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:
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a bulk energy purchasing program intended to lower costs and transition to greater use of renewable energy for residents and small businesses in cities, towns, and villages that decide to participate.
As a member of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC), ColorBrightonGreen.org has committed to support this program because of the carbon cutting opportunities it offers.
Community Choice Aggregation is a program initiated by the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition in partnership with Joule Assets, who made this program a reality in Westchester County. A local CCA will provide residents and small business electric customers a locally chosen alternative to the state-mandated utility—RG&E, National Grid, or NYSEG—for energy supply. A local CCA represents the best interests of consumers by providing choices for lower, fixed prices and cleaner energy.
In order for residents and small businesses to benefit from this program, their local government has to pass a local law to participate. To date, the Villages of Lima and Scottsville, and the Town of Geneva have passed those local laws and the Village of Brockport is expected to pass it at a meeting on October 2, 2017. The Town of Brighton has held a public hearing for the CCA local laws and is in the process of revising the local law before acting on it at a time to be determined. The City of Rochester has indicated an interest in moving forward with Community Choice Aggregation. Other communities in our region are also considering joining the CCA program.
For more information on Community Choice Aggregation, visit the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition Website.
Buy Nothing Groups are being organized throughout the greater Rochester area. Group members trade goods and services, lend each other equipment, and give away surplus items to other neighbors who need them. To find a group in your neighborhood, search “buy nothing group rochester ny.”
The Spring 2017 Curb Your Car Week event took place the week of May 14-20, 2017. During that week 74 residents from the Rochester region registered their pledge to walk, bike, carpool, or ride the bus for at least a day as an alternative to driving their car.
70 registered participants, 23 reporting their results
- Total miles saved: 1,586
- Gallons Saved: 47.55 gallons (based on individual MPG)
- Pounds of CO2 saved: 951 (based on 20 lbs per gallon)
Miles saved per activity
- Biking: 250
- Carpooling: 468
- Not going somewhere you normally go: 399
- Combining trips: 292
- Bus: 8
- Walking: 73
- Telecommuting: 76
- Other: 20
- Not going somewhere you normally go: 296
- Carpool: 138
- Combining trips: 82
- Biking: 45
- Telecommuting: 24
- Walking: 10
- Bus: 8
Our clothes dryers are the third biggest energy gobblers in our homes (after the furnace and hot water heater). Hanging some or all of our wash on an indoor or outdoor line is good exercise. Every dryer load skipped saves as much energy (and emissions) as not driving 5 miles in a conventional car. If you need to use a clothes dryer, do it in the off-peak demand hours (Monday-Friday 9 PM to 7 AM, or on weekends).
Food transportation accounts for 18% of the fossil fuel burned in the US. By eating local, we support local farmers and reduce oil consumption. We can ask our grocer which foods are local. By joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), we can support local farmers by paying a yearly fee for in-season produce for the entire season. For a complete list of Farmers’ Markets and CSA’s in our area, see nyfarmersmarket.com
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!
Join SunCommon New York for a Sip n’ Sun at Zebb’s in Brighton. Enjoy a drink on us and learn about affordable solar in Rochester. Contact Mary for more information or to RSVP.
When: Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Where: Zebbs Deluxe Grill and Bar, 2890 S. Clinton Avenue, Brighton, NY
More Info: email or call (585-820-9941) Mary Nichols or visit the SunCommon website.
Did you ever think about landscaping your yard to minimize your carbon footprint? Maybe you’ll choose plantings that allow you to get rid of your lawnmower. Perhaps you can do without fertilizer. This article from the National Wildlife Federation gives you 6 options to modify your yard. In addition to the tips given in the article, you need to be aware of regulations provided by your local government.
What You Need To Know About Local Government (City, Town, Village) Landscaping Regulations
1. The Public Right of Way:
- Find out where the public right of way is in your yard and what landscaping is allowed in that public right of way. In the Town of Brighton, call the Highway Department at 784-5280 to get this information.
- Be prepared to learn that the public right of way might extend 20 feet or more into your yard. The extent of the right of way depends on many factors including the width of your street, when your street and utility lines were built, and if your road is straight, curved, or on a corner.
- Landscaping regulations within the public right of way are meant to protect the underground utility lines and provide easy access for local government to make repairs.
Some plantings and landscape features may not be allowed in the public right of way at all.
- Trees and shrubs that have long roots are often unacceptable in the public right of way because they could cause breakage of utility lines embedded underground. Also, large boulders may be too big for local governments to move if they need to dig to repair underground utility lines.
- You may need a permit from your local government for any landscaping in the public right of way.
2. Visibility of Vehicles and Pedestrians at Driveway/Street Intersections:
- Most local governments regulate landscaping on private property to ensure good sight distance for drivers and pedestrians when vehicles are moving between private driveways and public roads. Check with your local government (in Brighton, the Highway Department) to see what you need to do to ensure good visibility to keep people safe.
- In the Town of Brighton, vegetation within the public right of way and areas critical to good sight distance cannot be any taller than 30 inches. The height limit varies by local government.
3. Does That Tree in your Front Yard Belong to You or to the Local Government?
- Many local governments, including the Town of Brighton, have ordinances meant to protect trees.
- In the case of the Town of Brighton, most trees within the public right-of-way belong to the Town of Brighton, not to the homeowner. Those trees cannot be cut down by the homeowner.
- Trees within the public right-of-way and taller than 30 inches in height must be trimmed so that branches and foliage are removed to a height of six feet above grade so that clear vision is maintained. You should check with your local government regarding responsibilities for maintaining trees within the public right of way.
- If you are thinking of planting a tree in the front yard, you should contact your local government. They can determine if the location is within the public right of way, or a critical vision area and if it is allowed.
Don’t hesitate to call your local government to ask for their assistance in providing information you need to reduce your carbon footprint.
There will be live music, local beer, and real farmers at this event!
When: Saturday, April 1, 2017, 2-5 PM
Where: M Body Gym, 1048 University Avenue, Rochester, NY