Tags: sustainability

Discovery Day 2019 Recap

With temperatures climbing into the 80s this weekend, over one thousand visitors flocked to Freshkills Park for a warm edition of Discovery Day, a chance to experience the world’s largest landfill-to-park project as it continues to undergo development. Though the park is normally closed, events such as Discovery Day give visitors a chance to see what this former waste dump now has to offer in the way of passive and active recreation, wildlife habitat, and innovative engineering.

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Startup to Address America’s Waste Problems by ‘Bringing Back the Milkman’

In May of 2019 the recycling giant, Terracycle, launched Loop: a subsidiary with the goal of reducing household waste by ‘bringing back the milkman’. They aren’t just stopping at milk either. Through Loop, subscribers can receive totes of household items ranging from toothpaste and laundry detergent, to salad dressings and Haagen-Dazs ice cream: all packaged in aesthetically-pleasing reusable containers.

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Pollinators at Freshkills Park

Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats are just a few examples of the animals that we call pollinators and that we rely on for approximately one third of our food supply and 90% of our world’s flowering plants. When visiting plants for food or shelter, pollinators attract pollen – often in fascinating ways – to themselves and later deposit it on the tops of flowers of the same species, thereby allowing for the creation of new seeds and reproduction.

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Freshkills Park Past, Present, and Future: Seeking Local Perspectives

Freshkills Park is a story of environmental reclamation, the impacts of which reach far beyond the park’s boundaries. In reclaiming the land once occupied by the world’s largest landfill for forests, wetlands, and new grasslands, Staten Islanders at large have reclaimed their fresh air, scenic views, and recreation opportunities.

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New 1.5°C Plan Aligns NYC with the Paris Climate Agreement

1.5C - Aligning NYC with Paris Agreement Cover

In 2016, nearly every country signed the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement requires all participating countries to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Two degrees might not seem like a lot, but according to NASA it’s probably the tipping point for widespread ecological problems caused by climate change.

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On Board Swale, a Floating Food Forest

Mary Mattingly Rendering of Swale

Written by Savannah Lust, Freshkills Park Development Intern.

Bok choy and mint are ripe for the picking aboard Swale, Mary Mattingly’s floating food forest project that is docked at Yankee Pier on Governor’s Island until September 15th.

Mary Mattingly is a New York City based visual artist who proclaims in her Manifesto that “art and utopian thought” are capable of cultivating “systematic social change.” Mattingly locates her work in the impugning of “predominant ideologies,” particularly systems of exchange and waste production.

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Restoring Natural Habitats, One Goat at a Time

As invasive species become a greater problem and harder to deal with, New Yorkers are looking to more creative solutions to control their presence. Parks in the area incorporate a wide array of methods to control invasives including manual removal, pesticides and even controlled burnings.

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Waste Diversion in New York City

Freshkills Park Walking Tour

As Freshkills Park develops from the world’s largest landfill into a sustainable urban park, New York City is working towards sending zero waste to landfills by the year 2030. This 0x30 Initiative is under the April 2015 initiative known as One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City (OneNYC).

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Students Take a Stand against Plastic Bags after Visiting Freshkills Park

James Madison HS

 

On February 9th, students at James Madison High School built a chain of plastic bags around the school building in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The project was meant to raise awareness about excessive use of the material and its harmful impact on the environment.

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Close to Foam

Styrofoam cups

At around 95% air, Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) is incredibly buoyant, which is why it was used by the U.S. Coast Guard to build a six-person life raft in 1942.

EPS, commonly known as Styrofoam, has since floated into everyday life, with people using billions of foam cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, trays, and packing peanuts every year.

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Farther Afield: Seattle Bans Food Waste

Seattle Compost Violation

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has recently added a $1 fine for having more than 10% of a household’s trash composed of food waste. Passed on January 1, 2015, this comes as the next step in Seattle’s attempt to remove compostable materials from ending up in landfills, following the city’s previous 2005 ban on recyclable materials under a similar $1 fine program and the encouragement of residents to compost via SPU-provided compost bins.

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Farther Afield: Green Waves on the Streets

Street lighting adds urban character and keeps our streets safe. However, the environmental and economic impacts are remarkable and cost some cities millions of dollars per year to keep street lights on. To avoid drastically restructuring a municipality’s energy-producing infrastructure, innovative designs are under development across the globe to illuminate roadways and walkways, and achieve more efficient traffic flow.

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Farther Afield: NYC Curbside Gardens

Well known to city dwellers, the urban landscape is dominated by impervious hard surfaces that require manmade sewage infrastructure to handle all rainfall and storm water management. In normally functioning environments, soil and vegetation absorbs this water and retains it to a certain capacity before runoff is generated.

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SF Bans Bottled Water on City Property


The City of San Francisco recently announced that it would ban the sale of bottled water in containers less than 21 oz on city property. San Francisco will be the first major city in the US to enact such a ban, though Concord, Massachusetts and Grand Canyon National Park have already replaced bottled water with water bottle filling stations.

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A Campfire That Can Light up Your Christmas Tree

Imagine warming your hands at a campfire that is also lighting up a Christmas tree in DUMBO.

What’s going on here?

Have you ever felt a regular light bulb after it has been on for a while? It’s hot because a side effect of using electricity is that some of the energy is wasted as heat.

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Gowanus Canal Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its cleanup plan for Gowanus Canal. The Brooklyn Canal, bound by Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, was declared a Superfund site in 2010 and communities have long been pushing for its cleanup.

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Sneak Peak 2013

 

On September 29th, Freshkills Park opened its gates to the public for the fourth annual Sneak Peak event and attracted 3,500 people, a steady increase from previous years.

They came on bikes, on ferries, and in cars; with family, with friends.

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Highlighting another Sustainable Park: Bush Terminal Pier Park, Brooklyn

Bush Terminal Piers Park is slated to open this October, the new waterfront park is located between 43rd to 51st Streets in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Sandwiched between modernized industrial parcels along the waterfront, the park was designed by AECOM. The new park will provide the residents of nearby neighborhoods the first new open space in the area in decades.

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Composting Toilets in New York City

Prospect Park is building a composting toilet and putting to use an obsolete building. The Pump House, an unused building tucked away in the center of the park, is not connected to the New York City sewer system so traditional restrooms are not possible but with park use on the rise more restroom facilities are needed, especially in this more remote area of the park.

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The First Solar Carport in New York City Comes to Staten Island

Solar power is a growing energy source on Staten Island.  Freshkills Park, already an alternative energy source from the methane harvested at the site, will be using solar power for many of its structures in the future.  But the future is here at an office building on Edward Curry Avenue in Bloomfield in the form of solar panels that provide shade for your parked car. 

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