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[ Enter the Flower City Looking Good Garden Contest! ]


Have you admired a neighbor’s or friend’s garden, or worked hard to create your own gorgeous garden? Each year the city of Rochester takes time to recognize those beautiful, unique and educational gardeners that bring life to those around them. This contest is a component of the annual Flower City Looking Good series, and is a nod to those that create a cleaner and greener space.

The categories include:

·         Best Container Garden

·         Best Use of a Water Feature

·         Best Educational Garden

·         Best Wildlife/Butterfly Habitat

·         Most Interesting Use of Art in the Garden

·         Most Colorful Garden

·         Best Community Enhancement Garden

·         Best Urban Farm/Garden

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, July 18th. Enter the contest by filling out information at the following link: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/gardencontestform/, or call 585-428-6770 for more information.



[ 1Thing Environmental Organization of the Month: Oceana ]

Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. 

Unfortunately, our oceans are in trouble — scientists report that the amount of fish caught from the oceans began declining, for the first time in recorded history, just a few decades ago.

Fortunately, Oceana knows how to fix things. Oceana seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world’s marine life. 

The good news is that we can restore the oceans to their former glory. Oceana is…


It channels its resources towards strategic, directed campaigns to achieve MEASURABLE OUTCOMES that will protect and restore our oceans to former levels of abundance.


Oceana believes in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions for the oceans.

Multi-disciplinary and expert

Oceana scientists work closely with teams of economists, lawyers, communicators and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans.

Learn more at http://oceana.org/.


[ Green Tips for the Holidays ]

So you live a green lifestyle all year long. You recycle, you minimize your impact by bringing your own bags and using a reusable cup for your morning coffee, you drive a low-emission car, and program your thermostat….you are set, right? Did you consider ways to green the holidays???? It doesn’t have to be difficult to make a difference!

* An obvious way would be to buy recycled wrapping paper, but you could take it a step further and use your old newspaper, or wrap it in another gift, such as a tablecloth, a scarf or a reusable shopping bag.

* As for the tree, real or fake? Cutting down trees and branches for decorations kills or injures trees, but a lot of the fake pine stuff is made from PVC which is toxic and energy intensive to make the plastic which releases gasses. There are fake pine decorations made from polyethylene which doesn’t carry the same health risks. Or use a potted real tree that can be planted in the spring.

*If you do use a real tree, be sure to give it new life at the end of the season! Mulch it or chip it. For more ideas check out the National Christmas Tree Association (www.realchristmastrees.org) and learn how to recycle it.

*LED lights are easy to find and will use a fraction of the energy that lights used to use. Use a timer for outdoor lights so they don’t stay on all night!

*Try upcycling! Get a little creative and turn something discarded into something usable. Recycle your old candles, jeans, tissue boxes, revamp glass bottles and jars, or turn old cookie tins into new fabulous gift tins. Pinterest.com is full of great ideas, just search UPCYCLE. There are thousands of ideas, surely one will appeal to you and your skill level.
Upcycle Candles
Glass Bottles and Jars
Give cookie tins a new life 

*Give green. Instead of giving someone another dust collector, donate to a charity that you or your recipient believe in. It’s a win-win! Some ideas to get you started:
Gifts that Give More
70 Years of Family Farming 
Sierra Club 
Nature Conservancy 

*If you do shop, shop local. Support the businesses in your local community and spend less gas driving all over. Art and craft shows are prevalent this time of year and you can support a local artist and give a gift of something thoughtful and artful. Pottery bowls can be esthetically pleasing and functional, or a hand knitted hat is stylish and warm.

*Eco-friendly gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Try gift cards for a group of friends to take a cooking class together. Make some jelly or jam, or bread that can be frozen for later. Be really green and give a worm composter so less food waste goes into the landfill. Try cloth dish towels and napkins as a gift to replace the paper ones. Give a fancy reusable water bottle or coffee/tea travel mug. Be super practical, and give LED bulbs or a blanket for the hot water heater. Reusable shopping bags are handy too! Programmable thermostat. Bus/train passes. Glass storage containers. A basket of nontoxic cleaners. Beeswax candles. Coupons to exchange for your time (ie babysitting or sharing a meal). Donate time to a local environmental group.

Eco Christmas
Eco Friendly Décor
Green Christmas 
Unique and Cheap Eco Friendly Gifts 
Green Gift Ideas

* December 30th is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day! Otherwise known as ordinary baking soda, bicarb has so many uses it belongs in every green house. Surely you have used it for your baked goods….but have you tried it as a facial scrub? Toothpaste? Or even deodorant? A paste of baking soda can relieve the itch from bug bites, and putting it in a bath can help relieve itchy skin and help you relax. Use it as a scrub to remove burnt on stuff from your pots and pans, mix it with vinegar to clean your sinks and tub, or even sprinkle it on your carpet before vacuuming to remove odors. And if you overindulge this season, use half a teaspoon in a glass of water to help with heartburn and indigestion.

51 Uses for Baking Soda





PHILADELPHIA – AUGUST 15, 2016 – Entercom Communications (NYSE: ETM) – Entercom is launching a nationwide public service announcement (PSA) campaign on behalf of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), for which the company is donating $1 million worth of free airtime. The PSA will feature Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle discussing the importance of stabilizing the global climate for our children and grandchildren. The PSAs will run across 124 of Entercom’s stations in 27 top markets in the country beginning in August.


“I’m happy to help introduce more people to the great work of EDF,” said Cheadle, a film and television star and climate activist who donated his time to the project. “We’re in the fight of our lives against climate change and EDF has been a real leader in that struggle. So I hope this helps.”


The campaign is part of a larger Entercom initiative, 1THING, committed to promoting good environmental practices both externally among listeners and business partners and internally among employees.


“Entercom is deeply committed to reducing our environmental footprint and working to be a good corporate citizen to help ensure a sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren,” said David Field, President and CEO, Entercom Communications Corp.  “We are proud to partner with the Environmental Defense Fund and help support their mission of solving the most critical environmental problems facing our planet.”


“I am grateful to David Field and Entercom for this generous donation that will help build our impact and bring our work to the attention of so many Americans,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “And I’m grateful to Don Cheadle for the incredible gift of his time and talent. Without this kind of powerful support, we would not be able to do what we do.”


Entercom has previously partnered on PSA campaigns for Conservation International (CI), featuring Harrison Ford; 350.org, featuring Ellen Page; and most recently the Wilderness Society, featuring Dave Matthews, Betty White and Wendie Malick.


Founded in 1967, EDF builds lasting solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems, finding the ways that work so people and nature can prosper. Learn more at http://www.edf.org.




Esther-Mireya Tejeda



About Entercom Communications Corp.

Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE: ETM) is the fourth-largest radio broadcasting company in the U.S., reaching and engaging more than 40 million people a week through its 124 highly rated stations in 27 top markets across the country. Entercom is a purpose-driven company, deeply committed to entertaining and informing its listeners with the best locally curated music, news, sports, and talk content, driven by compelling local personalities.  Entercom delivers superior ROI by connecting its customers and audiences through its leading local brands and unparalleled local marketing solutions, which include over 4,000 events each year, and its SmartReach Digital product suite.  Learn more about Philadelphia-based Entercom at www.Entercom.com, Facebook and Twitter (@entercom).




[ Did you miss Leo’s Oscar speech on climate change? ]

In case you missed it, Leonardo Dicaprio took home his first Oscar last Sunday at the 88th annual Academy Awards, and he took that opportunity to address climate change.

During his acceptance speech for best actor for his role in “The Revenant,” the environmentalist said that he saw first-hand the devastating effects of climate change on our planet.

“Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history,” DiCaprio began. “Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

He continued, “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”

Read more in this article from Variety.


[ Do you know what’s sucking up your energy in your office? ]

Would you believe that the majority of office power is consumed by machines that are off, but still plugged into a live outlet? Standby power (or vampire/phantom power) is a huge — and hugely unnecessary — environmental culprit and expense. You can improve this process by simply powering down each night, especially over the weekend!

Vampire Power


[ Curb Alternatives ]

It doesn’t have to end this way.

  1. Treecycling Programs
    Tree recycling and mulching programs are offered in most towns and cities. Check with your local department of public works on whether your community has a pick up or if you need to drop off your tree to be made into mulch. Also in some places they offer mulch to be picked up for personal use.
  2. Give Cover
    If you would like, you can keep the tree and use the needles as mulch. Pine needles dry quickly and decompose slowly. Ground covering crops, such as strawberries love resting on these mold free and moisture hardy mulch. The boughs can also be cut off and used to layover perennial plants, protecting them from the snow and heavy frost.
  3. Chip, Chip Hooray
    A fun afternoon might be renting a chipper and making mulch for personal use. When spring comes you will be ready to spread the chips. Chips suppress weeds and when decomposition happens nutrients are released into your soil.
  4. Trunk Coasters (Yes, it’s a thing)
    If you prefer you can cut the trunk into 2 inch discs and line walkways and flower gardens. Thinner slabs cut off the trunk can be used as coasters. Just apply a thin coat of polyurethane to keep sap off your furniture and glassware.
  5. Bird Sanctuary
    If you have the space, take that tree in its stand outdoors. A Bird Sanctuary can be made by filling bird feeders and hanging them on boughs. Gather pine-cones and coat them with peanut butter and string popcorn. When the tree is brittle, chip it up into mulch.
  6. Burial at Sea/Pond
    If you live close to a lake or pond and your tree is chemical free, contact the proper authorities and find out if your tree can be sunk and made into a sheltering habitat for fish.
  7. Great Barrier Wreath
    Christmas Trees were used in New Jersey to help the sand dunes recover from Hurricane Sandy. If you live near a beach, you might call the local department of public works to see if Christmas Trees are used for shoreline stabilization.

So when the Holidays are over, don’t throw away that Real Christmas Tree. Take advantage of that tree being biodegradable and give back to the environment. A great way to be green.


[ It’s Sorta Easy, Bein’ Green! ]

I take a lot of flak for my attempts at being a little more “green.”  Kermit the Frog even sang a song about how it’s not easy…being green, that is.  But, every day, I try a little bit to make my proverbial carbon footprint a little smaller.  A morning work place chat over coffee and diet cola often leads to me gently reminding a colleague to not throw that empty bottle in the trash or I will shove it up your-…of course, “gently” may be left up for debate if you were to ask him.

A fanatic for recycling of bottles, cans, cardboard, and paper, I often root through trash cans at home and at work to ensure colleagues haven’t thoughtlessly discarded a recyclable Diet Coke bottle or a Poland Spring Water Bottle.  I know, that with each plastic bottle I recycle, I save room in landfills, I allow for a second life for the plastic in the bottle, and we will require that much fewer fossil fuels to be drilled for or expelled from the earth just to carefully encase delicious cola or refreshing water.   I lovingly recycle these bottles, cans, papers, and the like…And, by ME, I mean, I make my husband take them out to the bin.  It’s not easy for HIM to be green, either.

My husband, although reluctantly supportive of my efforts, tolerates the “green” products I buy at Wegmans.  From Dish Soap to Detergents, from Method to Seventh Generation, our home is a monument to “green,” “cruelty free,” and “socially responsible” cleaning products, personal care products, and I like it that way.  Knowing using toothpaste uses Pre-Consumer paper for the box, that the toothpaste itself has often been cruelly and thoughtlessly tested on unwilling and neglected animals, and that my toothpaste spittle pollutes our waterways has made me switch from the national brand to a “green” brand.

By my estimation, I may spend a few dollars more every month on products that are “greener,” I wholeheartedly believe that my dollars are well spent.  It isn’t easy to be green, but it sure does feel good.  I know, that in my little corner of Rochester, plastic bottles will get re-used, soda cans can be recycled, saving enough energy to power a light bulb for 4 hours, I know that the products I buy, from my recycled plastic (Made in the USA, to boot!) door mat to the Seventh Generation Laundry Soap that uses a cardboard bottle for easy recycling, will make a difference to generations to come.   In my delightfully optimistic mind, I fantasize that “Green Energy Efforts” will become so fashionable, that every yard will have a wind turbine, and, every kitchen, a solar powered oven with an organic chicken delightfully roasting inside for Sunday dinner!  And, at long last, I will be hip, I’ll be a pioneer, and I’ll be super awesome because I’m super green!  And, I’ll be hip.  So hip.  Because I’m so green!

That’s my main goal, with these little things I do every day…it may not be easy being green, but it sure was easy for ME go grow up on a lush, green national forest in Pennsylvania.  I want our future to look as green as our past!  And, it would be so awesome to be hip.



[ Japanese firm creates “ice pack” bra for woman ]

ice bra

In Rochester, us women are used to freezing them off in the winter. Now, a company in Japan has found a way to keep the ladies cool in the summer too with the ice bra. No, you didn’t read that wrong…I said ice bra.

The Japanese bra company, Triumph, made the ice bra to save energy in the hot summer months. It has built in gel ice packs on the cups that look like little miniature fish tanks. But wait! There’s more! The bra also comes with a miniature decorative paper fan, Japanese wind chime in the middle, a sprig of mint for a “refreshing scent”, and a little scooper ladle thing to pour water on yourself too (because we usually ladle ourselves with water in the summer lol).

Before you start trying to imagine people walking around Charlotte Beach with these this summer, the bra is not going to be sold. Instead the company makes off-beat bras such as this to bring awareness to the public. The ice bra was made after Japan’s nuclear reactors all shut down leaving the people with no electricity.

1 Thing you can do – dress down in the summer months to keep cool and not have to crank the ac. Or if you end up attempting to make your own ice bra, let me know if they can double as floaties in the pool too!


[ Will the Fracking boom bypass NYS and set us up for a greater economic boom? ]

New York State seems to be balking at the idea of riddling our countryside with natural gas production. The rise in public concern over Fracking in New York State and current low natural gas prices appear to be giving the gas companies the jitters. Some perceive that NYS is over-regulating the drilling industry, which might mean that the boom could go bust.

That is added to the cascading of Fracking moratoriums being passed by localities in the state, in part because of concerns over water quality due to the reluctance of gas drilling companies to reveal what’s in their Fracking fluids. (See What the Frack is in That Water? – ProPublica).

Amidst myriad other issues related to Fracking—increased road wear by heavy trucks, possible conflicts with mortgages, well water contamination, possible earthquakes, public health concerns, and many more problems—some may be wondering if there is a chance NYS will miss the Fracking boom altogether. And if so, might this loss of opportunity for the fossil fuel industry make way for the next opportunity for all New York State businesses—the financial boom that will come as the Likely Changes due to Climate Change drive water-thirsty folks in the Southern and Western United States back to New York?

OK that’s a lot. I didn’t want to bury my lead, so let me unpack all this.

No matter how indifferent you are to how we use our energy and whether our energy consumption will affect Climate Change, you can’t have missed the ruckus caused by the Fracking issue.

Here’s the worry pro-Fracking people envision:

Fracking boom could go bust in N.Y. But with that not-in-my-backyard movement growing and the state proposing the nation’s toughest fracking controls, gas companies that flocked to the state several years ago are now downsizing or pulling up stakes. Add it all up, and New York’s once-envisioned gas boom is starting to look like a bust. “I think we’re losing the battle,” conceded Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Operators Association of New York State. (November 31, 2011) The Buffalo News

While other states have rolled over for the promise of jobs and great wealth, New York State has proved to be more resistant to the lure of short-term gains at the expense of possible long-term environmental issues. One by one, communities in New York are balking at Fracking. At present the courts are holding up their claims.

Another hydrofracking ruling backs home rule ALBANY — For the second time in a week, a state Supreme Court judge has upheld the ability of municipalities to ban hydraulic fracturing and gas drilling within their limits. Otsego County Acting Supreme Court Justice Donald Cerio ruled late Friday that the town of Middlefield was within its rights under state law when it passed a ban on oil and gas drilling in June.  (February 25, 2012) Democrat and Chronicle .

Whether NYS lifts its present Fracking moratorium, deciding instead to support Home Rule laws that impose local moratoriums on Fracking, it’s still going to take a while for our state to begin drilling. The governor and DEC chief promised that they wouldn’t go ahead with Fracking until it was safe. And it’s going to take some time to sift through all the tens of thousands of public comments made to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with a staff that has already been gutted by state budget cuts.

Seen from a longer perspective than the recent fracas over Fracking, New York State has historically been leery of using our own backyard to power our lives. We have fought wind, nuclear, and other power options. Much of America’s view that government should curb the excesses of the free market to protect our environment has come from New York State—highlighted in the environmental accomplishments of two NYS governors-turned-presidents, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt. The Adirondacks, the largest park in the continental US, resides in New York, so too the Love Canal catastrophe that produced the Superfund for cleaning up industrial messes.

Those who thought that New York State was merely another domino in the ‘Drill-Baby-Drill’ boom had forgotten who we are. Learn more about New York State’s role in leading the way on environmental regulation here: The Nature of New York, An Environmental History of the Empire State

To learn more about how Rochester, NY’s fresh water may be influenced by Fracking and other fresh water threats like the privatization of our waters, go to the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club’s 14th Annual Environmental Forum: Our Water’s Fragile Future: Hydrofracking, Climate Change, & Privatization.

Don’t sit this one out. Our NYS Fresh water is at stake. Learn about this issue, and do something.  Learn more at www. rochesterenvironmentny.blogspot.com

Posted by Frank J. Regan