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Green Sheet Issue 25
Fall 2015
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Fall Green Sheet 

From our friends at NRDC:
We're treating the oceans like a trash bin: around 80 percent of marine litter originates on land, and most of that is plastic. Plastic that pollutes our oceans and waterways has severe impacts on our environment and our economy. Seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other marine life are eating marine plastic pollution and dying from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation. Scientists are investigating the long-term impacts of toxic pollutants absorbed, transported, and consumed by fish and other marine life, including the potential effects on human health.

Plastic pollution affects every waterway, sea and ocean in the world. When we damage our water systems, we're putting our own well-being at risk. This pollution also has huge costs for taxpayers and local governments that must clean this trash off of beaches and streets to protect public health, prevent flooding from trash-blocked storm drains, and avoid lost tourism revenue from filthy beaches. NRDC analyzed a survey of 95 California communities and found their total reported annual costs for preventing litter from becoming pollution is $428 million per year. 

The most effective way to stop plastic pollution in our oceans is to make sure it never reaches the water in the first place. We all need to do our fair share to stop plastic pollution: individuals need to recycle and never litter, but producers of single use plastic packaging need to do more too. We need producers to design packaging so that it is fully recyclable, and so there is less waste. We also need producers to help cover the costs of keeping their products out of the ocean.

For more information see the NRDC's FAQs on plastic ocean pollution here. And see this issue of the Green Sheet for hints on how to get plastic out of your life, below. 

 

29th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction

This Sunday, September 27, 10 am - 7 pm 
Times Square, Shubert Alley & West 44th Street, NYC

Be a part of the biggest day for Broadway fans as the 29th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction returns this fall to Times Square, Shubert Alley and West 44th Street.  Will you be there? The BGA will be there with our table full of upcycled Playbill flowers, Playbill vases, stuffer-slip scratch pads, guitar string bracelets, and more. We will also be selling our BGA T-shirts made of recycled plastic and our super-handy Chico Bags to help you kick the plastic bag habit.

 

BGA Awards First Off-Broadway Greening Grants
The Broadway Green Alliance awarded $5,400 to fund greening projects in the Off-Broadway theater community. The goal is to support environmentally friendly projects and activities developed by members of the Off-Broadway community, and to communicate about those programs to a broader audience. We received an outstanding group of proposals and are pleased to announce the eight recipients of the 2015 Off-Broadway greening grants. 

These grants are designed to encourage an Off-Broadway venue, company, or producer to initiate a specific greener change.The theaters received the grants for projects including upgrading to Energy Star appliances, installation of Water Sense-compliant bathroom fixtures, and upgrades to energy efficient LED lighting. The recipients of the 2015 greening grants are: Ars Nova Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Lucille Lortel Theater, Mint Theater Company, Pearl Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Repertorio Espanol/Spanish Theater Reperatory Company and Westside Theatre. Congratulations!
BGA Chapter News
 
Chicago Green Theatre Alliance
Chicago Green Theatre Alliance has been growing and getting greener. They report that their next meeting is coming up this week on Thursday, September 24. And they are gearing up for their Fall Textile Drive!  They will have a donation drop-off day on Friday, October 2 and then a pickup day on Saturday, October 3 both at Steppenwolf's Garage Theatre. We wish them great good luck!
 
Off-Broadway Chapter
The Off-Broadway Green committee is pleased to see the 2015 Greening Grants go out to eight Off-Broadway theaters next week. Next up, we invite off-off Broadway and independent theater companies to apply for greening grants. The deadline for these grants is October 1st. For more information go here

We are pleased to once again offer the College Green Captain prize to an outstanding student Green Captain who has helped their campus theatre department get meaningfully greener. Please go here for more information. The deadline is March 1, 2016. 


info@earthdayny.org   Wednesday, October 14, 2015 from 7 am to 7 pm at the Flatiron Plaza (at E. 23rd St. and 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010).

TWO WORDS: DITCH PLASTIC!

8 Million tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans each year! Be a part of the solution by cutting out plastic. From the Blog "Life Without Plastic" comes this handy list:

1. Avoid the worst plastic offenders

If you check the bottom of any plastic container, you’ll see a number (1 through 7) inside a triangle made of arrows. The worst plastics are:

#3 – Polyvinyl Chloride, an extremely toxic plastic that contains dangerous additives such as lead and phthalates and is used in plastic wrap, some squeeze bottles, peanut butter jars, and children’s toys

#6 – Polystyrene, which contains styrene, a toxin for the brain and nervous system, and is used in Styrofoam, disposable dishes, take-out containers, plastic cutlery

#7 – Polycarbonate/Other category, which contains bisphenol A and is found in most metal food can liners, clear plastic sippy cups, sport drink bottles, juice and ketchup containers

2. Use non-plastic containers

Carry a reusable water bottle and travel mug wherever you go. Pack your lunch in glass (Mason jars are wonderfully versatile), stainless steel, stacking metal tiffins, cloth sandwich bags, a wooden Bento box, etc. Take reusables to the supermarket, farmers’ market, or wherever you’re shopping, and have them weighed before filling. (Here is a list of 7 plastic-free lunch options.)

3. Never drink bottled water

Buying bottled water in North America is absurd, especially when you consider that bottled water is less regulated than tap water; it’s usually just filtered tap water; it’s exorbitantly expensive; it’s a gross waste of resources to collect, bottle, and ship it; and it results in unnecessary plastic waste that’s usually not recycled. (via Life Without Plastic)

4. Shop in bulk

The more items you can buy in bulk, the more you’ll save in packaging. While this mentality has been the norm for years at special bulk food stores, it’s fortunately becoming more common in supermarkets. You’ll save money in food costs and, if you drive, in the gas used for extra trips to the store.

Search for items such as large wheels of cheese, without any plastic packaging, and stock up on those whenever possible.

5. Avoid frozen convenience foods

Convenience foods are among the worst culprits for excessive packaging waste. Frozen foods come wrapped in plastic and packaged in cardboard, which is often lined with plastic, too. There’s not any way around it; it’s a shopping habit that will have to go if you’re serious about ditching plastic.

6. Avoid non-stick cookware

Don’t expose yourself and your family to toxic perfluorochemicals that are released when non-stick surfaces such as Teflon are heated. Replace with cast iron (which works just as well as non-stick if seasoned and cared for properly), stainless steel, or copper cookware.

7. Make your own condiments

This could be a fun experiment in canning, and if you dedicate a whole day to it, you could have enough to last the whole year. Make cucumber or zucchini relish and ketchup when late-summer vegetables are at their peak. Items such as chocolate sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise are quick and simple to make once you get the hang of them. Everything can be kept in glass jars.

8. Let baking soda and vinegar become your new best friends

Baking soda, which comes for cheap in large cardboard boxes, and vinegar, which comes in large glass jars, can be used to clean, scour, and disinfect the house and wash dishes, replacing plastic cleaning bottles; soda can be turned into an effectivehomemade deodorant; and both soda and vinegar (apple cider, specifically) can replace shampoo and conditioner bottles. (Read about how I haven't used shampoo for 18 months.)

9. Use natural cloths instead of plastic scrubbers

If you need something with scrubbing power, go for copper instead of plastic. Use a cotton dishcloth or a coconut coir brush for dishes, instead of a plastic scrub brush. Use cotton facecloths instead of disposable wipes. Don’t underestimate the versatility of old rags!

10. Keep your laundry routine plastic-free

Use soap flakes, soap strips, or soap nuts instead of conventional laundry detergents that come in plastic-lined cardboard with plastic scoops or thick plastic jugs. They are truly awful for the planet. You can read more about that here.

Along the same lines, use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap. Bar soap works as a good shaving cream alternative, too.

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