Saturday, 02 May 2009 09:09
By Alexa Besgen,
Before he was examining the toxicity of New York state, Walter Hang was trying to cure cancer. Spending hours in labs testing chemicals on mice and giving children doses of chemotherapy wasn’t as rewarding as he thought it would be, and he soon realized he wasn’t helping as much as he wanted to. Hang, who is the founder of Ithaca’s Toxics Targeting, says he knew exactly what he wanted to do after stumbling upon a cancer map in a library. His mission? To protect public health from environmental causes of cancer. “When I saw that cancer map, that’s when it hit me,” he says. “I thought, if we could prevent the public’s exposure, then we wouldn’t have to treat or cure anything.”
Hang’s interest in the effects of toxic chemicals started when he was a junior researcher with NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group), hired to look at wastewater discharges and dumps. After lobbying in Albany, and conducting endless amounts of research, Hang discovered that there were inadequately controlled wastewater discharges, which, when left untreated, can elevate the level of toxic chemicals in drinking water along with cancer mortality rates.
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 09:30
By Dan Segal
As more people choose clean, healthy, local food, it’s clear most of us have more than one reason for our choices. We may want to support farming methods we see as cleaner, safer and healthier for all creatures—an endorsement. We may want to keep more of our money in the local economy. For some it’s about community, the vibrant, essential bonds that good food nurtures. Of course all these reasons make sense, and at some level, they’re factors for just about all of us. Most people don’t realize, however, that the same factors can, and should, steer their decisions about landscape plants, even those that aren’t edible.
In general, landscapes are often considered “green,” regardless of the history of the plant material. The nursery and landscape trades often call themselves “The Green Industry,” but once you see behind the curtain — how plants are branded, mass-marketed and mass-produced in the world of big, commercial horticulture — you’ll feel the same way about your landscape plants as you do about your food — that the plants themselves embody the integrity of the process — and you’ll prefer the cleaner stuff. Since the current big horticulture model for selling nursery plants keeps you in the dark about methods and history, I feel someone needs to spur progress by taking the first step: giving an insider’s view of how most plants are produced, and what happens to them before they reach your garden. As a nurseryman I’ve been growing plants for almost 20 years, and I’ve always worked outside the mainstream — by choice, largely because of what I know about how things are done “on the inside.
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 09:28
By Kristie Snyder,
In April, “going green” is on all of our minds as we prepare to celebrate the 39th annual Earth Day, mindful of the urgent threats of climate change and the challenges we face in creating a sustainable society. Being “green” is a central part of what GreenStar is all about — it’s right there in our name — and we’ve long used the color green to express who we are, a tradition continued with our new logo.
Part of GreenStar’s mission statement is “exercising ecological responsibility and leadership.” In September 2003, Council passed its Ecological Responsibility and Leadership Policy, charging the General Manager with ensuring that “the store’s activities and practices, including its product line, minimize negative impacts and maximize positive impacts on the environment and that GreenStar takes a leadership role in exercising ecological responsibility.”
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By Alexis Alexander,
In response to several requests, I am happy to announce that we're offering a new information session for member-owners and nonmember customers this summer, called Co-operative Enterprise 101. Membership Administrator Laura Buttenbaum, who developed a similar and well-received training for staff this past fall, will lead the session. Join us for one of two scheduled sessions on Thursday, July 9 or Monday, August 24. Classes will run from 7 to 9 pm in the Classrooms @ GreenStar. I...