Green Beer for a Sustainable St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, which means time for fun social gatherings and celebration. However, with social gatherings it is easy to forget to be environmentally friendly. Beer bottles, plates, cups, food, and decorations can all turn into polluting waste if not disposed of properly. So before you go out to celebrate this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day, here are some simple green tips to consider before you purchase beer for this year’s celebrations. Water is one of the primary

Green Tip: Road Salt and the Environment

While road salt, 40% sodium and 60% chloride, is the most efficient way to de-ice our roads, the compound’s environmental impact gives plenty of room for pause after the snow melts. Road salt reduces the ground’s freezing temperature and increases wheel traction on pavement. Salt trucks deposit nearly 137 pounds of road ice per person in the USA, or 122 billion tons, as of 2014. In exchange for its short-term efficiency, this salting practice is well worn and has long-term environmental consequ

Green Tip: Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is our time of year to transition from winter to spring: to clean out our closets, to declutter our spaces, to swipe clean our floors, and sweep out the previous season from our homes. Unfortunately, many of these chemicals and household cleaners we use leave an invisible and insidious chemical trail in their wake. Here are your seven tips for making this year’s spring cleaning an efficient and environmental one while limiting negative effects on your health from this year’s ritu

Pleasant Plateau: A Tale Told Through Photographs and Headers

The green fuzzy haired mountain ramps converge and kiss the upside down triangle of the horizon at the foot of the trailhead to Plateau Mountain. To the left lies the meandering climb to Westkill Mountain at the tail-end of the Devil’s Path. To the right lies Plateau Mountain, what feels like the steepest incline and decline on the 24.3-mile, 7,800 elevation gain trek, and the western end of the Indian Head Mountain Range. In other words, the panorama is a perfect encapsulation of my favorite w

Joy and Sadness on Storm King Mountain

What would it look like to be a bird or a beetle? Green, black, or mahogany brown and decorated with elaborate patterns on wings and a decorative shell? What would it be like to be not worried about anything at all besides the present, and stay in the present? It wouldn’t be like my everyday human experience. No contrast, or big-picture narrative, here. No ability to read, feel, and experience mourning through someone else’s letter. That trade off, of love, loss, pain, and joy in exchange for d

Anthony’s Nose, Or Mindfulness Microphone

In the silence of life beyond the helter-skelter daily conversation, the opportunity to not take life for granted emerges: to listen, to love, and to be present. To have conversations that matter, in the company of loved ones, whose company we value most. Listening is so powerful that the sound of wedding bells supposedly drove Vincent Van Gogh to cut off his own ear. The power of peering beyond the crowds at Anthony’s Nose–whose nose it is anyway? My blog, and my nose on the line. My friend,

Fall Behind Hiker; Spring Ahead Blog

Picking up my Keyboard (and Boots) My experience of this winter and of hiking in general was that of feeling left behind and distanced from the outdoor exertions I hold so dear to me and are so important to me and my well-being via the dark and the sheer cold for much of this long season. So when it came time for me to enjoy a hike and complete it with some reckless abandon of hope instead of the harangues of hesitancy, I found it appro-po that I pick up my keyboard and continue to blog. In sho

Cavalier Hiker Climbs for Charity: Suffer(n) - Bear Mountain Trail In-A-Day

My Charity hike on Saturday, April 28, began and finished with encounters with trail angels, my favorite type of people on planet earth. The trek began with Bryan, and ended with Zachary. An odyssey of ocean and footsteps lay between. For your future solo-hiking entertainment, I hereby introduce two new solo-hiking games: 1) Picture Rush. Put your camera (preferably phone) on a rock with NO tripod, with a 10-second delay, and run and pose for a picture on some difficult-to-reach object. Here a

Divest vs. Engage & Invest? The Fossil Fuel Debate in New York State

The relationship between our pension funds and fossil fuel companies has become a heated topic of discussion with two differing philosophies on how to approach the issue. Right now New York City has $5 billion of its $191 billion of its pension fund invested in fossil fuel companies. New York State’s $200 billion pension fund currently has $3.68 billion invested in the top 200 fossil-fuel companies. In financial terms, the New York State retirement fund and the New York City pension fund are the

New Yorkers Stand Opposed to Offshore Drilling Plan

Today, February 14, elected officials and environmental leaders convened in Smithtown, NY, to decry Trump’s “National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-24.” Tomorrow, the government Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will convene a public meeting in Albany, where there is no sea breeze blowing—far away from the action. We support local officials and advocates who will be attending the meeting and share our deep disappointment and concern over a plan that prioritizes pro

New York Unveils Offshore Wind Master Plan

Governor Cuomo’s recently published Offshore Wind Master Plan, for the first time in our nation’s history, puts the financial and political power of a state behind creating sustainable energy infrastructure. This plan, when implemented, would combat climate change and create jobs while bolstering New York State port infrastructure. The Governor said: “While the federal government continues to turn its back on protecting natural resources and plots to open up our coastline to drilling, New York i

Fix NYC Panel Releases Congestion Pricing Recommendations

On Friday, we got our first look at the long-awaited Fix NYC Advisory Panel Report. The report has mostly been met with praise, even from frequent sources of criticism, and provides a template for how we can simultaneously get vehicles off the road, reduce emissions, and improve the efficiency of public transportation. These measures, in turn, will promote the public health of New York residents through reducing pollution, improving air quality, and offering more space for sustainable forms of t

There’s No Time to Waste

The 2018-2019 New York State Executive Budget is due out soon and one important new program NYLCV is expecting to see in there is the Food Recycling and Recovery Act. The proposal, which was included in the Executive Budget last year but removed from the final version when a compromise between the Governor and the two houses of the state legislature could not be reached. The program mandates large generators of food waste to donate edible food and recycle the rest through anaerobic digestion or

Somebody Call 911: There's a Party Raging on the Snowfield

“I haven’t hiked on a Snowfield like this before,” my cousin, Adam, panted, as we reached the gates of Camp Muir, the last stopping point on Mount Rainier before the glacier climb. “That was a long Snowfield!” I curtly replied. The climb total was 4650 feet elevation gain, 2900 feet of which in a 2.2 mile spread we could see from the McClure rock foundation at 7300 feet. The tourists above looked like mere ants, like specs meandering through a spec of white paper. When we approached the fields,

Hiking Angry on Poet's Ledge

The Parable of the Angry Photographer The angry photographer got to the ledge –the kissing spot– and saw three couples already kissing each other. He looked around, peered at his watch, stamped his foot, took a photo, turned around, and walked away. The minute he walked away, the girl who had been waiting for him in her short white dress with her lips made up rosy red stepped out from behind the rock. She peered around, giggled, and darted away down the mountain. Maybe next year. Maybe next tim

Resisting and Flowing with Time on Peekamoose and Table Mountain

One way to see how I have changed over time is to do the same thing–in this case climb Peekamoose & Table Mountain–a couple months apart. My relationship to the task at hand changes, the conditions are different, and different parts of the experience resonate with me each time. When I repeat things, rather than check them off as “done” for all time, I get an opportunity to examine what is really important to me at this moment in time. The navy purple peaks rise naked and unabashed in the distan

Snow Demons and Ice Fingers on Whiteface Mountain

My transition from ambitious solo hiker to hike – leader is underway. In making this change to my choice and behavior patterns on the trails, there are always old thoughts and patterns that appear as if on auto-pilot, ready to derail me if I don’t catch them in time. I saw a snow demon etched into a rock on the trail, and decided to give these recurring thoughts a name: Snow Demons. Thomas and I set out for Whiteface Mountain at 5:47 in the morning Saturday, November 11th. We aspired to summit

A Summer Camper’s Note on Sugarloaf Mountain

What I really like, most of all, is revisiting a trail where I’ve picked up trash, and seeing the difference I’ve made in cleaning it. Cleaning up the trails offers me peace of mind and solace, and keeps me alert and present to my surroundings and bodily and emotional sensations. The practice is, above all, meditative for me—a contribution towards others’ peace of mind when exploring nature: a piece of trash picked up is a barrier that nobody else goes to see. Cleaning the trail is a practice t