If you are interested in sustainability and in strengthening community you are invited to become a local part of a rapidly growing national and international movement. The Buy Nothing project seeks to create neighborhood gift economies, supporting the environment and strengthening person–to–person connections in the process.
Buy Nothing participants use Facebook to share items, services, and time with their neighbors. For example, if you have some well–loved but no–longer–needed dishes, you might offer these up. If you need to borrow an inflatable mattress for a guest, you might ask to borrow one. If you would like an occasional canine companion, you might ask if there’s someone whose dog would like to be walked. If you have a snowblower and are willing to use it to dig out a neighbor, you could let the group know. Buy Nothing groups are “hyperlocal”, meaning that everyone you will interact with will live near you. In this way, Buy Nothing interactions become community–enhancers as well. People who have gotten to know each other through Buy Nothing groups have formed walking groups, clubs, and cancer support groups. We are bringing back real Neighborhoods.
There are now six Buy Nothing groups in the Rochester area, and they are getting attention. Check out the recent Democrat and Chronicle article. Stay tuned for a ColorBrightonGreen fall event to promote the Buy Nothing Program. Meanwhile, if you’d like to join a Buy Nothing group, see if your home is within the confines of one of the following existing groups or explore how you can create a new group:
Many of ColorBrightonGreen.org’s followers are interested in reducing, reusing, and recycling. Impact Earth is too. They have been working with some of our volunteers to achieve zero waste in the Brighton Central School District. This is now going to a whole new level and we are pleased to call them a partner in our common interests. To find out more about Impact Earth, visit their website!
The local chapter of the Sierra Club has started a petition on change.org to ban styrofoam in Monroe County. Despite the little 6 found on the bottom of most Styrofoam products, Styrofoam is virtually impossible to recycle. In Monroe County, Styrofoam is not accepted at curbside pick-up. Persistent individuals aiming to recycle packing Styrofoam can deliver it to the Monroe County EcoPark near the airport, but single-use food containers remain unrecyclable. According to the EcoPark’s website: “Styrofoam meat trays, egg cartons, coffee cups, takeout containers or other small post-consumer items have no local recycling option and should be placed in your trash.” This is partially because Styrofoam breaks down so easily that, if someone tried to clean it, all they would get is a mess of tiny beads.
Styrofoam is made of fossil fuels and other chemicals. Buying it supports an industry that contributes to climate change.
This is an opportunity to make a significant difference at the local level. In 2014, Albany County enacted a Styrofoam ban. It is long overdue for Monroe County. If you are a registered voter in Monroe County, please consider signing the petition and please make sure to include your address; if local lawmakers do not think that their constituents care about this, then neither will they. Lastly, please consider personally contacting your representative in the Monroe County Legislature.
To read the specific text of Albany County’s ban, please use this link.
The original, do-it-yourself green activity. Recycle your yard and kitchen wastes and create great organic material for your garden and lawn.
You’ll keep 500-600 pounds of waste from going to the landfill each year! Organic matter does not decay in a landfill, where it produces methane, which is 20 times more warming than CO2.
Just save out fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee grounds—including the paper filters, and moldy bread and make a pit or pile in a corner of your yard. Alternate with layers of dry leaves, saw dust, and any green yard waste. It will go dormant in the winter, but actively decay again when the temperature goes above 50 degrees. You can also buy composting bins that minimize odor and critter intruders, making composting easier than ever and possible in even small yards.
Sound like too much work? There is an easy way to make it happen! You can contract with Community Composting to collect your compostable waste on a regular basis with containers provided by the company. In return you can opt to receive already composted soil. The service is available in many parts of the Rochester area. If your area isn’t served yet, sign up to tell them you are interested. When enough people sign up, your neighborhood will be added to the service area!
Resources to get you started:
This is the perfect time to responsibly dispose of that old television or computer for free. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Robach and in conjunction with Time Warner Cable, Waste Management, Sunnking.
- When: Sunday, February 28, 2016, 9 AM to 1 PM.
- Where: Monroe County EcoPark, 10 Avion Drive, Rochester, NY, 14624
- More info: Senator Joe Robach’s website.
A national initiative of Keep America Beautiful. One thing you can do is check the Monroe County Website to make sure that you are putting the right things in your blue box or your recycle toter. For example, did you know that you can’t put any styrofoam in your blue box, even though it has a recycle emblem on it? Another thing you can do is visit the EcoPark webpage to see what additional items you can take to the Monroe County EcoPark for recycling.
Rochester has a great number of charitable organizations, made up of people whose purpose every day is to help others.
The primary purpose of the Wishbook is to give ALL of the charities — large and small — in the Rochester area an opportunity to get their message to the public. The listings help link potential donors and volunteers with an agency that has a specific need for their still-useful items or their volunteer skills.
Downsizing? Moving? Cleaning out your attic or basement? You may have many items that could be used by the less fortunate in our community. Replacing an item with a newer purchase? Instead of storing the old one in your attic, consider donating it to someone who can use it now! You may have clothing in your closet that is still good, but no longer fits your needs. It could give someone an outfit to wear for a job interview, or help keep someone warm this winter.
Of course, it would be easier to put items in the trash, where they end up in a landfill. It takes a little more effort to call an agency to make arrangements for pickup or delivery of donated items; however, it can be very rewarding to know that your item will be put to good use by someone who really needs it. It’s an environmentally sound, feel-good, practical decision.
Each year, generous donors use the Wishbook to donate items directly to local organizations that have a need for them. Volunteers use the Wishbook to find agencies who are looking for their specific volunteer skills.
You can help the agencies all year long. Listings on the Community Wishbook website are updated regularly throughout the year as the needs of the agencies change, so please check back often. If you need a paper copy of the wishbook, they are available at the ColorBrightonGreen.org table at the Brighton Farmers Market.
Craft Bits and Pieces located in Fairport Village Landing, accepts all kinds of craft materials imaginable! You can drop off your donations at their Donation Station at 104 Village Landing on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11 AM to 5 PM. Here is a list of items that they take:
- All kinds of craft supplies and kits, old, new, and lovingly begun
- Everything relating to sewing and quilting, e.g. fabric, notions, buttons, batting, forms, patterns, rug hooking, etc.
- Yarns, needles, knitting and crocheting supplies, books
- All types of needlework and supplies
- Seasonal decorations
- Ribbon, silk and dried flowers, baskets, wreaths, candles, pottery
- Art supplies, scrap booking, stencils, wooden forms
- Jewelry, even broken, beading supplies
- Miniatures, knickknacks, kids crafts, clean stuffed animals
- Vintage linens, fabrics, buttons, booklets and patterns
- Home decorator items, pictures, lamps, small tables
If you have further questions, check out their website or give them a call at 585-377-6460.
Recycle your vehicle through a local nonprofit organization. Here are some local nonprofit organizations accepting vehicle donations:
ColorBrightonGreen.org has a table at the monthly Brighton Farmers’ Market where we accept several items that you may find difficult to recycle.