Monday, April 07, 2008

Positive Environmental Stuff

Of course a big positive in my mind on Rochester’s environment is A Decade of RochesterEnvironment.com “In 1998 I began RochesterEnvironment.com both to inform myself about the Rochester-area environment and to share what I discovered using the new and quickly-growing medium of the Internet. What I was learning from scientific studies, books, public documents, environmental reports, and online articles about the growing plight of our environment did not match what was being reported locally. My observations revealed a looming disaster while the local mainstream media plodded on with business as usual. So, over the last ten years, RochesterEnvironment.com evolved towards the premise that our mainstream media is not doing a good job on informing the public about our environmental priorities. If the public does not have a correct model of reality, we are doomed to serious environmental degradation, maybe even environmental collapse.

Spring is here and many are cleaning up—like the Mayor’s Clean Sweep program, one of the best programs around. Brighton had it own version of the clean sweep in March and this may be the way of the future. Yet, it would be infinitely better if trash never made it to our communities due to a hyperawareness of this problem and better recycling. What if no human trash every hit the ground?

Speaking of recycling, there are stories in March about industries doing more recycling and the growing awareness of the dramatic increase in plastic going into the ground by way of water bottles. Of course, if our state adopted the Bigger Better Bottle Bill (where there was another yearly push to get adopted in our state in March) most actually would recycle them. And, there’s an article on recycling printer cartridges. The take home message: Don’t even think of trashing these money-makers. Find a place that recycles them and donate.

Also, wouldn’t it be nice if Rochester had a web site that gave a complete inventory of all the measurable indicators for a vivant, sustainable community—including a whole section on our environment? Maybe, something as comprehensive and useful as the one Boston, Mass has-- The Boston Indicators Project - Environment -from The Boston Indicators Project….

Well, Rochester is working on its own indicator project and it should begin this fall. The point, as far as environmental indicators go, would be for the public, media, politicians, business to assess the environmental quality on various issues from an objective inventory of indicators and make sound policy based on them. Rochester Area Community Foundation “The Community Foundation and United Way are jointly launching a program to measure, analyze and disseminate community indicators.” I’ll let you know when the project is up and running.

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