Posts Tagged ‘sustainable living’

Green Products and Ideas on April 21 will offer Central New Yorkers a chance to look at and ride in a GM fuel cell vehicle, expert advice on green-living tax credits and incentives, and much more. The Sustainability Fair will run 4 to 8 p.m. April 21 in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center arena. It is free and open to the public, and parking will be available.

The one-day exposition will feature exhibitors displaying, discussing and demonstrating green products and services to enhance sustainable solutions for home, property and life. The Sustainability Fair will run 4 to 8 p.m. April 21 in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center arena. It is free and open to the public, and parking will be available.

Among the features:
- General Motors will provide a fuel cell vehicle. GM reported last fall that its Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen-to-electricity vehicles have passed a million miles in testing, emitting only wisps of water vapor from the tailpipe. A GM representative will be on hand to answer questions and give rides.
- Chris Carrick of the state Energy Research and Development Authority will promote a range of environmentally responsible initiatives NYSERDA has in the works, and will provide information about home energy efficiency and tax incentives.
- SUNY Oswego’s Office of Facilities will display information about the new apartment complex, The Village, rapidly rising next to Glimmerglass Lagoon on campus, and all the components qualifying it for LEED Gold, a top U.S. Green Building Council certification for building design and environmental sustainability.
- A variety of vendors will have exhibits and information on such green services and products as wind and solar contracting, community farming and gardening, green cleaning, and much more.

The event is sponsored by SUNY Oswego as a part of the Quest Day of Research and Creativity. Underwriting is provided by the American Chemical Society and SUNY-Oswego’s Auxiliary Services. For more information about the fair, visit or contact Thad Mantaro at 312-3492 or For vendor registration information, contact Thad Mantaro.

American Canyon
Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa

LEED certified, Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa bills itself as Napa Valley’s “first fully environmentally-sustainable hotel .” Named “Mother Earth” in Greek, the hotel provides waterless urinals, low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads. The emphasis on nature can also be found on their grounds, which consist of native and climate-adaptive plants, as well as a swan and Koi pond that uses only recycled  water.

San Francisco
The Orchard Garden Hotel

Located just three blocks from San Francisco‘s Union Square and all the major department stores, this LEED certified boutique hotel is the sister property of the Orchard Hotel and stands green and proud. Inviting earth-toned rooms (all of which are deluxe) come with all-natural fabrics, ergonomically correct mattresses, feather pillows and 100 percent combed cotton bedding. Rooms have been constructed with low emission paint and carpet, and the hotel utilizes chemical-free cleaning solutions and organic bath products.                                                                                             


Hotel Allegro 

The Allegro is part of Kimpton’s EarthCare program, promoting a sustainable planet. This downtown Chicago hotel features towel re-use, water recycling and non-toxic cleaning agents. All materials are printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper, and energy-efficient light bulbs are used. Indulge in a complimentary cup of organic, fair trade coffee in the lobby before heading out to the Chicago theatre scene or the shopping Mecca on Magnificent Mile.


Hotel Green

Celebrated shoe designer and hotelier Vanessa Noel’s Hotel Green is Nantucket Island’s first environmentally conscious organic luxury hotel. It boasts nine individually decorated rooms and one two-bedroom suite incorporating high-end environmentally friendly and sustainable products. Frank-Gehry-designed recycled cardboard chairs and coffee tables sit on Gaiam hemp area rugs, which are complemented by natural bamboo window shades. You’ll also find hemp bathrobes and towels in your room as well as a selection of organic beverages and snacks.


70 Park Avenue Hotel
Kimpton property committed to sustainable practices, this boutique hotel even provides in-room spa services and has a yoga TV channel and complimentary yoga accessories. The hotel uses non-intrusive, high quality, eco-friendly products and services, including in-room recycling bins and non-toxic cleaners. This is a hotel for discerning guests who seek a haven of quiet with the ambience of their very own Park Avenue pied-à-terre.


Washington D.C. 
The Fairmont Washington, D.C.
Did you know that if you park your hybrid car at this hotel in Washington’s fashionable West End, you’ll receive a free dessert? In addition to sweets, this hotel has a green procurement program, including the reduction of pre-packaging, ensuring that supplies, equipment, fixtures and furniture are environmentally sensitive. The hotel also donates soaps, amenities and food from buffet lines to shelters and soup kitchens. Being green never felt so good!







Gift wrapping has always been one of those things that I have thought to be a waste of the materials used in order to attain a short term goal. The present is wrapped for whoever’s birthday, anniversary, wedding or any number of special occasions for the brief 15 seconds before the decorating papers and ribbons surrounding the actual gift are ripped to shreds. Now there is nothing wrong with wanting to present your gift in an attractive manor, after all you have gone to all the trouble of picking out and purchasing a present, but there must be a greener way.

The effect that all of the pleasantries of gift giving has on the environment is more frightening than you would think. Never mind the damage that we do year round with all of the birthdays and other gift giving holidays, but think about the Christmas Season. In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags. Among friends, family, even though it is nice to have gifts wrapped, think about not wrapping some of your gifts and remembering what positive effect this will have on the environment. So here are some suggestions from Planet Green Discovery on how to still have a great holiday season without hurting the environment.

  1. Reused Gift Bags
    Most of us have a stash of gift bags saved from presents we’ve received. Put them to good use and commit to using only gift bags instead of wrapping. Also, if you feel a gift bag isn’t finished without a filler like tissue paper, use a greener option—the shreds from your paper shredder!
  2. Paper Grocery Bags
    You can create beautiful gift bags from materials found around the house. Decorate paper grocery bags with markers and crayons, or decoupage them with magazine cut-outs. Use it as wrapping paper or a gift sack. Put on the finishing touch with scrap ribbon from previous projects.
  3. Reusable Cloth Bags
    Do you have scrap fabric lying around? Or maybe some old shirts you never wear but that have lovely patterns. Try your hand at some easy-sew cloth bags. Since you’re making them by hand, you can sew them to suit your needs. You can also design them to be practical for the recipient as a shopping bag. Your imagination is the limit.
  4. Clay Pots
    Clay pots can make a present look extra interesting, and are a reusable item for the recipientM. Place your gift in the pot, and use the drainage dish as the lid to hide the present from view. Tie it together with a reused ribbon, or strips of scrap fabric. You can also decorate the pot to personalize it using ceramic markers available at craft stores.
  5. A Gift in a Gift
    One great way to make a gift extra special is to wrap it in another gift. A hand-knit scarf, a beautiful table cloth or runner, and hand-made purse or similar items are all great things to use for wrapping a gift within a gift.
  6. Furoshiki
    This idea might be well combined with the “gift in a gift” suggestion. Furoshiki is a method of folding cloth into beautiful packages. Using a piece of beautifully printed cloth and a few knots in interesting places will create an eye-catching package.
  7. A Bucket for Hobbyists
    Does the recipient have a hobby? Use a bucket-like item related to what they love. For the chef, a cooking pot. A watering can for the gardener. A hat box for the fashionista. Showing them you know them inside and out will make the wrapping even better than the gift inside.
  8. Paper Waste
    Raiding the paper recycling bin is a great way to get materials for gift wrap. Magazine pages, notes from a class, the crossword puzzle from yesterday’s paper all could become ideal wrapping material for a package with personality.
  9. Maps
    Maps, especially road maps, can become obsolete. However, they never loose their visual intrigue. Put them to good use as wrapping for a package that the recipient will turn over and over…and over and over…before opening.
  10. Junk Mail
    What to do with junk mail that just keeps landing in your mailbox despite the fact that you signed up for the “do not mail” list? It’s frustrating to see the waste—however, all those offers to win big, or those colorful coupons become humorous wrapping material.
  11. Cereal Boxes
    For clothing, accessories, and gifts on the thinner side, a cereal box is a great option for a unique container. Make it funny by adding a gift topper. For instance, if you’re using Cinnamon Toast Crunch, wrap it up with a recycled ribbon and stick a cinnamon stick in the knot of the bow. Or string some dried sliced fruit or berries through the ribbon.
  12. Glass Jars
    After using up all the mayo for your world famous potato salad, use the jar as a gift container. Glass jars are versatile. Soak the label and remove it. Then get creative. Use recycled paper to line the interior as reversed wrapping to hide the gift, or leave it transparent for a “so close yet so far” effect. Use found objects to decorate it as a snowman or other winter icon. The options for how to use cloth, ribbon, and lid decorations are endless.

1)    Chargers and Electronics
Unplug chargers for cell phones, computers, and mp3 players when they are not being used.  When left plugged in, they leak energy.  Another solution is to use a power strip; turn it off if you are not using the items plugged into it.  Setting your laptop into sleep mode reduces energy use up to 80%, even better: turn it off completely if it will not be in use for an hour or longer.

2)    Lighting
Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).  They produce the same light level as regular bulbs, but use about a quarter of the energy and can last up to ten times longer. 

Unlike ordinary light bulbs, CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury in the glass tubing, so special clean-up and disposal methods are needed.  In case of breakage, have people and pets leave the room.  Open the window and shut off the central air heating/conditioning system, allowing the room to air out for 15 minutes.  Pick up the pieces of broken glass and put them in a jar with a metal lid or a plastic bag.  Use sticky tape to pick up any remaining glass shards or powder, and then wipe the area with a wet paper towel.  If a spill comes in contact with any absorbent surfaces, the items become contaminated and must be disposed of accordingly.  For further information:

You can also replace ordinary switches with dimmers or motion sensors.  Whenever a dimmer is not turned all the way up, you are saving energy.  Motion sensors will turn on a light and keep it on only if someone is in the room.  Utilize natural light as much as possible; try reading a book or doing your work during the day.

3)    Clothes
Instead of throwing away old clothes, recycle them!  By donating textiles, you can help reduce the number of unwanted textiles that end up in landfills and incinerators.  In New York City alone, over 193,000 tons of recoverable and recyclable textiles are disposed of every year.  GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education (OROE) provides drop off locations at NYC Greenmarkets. Click here for locations.

4)    Fans
We all know that turning on a fan during the summer will cool down a room.  But turning one on in the winter can help improve heating efficiency.  As your radiator heats the room, the warmer air rises to the ceiling.  By turning on your ceiling fan to the lowest setting, the warm air is circulated around the room.  A fan uses much less electricity than a heating system, reducing energy use.

5)    Cleaning
Whether they are empty or full, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers use about the same amount of energy.  It is more efficient – and helps you save on your electric bill – to wait until these appliances are full before use.

When buying a washing machine, look for front-loaders.  These models use up to 25% less energy and water than a standard washer.  You can save an additional 10 cents a load by washing with cold water whenever possible.  Almost 90% of energy consumed by washing machines is used to heat the water.  Keep the lint filter in the dryer clean, since a clogged filter can increase energy use up to 30%.  During the spring and summer, another eco-friendly alternative is hanging your clothes up to dry!

6)    Colors
If you are painting a room, consider using a lighter color.  Dark colors absorb more light, requiring you to use more energy from light bulbs to achieve the same effect as a room with lighter walls.

7)    Insulate
Whether during the summer or the winter, insulating your home is an effective way to save energy.  An insulated home does not gain or lose heat as quickly as a non-insulated one, so it is easier to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors.  Close your windows and seal drafts around the window and doorframes to keep the hot or cold air out.  In the winter, you can also use clear plastic barrier film to cover window frames; the film traps cold air that might come into your house even if the windows are closed.  Up to 16% of your heat can be lost through unprotected windows.  Insulating lowers the demand on your air conditioner and heating system, reducing your electric bill and extending the life of the system.

8) Faucets
One way to conserve water is to seal leaks in plumbing fixtures.  Repairing the plumbing with replacement washers can easily stop leaks.  This is something that you can do on your own, though novices might ask a handy friend or a plumber.  Fixing a leak from a hot-water faucet is doubly beneficial; the leak makes the water heater work harder and wastes energy.  Another thing you could pick up at a hardware store is a faucet aerator.  These aerators add air to the water coming out of the sink, reducing the amount of water used but maintaining water pressure.

9) Plastic
Try to cut down on how much trash you generate in a normal day.  Instead of using disposable cups and utensils at delis and coffee shops, bring your own.  Instead of grabbing plastic cutlery along with your lunch, eat with metal ones from home.  Carry a reusable plastic or stainless steel mug with you for hot or cold drinks.  At the end of the day, bring your cups and cutlery home to wash them and be ready for tomorrow.  Bring cloth bags to the supermarket to carry groceries home in, and bring your own reusable plastic containers when you go to buy take-out.  Reusable containers and utensils help keep plastic and Styrofoam out of the landfills.

10) Driving
You don’t have to buy a new hybrid or electric car to be environment-friendly when you drive.  Follow the speed limit, regularly clean your air and oil filters, keep your tires inflated, and carefully step on the gas and brakes.  While pushing the pedal to the metal is fun, maintaining a cruising speed (e.g. 55 mph) uses less gas.  These simple tips can improve your fuel efficiency up to 25% on highways.

11) Plant a Tree
The MillionTreesNYC program, one of the 127 initiatives of PlaNYC, intends to plant one million trees across the city’s five boroughs within the next ten years.  Not only do the trees beautify our urban landscape, they enrich our environment and the quality of city life.  Trees capture atmospheric carbon dioxide in their tissue, alleviating the greenhouse effect.  Trees also help filter out air and water pollution, and capture and retain stormwater.  To make New York City a greener place, you can volunteer for MillionTreesNYC ( or plant a tree in your own back yard.



•    The Power of Green – A list of 100 facts about conserving energy.
o    Visit for more information.
•    PowerMove – Use PowerYourWay to shop for electricity and natural gas from a variety of suppliers and qualify for a 7% discount off the ConEd price of energy supply for two months.
o    Green Power – Purchase green power through ConEd.  The service will cost a little extra, but you will help make New York a cleaner, greener city.
o    PowerMove – Use PowerYourWay to shop for electricity and natural gas from a variety of suppliers and qualify for a 7% discount off the ConEd price of energy supply for two months.
o    Visit for more information.
•    Green Power – Purchase green power through ConEd.  The service will cost a little extra, but you will help make New York a cleaner, greener city.
o    Visit for more information.


•    BeCool – Replace your old air conditioner with an ENEGY STAR qualified model to be to save money and conserve energy.
o    Turn in your old, functional through-the-wall air conditioner to be eligible for a $100 BeCool incentive.
o    Turn in your old, functional window air conditioner to be eligible for a $35 BeCool incentive.
o    Contact or 1-877-NY-SMART for more information, and a list of locations to turn in old units and participating retailers.

Do children’s vaccines contain mercury?

All of the routine childhood immunizations are currently available in formulations that do not contain mercury or that contain only trace amounts. In the past, many vaccines contained a preservative called thimerosal, which contains ethyl mercury. But in the late 1990′s, NRDC and others successfully pressed for the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines. The flu vaccine is the only routine childhood vaccine that still sometimes includes thimerosal. Parents can request the mercury-free version of this vaccine. Some of the combined diphtheria and tetanus vaccines may contain trace residues of thimerosal from the manufacturing process, but the amounts are extremely small.

I have heard that vaccines can cause autism. Is that true?

Medical scientists do not know what causes autism. Some people have speculated that vaccines containing thimerosal may be linked to this disease. Although a few studies have suggested such a link, the best studies so far have not found one. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science has reviewed the scientific evidence on this topic and concluded that probably no link exists between vaccines and autism. The epidemic of autism in the United States today is extremely serious and more research into possible environmental causes is imperative.

While the causes of autism remain unknown, there is no question that mercury is a neurotoxin which can cause serious harm to the developing nervous system. Children exposed to mercury early in life can develop neurological delays that may appear as subtle learning disabilities. Children’s exposure to toxins such as mercury should be limited in every way possible, and the removal of mercury from childhood vaccines was an essential advance. As noted above, flu vaccines may still contain thimerosal but parents can request the mercury-free version.

Do thermometers containing mercury pose a health risk?

Direct exposure to mercury from a broken mercury fever thermometer can be dangerous, particularly for young children. If spills are not cleaned up properly, mercury vapors in the air can cause damage to the lungs, kidneys and brain when inhaled. Also, if a mercury thermometer ends up in a landfill or incinerator, the mercury will enter the environment and can find its way into our food supply through fish. Because of these risks, California and many cities and counties around the country now prohibit the sale of mercury thermometers.

Alternatives such as digital thermometers — which are inexpensive, accurate, easy to use and less damaging to the environment than mercury thermometers — are becoming increasingly popular.

What should I do if my mercury thermometer breaks?

Carefully sweep the little silver balls of mercury into a disposable plastic container and seal the container shut. Then take the container to your local household hazardous waste collection facility. Do not flush the mercury down the toilet, vacuum it up or dispose of it in the regular trash. If mercury spills on a carpet or rug, many experts recommend getting rid of these items, since mercury is extremely difficult to remove and will continue to vaporize into the air over time.

How should I dispose of my old mercury thermometer?

Many cities, as well as some hospitals and medical clinics, have programs that allow you to exchange your mercury thermometer for a free, digital replacement. Household hazardous waste collection facilities and many pharmacies also collect and safely dispose of mercury thermometers. For full details, see the blue pages of your phone book and contact your local health department.

Do dental fillings containing mercury pose a health risk?

Recent studies have shown that silver-colored dental fillings, which contain as much as 50 percent mercury by weight, can release mercury vapor — particularly when they are new or when the wearer chews gum or food. Once inhaled, this vapor can be toxic to the lungs, kidneys, and brain — particularly of infants and children. Pregnant women, or women planning to become pregnant within the next few months, should avoid getting mercury fillings. Swallowing filling fragments poses less risk of harm because metallic mercury is not as easily absorbed in the stomach and intestines.

Dentists’ offices are a major source of mercury pollution in water. To prevent pollution, dentists who use mercury should always install an amalgam separator device in their offices. These devices filter the mercury out of wastewater so that it doesn’t contaminate the water supply and eventually accumulate in the fish that we eat.

Should I have my mercury fillings removed?

Most experts agree that it is best to leave existing mercury fillings in place unless they need to be removed for other reasons. During removal, the heat of a dentist’s drill can efficiently vaporize the mercury, resulting in significant inhalation of this toxic metal. In addition, the drill can chip out small bits of the filling, which become embedded in cheeks and gums. These chips can then release mercury directly into the body. So removing mercury fillings can actually increase your exposure to mercury.

Are mercury-free fillings available?

Yes. The most popular alternative to mercury fillings is composite fillings (which are often called “porcelain”). But these fillings, which contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, have their own potential health risks. Bisphenol A has been shown to be estrogenic in lab animals and cause disruptions in sexual development in male mice at exposure levels similar to those of people with composite fillings. More scientific research is needed to determine whether these fillings are preferable to mercury fillings. Gold fillings appear to be the safest alternative, but are considerably more expensive. It’s best to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each option with your dentist.


I saw this great article on The Huffington Post and wanted to share it with everyone.  I try to lead a green lifestyle and have been using recycled toilet paper for many years, but when I read this article I thought that even for me this was too much.  The idea is great in a conceptual sense but in reality not so much.  The practical application of reusable toilet paper grosses out even the greenest of people and I can’t blame them, just the thought of it alone makes me grateful for the rough recycled stuff I stock my in my bathroom.  I wish that I could jump on the reusable “family wipe” wagon but I will be sticking with the old fashioned toilet tissue for the time being.

Eco Etiquette: Reusable Toilet Paper – Too Gross For Comfort? By Jennifer Grayson

Yes, people are doing this, though at present the practice of employing reusable cloths in lieu of toilet paper — euphemistically referred to as family wipes or family cloth — seems relegated to what marketing gurus would call the “dark green” consumer. (Though there’s another color I can think of that might be more appropriate in this case.)

I do find it somewhat ironic that new parents using cloth diapers for their baby are usually met with praise: Oh, wow — you guys must be really dedicated to the environment. But transfer the concept of reusable bathroom products to adults, and the response is one of universal horror: You’re going to do what? With what? Even the crunchiest of my granola friends couldn’t stifle a grimace when I asked them if they would consider swapping out disposable toilet paper for the washable kind. I guess the difference is that with cloth diapers, squeamish folks can always employ a diaper service; with family wipes, you’re the one doing the washing.

Which brings me to your next question: Is the whole process of collecting and washing these wipes unsanitary? Not if you employ the method used by most family wipe families, which is to use the cloths for urinating only. (This still helps cut down on paper waste, since the majority of bathroom visits are of the first priority.) Since normal urine is sterile, there’s little chance of encountering nasty bugs like E. coli later in the laundry room. But using family wipes for ahem, your more serious matters can also be perfectly hygienic, provided you separate them from your other laundry (your kitchen towels, for instance) before washing them in hot water and drying them in the dryer. If your kids are still in diapers of the cloth variety, all the better — you can save water by washing the wipes and the diapers together.

So is it really worth the effort, from an environmental standpoint? If you’re contemplating making the switch from the three-ply, quilted, extra-soft fluffy stuff to tree-free TP, then the benefits are clear: At present, more than 98 percent of the toilet paper sold in the United States is made from virgin wood (note: that statistic will improve soon, thanks to last year’s Kimberly-Clark/Greenpeace agreement), which is destroying our forests and contributing to climate change, since forests are the most effective tool we have for sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And while some may argue that washing cloth toilet wipes wastes water, it’s nothing compared with the pulp and paper business, which is one of the world’s largest industrial consumers of fresh water.

But can’t you eliminate a lot of that waste and pollution by switching to 100 percent recycled toilet paper? Yeah, you can, which is the solution I’ll be sticking with as long as I live in a one-bathroom apartment (no surprises for guests here!) with a community washer/dryer. It’s not a perfect solution, of course; recycled toilet paper still takes energy and resources to produce, not to mention the fuel cost to transport it from factory to store. But perhaps the more compelling case to be made for tossing the TP is an economic one: The average family of four is just flushing away cash, to the tune of $140 a year. A pack of a dozen family wipes from Wallypop will set you back about $11; you can also make your own for free out of old clothing.

If you do decide to take the plunge, mind your Eco Etiquette: Don’t try to green toilet train guests (i.e., put regular — or at least recycled — toilet paper in the guest bathroom); keep your own toilet area neatly organized by designating a basket for clean cloths and a pail with a lid for dirty ones; and retire especially worn wipes to the compost pile, not the trash can (after washing them, of course). Bottoms up!

Recycling is the process of turning one products useful parts into a new product; this is done to conserve on the consumption of resources, energy and space used in landfills. 

By recycling 1 plastic bottle not only saves anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill but also saves the environment from the emissions in producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that bottle.

For every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month’s time and almost 2000 pounds of oil.

Approximately 60% of our rubbish thrown away today could be recycled. A survey was done and 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would recycle more if it was easier.
RecycleOdd as it seems there are many people who do not realize that plastic bottles our water comes in is made out of oil.  This is the same oil that is used to make gasoline. It’s the same oil that is in such high demand and is not an unlimited resource. 

Today the most common products in cities recycling programs are paper products, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum.

Taking Just A Moment

Taking just a moment to put your newspaper, soda can and glass spaghetti jar in the recycling bin will save everyone years in environmental harm from production of new materials, over crowded landfills and the depletion of our natural resources.

4000 Years

When we do not recycle at least our glass or aluminum we cost the earth in power usage, water and oil usage and landfill usage; glass takes up to 4000 years to decompose in a landfill yet can be recycled indefinitely.

Earn Money

Recycling can be done at home as well as in conjunction with city programs.  Many scrap yards pay for scrap metal including the soda cans and soup cans we use every day.

Be Creative

Many useful items can be made from our everyday trash; the cardboard tubes left over from paper towel and toilet paper can make useful storage containers for our extra extension cords and prevents a tangled mess in the Christmas lights.

If your going to throw these out don’t just throw it in the rubbish bin, put it the recycling bin.

Baby jars can become snow globes the kids can make and give as gifts, old Christmas cards can become new hand made cards and a glass or plastic bottle along with some clear oil and food coloring and a few other common household items can become a groovy lava lamp! 

The possibilities are endless and instructions can be found in books and on the internet.

Start Today

Recycling is a very environmentally green activity; however, there are ways that you can make it greener as well as building a strong beginning if you do not currently recycle.

Recycling productsMany people beginning a recycling program look around and wonder what they can put in the recycling bin; there is so much information available on this site, so don’t panic.

By reusing your recycled storage containers you save on the environmental impact as well. Paper and plastic bags are good for recycling storage; however, a plastic reusable bin is even better.

Spread The Word

Share what you know. If you notice abundant trash in your neighborhood start spreading the word and your experience with recycling and if there isn’t already one in place strive to get a city recycling pick up program started.

The fact is many of our resources as well as our Earth is not renewable and we have to start taking control of our selves beginning with the world we live in.  

Off The Hook: Why Local Seafood is Sustainable

Saturday, March 13th from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 92 Y Tribeca

Do you want to know what fish are sustainable to eat? Are you confused by pocket seafood guides and competing certification labels? Do you wonder if any fish sold at farmer’s markets are overfished? Greenmarket will bring together fishermen, a regulatory agent, a marine advocate, and a chef to help untangle these questions and talk about what’s being done to promote sustainable fishing practices and why it’s important to support our local fishing families and communities.

Panelists include, Alex and Stephanie Villani from Blue Moon Fish in Mattituck, NY; Christopher M. Moore Chief of the Partnerships and Communications Division in the office of Sustainable Fisheries at NOAA Fisheries Service; Niaz Dorry, Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA); and Colin Alevras Chef of the former acclaimed restaurant Tasting Room and now Sommelier at DBGB Kitchen & Bar.

Light local seafood snacks and New York State wine will be served.

Tickets are $10 and available at 92 Y Tribeca  or through the box office at 212-601-1000.

92Y Tribeca is located at 200 Hudson Street, at Canal.

Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1998 by Stuart Conway and Richard Fox, and is staffed by a group of dedicated conservationists who feel strongly about helping communities to protect, conserve, and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends. Their work is guided by two core beliefs:

  • That natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management; and
  • preserving local trees, wetlands, and watersheds is essential for the ongoing social, economic, and environmental health of communities everywhere.

TWP develops and manages continuing reforestation, watershed protection, renewable energy, appropriate technology, and environmental education programs in Latin America and the American West. TWP’s international programs have been recognized nationally and internationally, receiving the Ashden Award for Renewable Energy, as well as awards from Kodak, The Conservation Fund, and etown, the nationally syndicated environmental radio show. TWP’s programs have been featured on National Geographic Television, National Public Radio, and in the Christian Science Monitor.

In the nation’s poorest communities — Indian reservations of the American West — bitter winters force many families to spend up to 70% of their total income to heat their homes. Choices are few: expensive electricity, polluting propane, or firewood from the few trees that remain.

Energy costs on these reservations create hardship for almost every family. The harsh cold can be deadly for tribal elders living in homes that aren’t adequately heated. The high cost of heating often puts other necessities, such as health care and medicine, out of reach. The result is more suffering for a people that has already suffered much.

Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program puts the power of nature — the warmth of the sun, the power of the wind, the shelter of trees — to work for Native Americans. Working with reservation communities, TWP plants windbreak and shade trees around homes, and builds and installs supplemental solar heaters for families in need. These solutions are sustainable, economically beneficial, environmentally friendly, and celebrate the Native Americans’ respect for Mother Earth.

Since the program began in 2003, more than 300 supplemental solar heating systems have been installed at Pine Ridge, Rosebud and other Great Plains reservation communities. In 2006-2007, TWP expanded the Tribal Lands program to include a pilot installation of a household-scale wind turbine and solar electricity (photovoltaic or PV) system at the Little Thunder home on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota. The home had previously been outfitted with a supplemental solar heater and windbreak and shade trees. Working with our partners in the Rosebud Housing Authority and Tribal Utility Commission, we’re testing the viability of this multi-modal approach to helping Native families.

In 2008, TWP and our Pine Ridge partner, Lakota Solar Enterprises, established the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, where tribes from around the country can receive hands-on training in renewable energy applications from Native American trainers. Visiting tribal members are currently being trained in the theory and practice of solar heating. These newly-certified solar technicians then return to assemble and install heating systems for families in their own communities.

The program is currently working on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Reservations in South Dakota, Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Reservations in North Dakota, and with Winona LaDuke and the Honor the Earth organization on the White Earth and Red Lake Reservations in Minnesota.

Volunteering with Trees, Water & People

Office Volunteers. The vast majority of our volunteer opportunities are office-based. TWP receives over 1000 volunteer hours per year, and we could not accomplish everything we do without this help. Normal office tasks include data entry, assistance with mailings, and organizing our recycling and reuse programs within our operations.

Planting, weeding, mulching xeriscape demonstration garden. This garden is located at the TWP office. We have plants that need care, weeds that need to come out & mulch to put down as well. So far we have had some excellent help, but there is always more to be done!

Internships: We offer varied internships every semester. Spring 2010 internships have been filled. Please check for opportunities this summer!