More Steps Toward a Greener NYC

More Steps Toward a Greener NYC

A cleaner environment starts at home – by reducing waste and saving electricity – but it also requires taking action together.

Environmental sustainability has been a priority for me at the City Council and in our neighborhoods. I’ve fought for a cleaner Gowanus Canal, reduced cruise ship pollution on our waterfront, greener building and zoning codes, and expanded recycling.

But Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call that the realities of climate change are here, and we have to do more. Please join me this summer as we take steps for a greener New York City.

Solarize your home
Right here in Brooklyn, we can move toward alternative and sustainable sources of electricity. I’m working with “Solarize Brooklyn” to bring cost-effective solar power to our neighborhoods on a large scale. Rooftop solar is getting easier and more affordable.

At two information sessions in our neighborhood, you can hear from neighbors who have installed rooftop solar panels, meet installers, and learn about group discounts.

Information sessions are free! Sign up now – space is limited:

Saturday, June 15th
12:30pm – 2pm
Windsor Terrace Y, 1224 Prospect Avenue

Monday, June 17th
6:30pm – 8pm
Park Slope Library, 431 6th Avenue

Join the NYC campaign to “bag” the plastic bag
You know we have a problem when many New York trees have more plastic bags than birds in their branches. Single-use plastic bags pollute our environment, soak up our tax dollars to pay for disposal, and even damage our recycling and wastewater treatment plants.

It’s time for New York to follow the lead that other big cities have taken to reduce the use of polluting plastic bags. By creating a new law to reduce our plastic bag use, and switching instead to reusable bags, we can reduce the amount of waste we produce, have a smoother recycling program, and save money all at the same time.

On June 24th, join Green Party of Brooklyn, Sierra Club, NRDC, No Impact Project, Citizens Committee for New York City, Sane Energy, NYC Friends of Clearwater, and BagItNYC at Greenwood Baptist Church in Park Slope to see a short film about plastic bag pollution in New York City and meet some of the local environmentalists I’ll be working with to do something about plastic bags – and learn how to get involved.

June 24th, 7:00pm
Greenwood Baptist Church
461 6th Street (at 7th Avenue)
Park Slope, Brooklyn
RSVP here

New plastic recycling guidelines
Recycling in New York just got a whole lot easier. You can now recycle any rigid plastics through your normal curbside recycling. This means that plastics like take-out containers and plastic toys, and so many other items that we use everyday, will now be diverted from the landfill to be recycled for use in new products. Take a look at the Department of Sanitation website for the list of plastics that can now be recycled.

Waste management in this city is a big deal – we are a lot of people and we produce a lot of trash. And because New York City has a terribly low recycling rate, we spend a lot of money trucking that trash to landfills. Do your part and recycle – which in New York City now includes rigid plastics!

New street trees, thanks to Participatory Budgeting
I’m proud that our district was one of the first in New York City to use “participatory budgeting” to allocate city funds, so that residents can decide which projects to build in their community. In 2012, residents voted to plant 100 new trees on streets where there had previously been few or none.

Trees are an invaluable asset on our streets and in our neighborhoods. They clean the air we breathe, reduce stress, provide shade, and beautify our city.

And just in time for summer, the Parks Department has finished planting the trees and they are already providing shade on these hot days.

To make sure these trees and all the other street trees in the city will be around for a long time, we need to give them proper care – and you can do your part by adopting a tree. On the Parks Department website, you can find a tree in your neighborhood, “adopt” it, then go out and give it the care it needs. They provide instructions, workshops, and helpful tips to raise a healthy tree. To adopt a tree, follow these three steps:

  1. Create an account on the Parks Department website
  2. Find a tree in need on the map
  3. Get to work!

And as always, please contact me at lander [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov to let me know about the environmental issues that are important to you.