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Archive for March, 2009

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Twelve Long Island governments will be receiving energy efficiency grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. A story in Friday’s Newsday stated that the money will go to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient, as well as, replacing incandescent light bulbs with induction lights in street lamps.

The grant money, which is part of the $787 billion stimulus plan, will be sent to township and county governments once local officials complete applications forms and the Energy Department processes them. Approximately $24 million will go to Long Island out of the $3.2 billion being distributed around the country for energy efficiency projects.

This is exciting news but we must all watch closely to see how local governments use the money.

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There will be a garden on the south lawn of the White House! It was revealed earlier this week on treehugger, and I’m just so excited! 

Mrs. Obama talks about the garden in Oprah’s magazine, O, as well.

I posted a blog about the Who Farm and its initiatives about a month ago. I guess we can say a job well done to them, and to the many people who helped and showed their support for the garden.

The WhoFarm has some great videos on their site of the first lady and elementary students working on the garden.

White House Garden LayoutPhoto: The White House

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Many of you have probably heard of freecycle by now, but in case you haven’t, you really need to try it out. If you go to the website, you can find the group closest to where you live. It’s a great way to recycle because instead of throwing away what you don’t need, you post on freecycle and see if someone is interested in it. You know the saying one persons trash is another persosn treasure… or something like that, well freecycle is the perfect example. I recommend you check it out, especially if you have “trash” that could may be of interest to someone else.

Another place that is great, is the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. They sell all types of construction materials for really cheap. The closest one for Long Islanders would be the Ronkonkoma store, unless you’re closer to the Yonkers location. If you’re looking to weatherize your home for as little money as possible, this may be a good place to check out. It’s just like a Home Depot, except the materials are left overs from construction jobs that people donate, or materials that were salvaged from a remodeling or demolition job. They even sell appliances, bathtubs, sinks, doorknobs and light bulbs! Pretty much anything that you need for a house. And if you happen to have some extra materials laying around or a spare appliance, drop it off at the store. They are always grateful for new donations.

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Riverhead Resorts

On the back of the winter edition of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society newsletter there is a composite photo of bumper to bumper traffic and a sign that reads, “Welcome to Orlando” but the Orlando is covering up with the word, “Calverton.”  This picture is in response to the proposed Riverhead Resorts in the pine barrens. A huge resort to be built on the 755-acre Grumman property that used to be used test fighter jets. 

Last year the Town of Riverhead signed a contract with the resort company and ever since there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the plans. The location, which is in the middle of the pine barrens, would be a great place for a camping ground and nature park, but not a Disney World style resort that’s going to attract hundreds of thousands of people a year, if not millions. Maybe somewhere else in the U.S. but not on Long Island where it is already over crowded and traffic is horrendous.

Not to mention the effect all the new traffic will have on the pine barrens. Cars bring pollution, noise and endanger wildlife.

As much as the company says it will protect the environment and do its best to be “sustainable,” I just don’t understand how it will really work. I have some research to do, but with the information I do have, it seems like a really stupid and misguided decision. No matter how hard you may try to keep an area in its natural state, having thousands of people passing through it will have its consequences. Even though the company may care, the people may not.

I think the decision makers need to ask themselves if this is really best for Long Island’s future. There will be more on this topic very soon.

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Poaching Ring

When I think of a poaching ring, I instantly imagine a group of men with guns driving an old Jeep speeding through the deserts of Africa.

So when I heard about the poaching ring that the DEC caught here in New York, I was shocked. The Newsday article said that there were 17 men caught and some of them were right here on Long Island. Apparently this area is home to some very attractive and popular reptiles. The snapping turtles are in high demand in China, but I’m really not sure why that it is. Is it for cooking purposes or as a pet? I’m hoping to find the answer to this question.

Snakes, turtles and salamanders were found and confiscated, the report said. See the list below. Not all the animals were specific to Long Island, but I know for sure the snapping turtle, box turtle and red salamander are popular here. As for the others, I’m not too sure.

It’s a shame these animals were removed from their natural habitat and used for commercial purposes, but I’m even happier that they were caught.

Newsday’s List

  • Northern copperhead snake
  • Slimy salamander
  • Two-lined salamander
  • Snapping Turtles
  • Wood Turtles
  • Spotted salamander
  • Blanding’s Turtles
  • Box Turtles
  • North American Wood Turtles
  • Red Salamanders
  • Spotted Turtles
  • Dusky Salamanders
  • Timber Rattlesnakes

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Earth Hour, March 28th

At 8:30pm on March 28th, cities around the world will go dark for one hour to make a stand against climate change. The World Wildlife Fund has been organizing Earth Hour since 2007 and it seems to be growing every year. Fifty million people participated last year.

Climate change is a growing concern for countries around the world, and this is a great way to show our world leaders that we support solutions to the problem.Major cities seem to be the main focus of this campaign, but Long Islanders can make a statement too. Share the message with your friends, neighbors and family. We can all make difference but we have to try first!

Check out the awesome video by WWF below, or go here.

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With St. Patrick’s Day just a few days away, I thought this video from Grist.TV would be perfect for the drinkers out there. Irish or not, many people will be going out to enjoy a good drink, or two, or three…. so why not try to green it up for the holiday and the environment! At the end of this post I’ve put some helpful information for fellow Long Islanders who want to be a little extra green this Tuesday.Check out the video below or go here.

Organic Bars

There are quite a few options in the city. Check out this list on google maps.

Local Brewers

Check out the Long Island Beer Guide website. I’m not a beer drinker at all, and I found it to be very helpful.

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