Welcome to The Vine, the blog of EarthCo., Columbia University's oldest environmental student group!

EarthCo. meets at 8 pm every Monday in Hamilton 413. For more, contact our friendly coordinators

EarthCo. is proud to be a Community Impact group. Please register as an official volunteer.
For general info about EarthCo...click here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Welcome to 2008-2009

Welcome, new and returning volunteers to EarthCo.!

The Vine, the blog of EarthCo., hasn't been updated recently, so here's a brief recap: EarthCo. continues to meet each Monday at 8:00 pm in Hamilton 413. We just started a plastic bag recycling/tote bag distribution drive, and expect more campaigns, such as Go Cold Turkey! in the near future. We'll also be cosponsoring two upcoming events for Native American Heritage month. And of course Earth Tutors is up and running!

We also have new leadership! Please welcome 3 new coordinators to EarthCo.: Talia, Prospero, and David. Talia and Prospero run more of the campus and community action side of EarthCo., while David and Jason run Earth Tutors.

Speaking of Earth Tutors, we're excited to announce that we've recently opened up at a new school, so that we are currently teaching at our first site, the Urban Science Academy (USA), in South Bronx, and now at the Future Leaders Institute (FLI) in Harlem. Both programs meet on Friday afternoons at the 116th and Amsterdam gates. For USA, we leave Columbia at 1:30 pm and return by around 4:15. For FLI, we leave Columbia around 2:45 and return around 5:15.

Keep checking back for more updates!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Welcome Back!

Allright...we're starting things back up now. Our first Earth Tutors of the semester will be this coming Friday...meet at Amsterdam and 116th at 1:30.

And below is a recap of last night's meeting:

1. Community Gardening. Food Sustainability Project will be working with us on this. Maddy will be going to their meeting next Sunday at 8 in Math 520 to find out more...others are of course welcome to attend as well! (although it is right in the middle of the Super Bowl). Next Monday we'll discuss where to proceed from there. We are also trying to incorporate composting into this project. To learn about composting, go here: http://www.lesecologycenter.org/composting.html

2. Plastic bags. Prospero will be researching places to recycle plastic bags. In at least 6 months the law goes into effect that requires plastic bag recycling. In the meantime, assuming it's not too expensive to recycle them, we will have a week where we collect bags in the dorms for recycling. Once we find out where we can recycle plastic bags and if we can afford it (which should be by next Monday), we'll plan which week to do our plastic bag drive. For general info, check out plasticbagrecycling.org

3. Community Outreach....Jason will get from Nilda the list of tenant businesses that Columbia sent a letter to about going green, and Jason will also get that letter. From there, we will plan our campaign to make sure they comply with the goals of that letter and with goals of our own, and devise a way for us to approve or disapprove of their actions.

4. Lerner Recycling Center...we will meet with Nilda soon about this. Sara, Janelle, Mary, and Prospero want to be in on that meeting. Stay tuned.

5. Earth Week! Next week we should have the info on dates for Earth Week events (depends on Bacchanal stuff), and then we'll reserve space immediately and start planning immediately. We've had some great ideas already!

6. Stay tuned for next Mondays meeting, when we'll talk about all the stuff above plus OCEANS, SEAFOOD, FROGS, RECYCLING, and E-WASTE!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Plastic Bag Recycling

This spring look out for plastic bag collection sites on campus and in dorms. We've found a place in the city who collects used plastic bags and recycles them, which is far better than sending them to landfills. So if you've got a stash of plastic bags that you swore you'd reuse but never did, fear not, soon they can be recycled.

In the meantime, get yourself a tote bag, available at JJ's and most local grocery stores, so you never have to use a plastic--or equally bad paper--bag for your shopping. Seriously, get a reusable tote bag and use it. Now.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Caucuses and Primaries

Primary elections are coming up fast...you better vote! Now more than ever is it imperative that we put in Washington elected officials who will stand for the environment, especially on the big issues of climate change, energy use, and our national parks and public lands. So do two things.

First...Register to vote! (the link goes to Rock the Vote!, cause they're all hip and stuff). After you've registered, be sure to get an absentee ballot if you'll need one...some quick googling should get you some instructions, but do it sooner rather than later, there are serious deadlines and you may have to pick it up in person.

Second...Inform yourself! Grist.org, the excellent environmental news website, has where the candidates stand on the environment. Here's where they stand on climate change and energy, and here's where they stand on all environmental issues.

Oh yeah, there's one more thing for you to do...VOTE!

Friday, December 28, 2007

January 6 e-waste event!

The Lower East Side Ecology Center is holding another e-waste recycling event on January 6.

Sunday January 6, 2008,
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Union Square Park - North Plaza
Broadway & E 17th Street

Be sure to drop off any e-waste you may have after the holidays!


Have a question about EarthCo. or the environment? Contact one of our friendly coordinators...

Campus and Community Action:
Talia: ta2188@barnard.edu
Prospero: pjh2111@columbia.edu

Earth Tutors:
David: dp2344@columbia.edu
Jason: jmp2150@columbia.edu

Or, you're always welcome to our meetings every Monday night at 8pm in Hamilton 413!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lerner Recycling Center

If you've walked through Lerner lobby recently, then you may have noticed a big black recycling center. Here's what Bwog said. It looks good, right? Well, not exactly.

EarthCo. met a number of times since the beginning of the fall semester with the folks at the Office of Environmental Stewardship about implementing a recycling center in Lerner, and we've had some important requirements for what this center should do. Specifically, it should be able to collect basically every recyclable item (within reasonable size), while also serving as a one-stop center for recycling information. Unfortunately, it does neither of these.

Right now, the center accepts batteries, light bulbs, books, and miscellaneous e-waste. We want it to accept, in separate containers, the following:

-"regular" waste items: paper, plastic/metal/glass, trash
-batteries: small batteries, computer batteries
-light bulbs
-misc. e-waste (cell phones, wires, etc.)
-print cartridges
-plastic bags

*eyeglasses are already collected in Lerner lobby, we're hoping to incorporate this service into the recycling center

Furthermore, we want there to be information at the center about recycling. The displayed information is paramount to the success of the center as most of Columbia's recycling problems simply stem from individuals not knowing what, how, or where to recycle. We hope to include at the center how to recycle, what to recycle, how Columbia recycles, how New York City recycles, where waste goes, etc.

The Office of Environmental Stewardship told us in the fall that they would inform us when the bins in Lerner arrived so we could work to ensure that all of our requirements were met before the center was set up. Although they did not at all do so, (which is no problem...it's better to have something immediately than nothing at all), we are looking forward to working with them in the spring to modify the current center so that it more adequately fits our needs.