Raise a Glass to 100 Years of Clean New York City Water

Social Media Campaign to Thank Catskill Families

CATSKILLS & NEW YORK CITY—This October marks the 100th anniversary of the date when people in all five New York City boroughs celebrated receiving some of the cleanest unfiltered water in the world from the Catskill Mountains through a complex network of aqueducts, reservoirs and tunnels, which channels water from upstate into their homes.

The New York City water supply system currently services eight million New York City residents and one million residents in Westchester, Putnam, Orange, and Ulster counties. It is a major engineering feat and a boon to city dwellers and visitors, but it was also a hardship to many Catskill families who were relocated¾losing their homes, land, and communities¾to accommodate excavation and construction of the water supply system.

Louisa Floyd and her grandson Elias Wilkes, of Brooklyn, Raise a Glass to 100 Years of Catskill Water. From now through Saturday, October 14, Radical Joy for Hard Times invites people to post social media photos of themselves, their friends, family (or even pets) raising a glass of clean NYC water to thank the people of the Catskills for the gift of clean drinking water, and to tag @CatskillsWater and use the hashtags #RaiseAGlass of #NYCDrinkingWater #PostYourToast.
Louisa Floyd and her grandson Elias Wilkes, of Brooklyn, Raise a Glass to 100 Years of Catskill Water. From now through Saturday, October 14, Radical Joy for Hard Times invites people to post social media photos of themselves, their friends, family (or even pets) raising a glass of clean NYC water to thank the people of the Catskills for the gift of clean drinking water, and to tag @CatskillsWater and use the hashtags #RaiseAGlass of #NYCDrinkingWater #PostYourToast.

To celebrate the centennial of New York City’s clean water and to acknowledge the sacrifices that have made it possible, Radical Joy for Hard Times is hosting the social media campaign: Raise a Glass to 100 Years of Catskill Water.

From now through Saturday, October 14, people throughout the NYC watershed are invited to take photos of themselves, their friends, family (or even pets) raising a glass of clean New York City water to toast and to thank the people of the Catskills for the gift of clean drinking water.

The campaign invites people to post their photos on social media and to tag @CatskillsWater on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtags #RaiseAGlass #NYCDrinkingWater #PostYourToast. Additional hashtags may include #RadicalJoyForHardTimes #ToastCatskillsWater #CatskillsWater #Ashokan #AshokanReservoir #NYCWaterways #WaterProtection.

Submitted photos will be included in a commemorative book that Radical Joy for Hard Times will give to descendants of displaced Catskill families.

The non-profit Radical Joy for Hard Times is a worldwide community of people dedicated to bringing meaning, beauty and value to places that have been damaged by human or natural acts.

“Our mission is to recognize the grief people feel when the places they love are damaged, and to find ways of creating art and new meaning there,” says Radical Joy for Hard Times Executive Director Trebbe Johnson.

“‘Raise a Glass to 100 Years of Catskill Water’ calls attention to those two polarities as they’ve affected a pair of very different communities that have been intricately connected for a hundred years,” adds Polly Howells, a Catskills resident and Radical Joy for Hard Times Board Member.

Source: Raise a Glass to 100 Years of Catskill Water www.radicaljoyforhardtimes.org

Eco-Friendly Ideas for a Homeowner – Infographic

We hear so much in today’s world about the importance of the environment and being environmentally friendly but it can be difficult to understand how we as individuals can do enough to make a difference. It’s easy to think that the task is too monumental for any change that we make to impact positively on the environment but it actually can. 

By making even small changes we are putting in place a mechanism which shows those around us that we are taking environmental issues and concerns seriously. It’s also about educating our children to understand that our behavior impacts on things around us therefore with these changes (however small) we can show the next generation that even small changes matter when it comes to the environment. The people at EZ Living have put together this infographic below which details some tangible ways that one can instigate changes in the home that will positively impact the environment. Check the full details out below and learn how you can make a change for the greater good to the environment while also possibly reducing your home energy costs at the same time!


Solar Power Lights Up Amazon Communities Fighting Dirty Energy

September 19, 2017 — Three indigenous communities on the front lines of the Amazon rainforest’s most emblematic rights and resources struggles now have solar energy generation capacity and internet hubs thanks to a partnership between Amazon Watch and Empowered By Light.

While Trump administration denies the impacts of climate change on the disastrous weather events in recent weeks, indigenous communities in the Amazon are leading us toward a brighter future as they embrace clean energy while defending the living forest, as demonstrated in the new video released today by Amazon Watch and Credo Mobile.

“These communities are true climate leaders,” said Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director at Amazon Watch. “Lighting the way for our climate and our forests, these indigenous earth defenders know that the solution to climate change must include stopping the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.”

Solar micro-systems and radio communications infrastructure now power five Sápara communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon as they resist oil drilling on their lands; two Munduruku communities in the Brazilian Amazon as they demand legal recognition and protection for their territory; and four U’wa communities in the Colombian cloud forests as they defend their sacred sites. More installations are planned for late 2017 and 2018.

The astoundingly biodiversity of the Amazon is home to hundreds of distinct indigenous peoples whose futures are threatened by this resurgent wave of resource exploitation, often living in remote areas where they are vulnerable to violent repression. The solar power and communications systems being installed are critical for these communities to assure their safety and communicate their stories as they defend their traditional practices and territories. In the past, protecting themselves and their territories has meant using polluting and unreliable diesel and kerosene generators, with fuel being brought in from the outside at significant expense.

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

The solar and communications equipment allow these remote communities to communicate internally to improve their safety and engage in cross-community dialogue; tell their own story to the broader world directly through new communications technology and training, subsequently further increasing their visibility and safety; and have access to reliable, clean energy for other community needs without relying on dirty energy sources like kerosene or diesel.

“We hope the introduction of clean, renewable solar power will not only help these communities protect the Amazon rainforest, which is critical for climate stability, but that it will demonstrate to their governments that similar remote or off-grid communities can leapfrog fossil fuels,” said Moira Hanes, co-founder of Empowered by Light.

Collaborative project planning, along with maintenance and communications trainings, are integral parts of all of these projects in order to maximize both system longevity and impact. These projects, all of which were specifically requested by the communities, provide critical external and internal communications capacity, thereby allowing communities to increase both their personal safety and visibility for their emblematic campaigns.

For more information:

Amazon Watch: www.amazonwatch.org/solar
Empowered By Light: www.empoweredbylight.org

Making Green Improvements to Your House 

Josh Wilson is the owner of a start-up personal finance blog, Family Faith Finance. Feel free to check out his blog and learn more about his journey through life.

Hey all! I am excited to talk to you about this topic today – making green improvements to your home. It’s a new one for me, but it’s fun all the same. Okay, so let me be honest here. I did not truly care about green this or green that until my children arrived in this world. After they showed up, I saw things quite differently. I knew that I needed to make a change with their future in mind by helping make this world a better place. So, I decided to make some green improvements.

If you are unsure about why you should make some green improvements in your home, I can tell you that there are quite a few benefits. For starters, you can save money. Second, you can establish a healthier home as well as healthy habits for your kids, and you should be able to make a positive impact on your community and the environment.

Below, I will give you some ideas to help make your home green, and yes, some of these I have done with the help of my kids and wife. (I must give credit where credit is due.)

Plant a Garden in Your Backyard

If you are like me, then you want something nice to look at in your backyard, but you just don’t know what. Before I chose to make some green improvements, I settled for a couple lawn chairs and a few potted plants, but it just wasn’t cutting it. So, I decided to plant my own garden in the backyard.

This improvement here is kind of two-fold for me. I was tired of seeing how much money we spent on food and for some of it to go to waste. With a garden full of vegetables, we would be able to save money on the grocery bill, and I would be growing my fruits and vegetables in my free time, making it a side hustle in a way. Well, I did it, and I have some very successful plants that help keep up fed throughout the year.

I had to do some research on what plants could grow in my area. Depending on what state you live in, the types of fruit or vegetables you can grow will vary. Some of my hardiest crops include cabbage, snap beans, and grapes. 

Consider Solar Panels for Your Home

 Using the sun’s energy is natural, right? Of course, it is, and you can bet that we harness it in our home. While we are not solely dependent on solar panels, we have made use of them to power some of the items that we use frequently such as our electrical heating appliances. We save anywhere from $50 to $90 per month alone on our electric bill which is a lifesaver. There are even financing programs available that, in effect, subsidize the cost of installing one of these systems.

Install an Electric Water Heater

You may be wondering just how an electric water heater can help you be green in your home. I originally thought this at first glance, but I quickly learned the reason. First, you can power your electric water heater via your solar panels which saves money on the electricity bill. In addition, you can place a timer on your electric water heater which limits how often it works to heat up your water and thus keep your cost down.

Start Recycling in Your City

Recycling. It sounds so easy, right? While it may sound simple, you would be surprised at how many households choose not to recycle. I never used to recycle, but after doing some research on the effects of not recycling, I vowed to recycle after that. Furthermore, I encourage my kids recycle and hope they’ll do so in the future. I encourage you to join me on this endeavor.

I have included all three of my kids in the process, so they are able to learn more about why it is so important to recycle. In my house, we recycle it all from glass to plastic to paper. If your city is anything like mine, then you have to specifically request recycling services since they do not just do it with your trash service. 

Recycling may be hard to get used to at first, but with a little work, you will be used to it in no time. Even if you only choose to recycle your aluminum cans, you will be saving countless animals and can help prevent pollution and debris in our environment. 

Keep Your Finances in Mind Too

When you start to turn your home into an eco-friendly place, make sure the choices you make are financially sensible. For example, it would not make sense to install solar panels at a cost of $20,000 if you will only save about $5,000 over the course of a 10-year period. As you look for ways to make your home greener, think about your finances as well. For us, a garden made sense because it helped us save money. If my wife and I did not have to shell out a lot for it, then we were open to try it. I know that with a little thinking and planning, you too can make some great green improvements to your home.

7 small steps to start making your business more green-friendly

Customers are increasingly looking towards the companies they shop with to be more environmentally conscious, and they like to see deliberate steps being taken towards a greener status. The good news is, going green can also help you to save money and increase your productivity in some areas. Here are seven small steps you can take today for great results.

1. Change to recycled paper

You may not have a choice about whether you print things out, but you can certainly choose how you do it. Select only recycled papers to fill up your printer – you won’t notice any difference in the quality, but you will be saving forests when you do it. Be careful about the brand you select: check that you are using paper which is made from 100% recycled materials, rather than a lower percentage.

7 small steps to start making your business more green-friendly

2. Switch to environmentally-friendly lightbulbs

It doesn’t make much sense why we are still using outdated lightbulbs for our offices and homes. Eco-friendly lightbulbs last longer, use less energy and thus cost you less over time, and help the environment. Not only that, but they’re usually the same price or cheaper than the lightbulbs you normally pick out, too. This may not have been the case ten years ago, but there’s no excuse now.

3. Use bike couriers, not cars

Switching to a bike courier will do the environment a huge favour. Skipping the exhaust fumes will be fantastic for the planet as a whole and also your own particular part of it, since these fumes are often responsible for dangerous air pollution. Bike couriers are also faster, which means an extra bonus on your side – the recipient will be hugely impressed at how quickly you make the delivery. 

4. Do an energy audit

You may be able to get an energy audit done for free, but you could also start the process yourself by simply taking a look around the office. Cracks and rotten wood around window or door frames, could be allowing heat to leak out, thus costing you energy. Look around the edges of the room too, across the ceiling, and in vulnerable places. Sealing up these leaks could cut as much as 20% off your heating or cooling bill and, of course, help save the planet by using less energy.

5. Encourage car pooling

Are your employees driving in individually from the same areas? Encourage them to start car-pooling or even taking public transport. Put a rewards system in place where the eco-friendliest travellers can win goodies like a free lunch or an hour in lieu time. This will help to cut down the emissions your workplace generates overall.

6. Recycle your furniture

Next time you need to replace a chair or get a new filing cabinet, consider going vintage. Second-hand or repurposed items help the environment too. eBay and Craigslist are both great places to search for vintage or barely-used second-hand furniture that won’t cost too much. 

7. Switch to green web hosting

Where is your company website hosted? Green hosting companies pledge to use renewable energy, plant trees, or offset their carbon footprint. Voting with your wallet and switching to green hosting will be a decisive gesture, and will be a badge of honour to display on your website as well. 

Any office can go greener very easily, as these seven small steps show. Once you have completed these and seen the difference that it can make when you are more eco-friendly, you’ll be looking for ways to improve even further.