Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Not in my river. Not on my watch."

- declares the Hackensack Riverkeeper's motto.

Canoes getting ready to pick up trash in the Hackensack River at the Riverkeeper's latest clean-up in Johnson Park in Hackensack.

I believe in being an activist in your own microcosm. Luckily for the Hackensack River, and its people and wildlife that depend on it, we have Captain Bill Sheehan and his crew of defenders.

Volunteers cruising the river for trash.

I walked the shoreline. What did I find? The usual: beer bottles, water bottles, soda cans, candy wrappers, plastic bags, even a battery (learn more about battery recycling). What a let-down that Seattle voters rejected a 20 cent tax on disposable bags (get the full story).


Just a few feet away from the river...

Reduce your plastic consumption. If you're already bringing your reusable totes to the store, and have a reusable water bottle and coffee mug, bring it up a notch. Take your own take-out containers to restaurants for leftovers. There's even a Facebook page to discourage plastic straws at restaurants. For water and soda, there just seems be no need for them.

At work, I've sworn off making coffee or tea with the extremely wasteful Keurig cups. I get my java fix in the morning at home with organic coffee from Old Hook Farm made with unbleached coffee filters, and stick to drinking tea (bags or loose-leaf) in a cheerful teapot and cup instead. I've decided free office coffee comes with a too high a price for the environment.

Some of the species of ducks that depend on the river.

What human or dog wouldn't love take a stroll on this walkway, especially with the leaves about to change?

Learn more about the Hackensack Riverkeeper's Meadowlands Festival of Birding, this Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13.

Meanwhile, our friends at Bergen SWAN are hosting a tour of environmentally-friendly sites throughout the watershed on Sunday, September 13. Learn more.

The Hackensack River was in the news recently. Hundreds of gallons of raw sewage were deliberately pumped into it from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Secaucus weekly for 18 months. Read the horrifying story. Meanwhile, a federal study of mercury contamination that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country found the substance in every fish sampled. Get the story. Learn more about mercury.

Want to become an activist? Find a local chapter of the Sierra Club, or start your own. Become a role model, at your school, your workplace, or your town. Someone introduced me to her daughter by saying, "she cares a lot about the environment," and it's one of the greatest compliments I could have received.

After the clean-up, I hit the C.A.T.S. Resale Shop to donate a few items, and was thrilled to see vegan goodies were for sale outside the shop for their bake sale. Eating brownies to help homeless cats and dogs? Must I? Oh, okay....

Chocolate chip cookies too! Make your own at home and enjoy with organic non-dairy 'milk.' I favor Pacific Natural Food's organic almond beverage, just $1.69 for a 32-oz. container at my local Trader Joe's.

1 comment:

Anarchist Jew said...

Hey! off topic but this is supposed to be a great cheese alternative:

http://daiyafoods.com/index.html

Definitely try to find some nutritional yeast- i use it in everything and has a great flavor- its cheaper in the bulk section of food co-ops

I made this macaroni 3 nights in a row it is SOOoOoOOoOooo GOOD
http://veganyumyum.com/2007/10/mac-and-cheese-cheeze-yeast/

and it taught me that white miso is a great cheesy thing to add to pasta, rice etc.

hope this helps!