Saturday November 18 th was the last Community Volunteer Day of 2017 at Stuyvesant Cove Park, and there couldn’t have been any better way to celebrate. A first in many years, the event was a partnership between Stuyvesant Town and Solar One- the rekindling of the collaboration between neighbors that will grow into next season. New York Cares, who has been a strong partner of the park for quite some time also joined for a healthy turnout of almost fifty people of all ages.
Stuyvesant Town has a new initiative called the Good Neighbors Program, which is a volunteer group of staff and residents who help with projects in the community city and statewide, and it was through this wonderful group that there were so many new faces of all ages helping out and becoming better acquainted with their neighborhood waterfront park!
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This Saturday, march across the Brooklyn Bridge to comemorate the fifth aniiversary of Hurricane Sandy, and send a message to our local, state and federal officials: We need resiliency, we nneed renewable energy, we need sustainability, we need environmental justice and we need action on climate change.
Sign up to march at Sandy5.org.
A colleague recently brought the Hydra Light to our attention, a personal flashlight and charging station that runs on an electrolyte battery. While this design is patent pending, the basic technology behind it is as old- or older- than the pyramids. There is evidence that electrolyte batteries were known in ancient Persia and Egypt, and possibly across the ancient world. The windowless pyramids were lit with electric lights.
But how do electrolyte batteries work?
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On the evening of July 13, 1977, lightning struck a substation in Buchanan, NY, triggering a series of events that resulted in most of the city experiencing a 2-day blackout.
While people’s experiences ranged from delightfully exciting (stores giving away ice cream beofre it melted) to the really, really scary (extensive looting in Crown Heights, the Bronx and Harlem), one thing is certain: If the city had had more decnetralized electricity in the form of battery-backed solar, the blackout would not have been nearly as far-reaching and frightening. Now that New York is well on its way to making the switch to renewables, hopefully blackouts like this are a thing of the past.
You can read more about the 1977 Blackout on Wikipedia here. Photo by Allan Tannenbaum.
While the sorts of environmental problems that can best be solved by “green” consumerism are admittedly small, they do add up if a lot of us do them together. One of my guiltiest pleasures is my love of paper towels. They clean up everything and you can just get rid of them- you can even compost them. But despite all the rationalizations, the numbers speak for themselves: In the US alone, we use 13 BILLION pounds of paper towels, or 45 pounds per person per year. And while I can’t find any numbers on sponges, they usually stay wet for long periods of time and can harbor all sorts of bacteria. In fact, the kitchen sponge may be the dirtiest thing in your entire house!
The Swedish Dishcloth has the amazing ability to (mostly) replace both products and change your life.
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