Category Archives: Uncategorized

Greening Your Portfolio

Greening Your Portfolio, a panel discussion with professionals from local financial institutions, will help individuals learn how to invest successfully while still supporting companies with ‘green’ business practices, such as clean energy, reducing climate change, fossil fuel-free and other sustainable efforts. Additionally, participants will gain a better understanding of climate change risks and opportunities, potential investment upsides or downsides, and the increasing variety of green-focused offerings.

When: Wednesday April 26th, 2017 at 6:30pm

Where: Friends Learning Center, Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York

RYCL’s Youth Climate Summit

The Rochester Youth Climate Leaders (RYCL) are planning a day of interactive workshops, presentations, planning sessions, and learning. RYCL is looking for teams of students and faculty advisors from area schools and universities. Each team will ideally have 4-5 students with one faculty advisor. Schools may send multiple teams. This is an opportunity for youth leaders to join together to address climate change and take action.

When:  Sunday, April 9, 2017, 10 am to 4 pm. Morning snack and lunch will be provided.

Where:  The Rochester Museum and Science Center, 657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY

More Information:  Contact Terry Smith at tsmith@harleyschool.org to register your school’s team. You can also reach her at (585) 509-2745. This is a free event sponsored by the Rochester Youth Climate Leaders. To see more details about the schedule and workshop offerings for the event, please visit rycl.tk.

Film Presentation and Discussion: Merchants of Doubt

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, ColorBrightonGreen.org in collaboration with the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition are co-sponsoring the screening of the film Merchants of Doubt.  The film will be shown at the Friends Learning Center, Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York

Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, MERCHANTS OF DOUBT takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver–tongued pundits–for–hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities—yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well–studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.  Check out the movie trailer at the film’s website for a preview.

A discussion of the film with particular emphasis on the doubt that has been spread about climate change will follow the film presentation.

Sign the Petition to Ban Styrofoam in Monroe County, New York

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.

Climate Action at the Local, State, and Federal Levels

Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 6:30 PM, Brighton Memorial Library.

There are currently actions that can be taken at the local and State level to fight climate change, and there is a need to coalesce people to lobby for carbon fee and dividend at the federal level. Representatives of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition will be presenting information on Community Choice Aggregation, the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, and the Citizen’s Climate Lobby proposal for carbon fee and dividend. There will be a presentation and discussion on each of these topics. Efforts are already under way to create a Community Choice Aggregation program in the Rochester metropolitan area. This is very exciting because it would result in a lower fixed-rate for electricity for residents and small business in participating municipalities, and a mechanism to grow our local renewable energy supply.

Curb Your Car Week Spring 2016 Results

The Spring 2016 Curb Your Car Week event took place the week of May 15-21, 2016. During that week, 39 residents from Brighton and Rochester registered their pledge to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus for at least a day as an alternative to drive their car.

Survey Results

(39 registered participants, 25 reporting their results so far)

  • Total miles saved:  1,654
  • Gallons Saved:  55 (based on individual mpg)
  • Pounds of CO2 saved: 1,039

Miles Saved Per Activity:

  • Biking:  588 miles
  • Carpooling:  415 miles
  • Not going somewhere you normally go:  230 miles
  • Combining trips:  190 miles
  • Walking:  110 miles
  • Bus:  87 miles
  • Telecommute:  34 miles

Consider These Facts Before Buying or Using A Leaf Blower

Leaf blower use on lawns, gardens, driveways is a source of pollution and noise that can significantly impact our environment and health. In addition, the use of hot, dry winds directed at plants desiccates roots and leaves, while drying and stripping away top soil.
Noise pollution may be the first problem for those anywhere near these machines. Blowers create 90-100 decibels at close range and measure 70-75 decibels at 50 feet away. The EPA advises that levels over 75 decibels cause hearing loss and are detrimental to human health. Children are especially vulnerable. The World Health Organization recommends noise levels not exceed 55 decibels for human health.

Air pollution, both emissions and particulate matter that becomes airborne, including dust, pollen, salt, lead, pesticides, fungi, mold, spores, and fecal matter, is a lingering effect long after the blower has been turned off or moved down the street. Particulate matter takes hours to settle and exacerbates allergies, pulmonary diseases and cardiac conditions. Children and elderly are most threatened.

A 2011 study by Edmunds compared emissions from a 6200 pound 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor to emissions for the most commonly used 2-stroke engine leaf blower and a 4-stroke engine blower. The dirty 2-stroke engine came in at 299 times more polluting than the truck.

Emissions Test Results (in grams per minute)

  Non-Methane Hydrocarbons (NMHC) Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) Carbon Monoxide (CO)
2011 Ford Raptor 0.005 0.005 0.276
Ryobi 4-stroke leaf blower 0.182 0.031 3.714
Echo 2-stroke leaf blower 1.495 0.010 6.445

Communities that had banned or restricted the use of leaf blowers include hundreds of municipalities and counties in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York, as of 2010 as per Consumer Reports . If we are truly serious about reducing the use of fossil fuels, reducing pollution and improving the health of our environment and citizens, one significant action would be to discontinue the use of leaf blowers, use rakes and brooms when necessary and understand and accept that a lawn is a living, growing thing, not a manufactured carpet to be kept pristine.

Thanks to Paul Tankel for this information!

Repairing the Planet, Starting in the Flower City

The time to stop climate change is short. This program on transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy will offer hope about work that is being done locally, a way to connect with others, and an opportunity to learn about policy issues. Panelists: Dr. Susan Spencer, President and Founder, ROCSPOT (Rochester Solar Power Organizational Team); Vanessa Rule, President and Co-Founder and Organizing Director, Mothers Out Front; Mark Dunlea, President and Founder, Green Education and Legal Fund. Moderator: Scott Fybush, WXXI Public Broadcasting Council. Sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Rochester Section.

  • When: Wednesday, April 6, 7 PM
  • Where: Temple B’rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY
  • More info: Register on the Event Web Page