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Category Archives:

New York City

What’s Your Take on the Plastic Bag Bill?

plasticbagbanBack in March 2014, the NY City Council began considering the ramifications of ending the long-standing practice of giving shoppers free carrier bags. The bags have a dismal recycling rate, tend to blow everywhere (I mean, who hasn’t seen trees with bags stuck in the branches?) and create problems when they clog storm drains and get into waterways. Some people seem to take the bags- and stores hand them out- without even thinking, so many get used for an even shorter time than disposable coffee cups. Other cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and even Washington DC have either banned single-use plastic bags or imposed a small fee, usually 5 or 10 cents per bag.

The reason the bill hasn’t passed, though, is that some Council members worry that the new fee would place an undue hardship on low- and fixed-income households. Proponents argue that this will not happen, because WIC and SNAP recipients won’t have to pay, and the city will work hard to distribute free, reusable bags in lower income neighborhoods.

However, this may not be enough.

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HCS Report: The Story of Sun Garden Homes

hcsnyc_blogSolar can be a great fit for NYC cooperatives that are looking to contain their ever-rising operating costs and save for necessary capital improvements. When a large roof is matched with a large ConEd bill, substantial savings can be realized, year after year, once solar is installed. However, no matter how compelling the argument may be, making the case for solar to an overextended volunteer board and a diverse shareholder base that is unfamiliar with the technology can be a challenging, time-consuming and even highly frustrating undertaking . . . and one that many solar contractors are not willing to take on.

So what can be done?

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Wonky Friday: Environmental Advocates Breaks Down the NYS 2015/16 Budget

nys2015budgetNew York State’s 2015-2016 budget is out on the street, and it’s getting pretty high marks from environmentalists. To see how Environmental Advocates rates this year’s spending plan, check out the YouTube video after the jump. It’s only 3 minutes long!


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Learn How to Keep Your Electricity Running at NYSERDA’s CHP Power Breakfast and Tour


Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems can help building owners and facility managers generate electricity, save money and ensure the delivery of critical services in the event of a grid outage. Attend NYSERDA’s breakfast to learn about CHP and the financial/technical support available for the installation of CHP systems sized 50 kW and larger. See how buildings count on CHP systems to:
• Generate electricity every day of the year.
• Save money.
• Protect the environment.
• Operate when the grid goes down.
• Provide enhanced reliability over diesel standby generators.

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Tiny Pieces of Plastic in the Hudson, in its Fishes and Probably in You

plasticmicrobeadsSometimes the things we humans do are so mind-bogglingly short sighted, it makes you question whether we really could have evolved by natural selection. Case in point: The 62,000 tiny pieces of plastic per square kilometer that are floating in the Hudson River, getting mixed up with fish food and potentially slowly, slowly making its way up the food chain into our own bodies.

Most people are aware that plastics in oceans are a big problem, and you may also have heard about the microbead problem in the Great Lakes. But the Hudson is not immune either.

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6 Months After the People’s Climate March, Organizers Unveil NYC Climate Agenda

6monthclimatenycIt’s been 6 months since NYC’s historic Climate March brought 400,000 people to the streets to demand climate action. So what have those climate activists been doing to build on that incredible momentum?

As it turns out, quite a bit.

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