We are making Fort Greene and Clinton Hill green neighborhoods with two goals in mind: reducing our contribution to global warming and our use of non-renewable resources. We are doing this by promoting four actions. (Other steps will follow and other ideas are most welcome.)
• Buying electricity from sources that do not contribute to global warming
• Flooding the neighborhood with energy efficient light bulbs
• Promoting recycling and reducing refuse
• Getting many more street trees and other plantings in public spaces
The first three are steps that everyone can take. They are easy and little or no cost is involved. The city will provide the trees for all of us to appreciate. So the four actions can go a long way toward making Fort Greene and Clinton Hill truly environmentally attuned neighborhoods.
There are many problems we all wish were addressed better in our community and in wider spheres. However, the health of the planet is one matter that each of us influences every day, all the time, whenever we flip on a light switch and when our refrigerator hums. We each can choose to easily help solve the problem or, failing to act, we can continue to make things worse.
During the summer a large group of volunteers have been doing research and organizing how we will make Fort Green & /Clinton Hill a model green community. Planning will continue through September. Most people have taken on a simple discrete task (spending a couple of hours on a Saturday or sneaking some calls in during work or when the kids are napping) and the cumulative effect is big. Of course, others are having fun doing more, for instance leading a focused working group or coordinating outreach in one of 9 sectors of the neighborhood.
Next will be implementation, with people getting our residents, businesses and institutions to participate in reducing our neighborhoods’ environmental impact.
For more information about the Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill initiative click here or email them.
To Do List
Take on a simple discrete task and together we will do great things.
• Recruit: Give Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill leaflet to neighbors and tell friends. Sign up to spread the word at your block association, in your building, at the Green Market, at church, to your block association
• Energy efficient light bulbs: spend a couple of hours asking the merchants on Fulton or Dekalb to join our effort by offering CFL light bulbs at cost. Materials will be supplied.
• Critical for the next stage of big actions: Develop a data base of large property owners. Good sources of the raw data are available.
• Green office supplies: identify sources and pricing for specific green office supplies. Ideally we would negotiate with a local vendor to match the best price for widely used items and keep the business local.
• Biodiesel for home heating oil: two fuel oil suppliers will sell mixed fuel oil/biodiesel. Pursue discussions for a possible discount and for support for our marketing. You close the deal.
• Direct contact with neighbors: reach people from a table at the Green Market, in a building lobby, at a community event, on your block or at a church
• Do more: Be an area organizer: 9 areas in the community. 3 spoken for. Organizers will direct volunteers and reach out to block associations, churches, etc., to get people to the October public kickoff meeting and after the meeting coordinate spreading the word on implementing green actions. Lots of help and support will be provided.
Now in the Works
• A deal with a supplier of green electricity has been negotiated for Fort Greene and Clinton Hill residents and businesses
• Purchase of our first 1,000 bulbs for sale at low cost throughout the community will happen in September.
• Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill’s beautiful logo and graphics are being applied to leaflets, posters and other outreach materials
• The entire neighborhood has been surveyed for locations for new and replacement trees and a request for 1,200 trees is beginning to be implemented by the Parks Department
• Three new Green Streets sites (planted islands in streets) have been submitted to Parks
• Local schools will participate in the tree planting program during the coming year
• Locations for additional bike racks have been submitted to the Department of Transportation
• Restaurants are signing up to recycle cooking oil. It will be transformed into biodiesel which reduces pollution from trucks and home heating.
• Home heating oil containing biodiesel will be offered this coming heating season
• Restaurants are signing up to compost food waste
• Myrtle Avenue and Fort Greene shopping bags are going to hit the streets again and better, very chic Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill bags are in the works
• Better disposal for electronic trash and compact fluorescent bulbs is being arranged
• All that is green in the neighborhood is being presented on a Green Map and on-line resources are being developed
• And more…