Celebrating the Earth in New York City
April 25, 2013

Celebrating the Earth in New York City

Many people have now swapped out the traditional “Earth Day” for “Earth Week,” acknowledging that there is far more to celebrate and do than 24 hours allows. Indeed, earth-wise thinking and acting is an everyday, all-year commitment. 

Though the name and length has changed, Earth Week is still the time to find and join year-round activities which help make New York a greener city. Whether in day or week form, this holiday has has a kind of local and global dynamic to it: We find out what we can do in our own neighborhoods to reduce waste and eliminate pollution, in order to make the world we all live on a healthier place. So what can you do to make New York City a healthier place? (For the following list, we’d like to thank Tara Maurice and the PS9 Parent Association “Green Team” for their insights and efforts.)

Recycling and Clean Disposal

Every Sunday the Upper West Side Greenmarket at 79th Street and Columbus accepts your unwanted textiles (e.g., tattered rags, old socks, that concert t-shirt from the band you have outgrown) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The initiative is organized by Growth NYC. Since, as they point out on their website, the average New Yorker tosses out 46 pounds of unwanted concert t-shirts each year (kidding: there is probably a lot of socks, rags, etc. in there as well) it is well worth making the effort to recycle. If you plan to participate, be aware that April 28, May 5 and May 12 the event will take place at the MS44 schoolyard on Columbus between 76th and 77th.

Speaking of Wang Chung (O.K., enough concert t-shirt references!), what about the clunky cell phone that—though it seemed so sleek and handsome three years ago—has now ended up in the flotsam and jetsam of the bottom drawer of a desk? Then there are those video game systems which—while may be somebody’s treasure—have become your trash, and you want to get rid of them “cleanly,” i.e., not have them end up somewhere where their bits and part are leaching into the soil and groundwater. You may also have leftover mothballs, light bulbs, kitty litter, nail polish, ammonia, pesticides, or any number of items that quickly clutter your apartment. Dispose of these items and more on Sunday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Teachers College, Columbia University, at 120th street between Broadway and Amsterdam.

At each of the above events you will also be able to learn about where you can recycle stuff year-round.

Build Better

Today, April 24, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the American Bible Society (1865 Broadway, between 61st and 62nd) will host a Green Building Owners Seminar, where New York City Council Member Gale Brewer, as well as the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation and Development and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will answer questions about ways to save money and energy in your apartment. Rebates, tax incentives—what more could you ask for as motivators to make your space part of a more sustainable environment?

Arbor Day and the Eco House
On Arbor Day, Friday, April 26, the New York City Compost Project will be sponsoring a street care event in the East Village. You can register here. All ages are welcome, and you don’t need to bring your own shovels and spades. Their ad copy states—“Dress for mess!”—which means it should be a delightful event for kids of all ages. They are also advertising a Happy Hour from 7:00 to 8 p.m. at Jimmy’s No. 43 on East 7th Street, to celebrate the end of Earth Week.

And then there’s the Eco-House. The Community Environmental Center Eco-House is a mobile education center, designed to teach students around the city about the environment and sustainability. Kids get to see what’s under the floors and behind the walls of their home, to get a better understanding of how we are plugged into the grid. For your viewing pleasure, the House will be open in Foley Square (on Center Street between Worth and Reade), weekdays from 10:00 to 6:00, and Saturdays from 11:00 to 4:00.

Please send more Earth Week updates and ideas, with the goal of making every year Earth Year.

 

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