RENewsletter | November 29, 2009

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

[11/22/09– 11/29/09]

 

* Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY

* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Please, SEND ME THE LINK.

 

Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |

 

*** The November 2009 Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to Genesee River Wilds Project  | Go to Award.

 

[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]

 

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Opening Salvo:  “Don’t Soil the Nest

 

Even a bird knows not to soil its nest.  This message seems lost on us, as our nest (our planet) is filling up with our trash.  Instead of properly disposing of it (as any bird would), we are living, drinking, eating, planting, and breathing our unmentionable waste products. According to Learner.org, “Every year, the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of ‘trash’--about 4.6 pounds per person per day.”

 

That’s a shame because most people would recycle their waste if the process was convenient, inexpensive, and the public believed that it was being accomplished properly (sustainably).  Though there will always be those with something radically wrong with their heads, defying all reason and littering regardless, we must accomplish world-wide recycling.

 

So, why are we so dysfunctional on recycling? Part of the problem is psychological.  We have become so inured to our cushy way of life that we want our discards to go away magically. (Though, this violates the Conservation Law.)  Politicians, wishing to please their continuants, try to comply by finding novel ways to either support or giving up on supporting curb-side pickups. But it ain’t that easy to make billions of tons of trash disappear.  In fact, it’s impossible.  In order for our waste to get back into the ecosystem, it has to be removed, separated, composted, donated, or reused. In other words, for that sustainability thing to work, citizens and their governments, non-governmental agencies (NGAs), and businesses have to do their part. 

 

For individuals in our community there is no excuse for putting your old TV or computer monitor on the curb as there many recycling events, and places that will recycle and disassemble them.  No excuse for putting pharmaceuticals down the toilet: Monroe County has properly staffed collection events. No excuse for not recycling papers—all kinds of paper. [http://www.monroecounty.gov/des-hhw.php] And, no excuse for land-filling leaves or burning them (check “New Regulation on Open Burning Takes Effect Oct. 14.” –NYS DEC).

 

Given all that, there is much that cannot be done by the public and must be accomplished by the business community or government.  Our region should compost all food waste, as other regions are doing.  We should be recycling all plastics up to and including number 7.  We should be checking to make sure no recyclables are entering our waste systems.

 

NGAs can help, but they have a conundrum.  Zero waste, where cradle-to-cradle product design insures that stuff never becomes waste, is yet a dream. At present, landfills are at least an interim necessity.  However, to endorse landfills would mean that the public becomes complacent, believing that this business solution of “out of sight out of mind,” which even becomes a source for energy by burning the resultant methane gas, is a sustainable solution. It’s not, because not everything breaks down to environmentally friendly stuff.

 

I believe that to make it all work, governments should level the playing field by adopting and enforcing best recycling practices so that everyone would be assured that a recycling outfit was doing so sustainably—with the eventual goal of Zero Waste

 

 

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com  (Click on my email for feedback)

 

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NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]

 

 

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UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

 

 

 

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EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line.

 

 

 

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ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 

 

 

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AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]

 

The Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to Genesee River Wilds Project   Too little has been done to clean up and restore to environmental health our area’s most important river.  The Genesee River begins in Pennsylvania and runs through Rochester and mostly this body of water gets too much development along it and too little conservation.   With the Genesee River Wilds Project  taking care of the upper Genesee River, maybe a group will focus the environmental health at our end of the river here in Rochester

 

Genesee River Wilds Project  “The Genesee River Wilds Project is a coalition of groups and individuals who invest time, energy, funding, and other resources in the development of an environmentally sustainable system of natural parks concentrated along the Genesee River in the “Genesee River Wilds.”  This phrase refers to the Genesee River and its watershed from the river’s sources in Potter County, Pennsylvania, to the southern boundary of Letchworth State Park in New York State.  The Genesee River Wilds Project represents and partners with federal, state, county, municipal, and non-profit organizations; business corporations; educational institutions; landowners; farmers; anglers; hunters; hikers; mountain bikers; kayak and canoe enthusiasts; and many others who participate in various official and unofficial ways.  The coalition works to improve the health of the upper Genesee River and its watershed; protect them from future environmental threats; and enhance their recreational potential. Mission: To restore, protect, and enjoy the upper Genesee River by combining conservation, recreation, and business.”