The Williams Pipeline and the airing of grievances

This was my view of last night’s DEC hearing on the Williams Pipeline, held at the Bay Ridge Manor in Brooklyn. Residents from New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Rockaways, and beyond gathered to share their objections to the proposed pipeline that would carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey to the Rockaways via New…

To the redwoods via air travel

Last weekend, I attended a seminar on the opposite coast. I had reservations about attending. Would I get anything out of the experience? Would the people I met there get anything out of it? Would the seminar be worth the cost of registration and air travel? Would it be worth the greenhouse gases that I…

Forget everything I ever said about Package Free.

When I first heard about Package Free, a store that sells household basics and staples without (you guessed it) packaging, I was intrigued. Sure, I already had a large cache of supplies to help me wend my way toward a zero-waste lifestyle—reusable bags, glass jars, travel mug, bar soap, white vinegar, safety razor and gazillion…

This is why I’ll never achieve a zero waste life

Ceci n’est pas une tasse. This is not a cup. I requested a cup at the coffee shop, one of the ceramic cups on the shelf sitting underneath the tea display, but I was given this thing, which is not a cup. And it’s not anyone’s fault (except that it is a lot of someones’…

How to reuse your recycling by making paper

I read Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home a few weeks ago, and that’s when I developed an undying urge to make paper. In the book, Bea Johnson tells the tale of how she decided to make less waste and move towards a trash-free existence. She eliminated most of the paper in her life but her…

Shopping Waste-Free in New York

The first step to creating less waste is to change the way you think. And to do that, you need to change the way you shop. And that usually means changing the way you eat, too. So many changes, I know. I say nothing revolutionary when I say that Americans eat a diet full of…

Growing Your Own Fruit Tree Without a Backyard

I would love to have a sunny yard lined with berry bushes and apple trees and dotted with raised beds full of spinach, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, corn, pumpkins, herbs, and strawberries. Such a life is not to be. I live in an apartment in a city, and the nearest community garden doesn’t get enough…

These are the young people suing the US government

Last night didn’t go exactly as planned. After work, I headed to the New York City Society for Ethical Culture on the Upper West Side. My intention was to attend the Food and Water Watch New York chapter’s monthly meeting, where we would discuss how to stop the Williams pipeline that is supposed to carry…

GreenThumb: Starting a community garden in New York

Last week I attended a panel discussion put on by GreenThumb at Project Farmhouse. Six gardeners, each representing a different community garden in New York, spoke about how they started their gardens, and the challenges and victories they encountered along the way. One gardener even told us about his more controversial days of illegally squatting…

How hard could it be to shop the zero-waste way?

Very hard. But you probably already knew that. I’m not living a zero waste lifestyle but it’s my goal to get close without burning out, alienating my friends, or driving myself insane. A recent evaluation of my grocery shopping waste shows where I’m at in the journey. I had Saturday free, which is rare for…