Spring Sustainability Series continues on Wednesday, May 21 with Photovotaics Speaker Marlene Brown, Department of Energy, New Mexico and Max Joel, Community Solar Initiative Director at Solar One. Our full Spring series and location information is here.
The next planned NYC Sierra Club Group
Queens Program will occur on
May 12th at Alley Pond Park in the Conference Center from 6:30-9:00. Check the
calendar on our website for more information.
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* 32 people attended our Sustainability Series on
Wednesday, April 16 on BEADS OF DESTRUCTION, referring to tiny polyethylene beads used in toiletries and other
plastics that end up in our waterways. After a half hour of food and
socializing there were two presentations. Professor Sherri A. Mason, Ph. D, Associate Professor at SUNY Fredonia talked about studying
plastics in the Great Lakes. Annually, only 8 percent OF PLASTICS gets
recycled, 16 million tons go to landfills and more migrates to bodies of water:
Lake Erie has 460,000 particles of plastic per square kilometer, including the “beads
of destruction.” A law is proposed in NY State that will ban microbeads in
toiletries to be replaced by ground almonds, oatmeal and pumice. Catherine Bobenhausen, a Senior
Industrial Hygienist with Vidaris Inc,
told us about Engineered Nanomaterials (ENM) which have the diameter of atoms
and molecules. Their projected use in medicine—with both a promise and a
challenge—is occurring without full knowledge of how they will interact with
biological systems. ADVICE: USE LESS PLASTIC! It is easier to keep plastics out of the oceans and lakes
than it is to remove them.
* In an historic alliance, Indians
and Ranchers invaded Washington DC on Saturday, April 26th, gathering with
thousands of supporters to call for rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. We marched through the streets,
presented a hand-painted tipi to the Smithsonian National Museum of the
American Indian as a gift to President Obama, and marched the length of the
mall where we gathered. The Native American speakers were inspiring about their
concerns about and efforts to stop carbon emissions. The last two presenters
were particularly inspiring. One was a young First Nations youth worker from
Alberta, Canada who had tried unsuccessfully to organize an event against tar
sands development last year and who spent the subsequent year in despair, but
who was greatly inspired by this event. The last, Frank Wain, a Rosebud Sioux, University of Chicago student and Rapper,
closed the event by bringing the crowd to loudly responsive, fist pumping
enthusiasm to his music (see photo at right and watch this video). You can see more photos here.
* Biogas is "the original
natural gas.” Put together some low cost materials, keep the stuff warm, wet
and away from air, and bingo: a burnable gas is produced. Use it to cook, but
without fracking! On the weekend of April 26- 27th, in Brooklyn, David House,
the author of The Complete Biogas Handbook offered a workshop to learn
to construct a small scale anaerobic biogas digester from readily available
materials. New NYC laws require restaurants and other large food
facilities to recycle food wastes. This provides an opportunity for those
facilities and others to produce their own gas with food wastes.The
Sierra Club NYC Group sponsored two Brooklyn College students, Eric Carlsen and
Lucy Kalinin, two leaders in the Sustainability Club, to attend the
* Three generations, all called Anthony, all Sierra Club members, stopped by the
Sierra Club table at NYC Green Festival
on Pier 95 on April 27.
Check out these recent posts on our Blog: The AAAS Steps in to Defend Climate
Science and Destruction of Mt. Manresa’s Trees
Just the Latest in the Destruction of Public Space. And don’t forget to check our calendar for events of interest to environmentalists in and
around New York City.
If you are interested in volunteering to work on
the NYC Group’s online and digital communications, please email Gary Nickerson
To make a donation to our conservation efforts in New York: