact

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Recipe for A Heathly Planet

Did you see Yuko Uchikawa's member contribution on page 5 of the the May 30th Gazette?

We were so happy to see Yuko and her family sharing their tips for shopping with reusable bags!

Please share your "recipes for a healthy planet" too!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Important Anti-Fracking Rally on June 17th!

New York stands at a crossroads; this is our moment to decide the course of history.

Come to the New York Crossroads: Rally to Stop Fracking and Demand Renewable Energy in Albany.

When: Monday, June 17th, 12pm-3pm
Where: Rally and March in East Capitol Lawn, Albany, NY
Transportation: Busses are leaving from Manhattan (sign up here) and Brooklyn (sign up here) at 8am.
Car Pool: If you would like to set up a car pool please email Corinne Rosen at

Hope to see you there!

Plastic Bag Phase Out Update

The May 28th General Meeting was one of the largest in the Coop's history, according to the General Coordinators. Many thanks to those who came out and apologies to those that could not get in.

Close to 650 members signed in for credit at the GM and many more were turned away because the venue was at maximum capacity. In total 840 members signed up in advance for workslot credit for the meeting.

Due to the overflowing crowds, the GM Committee felt it would be best to table the vote until a larger venue can be found. The General Coordinators are currently looking for a venue that will hold at least 1500 people.

We are working with the General Coordinators to reschedule the vote and accommodate all members who wish to participate.

Please keep an eye out for updates and we hope to see you at the rescheduled meeting.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vote to Phase Out Plastic Roll Bags!

This is it!

Join us at the May 28th General Meeting, because your vote matters!

The General Meeting is at Middle School 51, 5th Ave & 5th St. at 7pm.

Submit this form to receive work slot credit for attending the General Meeting or sign the sheet near Coop elevator beforehand.

And please come vote YES to phase out the free distribution of plastic roll bags on the Coop's shopping floor by six months from the date of the GM vote.

Read the full proposal and research and please spread the word.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Fracking? It’s in the (Plastic) Bag!

Our Coop (PSFC) opposes hydraulic fracturing— fracking—in New York State, and for good reasons.

Fracking threatens NYC drinking water and upstate farmers’ ability to grow the healthy, affordable foods PSFC mem- bers have long relied on.

What does this have to do with plastic bags?

Many plastic bags are made from fracked gas! As fracking products, they contribute to the viability of fracking. Increased fracking will bring more frack-made bags. When we gobble up frack-produced consumer goods, we provide the excuse frackers need to expand their activities.

Read more in the recent Environmental Committee Report on page 5 of the Linewaiter's Gazette.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Park Slope Food Coop's Roll Bag Phase Out

The Environmental Committee of the Park Slope Food Coop is responsible for monitoring and assisting change towards more sustainable environmental practices.  It should also provide the fuel which keeps pushing the coop's environmental consciousness "envelope" and continue to set a visible example for coops, stores and our city.  It has done this since its founding and we hope will continue to do so.  This isn't the whole purpose of the coop, but it's one of it's stated missions. 

The Environmental Committee will provide education where needed, and find answers to all the concerns which have been brought forth about the plastic roll bag phase out.

With all of us working together for more real environmental change, we can make it happen, without the coop or its members suffering any ill effects.

Please see the post on this blog about the coop's General Meeting on May 28th and vote to make the coop ever more responsible to the environment and to all of our members' needs.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

General Meeting May 28th - Plastic Bag Phase Out Vote

At the General Meeting on Tuesday, May 28, Coop members will be asked to vote on the following proposal:

"To phase out the free distribution of plastic roll bags on the Coop’s shopping floor by 6 months from the date of the GM vote. Shoppers are welcome to reuse plastic bags already taken from the Coop and elsewhere. Environmental Committee and other concerned Coop members will continue to work with our General Coordinators to educate our membership, provide a wider range of light-weight reusable bags for purchase, and determine the most equitable and sustainable adjustments for weighing produce and bulk products."

The Environmental Committee has sponsored this proposal with the support of many concerned Coop members, in ongoing dialogue with our General Coordinators. We welcome the growing awareness and discussion of this issue in the Gazette, at General Meetings and elsewhere, and want everyone to understand the issues at stake.

Our Mission Statement and Environmental Policy commit the Coop to what is known as a “triple bottom line,” or TBL. First introduced in the mid-1990s as an accounting framework to evaluate the sustainability of business ventures, the TBL integrates concern for the “three P’s” of Profits, People, and the Planet.

In other words, the Coop is obligated in its bottom-line impact to balance financial success with social and environmental sustainability.

Read more of this recent Committee Report in The Line Waiter's Gazette (PDF) and join us at the May 28th General Meeting!
  • The meeting is at Middle School 51, 5th Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets at 7pm. 
  • If you would like to get work slot credit for attending the meeting, please remember to use the signup sheet near the front elevator.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shout-out to our Fellow PSFC Committees

The Food Coop's Environmental Committee has enjoyed collaborating with other committees. Check out their blogs to learn more about some of the great work they are doing:
  • The Animal Welfare Committee has only been in existence a short time, but has already surveyed several aisles of the Coop, to determine which products have been tested on animals. Their blog has a listing of their work, plus other useful information.

  • The GMO Shelf Labelling Committee has been investigating which products on our shelves contain genetically modified ingredients, since US law does not currently require manufacturers to disclose this information. Their blog will keep you up-to-date on the latest in the quest for better labelling laws in this country and more.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Electronics Recycling this Weekend!!!

Two chances this weekend to recycle your electronics! Sponsored by the Lower East Side Ecology Center, these events let you safely discard  unwanted electronics.   See a complete list of acceptable items

Saturday, January 19, 2013 | 10:00am - 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Tekserve, 119 West 23rd Street, Manhattan 10011

Sunday, January 20, 2013 |
10:00am - 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Prospect Park West and 3rd Street, Brooklyn 11215

Can't make it to an event? You can also drop off your e-waste five days per week at the E-waste Warehouse in Gowanus Brooklyn.