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   January
     News

NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
JANUARY 2020

What We're Talking About
Happy New Year! De-icing without pain, moving from meat, TEAC Film Series, plastic in the air, burnt returns, and more... READ ON!
EASING WINTER WOES
 

Get Rid of Ice Without Harming Living Things


Homeowners are responsible for clearing snow from the sidewalk in front of their houses, and should take seriously their obligation to make sidewalks safe and passable. But, after doing everything possible with the trusty shovel, is there a non-harmful alternative to chemical ice melts?

Natural salt (sodium or potassium) is not environmentally damaging, but it can burn adjacent grass and plants and can be painful for pets to walk on if their pads are cracked as often happens. The other salt variants may have stuff we don’t want in the soil. Plain kitty litter is just granules of dry clay, but it only provides grip until it softens, then itself can be slippery. Sand is OK, but can build up on garden and lawn areas adjacent to walks, and also can accumulate in storm drains. Fortunately, and especially during the milder winters we’ve had lately, we don’t get a large accumulation of ice very often.

For those who want to pursue less-harmful alternatives, here are a couple online articles:
https://www.greenmoxie.com/natural-green-salt-alternatives-for-melting-ice-and-snow/

https://grist.org/article/de-salt-of-the-earth/

Now, if we only knew where to get alfalfa meal! And, if you use coffee grounds, be careful not to track them onto light carpets. ;-) I was able to find a 50-lb bag of "pet-friendly" Magnesium Choride granules locally for $20.

Pet and environmentally safe ice melt is sold at Goldberg's Hardware on Main St, in a new section of eco-friendly products right up front. Best price on Meyers products anywhere! And check Bark & Meow on South Broadway as well for pet-friendly products.

To be safe and remove ice the "brute-force" way, get an ice “chopper”, like this one (but buy it locally):
https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Joe-SJEG700-Reducing-Absorbing/dp/B077CVJP8J

And, to keep yourself safe on someone else's icy walk, get a pair of ice grippers to fit your winter shoes/boots.

REDUCING YOUR FOOTPRINT

Try Meat Free Mondays!

By Cari Newton

Did you know that eating less meat helps our environment in a big way?  Eating less meat reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with raising livestock. Studies show that animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss!

If you are a meat lover but care about the environment, you can help the cause by participating in Meat Free Mondays. This international movement has gotten more popular over the years with schools and even jails joining, including our local Public Schools of the Tarrytowns and all NYC jails.

Fun fact: Sweetgrass Grill offered a special Meatless Mondays menu for years until they decided to incorporate many meatless options into their regular menu. Happily for some of us, every day can be meatless Monday there or at many of our local eateries!
 
Need meal ideas? A quick internet search will produce more recipes than you can imagine. You will find that meatless meals can be both delicious & satisfying. You can also search recipe ideas on Pinterest, YouTube, blogs and support groups on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/WeDoMeatFreeMondays/). The Warner Library is also a good resource for information, plant-based cookbooks and environmental programs.
 
Here is a simple recipe to get you started:
 
Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:
  • 16oz noodles (your choice of spaghetti, linguine, soba, ramen or rice noodles)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp natural cane sugar, agave or maple syrup (optional)
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
 
Directions:
  1. Prepare noodles according to package instructions.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Toss noodles in sauce.
  4. Serve hot or cold.
Serves 6-8

This is a great recipe as a side dish or add one or more of these optional ingredients raw or cooked to your liking to make it a main course: Baked or sautéed tofu, mushrooms, chickpeas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, roasted garlic, cauliflower, kale, spinach, bok choy or avocado. 

ON THE BIG (GREEN) SCREEN

TEAC Environmental Film Series Kicks Off Jan 7th


In collaboration with Warner Library, TEAC kicks off a monthly series of environmental-themed films on January 7th, 2020. We chose acclaimed documentaries and informational programs that represent some of the most pressing issues that face our communities, from the climate crisis, carbon fuels, agriculture and food, to water and air quality and land use. We will have a lively discussion following each movie, and will reach out to experts in related fields to provide their perspective.

The first film in the series will be "An Inconvenient Sequel", the update to Al Gore's award-winning "An Inconvenient Truth", on Tuesday, January 7th at 7pm in the Warner Library. It will be preceded by a short feature in the "Green World Rising" series, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

We hope to see all Village residents who are interested in understanding the environmental challenges we face and learning about practical actions they can take to stave off the worst crises and help improve our environment locally, regionally and worldwide.
THE AIR WE BREATHE
 

New Research Finds Microplastics Not Just In The Ocean


We are all well aware of the huge environmental impact of plastic pollution, and how it finds its way into oceans, degrading into microscopic "microplastic" particles that are ingested by sea animals and birds. They find their way into human-consumed foods, as has been well documented.

But now we are hearing about microplastic particles being swept into the air in some cities, adding to the other particulates that people end up breathing into their lungs. Microplastic pollution is raining down on city dwellers, with research revealing that London has the highest levels yet recorded.

The health impacts of breathing or consuming the tiny plastic particles are unknown, and experts say urgent research is needed to assess the risks.

Only four cities have been assessed to date but all had microplastic pollution in the air. Scientists believe every city will be contaminated, as sources of microplastic such as clothing and packaging are found everywhere.

Read more about the problem in this article from The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/27/revealed-microplastic-pollution-is-raining-down-on-city-dwellers

OUR SCENIC HUDSON RIVER
 

Public Hearing on Station Area Performance-Based Zoning Continued to Monday, Jan 6


A further Public Hearing is scheduled for Monday Jan 6th, at 8pm, at the Tarrytown Village Hall, to discuss and hear residents' comments on the new performance-based zoning proposed for the Station Area "down by the riverside". One issue concerning many residents is the apparent allowance of buildings up to 10 stories in height (120 ft, with higher projections) on the east side of the MNR tracks. At the Dec 16th hearing, members of the Board of Trustees and Planning Board clarified that they are revisiting this issue, and made it clear that the process of project approval under the optional overlay zoning would consider the River viewshed from five critical points as crucial to protect. Provisions in the zoning proposal would mitigate the impact on these viewsheds.
The public is encouraged to come to the hearing and to get their views heard, on this and any other provisions.
THE SECOND "R": REUSE
 

Don't Trash What Can Be Reused!


GiveBackBox: This a great program for clearing out stuff you don’t need, donating, and reusing these boxes and gift boxes from the holidays:
https://givebackbox.com/works

Don't trash that tree!: Here are some interesting alternative ways to use your spent holiday tree.
https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-repurpose-your-old-christmas-tree
Note that TEAC frowns on using spray paint, but the other ideas are eco-friendly.
 
Burned returns: Be aware that, when you return unwanted gifts and merchandise, particularly clothing, to some online vendors, you might as well be putting it in the trash. Better to re-gift it! Environmental journalist Adria Vasil talked on NPR with Lulu Garcia-Navarro about a large amount of merchandise purchased online that goes into landfills if it is returned, rather than being resold. Here's the audio stream and transcript:
https://www.npr.org/2019/12/29/792146756/report-many-returned-products-thrown-out-instead-of-resold 
 

LIVING CLASSROOM EVENT - IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Irvington Program Will Discuss Invasive Plants


As the next event in their “Living Classroom Series,” the Pollinator Pathway Project and the Irvington Green Policy Task Force are co-presenting “Invasives:  Why Should We Care?”, a talk about invasive plants and their impact on our environment.
 
On Monday, January 13, at 7pm, Dr. Linda Rohleder will speak at the Irvington Public Library, 12 South Astor Street, Irvington, about invasive plants and how, if left unchecked, they can aggressively undermine biodiversity and the health of our community. She will talk about why invasive plants can grow so aggressively and what can be done to stop and eradicate them. 

Dr. Rohleder has long been an important voice in addressing how invasive species negatively impact our environment: “Invading species have a ripple effect on the whole environment. If we let them run their course, it would still be green, but there would be a lot fewer species.” Dr. Rohleder is the Director of Land Stewardship of the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference and the Coordinator of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (“PRISM”). She speaks widely about the threat of invasive species and their impact on our environment.
 
This will be a timely and important talk for our community. 
FIRST THURSDAYS AT 7:00


Curious about TEAC? Come to our meetings!


We are changing the meeting date to the 1st Thursday of the month, at 7pm.

TEAC relies on volunteers to keep things moving. Join our monthly meetings to see what's going on, and how you can pitch in.

TEAC meets each month on the 1st Thursday, at 7pm, in Village Hall, One Depot Plaza. The next regular TEAC meeting will be on THURSDAY, January 2, 2020. The meetings are open to all.

You can reach us by email at :
info@tarrytownenvironmental.org
 

"JANUARY,
The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New beginnings, new attitudes”
― Charmaine J Forde

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Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council · One Depot Plaza · Tarrytown, NY 10591 · USA

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