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:
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.”
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:
Review this information about alkaline and rechargeable batteries and seriously consider using and recycling rechargeable batteries.
Continue reading Green Your Battery Choices
Plastic caps made from plastic #1 to #7 (on water bottles, juice jugs, milk gallons, jars, etc.) are recyclable in Monroe County since June 1st, 2011.
- If your waste hauler is supporting the Monroe County Recycling Center (MCRC) “Blue Box” recycling program, keep the caps on the bottles or jars and put them in your recycling box. It is important for the caps to remain on the bottles and jars so that they don’t get jammed into the recycling equipment.
- For other waste haulers, drop your containers and their attached caps at the EcoPark located south of the airport.
Two local faith-based organizations have collaborated to develop a pamphlet about water as a great beverage of choice. This pamphlet outlines the pros and cons of tap water versus single use plastic water bottles. Check out this pdf file that contains the pamphlet.
Two local faith-based organizations have put together a double sided brochure titled “Shopping, Make it a Green Choice”. This pdf file can be opened with the link below. It has useful information on the benefits of using reusable shopping bags and references areas around the world that have instituted fees for plastic bags, or outlawed them.
Most people who try to be conscientious of the environment and limited resources know that they should recycle. However, we know that simply recycling is not enough. In some cases, when people recycle, they have a false sense of “doing the right thing” for the environment and manufacturers of disposable items have been given a way to market overconsumption without the “bad for the environment” guilt.
Should you stop recycling? Absolutely NOT! Can you make smarter choices about what you buy, how you buy and when you buy it? Absolutely!
This guide describes zero-waste and provides ways for you to move toward reducing the waste you produce.
Continue reading Recycling vs. Zero-Waste… What’s the difference?