Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama Announces Plans for Offshore Drilling

During an appearance at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland today, President Obama discussed plans to “open vast expanses of American coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling.” His plan would open up drilling “along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska.”

The new areas would be open to drilling “only after the completion of geologic studies, environmental impact statements, court challenges and public lease sales.” There is a chance that studies will prove the cost of drilling too expensive to take seriously and President Obama stressed that offshore drilling is one small part of a broader strategy to develop alternative sources of energy and wean the United States from dependency on foreign oil.

Read the full New York Times article here.

Read responses on CNN here.

And responses posted by Reuters here.

And don't forget:

Join us for tonight's screening of End of the Line, a documentary about the impact of overfishing on our oceans. The event - co-sponsored by GreenEdge Collaborative NYC - will take place on Wednesday, March 31st, 6:30 - 10:00 p.m @ Green Spaces (394 Broadway, 5th Floor). $10 suggested donation to benefit the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Get Your Free Helmets!

Ah the weather warms and the desire to spend more time outdoors grows.

Every year Pratt Institute holds its annual Green Week celebration, promoting green design, sustainable living, and environmentally conscious community. As part of Green Week and for the last three years in a row Envirolution has invited the Department of Transportation to give away FREE bicycle helmets.

This event is free and open to the public, as with all of this year's Green Week events.

DOT Free Helmet Giveaway
Tuesday March 30th 11am - 3pm
Center of Pratt Campus** In the Student Union in case of rain

A parent or legal guardians must come with children under 18 to receive a free helmet

Learn More.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Upcycle all by Yourself!

100 Amazing Upcycling Ideas Anyone Can Do

One does not have to be an environmentalist to enjoy the benefits of upcycling projects. Anyone who derives enjoyment from DIY projects and other creative endeavors will love looking at the following instructions for ideas and inspiration for undertakings of their very own. Or, of course, they can follow along at home as a means of learning new techniques and nurturing their innovation.

1. Bike Innertube Wallet : Learn how to transform the innertube of a bike tire into a durable, waterproof wallet that only requires a bit of simple cutting and sewing.

2. Travel Trunk Rolling Bar : An old travel trunk makes for an elegant, vintage (or, at least, vintage looking) rolling bar/conversation piece perfect for entertaining.

3. Old CD Jewelry : Smooth, shiny CDs can make for some stunning, relatively simple and understated jewelry pieces – and with their rapidly escalating status as obsolete technology, there will be plenty stacking up for these creative DIY projects.

4. G4 Cubequarium : Fans of Macs and technology will delight in this amazing fish tank made from an old G4. It requires a bit of work, but the instructions are all laid out in detail.

5. Newspaper Mulch : With this simple project, homeowners and gardeners can re-appropriate newspapers to serve as effective, biodegradable mulch.

6. Birdseed Packaging Lunch Bag : Turn a simple birdseed bag (or bit of trash of a similar composition) into an interesting, easy-to clean lunchbox suitable for everyday use.

7. Plastic Bag Headband : Using this technique for creating viable, sewable fabric from plastic bags found at most grocery stores, the green fashionista can whip up a quick headband or bracelet in no time.

8. Barrel of Monkeys Bowl : Plastic toy soldiers and the beloved Barrel of Monkeys both make for quirky, fun decorative bowls that add a unique flair to any home.

9. Soda Bottle Lamp : 2-liter soda bottles can be fashioned into incredible lamps and electric candles that imbue a room with a startling elegance.

10. Plastic Bag Laptop Case : Upcycle those ubiquitous plastic bags – many of which fail to biodegrade at an agreeable rate – into a workable, eco-friendly laptop case.

get more ideas at Engineering a Better World.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

From one of our eco-challengers

Sheena Y. tells us:

This year on the fire escape outside my apartment I will be growing lots of herbs, a few veggies and a couple flowers.

Good luck Sheena. Send us your story about the Urban Garden Challenge and sign up!!

Two Days Until Earth Hour


3,100 CITIES, 121 COUNTRIES, 31 U.S. STATES ON ALL 7 CONTIENTS SET TO UNITE IN A CALL TO ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is in the final stages of preparing for Earth Hour 2010, the single largest call to action on climate change in history. hundreds of millions of individuals, businesses, governments and iconic landmarks around the world will turn off their lights for one hour, making the switch to a cleaner, sustainable and more secure planet.

31 states have signed on at this time, for official participation in Earth Hour 2010, FIVE times as many as were on board last year. The states are; Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin

More than 150 U.S. cities and municipalities are officially taking a stand on this important issue. Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Huntsville, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sioux Falls, Spokane, St. Louis, and Winston-Salem lead the list of supporting cities in 2010.

More than 50 national monuments and iconic landmarks will go dark across the U.S. in observance of Earth Hour 2010, including: The Las Vegas Strip, Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, National Cathedral and Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C., Golden Gate Bridge, the Space Needle, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, all 39 Broadway Theater Marquees, Sears/Willis Tower, the Queen Mary hotel in Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saturday, March 27
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
744 Franklin Avenue (b/w Sterling and St. Johns)Brooklyn, NY

Free if parents bring items to swap, otherwise $10/person Spring is right around the corner, and instead of buying a whole new children’s wardrobe for the season, parents will have a chance to save money and recycle by bringing in their new and gently used infant and children’s clothing (sizes 0-7 yrs), small toys and books to swap. Exciting raffle giveaways and refreshments available while they last! For more information, contact the store at

NOTE: Swappable items must be clean, free of stains, pet hair and in good condition. Early drop off is suggested and available during our normal store hours beginning March 23. Unclaimed items will be donated to a reputable Haitian relief effort and a local non-profit organization serving children in need.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Shark Lady! We like the sound of that

The Lady and the Sharks: An Evening with Legendary Ichthyologist Eugenie Clark
Monday, March 29, 2010
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
The NY Academy of Sciences @ 7 World Trade Center at 250 Greenwich Street, NY, NY 10007 40th Floor

Eugenie Clark (The Mote Marine Laboratory) The world-renowned ichthyologist, Eugenie Clark, known as "the Shark Lady," describes her fantastic and distinguished 60-year career studying deep sea sharks and tropical fish.

For information & registration, please call (212) 298-8600 or email

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do you know about People's Garden NYC? Here's the deal:

"To Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

We, the undersigned people of New York City, respectfully request that a vegetable garden be planted in front of City Hall.

This garden will represent New Yorkers’ commitment to education, public service, healthy eating, and environmental stewardship. This garden will be tended by NYC public school students, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and our region’s talented gardeners and farmers. The harvest will be donated to a nearby food pantry to feed the hungry.

This garden will represent the vision of a more sustainable, livable City for all New Yorkers, and will contribute to achieving the intents of PLANYC by 2030."

click here to sign the petition and learn more.

Friday, March 19, 2010

We Leave This to You

Tour of Yonkers Sewage Treatment Plant, Saturday, April 10, 2010, 10 am, Yonkers

Ever wonder what happens to water after it leaves your house? Here is your opportunity to find out. There will be a tour of the Yonkers Sewage Treatment Plant on Saturday, October 24. Come along as we "follow the flow" of sewage as it gets treated in the plant and find out what finally happens to it. Preference is given to educators and ecology workers.

Contact Matt Malina for information.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This Weekend

Lower East Side Stop N Swap - Sunday
11am - 3pm @ Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center (107 Suffolk)
Kick off spring cleaning season, clean out your closets and bring wearable and reusable items that you don't need anymore and feel free to take whatever you like. Organized by GrowNYC.

Go Green Expo - Saturday and Sunday
The nation's largest eco-friendly trade and consumer lifestyle showcase, returns to NY. Go Green Expo invites business leaders, eco-minded consumers and their families to explore the latest in every aspect of green living and sustainable business practices including energy, home and building, transportation, electronics, food, and health & beauty. Keynote speakers this year are actress Mariel Hemingway, award-winning actor/director Ed Begley Jr. and activist Matthew Modine. Yeah, we know, but it's still worth checking out to see what new things are on the horizon.
Pier 92
12th Avenue and West 55th Street - on the Hudson River
(646) 778-3211

or hit up Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Prospect Park (which needs your support as tons of trees got knocked down), or go for a bike-ride.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bee-Keep To Your Heart's Content!

It's now legal in NYC!

This morning, the NYC Board of Health voted in favor of lifting the ban on beekeeping in Health Code Article 161, which previously rendered beekeeping illegal. Today's vote is an important victory for all of those who support bees, beekeepers, urban agriculture and a greener, healthier and more sustainable New York City.

Just Food launched a city-wide campaign to legalize beekeeping in New York City in 2008 and has since been working with a coalition of beekeepers, gardeners and community members to encourage the NYC Department of Health to lift its beekeeping ban (read archive of our beekeeping campaign below).

Folks involved are: the NYC Beekeeping Meetup Group, NYC Beekeeper's Association, Gotham City Honey Co-Op, our 2009 Pollinator Week Committee, individual beekeepers and supporters, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, former City Councilman David Yassky, and the NYC Department of Health.


Monday, March 15, 2010

E-Waste Recycling!

from our friends at Lower East Side Ecology Center!

Electronic Waste Collection Events

The Ecology Center is partnering with Earth Day NY to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by holding 7 electronic waste ("e-waste") recycling events this spring. Full event details can be found on our calendar.

March 28, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Union Square, 17th Street and Broadway

April 03, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Roosevelt Island, Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

April 10, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Tekserve, 119 W 23rd Street, Chelsea

April 11, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Travers Park, 78th Street between Northern Blvd & 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights

April 17, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Habana Outpost, South Portland Avenue and Fulton Street, Ft. Greene

April 18, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Morningside Park, Morningside Avenue between 113th Street and 114th Street, Harlem

April 25, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
PS 29 School Yard, Baltic Street Between Henry Street and Clinton Street, Cobble Hill

A list of acceptable materials can be found here. We do not accept home appliances such as microwaves or refrigerators and cannot accept any electronics from businesses.

We like to thank Con Edison for their on-going support of our e-waste program and Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America and Vizio for co-sponsoring these events.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Urban Garden Challenge! Calling all superheroes

email us and write "I Grow" to to JOIN THE CHALLENGE!

"But each spring...a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground." -- Lewis Gantt

Many people, especially us New Yorkers, have long since lost this instinct as we spend less and less of our lives in nature.

Spring has come once again and for those of you who think that gardening and city life don’t mix, the Brooklyn Green Team is here to help you see how they can.

Community Gardens add to the diversity of the urban world, and therefore, grant a deeper sense of place and connection with the larger community. (Rough Terrains Urban Gardeners)

And according to the American Community Gardening Association, gardening:

• Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
• Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
• Stimulates Social Interaction
• Encourages Self-Reliance
• Produces Nutritious Food
• Conserves Resources
• Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
• Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots

There are many community gardens and even a few farms right here in the five boroughs and now we challenge you to bring a little gardening into your own urban life, even if the only little bit of ground you tame is a window box of fresh herbs.


A pack of tomato seed costs about a dollar. Planting these can yield 20 tomatoes in one harvest. 4 vine-ripe tomatoes from your grocery store cost between $4 - $6. You can also use these tomatoes to make tomato sauce, paste, salsa or home-made ketchup. That's a lot of savings

If you grow your food organically, without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll spare the earth the burden of unnecessary air and water pollution. You’ll also reduce the use of fossil fuels and the resulting pollution that comes from the transport of fresh produce from all over the world (in planes and refrigerated trucks) to your supermarket.

Americans throw away about $600 worth of food each year! It's a lot easier to toss a moldy orange that you paid $0.50 for than a perfect red pepper that you patiently watched ripen over the course of several weeks. When it's "yours," you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it (or preserve it) before it goes to waste.

According to a study posted by the Community Food Security Commission, "Urban gardens and farms produce surprising amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and meat. In a 130- day temperate growing season, a 10’x10’ meter plot can provide most of a 4-person household’s total yearly vegetable needs, including much of the household’s nutritional requirements for vitamins A, C, and B complex and iron."

The same report states that, "Community and residential gardening, as well as small-scale farming promote nutrition and free household income for non-garden foods and other needs. Approximately every $1 invested in a community garden plot yields $6 worth of vegetables. Cooperative buying partnerships with urban area farmers, called Community Supported Agriculture
(CSA), maximizes food quality at stabilized prices. Household garden donations and farm gleaning projects increase emergency food providers’ access to their scarcest commodity, fresh fruits and vegetables. "


Organic Gardening Magazine online is an easy way to get things going.

GrowNYC lists gardening resource sheets specific to urban dwellers, including plants for tree pits and window boxes.

Check out this gardening guide from Treehugger.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden has a sweet Gardener's Resource Center. You can even call their Gardener's Help Line on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m., at 718 - 623 - 727.

Visit a garden near you on the Oasis Map.

Want to volunteer to build gardens? Contact Green Guerillas.

Green Thumb (NYC Parks Dept) has a great page of resource links


Rather than run out and spend all your money at some big box store, seek out independent stores in your neighborhood. Here are some Brooklyn suggestions:

Chlesea Garden Center: (718) 875-2100

Gowanus Nursery: (718) 852 - 3116

Green Thumb Nursery: (718) 646 - 8303

Kings County Nurseries, Inc.: (718) 493 - 2363

Liberty Sunset Garden Center: (718) 858 - 3400

Sprout Home 388 - 4440

Tamilio Nursery: (718) 934 - 1355


How-to Grow a Garden in a Small, Urban Space

Window Farms Introduction

Gardening Tips: How to Build a Vegetable Garden

Urban Gardening

New York Urban Agriculture

And: We like this website a lot.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Town Square in partnership with PS 132 Present


Saturday, March 13, from 1 to 4 pm @ PS 132 320 Manhattan Ave (entrance near Conselyea St)

Bring Some!


Take Some!


Drop off your cleaned gently-used & working items – donate $5 to check out the selection and take away as many “riches” as you can carry!

forget to bring a bag (or cart) to tote them all!

upcoming swaps:

April 10 - Greenpoint Reformed Church (138 Milton)

May 8 - School Settlement (120 Jackson St)

June 12 - Greenpoint View (82 Oak St)

Map Your Cycling Route on Google Maps

Google Maps now complete with bike lanes. Avoid hills, heavily congested areas and find bike lanes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Off the Hook: Sustainable Seafood Event

Greenmarket’s Educated Eater series presents

Off The Hook: Why Local Seafood is Sustainable

Saturday, March 13th from 3:30 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 and Niaz Dorry, Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA).

Moderated by Colin Alevras Chef of the former acclaimed restaurant Tasting Room and now Beverage Director for David Chang's Momofuku restaurants.

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

Tickets are $10. Get them here.

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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Test Your Ocean Knowledge and Win a Prize

Visit to take an ocean quiz and see if you know what fish could swallow an entire person or which animal has a heart the size of a small car. Brush up your skills by studying the Explore section, with content provided by leading reference publisher Dorling Kindersley.

Oceana will fly one lucky grand prize winner round-trip with the ecotourism organization SEE Turtles on an exclusive eco-travel adventure to observe sea turtles.

Three first prize winners will receive Nintendo Wiis with a copy of the ocean exploration game Endless Ocean. Second prize winners will receive Dive watches from Nautica, third prize recipients will receive $100 gift cards from Nautica and fourth prize winners will receive Nautica rope bracelets.

To take the Ocean IQ Quiz for your chance to win a trip to watch sea turtles in the wild, visit

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mayor commits to Water Quality Improvements in Jamaica Bay

Mayor Bloomberg, the City Department of Environmental Protection, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and four environmental groups today announced an agreement-in-principle to significantly improve the health of Jamaica Bay through major sewage treatment plant upgrades and investments in marsh restoration.

This announcement follows months of intensive negotiations among the city, state, and environmental groups represented by the Natural Resources Defense Council as legal counsel—including Jamaica Bay Eco Watchers, American Littoral Society and NY/NJ Baykeeper—over alleged permit violations at four city sewage treatment plants, which currently discharge levels of nitrogen pollution into Jamaica Bay that are among the highest in the world.

The groups will continue to work with the city and state to finalize the agreement, in a way that ensures long-term implementation of a 10-year water quality improvement plan.

Commitments from the city include to:

  • Upgrade four sewage treatment plants to drastically reduce nitrogen discharges to the bay, on a schedule running through 2020
  • Spend at least $15 million on marsh restoration over the next five years, which could leverage nearly $30 million in additional federal funding through the Corps of Engineer
  • Resolve a long-running dispute over the city’s Clean Water Act permits by agreeing to new, stricter permit terms that will lock in the treatment plant upgrades, and the resulting water quality improvements, into the future
  • Improve water quality monitoring in the bay, which may include using new equipment to provide continuous, real-time information on conditions in the bay.

Nitrogen discharges from the sewage treatment plants are the biggest cause of the severe water quality problems in Jamaica Bay. The plants discharge nearly 40,000 pounds of nitrogen into the bay daily, which cause harmful algae blooms that frequently render portions of the bay inhospitable to marine life and unusable for people. There is also mounting evidence that elevated nitrogen levels contribute to the rapid and accelerating loss of the bay’s signature marshlands, which provide not only invaluable wildlife habitat but also shoreline erosion control and a protective flood barrier to the neighborhoods ringing the bay.

Jamaica Bay has more than 25,000 acres of water, marsh, meadowland, beaches, dunes and forests in Brooklyn and Queens, all accessible by subway. It contains a federal wildlife refuge the size of 10 Central Parks, a portion of Gateway National Recreation Area, Bayswater State Park and nearly a dozen city parks. It provides a nursery for the region’s marine life, including valuable recreational fisheries like summer flounder, and a critical bird habitat area that is visited by nearly 20 percent of North America's bird species annually. It is also home to various endangered and threatened species – from sea turtles to peregrine falcons. More than a half million New Yorkers live in the Jamaica Bay watershed/sewershed, and the bay is a popular fishing and boating area.

We bet opportunities to volunteer abound with these groups:

Learn more about National Resources Defense Council.

Learn more about the Jamaica Bay Eco Watchers.

Learn more about the American Littoral Society.

Learn more about NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Local Green News Round-Up

Borough President's Proposal for Food System Overhaul [Crain's]

Prospect Circle Makes Way for Bikes, Walkers [NY Times]

Closings Loom for State Parks, Historic Sites [Associated Press]

Uncertain Future in Privately Funded Parks [NY Times]

Recycle That [Green In Brooklyn]

Traffic Experiment to Be Permanent [NY Times]

Panel Suggests Ways to Build Green [NY Times]

Zone Defense: Streetsblog on Greening NYC Zoning [gbNYC]

Talking Trash [Gotham Gazette]

A Federal Ally for Threatened Parks [Albany Times Union]

A New Food Plan [Report-Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer]

State Ranks Low on Mercury Thermostat Collection [Report-Mercury Products Campaign Partners]

The Urgency of Resurrecting Congestion Pricing [Report-DMI]

complied by Rebeccah Welch

Lefferts Gardens Charter School Information Session

SATURDAY March 6th @ 2:30 P.M
Crown Heights Library, 560 New York Ave. & Maple St.

The Lefferts Gardens Charter School is a new public K-5 elementary
school starting in September 2010 for K and 1st graders in District 17 within PS 92 (601 Parkside Ave btw Bedford and Rogers)


Some details:

-Science and the environment is the heart of our unique program,
designed to teach children to become critical thinkers

-Children will learn by doing, with regular opportunities for hands-on
exploration through community institutions like Prospect Park, the
Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Prospect Park Zoo

-Teachers will build connections among reading, writing, math, the
arts and sciences to create an educational experience that engages
every child

Monday, March 1, 2010

4th Annual Day of Climate Awareness - March 7

Join Parents for Climate Protection and Beth Elohim Environmental Committee for their

4th Annual Day of Climate Awareness (free)
Sunday, March 7
@ Congregation Beth Elohim, 271 Garfield Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

For young children: Tiffany Threadgould of RePlayGround will show kids how to turn scrap materials into fun and useful objects.

For teens: The Alliance for Climate Education will present a spirited multi-media presentation, including music, live narration, video and animation to educate and empower teens to take action on climate change.

For grown-ups: a panel discussion sure to enlighten and inspire, entitled:

After Copenhagen: The Science and Policy of Climate Change

This year's expert panel features the authors of Climate Change: Picturing the Science:

Gavin Schmidt, Ph.D., climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and co-founder of
Joshua Wolfe, photographer and founder of GHG, a leading photography agency focusing on climate change
Frank Zeman, Director of the Metropolitan Institute for Sustainability at the New York Institute for Technology

Sean Sweeney, Ph.D., Director of Cornell University's Global Labor Institute, who will deliver a policy update. He has been an an observer at all UN Climate Gatherings, including the recent talks in Bali and Copenhagen.

Lauren Schuster, Environmental Campaign Director at 1Sky/NYPIRG, has agreed to be this year's moderator

This event is presented by Parents for Climate Protection in conjunction with Beth Elohim Environmental Committee.

Children's activities: Please make reservations for childcare by March 1st with Judy Schneier at or call 347.451.6498
For more information, please visit us on the web at, contact us at or call us at 347.451.6498

Co-sponsors: NYPIRG/1Sky, Brooklyn Food Coalition, New York League of Conservation Voters, The Alliance for Climate Education, The Green Team at P.S. 154, Brooklyn for Peace.