Living Green - Rochester, NY

A list, discussions and suggestions that I have developed over the years of things you can do to help our Rochester-area environment.  You cannot talk about sustainability in our region and be agnostic about Climate Change.

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Page Contents: Living Green NewsLinks | Green Apps | Rochester Environmental Blogs | Living Green Discussions | Join one of the Many Environmentalists Groups | Green Living Government Sources  |Help Monitor our Environment: Citizen Scientist |Other Ideas | Green Tips on Living Green

Living Green in Rochester, NYLiving environmentally friendly in a warmer Rochester, NY   [October 2013)

Living environmentally friendly in a warmer Rochester, NY The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), our environmental authority in New York State, offers several seasonal ideas for living sustainably: Make a Difference “Green Living - Tips and Resources for Making Environmentally Responsible Choices in Your Daily Life | Looking up at the sky through fall foliage on trees.” There are, of course, many places online and off that make suggestions on living more environmentally friendly.  Some are merely trying to make a buck on the inclination of many to continue business as usual with a greener flare; while others are very earnest in their attempts to get us all to change course and get on a sustainable path to the future.

The DEC, which runs the voluntary Climate Smart Communities programs, for all their expertise and authority, seems focused on not aggravating anyone with more robust adaptive measures.  Make a Difference misses many critical aspects of living green in a warmer world, including even mentioning that our environment is warming up. This oversight is a crucial distinction because without viewing all our environmentally friendly actions through the lens of Climate Change, none of them are going to actually work.  It may feel good--recycling, mulching grass cuttings instead of curbing them, installing solar panels, and taking a camping trip (really?)—but unless these actions are part of a world-wide concerted effort to stop greenhouse gases from going into our atmosphere on a massive scale, they just aren’t going to matter much. 

Things that will matter are probably a lot more inconvenient than what most Green Living sites suggest.  Changing the local media so they reflect the world we actually live in, instead of the world we think we live in, would be a good start. If your information system doesn’t accurately reflect reality, you’re going to think that a tiger is a pussy cat. There are consequences for relying on bad information to plan your life.  Drop your media if they cannot inform you accurately about Climate Change. 

Mainstream Media ‘Balances’ Climate Science With Fossil Fuel Funded Propaganda USA TODAY became the latest mainstream newspaper to incorrectly “balance” the views of the hundreds of scientists behind a major climate report with the Heartland Institute, a fossil-fuel-funded organization that once compared those who accept climate science to the Unabomber. In an op-ed published by the newspaper yesterday, the head of the organization portrayed outright falsehoods as simply “opinion” in order to dismiss the United Nations (U.N.) panel behind the report as a “discredited oracle.”  (October 16, 2013) EcoWatch

Mainstream local media desperately presents a delusional world, a world devoid of objective reporting on the local effects of Climate Change, avoiding their responsibility to the public. The problem is that Climate Change means planning on a long-term schedule much further away than we are used to or comfortable with. Compare the world presented by this report Study: Climate change will significantly impact ocean health by 2100  (October 16, 2013 CBS News) with the local glitz on the Democrat and Chronicle’s new format.  Or compare this week-long series--In Warm Water: Fish & the Changing Great Lakes—by Michigan Radio with the incomprehensive barrage of fluff on the Daily Messenger. Really think about how you get information. 

Other big stuff we can do locally is demand that our candidates for office discuss their plans to address Climate Change. Stop Fracking in New York State altogether. Bug your elected officials to address Climate Change or get yourself elected. Start reconsidering your interests so they reflect the new reality, a reality in which our climate is changing rapidly and moving quickly to something unsustainable. Invite the DEC’s Smart Communities for a free talk about how our state is actually adapting to Climate Change. Attend or create a public discussion on Climate Change. Stop business as usual.

Climate Change is like no other issue humanity has ever faced so it is very difficult to find a historical example. I find similarities to the 1850’s, with the various states, the US Supreme Court, and the Presidency desperately trying to reconcile two desperate worlds, one where slavery was OK, and the other where slavery was not. These world views were irreconcilable.  But many ordinary folks were playing ‘wait and see’ as they are now, waiting for someone or something to show them the way, or maybe just to make it all go away.  However, the evil of slavery didn’t go away on its own; it came to a conflagration that changed our country and killed over 600,000 souls.

Climate Change threatens to send human civilization and most of the world’s biota into collapse, beginning with the poorest and the most vulnerable.

Living green in Rochester, or anywhere else, can only happen if all our actions are placed on a scale equal to the problem of Climate Change.  How that is all going to happen, and happen fairly, is something we’re going to have to begin working on—quickly.    


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Green Apps

Green Apps, or environmentally useful applications, for your computer, tablet, or Smartphone demonstrate some technology can enhance our own awareness of our environmental footprints and help our environment.  With Green Apps you can help monitor environmental info, be a better Climate Scientists, be a more environmentally friendly consumer, and track changes in your environment that would otherwise not be able to do, like monitor your carbon footprints.  

  • Got something that needs recycling but you don't know where it goes? iRecycle App "iRecycle is the premiere application for finding local (United States Only), convenient recycling opportunities when you are on the go or at home. iRecycle provides access to more than 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials in the United States. " (From Earth 911)
  • EPA app targets mobile algae forecasting It might not be as addictive as Candy Crush, but a new EPA app could have big implications for water management and the people who drink, swim or fish within the Great Lakes. The yet-unnamed app will detect blooms of cyanobacteria – a photosynthetic microbe often mistaken for algae and responsible for water quality headaches that particularly affect Lake Erie supplies. It will use satellite data to give water managers a heads up of looming problems. Some day it may even allow you to check water conditions before you hit the beach – much like checking the weather forecast. (August 31, 2015) Great lakes Echo [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]
  • Weekly Innovation: An App To Help Stop Food Waste The U.S. wastes up to 40 percent of its food. This is not only sad, considering how many people struggle to feed their families, but also costs America's economy an estimated $165 billion a year. But don't despair; PareUp has a plan. This New York-based app developer aims to prevent food waste by letting its users connect with restaurants and grocery stores to buy excess product before it's thrown away. PareUp's online marketplace is launching in early August and the mobile app will be available on Apple Store by mid-September. (August 6, 2014) North Country Public Radio
  • Turn signals for bicycles? SU student creates app to advance bike safety SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse University student Jeremy Mingtao Wu has developed a better way to navigate a bicycle. Wu, 23, is a graduate mechanical engineering student at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering.  In China he received his undergraduate degree in automotive technology, specializing in automotive safety.  As he considered the history of automotive safety devices, from seat belts to air bags to impact-absorbing bumpers, the contrast with advances in bicycle safety was stark. "In the last 100 years, the bicycle helmet has been pretty much the only device to make riders safer," said Wu. (July 17, 2014) [more on Transportation in our area]
  • New App Tracks Your Carbon Footprint, Compares it to Your Facebook Friends’ Output San Francisco-based Oroeco may have discovered the best way to get people to curb climate change. The company’s web app of the same name tracks individual carbon footprints and links to Facebook. That means your large carbon output will be subjected to shame from your friends and followers, and rightfully so. (July 16, 2014) EcoWatch
  • Plastics in your face? There’s an app for that Plastic microbeads, often found in personal hygiene products, are getting rinsed down the drain and ending up in the Great Lakes and other waterways. To alert customers to these barely visible plastics, a new smartphone App lets consumers scan barcodes to see if a product contains the beads. The App was developed by the North Sea Foundation and the Plastic Soup Foundation, both based in the Netherlands. Great Lakes Echo
  • Images Of Change "Natural disasters, a warming climate, and human activities are rapidly altering the face of our planet. NASA’s Images of Change app lets you take a close-up view of many of these changes in an exciting and hands-on format. The app presents a curated collection of the best image pairs from NASA’s Global Climate Change website. These image pairs show areas that have been subject to natural disasters or seen significant change over time. Compare Alaska’s Muir Glacier in 1941 to the glacier as it looked in 2004. Take a before-and-after look at flooding in the Missouri River or at wildfires in Colorado. See the expansion of agriculture in Saudi Arabia as viewed from satellites. All photo pairs can be viewed individually, side by side, or overlaid with a slider bar for easy comparisons. Each image pair contains background information and a map showing its location. The images presented in Images of Change are meticulously selected and constantly updated to give you an informative, compelling, and up-to-date visual experience. " --from iTunes
  • Water levels in all bodies of water (including our oceans) will be seriously affected by Climate Change, from melting glaciers to evaporation.  Getting comprehensive and accurate measures of all water bodies will be invaluable to climate modelers trying to predict how Climate Change will affect water.   So this Citizen Scientist ‘Crowdhydrology’ project seems like a great fit for helping us deal with Climate Change: Nationwide research project enlists public to help collect water data Mobile technology has created some new opportunities for citizen scientists to play an active part in research, especially with tighter budgets. Now a nationwide project is enlisting the public to gather up-to-date information on water levels. If you walk through the trails of Tifft Nature Preserve on the edge of Lake Erie you will see a sheltered information sign in front of a small lake that says “What’s the water height today? Text us.” UB Assistant Professor Chris Lowery explains. “There’s this diorama of pictures that says you need to find where the ruler and based off of this ruler you need to look at the water level would be, and on then on top of this ruler is a phone number you need to text and what you need to do is text the station identification, So this station identification at Tifft is NY1009 and then you need to just type in the height,” says Lowery. Lowery says he came up with the tracking system after reading about researchers crowdsourcing similar data on levels of roadkill. The result is the ‘Crowdhydrology’ project. (June 25, 2013) Innovation Trail
  • Got ideas on green apps to help our environment through monitoring and choosing best products or recycling?  Or got ideas for a green app?  Go to the EPA:     My Green Apps Welcome to My Green Apps, your destination for over 100 apps to help you understand and protect the environment. In addition to finding apps, you can also tell us what apps you’d like someone to make andsuggest an existing app we could add to this site. You can learn about EPA's Apps for the Environment Challenge, which was conducted in the summer of 2011. If you want to make a green app that uses EPA's data, check out Developer Central and Data Finder. --from EPA
  • "provides a web application for the generation of forms and freely hosted project websites (using Google's AppEngine) for many kinds of mobile data collection projects. Data can be collected using multiple mobile phones running either the Android Operating system or the iPhone (using the EpiCollect mobile app) and all data can be synchronised from the phones and viewed centrally (using Google Maps) via the Project website or directly on the phones."
  • Ecobug: the app that helps you lead a greener life – video Computer students from Camden High School collaborate with scientists at Imperial College London to create a smartphone app that nudges people to make all those small daily changes that add up to a big difference for the environment. One of the things the app does is track your position through GPS and calculate how green your journeys have been. There's also an environment quiz and green living 'tips of the day'. Interested? Find out more and download it here. This film is part of the ongoing Energy Bits filmmaking project – to find out more and to take part, click here (December 21, 2012) he Guardian
  • Great Lakes Shoreviewer | A Great Lakes Planning and Protection tool. "The Great Lakes Shoreviewer provides professional color photography of every inch of coastline (and many islands) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). Each coastline photo also has a series of maps showing important natural features for planning and protection efforts. To start, simply click on the locator map to view photos. " from The Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust
  • Ranger Rick Apps for Kids  -from the National Wildlife Federation "National Wildlife Federation is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. "
  • Reality Drop "Man-made climate change is here: A reality we can no longer ignore. We see the impacts in our everyday lives, from extreme superstorms, to heat waves, to massive wildfires and droughts. But Dirty Energy companies and their allies have spread lies and confusion about climate science. Their “think tanks” produce false theories. Their “experts” spout false claims. They flood online comment streams with false information. The result? People still aren’t sure whether we should do anything about climate change — or if it’s even happening. The media doesn’t report the facts straight about climate change — or worse yet, they don’t cover it at all. Reality Drop’s mission is to reveal the denial and deception around climate change, spread the truth, and clear the way toward real solutions. We’re long overdue for a national conversation about the carbon pollution that’s warming our planet. We can make this conversation happen… and we can relentlessly call on our leaders to move us toward a clean energy future. We have something on our side that no amount of money can buy: Reality. "
  • USGS WaterNow – On-demand, current-conditions for water data directly to your mobile phone or email "Send a text message to containing the USGS Site Number of the gage you want to query (optionally add parameter codes to customize your query). You will receive a response within a few minutes " from USGS
  • NYS Apps List of NYS Apps that populates the Home page | Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data "Albany, NY (March 11, 2013) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government." more...
  • An App to see if it’s a good day at the beach- myBeachCast "How do you choose a beach safe for your day at the beach? Well to coin a phrase, there’s an app for that. It’s called myBeachCast. Created by the Great Lakes Commission and Limnotech in Ann Arbor and funded by the Great lakes Restoration Initiative, myBeachCast gives real time beach data for the entire Great Lakes region. " from Great Lakes Now
  • Swim Guide is built and powered by Waterkeepers to connect you to beaches and swimming holes everywhere. Download the Swim Guide app Take Waterkeeper Swim Guide with you, wherever you go! The Swim Guide app is free and includes all of the features you see on the website, plus a few extras. Experience the freedom of beach-hunting from your Apple or Android smartphone.
  • Carbon Emissions Calculator"The ICAO Carbon Emissions Calculator allows passengers to estimate the emissions attributed to their air travel. It is simple to use – just select your origin and destination airports, specify the class of travel and number of the passengers. View the carbon footprint and the distance traveled of the specified trip. "
  • "LOCAVORE is the easiest way to find local, in-season food. Pinpoint nearby farmers' markets & farms that sell the products you love. Discover seasonal recipes.  "
  • LIGHT BULB FINDER is a free mobile phone application that makes it easy to switch from conventional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents with the right fit, style and light quality. View bulb images, cost, savings, and environmental impact. Create shopping lists, and buy bulbs directly through the app or at local stores. - See more at: 
  • Fooducate: Healthify your supermarket choices! Get independent, objective food recommendations using Fooducate "Browse Fooducate's extensive database to find the healthiest cerealyogurt orsnack for you Fooducate's scientific algorithms grade each product and provide simple, concise explanations.  Grading system developed by scientists, dietitians and concerned parents. "
  • Wisconsin Fish Identification "This fish identification tool was developed by the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Carry 174 Wisconsin fish in your pocket!  Download the mobile app and you can identify Wisconsin fish wherever you go, no internet connection required."
  • AirNow Mobile App "The AirNow mobile application provide you real time air quality that you can use to protect your health when planning your day." EPA 
  • Zimride is a simple way to find friends, classmates, and coworkers going the same way you are.
  • Climate Counts "If you are serious about supporting global climate change, put your dollars to work by supporting the right companies. We can’t change our climate overnight, but we can make a difference every time we shop by voting with our dollars! Here’s how it works. We analyze companies, and our ranking scale tells you how well the company is addressing climate change. Don’t know which burger/airline ticket/laptop/sneakers/hotel room you should buy? Maybe the company’s climate performance can help you decide. Support the high scorers when you shop, and send messages to the low scorers urging them to take action on climate change. "
  • NASA iPad app shows Earth changing before your eyes Human activities, a changing climate and natural disasters are rapidly altering the face of our planet. Now, with NASA's Images of Change iPad application, users can get an interactive before-and-after view of these changes.  The app presents pairs or sets of images of places around the world that have changed dramatically. Some of these locations have suffered a disaster, such as a fire or tsunami, or illustrate the effects of human activities, such as dam building or urban growth. Others document impacts of climate change such as persistent drought and rapidly receding glaciers.  "Images of Change gives users an astronaut's or Earth explorer's view of the changes occurring on our planet and demonstrates the important role NASA plays in contributing to the long-term understanding of Earth," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science in Washington. "By utilizing ground-based and space-based observation systems, we are able to better understand how humans are contributing to a changing world."  December 3, 2013) NASA: Global Climate Change [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • Rain Garden App "Every time it rains, water runs off impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, roads and parking lots, collecting pollutants along the way. This runoff has been cited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a major source of pollution to our nation's waterways. By building a rain garden at your home, you can reduce the amount of pollutants that leave your yard and enter nearby lakes, streams and ponds. "
  • Seafood Watch - from The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch "The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Our recommendations indicate which seafood items are "Best Choices," "Good Alternatives," and which ones you should "Avoid." Seafood Watch raises consumer awareness through our pocket guides, website, mobile applications and outreach efforts. We encourage restaurants, distributors and seafood purveyors to purchase from sustainable sources. Seafood Watch recommendations are science-based, peer reviewed, and use ecosystem-based criteria. Since 1999, we've distributed over 40 million pocket guides, our smartphone application has been downloaded nearly a million times and we have close to 200 partners across North America, including the two largest food service companies in the U.S. "
  • Plastics in your face? There’s an app for that Plastic microbeads, often found in personal hygiene products, are getting rinsed down the drain and ending up in the Great Lakes and other waterways. To alert customers to these barely visible plastics, a new smartphone App lets consumers scan barcodes to see if a product contains the beads. The App was developed by the North Sea Foundation and the Plastic Soup Foundation, both based in the Netherlands. (January 8, 2014) Great Lakes Echo [more on Green Living in our area]
  • Interactive Tool Makes Global CO2 Emissions Data Smartphone AccessibleBig data” has never been bigger. New tools—such as satellites, cloud computing and other technological upgrades—are fueling a “data revolution,” allowing researchers to analyze the world in ways they’ve never been able to before. But while compiling and analyzing this data is incredibly important, the other piece of the puzzle is making data accessible. Identifying solutions to global environment and development challenges—such as climate changedeforestation and water management—means making data fully available to a wide set of decision-makers from government, business, academia and civil society. (March 6, 2014) EcoWatch
  • eMonitor "Manage your energy and assets enterprise-wide " --from Powerhouse Dynamics
  • ENN Announces Release of New Mobile App! This week ENN launches a new mobile app making it easier for you to connect with us and stay up to date with groundbreaking environmental news. The Environmental News Network (ENN) is recognized as the most comprehensive and dependable online environmental news source. With almost twenty years of experience aggregating and producing original content for environmental experts and novices alike, ENN's mission is to inform, educate and inspire environmental discussion and action among its readers and contributors.


Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.   

Climate Smart Communities is an unprecedented state-local partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayer dollars and advance community goals.

"Benefits for Climate Smart Communities Statewide recognition for community climate successes, demonstrating leadership with action to protect today's citizens and coming generations. Saving taxpayer dollars through lower operating energy costs, improved efficiency and resource-saving land use policies. Notifications of state and federal assistance for low-carbon technologies and efficiency, plus advantage in accessing some state assistance programs. Advice from localities that have adopted climate smart practices and policies. Improvements in facility operations and infrastructure also reduces local air pollution, better supports community services and increases municipal worker effectiveness. Increased local energy independence and security against price volatility and supply shortages. Positioning for economic growth as energy savings and growing "green" businesses support local jobs and economic recovery in New York's communities. " --from The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

Living Green Discussions and Information Updates

Living green, or sustainably, can get tricky and needs to be more than a personal moral thing.  It's about science and how a lot of us need to be doing the right thing to sustain our environment so that what we do matter quickly enough.

  • Want to live green?  I know you do and a zillion sites online tell you how to do that.  But this is the DEC’s Green Living site. Make a Difference Green Living - Tips and Resources for Making Environmentally Responsible Choices in Your Daily Life Bookmark this page and check the "10 Things" list below for seasonally updated actions you can take to live greener right now! Or subscribe through GovDelivery to get an email when new seasonal tips are posted! The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • Find out how you can reduce your carbon footprints and reduce your impact on Climate Change: Union of Concerned Scientists: 20/20/20: 20 days, 20 ways, 20% less carbon "We know you're already pretty cool and smart. But we can help you get even cooler and smarter. Your path to reducing your global warming emissions by 20 percent in just 20 days starts here. It's easy and fun, we promise. Get your tips and your FREE sticker. Scaling it up. Think small changes can't make a big impact? Take a look at what a cooler smarter town looks like. Or a cooler smarter country. "
  • Dealing with Climate Change in our region.  Calculate your carbon footprint in our region, then find out and join programs to reduce your carbon footprint: Finger Lakes Climate Fund "The Finger Lakes Climate Fund works to promote energy efficiency projects in the Finger Lakes area while strengthening our regional economy and assisting local families in need. Carbon offset donations are used for grants to fund energy efficiency projects that would not otherwise be possible in low to moderate income households in the Finger Lakes region. These grants help pay for insulation, air sealing, energy efficient heating equipment, and other upgrades to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The Finger Lakes Climate Fund is also investigating other cost-effective local carbon offset projects such as solar hot water, solar photovoltaic, biomass heating, and other renewable energy projects. The Finger Lakes Climate Fund is a way for people to support our community while offsetting their home, plane, or vehicle pollution. " [more on Green Living in our area]
  • Green Mortgages for Living Green:  Ok, I’ll admit I don’t know what a ‘green mortgage’ is.  Never heard of it but a reader of requests that I tell everyone about them, so here goes:     Energy Efficient Mortgage - EEM | Green Mortgages "What’s a “Green Mortgage”? It is a term that many, even the most environmentally focused of us, have not heard before. And it’s not what you might think. It is not a marketing or public relations effort. It is a program backed by private and government mortgage programs designed to help you make your home more energy efficient. Green, or “Energy efficient” mortgages, let you borrow extra money to pay for energy efficient upgrades to your current home or a new or old home that you plan to buy. The result is a more environmentally friendly living space that uses fewer resources for heating and cooling and has dramatically lower utility costs. The types of things that are covered include upgrades that you may have thought you couldn’t afford like double paned windows, tankless water heaters, modern HVAC systems, and new insulation. " Compare Mortgage Rates | Refinance, Mortgage Loans, Home Equity, Mortgage Rate Calculator
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: In order to combat Climate Change a lot of people are going to have to make quick changes. But, that doesn’t mean individually we can help drive those necessary changes by changing some of the things we do in our own lives.   Ten Things You Can Do to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint | Use - reduce global °Celsius Most environmentalists agree that government, with its power to regulate, is critical in finding and enforcing solutions to global warming. But consumers represent 70 percent of US economic activity--indeed, the average American's carbon footprint is twenty metric tons, five times the global average. --from Use - reduce global °Celsius
  • Great idea by the Environmental Protection Agency: Make a difference in your environment by encouraging your government to protect our environment—with your ideas.  Check this out: Open | Open Government | US EPA "Under President Obama's Open Government Directive, we're taking several steps to be more transparent and work with you to protect the environment.  But we won't come up with all the best thinking on our own. Until March 19, we're specifically looking for good ideas about what to put into our open government plan, how to assess the quality of our information, and prioritize what we publish. So please join the conversation on our new open government Web site. You'll find a link to our idea collection system, where you'll also be able to vote and comment on other people's ideas, plus: innovative ways we're working with you recent data we've published links to our various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter "
  • Not So Easy To Be Green The media’s recent green frenzy, where even PC Magazine (The Green Issue) and Reader Digest (Going Green) have jumped on the bandwagon, seems ubiquitous. Green cars, books on living green, greening your houses in local magazines, several articles in the Messenger Post and the Democrat and Chronicle on going green, and you-name-it mainstream media and the advertizing industry are hot on going green. With so much attention now adverted (from whatever craze was hot before) to adopting a ‘green’ lifestyle, it seems as though the environmentalist’s dream has come true—we are moving towards a sustainable future. “It’s easy to be green” is being promoted everywhere. All you have to do is read the label. Or, is it?  more...
  • Share your tips for a greener house and life | from Color Brighton Green " is a non-profit organization focused on education and action to reduce our impact on the global climate and to build community through common purpose.  The organization began as a committee of the Green Brighton Task Force, which was established by Supervisor Sandra Frankel in May 2007 to address the town's climate impact.  After the Task Force submitted its recommendations to the Town Board in September 2008, became independent of the town government.  It has affiliated with Center for Environmental Information (CEI) as its non-profit fiscal agent. "


DECTV - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation ""DEC TV" Kicks off New Year with Green Household Tips for Saving Money, Energy Web Page Offers Videos on How Small Acts Can Add Up to Big Savings The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is kicking off the New Year by presenting a series of online videos highlighting small actions that can add up to big household savings this winter. Each day this week, "DEC TV" will provide green tips for saving money and energy in the kitchen, bathroom, basement and other areas. " is the first Internet auction site created, owned and operated by a nonprofit organization. It was created and is operated by Goodwill of Orange County (Santa Ana, CA). Participating Goodwill's from across the country offer for auction on the site a wide array of art, antiques and collectibles as well as new and nearly new items pulled from their vast inventories of donated goods. From unique one-of-a-kind items to estate pieces, the depth of resources is enormous. Revenues from these auction sales fund Goodwill's education, training and job placement programs for people with disabilities and other barriers. Goodwill‘s global presence extends to five continents, with 171 full member organizations in four countries. In addition, there are 15 affiliate members in 13 countries. Through its services, Goodwill's network helps people overcome barriers to employment and become independent, tax-paying members of their communities. In 2005, Goodwill Industries International collectively served over 846,000 individuals.

Rochester-area environmental blogs

One of the most important things you can do for our local environment is to become part of our community's dialogue on our environment.  We all need to get engaged in our environment and maybe the first step is to get connected with others who are realizing their responsibility to our planet's environment-especially here at the local level.

  • Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY's mission is to give a complete online snapshot of one community's (Rochester, New York) environment. I invite you to check out and comment on this singular project that attempts to focus on making our community a sustainable one--a goal that seems to escape the major media. This exceptional project, providing a complete environmental profile for one city, has been updated daily since 1998.
  • 520 - An Environmental Blog | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle "Welcome to the 520 blog, which we hope to make a stew pot full of news and observations about environmental issues in the Rochester region and beyond. We both spend a good deal of our time writing about green topics, but there is so much happening in this arena that we can’t begin to fit it all into the newspaper. Our goal is not only to provide a place on the Web for interesting environmental nuggets, but to spark conversations and hold institutions and individuals accountable when need be. "
  • Community Health V.O.I.C.E. The Community Health VOICE (Volunteer, Organize, Innovate, Collaborate, Empower) Blog was created to serve as a forum for faculty, staff, students, residents and fellows at the University of Rochester Medical Center and our partners in the Rochester area and beyond who are engaged or have an interest in community-based health services, education, research, and advocacy.
  • THE ROCHESTER DISSIDENT - news & views from Jack Bradigan Spula - Jack Bradigan Spula, a freelance writer and teacher based in Rochester, NY, works with the Northeast Organic Farming Association on policy education. NOFA - with chapters in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island – promotes healthy food, organic farming practices, and a clean environment.
  • Big Picture Rochester-the outdoor photo gallery in downtown Rochester, NY - Home "Big Picture Rochester is a nonprofit company created by Ken Sato to bring art and beauty to the "Image Capital of the World," Rochester, New York. Please look around our website to learn about our mission, past exhibitions, and upcoming projects."
  • "I started to chronicle my adventures as a cyclist and bike commuter in Rochester, NY, a mid-sized city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. My idea was to write about the rides, the idiots, the joys, the brushes with death, and the daily challenge that is being a bicycle rider. After just a few days, though, I started to see more potential for the site. Now I’m interested in making it a gathering place for bike advocacy and shared experience here in the Flower City. can be an online zocalo (town square) for cycling and bike activism in Rochester, from Critical Mass to citywide bike tours to the everyday experiences of cyclists just like me."
  • "Rochester Turning is a people-powered, progressive blogging community in the Rochester, NY area. We believe in clean air, water, politics, money, business, energy, and human rights. Our goal is to promote progressive candidates and movements in the Greater Rochester region."
  • Friends Helping Friends - Rochester Wiki "This group, offically named "Friends Helping Friends" does a tremendous amount to help our community. Friends Helping Friends coordinates a thrift store and food cupboard at 333 Child Street. The store is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm seven days a week. In addition, FHF runs a free bike shop at 226-230 Hudson Avenue where FHF recieves old bikes, repairs them and gives them away to schools, as well as civic and faith communities. We would love to have volunteers, groups of volunteers or people's old bikes. We also recieved the donation of a residential property at 30 Mark Street that we've almost fully renovated; 3 of us live there now. "
  • News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper --from City Newspaper: Greater Rochester Weekly Alternative Newspaper. Available at Tops, Wegmans, and many stores, restaurants, and coffee shops, (585) 244-3329 -- You can pick one up free anywhere (a restaurant and other businesses) in town.  This newspaper used to be a major environmental news source in Rochester, but now you rarely find anything
  • Bob Marcotte's Word On Birds" If you enjoy feeding birds in your yard . . . looking at birds when you stroll in the park or at the beach … or simply have a casual curiosity about the birds you see while commuting . . .You’ve come to the right place. “The Word on Birds” is your chance to share, to learn, to ask. Share photos you’ve taken of wild birds in our area. Or write to us with your favorite bird watching experiences.
  • RochesterGreenway Blog and Clipping Service
  • PeaceWorks Rochester "This free directory lists organizations that support: Peace, Sustainablity, Community and/or Human Rights. "
  • Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan "Overview of program: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo established the Cleaner, Greener New York Program in 2011 to empower regions to create more sustainable communities by funding smart development practices. The Finger Lakes Region is partnering with public and private experts across a wide range of fields, along with community residents, to lead the development of a regional sustainability plan and to implement projects that will significantly improve the economic and environmental health of our area. This effort will guide integrated, sustainable solutions—from statewide investments to regional decision-making on land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, energy, and environmental practices—to improve our quality of life. The program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through a two-phase competitive grant process "


Be Green Organic Yards NY - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Be Organic yards New York - from NYS DECWant a beautiful yard using organic practices without conventional pesticides and synthetic fertilizers? Businesses that participate in DEC's new Be Green Organic Yards NY program can take care of your lawn, plants, and trees organically. When you hire a Be Green business, only products and materials that meet DEC's conditions for organic management should be used in your yard. The conditions include prohibitions against certain pest management practices.

Green Living from the Government

Because they are the experts and our official agencies for environmental practices, check (your tax dollars at work) these governmental sites for useful information on how best to live green.

Earth is your one-stop shop for all you need to know about reducing your impact, reusing what you’ve got and recycling your trash. Get involved in our world by checking in for daily news, reading weekly feature stories, surfing product channels and opting into our weekly emails.

  • Fixing up Rochester’s infrastructure can be done so sustainably: “Environmental Justice—Brownfield, Open Space, Parks, Recreation, etc” Project Green - Phase I Strategic Residential Unit Reduction Nomination Process The City of Rochester is proposing to develop and manage a citywide green-infrastructure initiative that acquires, assembles, and reuses abandoned and vacant properties. The goal is the establishment and funding of a multi-purpose land-bank program that strategically decommissions surplus public infrastructure, acquires abandoned properties (e.g., tax-delinquent or seriously blighted sites), and relocates households within identified areas for the program. The long-term goal is to reduce the housing inventory city-wide by 3,000 dwelling units through a strategic clearance of structures in order to re-establish a functioning housing market. The purpose of that land-bank would be to control and coordinate future redevelopment for: Economic Development—Industrial, Manufacturing, & Commercial Community Development—Housing Environmental Justice—Brownfield, Open Space, Parks, Recreation, etc. Private Dispositions—For-Profit, Not-For-Profit, Individuals Long Term Green Infrastructure Development and Management City of Rochester, NY
  • GreenMonroe, Monroe County New York " is newest initiative to help taxpayers save money Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks today announced the launch of a website that will help residents save money on their energy bills and put them in touch with experts who can assist them with their home energy needs. “Monroe County is committed to being a ‘green’ County, and we’ve been recognized statewide for our efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, safeguard the environment, and protect local taxpayers,” said Brooks. “ is a wonderful example of the County’s continued commitment to our sustainability efforts and will serve as a valuable resource for our residents to turn to as they seek ways to save money on their energy bills.” is a website developed through a partnership with Blue Springs Energy LLC; a local company that helps communities to participate in clean energy programs. Blue Springs Energy LLC assists organizations, local governments and individuals to access clean and renewable energy grants, incentives and credits. "
  • Green Living - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Ideas, tips and resources for making environmentally responsible choices in your daily life  Bookmark this page and check the "10 Things" list below for seasonally updated actions you can take to live greener right now! 10 Things You Can Do to Help The Environment Right Now - Gas Saving Tips: How to get the most out of every gallon of gas, reduce air pollution and cut greenhouse gases Motor vehicles are the single largest contributor to ground-level ozone. Vehicles also emit greenhouse gases and pollutants that form smog.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation  Also get green tips from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on : Recycling , Lawn Care, Windows and Doors, Kitchen, Bathroom, Water Heater, Washing Machine --from DECTV - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • Make sure that bad things aren’t going into your beautiful lawns:  Green Lawns and Gardens - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation We all want a beautiful looking yard, but also one that is safe for our families, friends and pets to enjoy. Use the tips and resources on this page to learn how to have both and protect the environment at the same time. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • For saving cost in these economically strapped times and helping the environment by burning less coal (which is what you probably do when you use electricity in your home) check out Energy Star’s program: Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency with ENERGY STAR : ENERGY STAR "Making your home more energy efficient with ENERGY STAR can help to reduce high energy bills, improve comfort and help to protect the environment. Improving energy efficiency is also an important first step for homeowners interested in green remodeling. ENERGY STAR can guide you in making your home more efficient — whether you do-it-yourself or hire a qualified professional." -from ENERGY STAR
  • Trying to think of ways to help our environment?  Why not check out the governor’s new site for volunteering?  Type in your zip code, check off helping our environment and there you are. New Yorkers Volunteer    "Welcome to the New Yorkers Volunteer website! This interactive site is designed to help you find opportunities to volunteer across the State and to enhance the recruitment capabilities for so many of New York’s community organizations."
  • Useful info from the EPA, how to be more environmentally friendly:   Environmental Stewardship | US EPA "Environmental stewardship is the responsibility for environmental quality shared by all those whose actions affect the environment. Everyday, more than 300 million Americans make countless choices that can impact our environment. By being an active environmental steward you can reduce those impacts and make a difference in the kind of world we live in today and pass on to future generations." - from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Here's a good way organizations can reduce energy costs and help our environment Green Power Partnership | US EPA The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources. Partnering with EPA can help your organization lower the transaction costs of buying green power, reduce its carbon footprint, and communicate its leadership to key stakeholders. Green power is electricity produced from a subset of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Buying green power is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your organization’s environmental performance.
  • City of Rochester | Green Initiatives Rochester’s Green Team, developed to update and expand environmental compliance policy and coordinate cross-departmental efforts, continues the City's tradition of outstanding environmental stewardship.
  • EPA Green Homes | US EPA Home owners, buyers and renters have a new resource for going green indoors and outdoors. EPA’s new Green Homes Web site will help people make their homes greener with tips on reducing energy consumption, carbon footprints, waste generation and water usage, as well as improving indoor air quality.  (November 16, 09) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  •  Mid-Atlantic Green Landscaping | US EPA "Green landscaping, beneficial landscaping, environmentally friendly landscaping or sustainable landscaping -- whatever you call it, it's a way of designing and maintaining beautiful yards, gardens, and larger landscapes. The benefits are many including: reduce harm to the environment save time and money with lower maintenance have healthier places to work and play provide habitat for wildlife "
  • Got ideas on green apps to help our environment through monitoring and choosing best products or recycling?  Or got ideas for a green app?  Go to the EPA: My Green Apps Welcome to My Green Apps, your destination for over 100 apps to help you understand and protect the environment. In addition to finding apps, you can also tell us what apps you’d like someone to make andsuggest an existing app we could add to this site. You can learn about EPA's Apps for the Environment Challenge, which was conducted in the summer of 2011. If you want to make a green app that uses EPA's data, check out Developer Central and Data Finder. --from EPA


City of Rochester | Project Green "Imagine a city where neighborhoods are built around parks and gardens, where building walls and rooftops are alive with vegetation; where tree-lined streets encourage commuters to ride their bikes or take a walk. This is the vision of Project Green, a bold plan that would change the look and feel of Rochester by replacing vacant properties with vast swaths of green space. It’s a plan that recognizes Rochester’s built environment – our buildings, streets and public utilities – no longer match our population trends. "

Lower Your Impact

Find various ways to lower your impact on our environment 

  • Rochester Green Living "Our goal is to help lower the environmental impact of the homes and lives of those living in the greater Rochester area. To reach that goal we will provide workshops in sustainability, promote local green events, be a free local resource in sustainable information, and create connections to other green businesses/groups throughout New York. We hope we will be the first stop on your journey to a deeper understanding of sustainability."
  • Register Your Yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat™ - National Wildlife Federation Join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. These individuals have provided the essential elements for healthy and sustainable wildlife habitats and have earned the distinction of being part of National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. --from National Wildlife Federation
  • RGRTA - Rideshare This program helps you and our environment. "With Rideshare you can form a carpool, join an existing one or find the best bus route to work. Carpool with one other person and cut your driving costs in half. Add a third and save even more! Sign your carpool up for the Preferred Parking Program and reserve a parking place in one of the downtown municipal garages." --from RGRTA
  • Drive more environmentally friendly from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles - NYS DMV - NYSDMV - Driver - Vehicle -- Drive NY Clean "A Consumer Guide to Readiness Monitor Failures as Part of the New York State Vehicle Inspection Program"
  • Sierra Club Green Home Sierra Club Green Home is dedicated to helping you create a more sustainable home environment. Browse our site to learn more about all the things you can do. Your health, your wallet and the earth will thank you.
  • Reduce Energy Costs in your home: New Cornell Cooperative Extension Web Site Helps Homeowners Reduce Energy Costs  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County is offering online help to consumers looking for ways to reduce home energy costs. The new Energy Savings Program Web site offers low- and no-cost energy-saving solutions to home owners and apartment dwellers. It is available online at - Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Curb Climate Change at the local level, very local - us.  Here's a short calculator for you own carbon footprints: WWF Footprint Calculator "Worried about your impact on the environment? The way we use the planet's resources makes up our ecological footprint. Measuring yours takes less than 5 minutes and could set you on a life-changing journey... "
  • GrowWNY "GrowWNY is a hyperlocal source of information about living green--powered by more than 150 organizations collaborating for our regional environment and YOU. This site is for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, cares about the environment and wants to know the best places to go and things to do to eat, live, work and play greener. GrowWNY is a project of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and is made possible through grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the New York State Department of State Division of Coastal Resources. "
  • Check out this new “comprehensive online Green Guide & Business Directory for New York State” from our friends over at Greentopia. Greentopia Launches New York's First Online Green Guide! We are proud to announce the launch of the Greentopia Green Guide, a comprehensive guide and portal to all things green! This guide is for businesses and consumers alike. --from Greentopia.
  • Green Living "We're all learning how to be better to our Earth. Here, we share tips on how to make the greenest decisions that affect your home, family, and community, and hear stories from people who have already put their Earth-conscious ideas into action." Green American


Green Tips from the Union of Concerned ScientistsGreenTips - from The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

Help Monitor our environment: Be a Citizen Scientist

There are many ways you can do something in your life to help monitor indicators about our environment's health. One of the best ways is to become a Citizen Scientist: Many Climate Change plans include efforts to train citizens to help scientists to gather important date.  Find out more from my article: Citizen scientists, critical in addressing Climate Change

  • So, if your local media doesn’t do investigative reporting on pollution and your government, for one reason or another, is reluctant to continually and properly monitor the impact of fossil fuel industry pollution on your community’s health and environment, who ya gonna call? Why not learn how to do it yourself? Global Community Monitor "Global Community Monitor, founded in 2001, trains and supports communities in the use of environmental monitoring tools to understand the impact of fossil fuel industry pollution on their health and the environment. GCM's work focuses on disempowered "fenceline" communities harmed by serious air pollution from industrial sources and whose concerns agencies and responsible corporations are ignoring. Over the past dozen years, GCM has developed and pioneered the use of “bucket brigades” (a grassroots air monitoring program) as a method for communities to document and understand the impacts of industrial pollution, to launch advocacy efforts against polluters, and to win stunning victories. "
  • Note road kill from your smartphone: How to track road kill on your smart phone (seriously) Plattsburgh, NY, Nov 27, 2012 — We've all seen or experienced it - unfortunate wildlife dashes in front of a car at just the wrong time--and its remains splatter across the road.  But Danielle Garneau, a wildlife ecologist at SUNY Plattsburgh, says the road kill we're likely to see on roads this holiday season can teach us a lot. (November 27, 2012) North Country Radio
  • Monitor birds from your backyard: NestWatch "Anyone can monitor nests - it's a rewarding way to spend time outdoors and participate in science. NestWatch is a continentwide citizen-science project and nest-monitoring database of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, funded by the National Science Foundation and developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center."  
  • Good for your community: Good for your environment. Did you know that tagging Monarch butterflies are a a good way to monitor our environmental health? If your community has not already joined in this great program by Seneca Park Zoo, sponsored by the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation , then you ought to check it out: The Butterfly Beltway Project  “Seneca Park Zoo has launched another exciting season of sharing the beauty and wonder of butterflies with the citizens of western New York. Thanks to the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation (DMJF), our seasonal onsite butterfly experience will re-opened in June, while our offsite Butterfly Beltway garden-planting project kicked off in mid-May. Each year since 2002, we have added new gardens to the Butterfly Beltway, and as a result, our tally of gardens sits at 73. We plant gardens at senior-living centers and at facilities that serve urban youth, disabled youth, youth-at-risk, or other special-needs children. Each garden has special kinds of flowers that attract butterflies for feeding and egg-laying purposes. The gardens also provide critical shelter and rest areas for 75 local species of butterflies.”
  • Here's a way you can help our environment locally: Welcome to My Yard Counts! — My Yard Counts My Yard Counts! My Yard Counts! is a new citizen-science project that collects information about birds around residences in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Researchers are hoping to identify the features in yards that are most important to birds. Participants spend 20 minutes watching birds near their homes once a week from April to August. Data will be collected through the online eBird program. To learn more and to sign up for this free project, go to
  • Monitor how your representatives are voting for the environment.  Check up on them below using your zip code - from the League of Conservation Voters - Turning Environmental Values Into National Priorities The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is turning environmental values into national priorities. To secure the environmental future of our planet, LCV’s mission is to advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt and implement such policies.


Cool RochesterCool Rochester--Save money, energy, the planet Cool Rochester is a non-profit group composed of concerned citizens who are engaging the Rochester community in the fight against climate change. We believe dramatic reductions of carbon dioxide emissions are necessary to preserve and protect a functioning planet for this (and future) generations. Our goal is to reduce Rochester area carbon emissions one billion pounds in three years. To achieve this, we need to recruit 80,000 households and workplaces to participate in our program, to reduce their emissions by 25%. By unleashing the power of community we can save energy, save money and save the planet. Join Cool Rochester.

Other ideas

Some old and new ideas that will help our environment

  • Energy Efficient Mortgage - EEM | Green Mortgages "What’s a “Green Mortgage”? It is a term that many, even the most environmentally focused of us, have not heard before. And it’s not what you might think. It is not a marketing or public relations effort. It is a program backed by private and government mortgage programs designed to help you make your home more energy efficient. Green, or “Energy efficient” mortgages, let you borrow extra money to pay for energy efficient upgrades to your current home or a new or old home that you plan to buy. The result is a more environmentally friendly living space that uses fewer resources for heating and cooling and has dramatically lower utility costs. The types of things that are covered include upgrades that you may have thought you couldn’t afford like double paned windows, tankless water heaters, modern HVAC systems, and new insulation. " Compare Mortgage Rates | Refinance, Mortgage Loans, Home Equity, Mortgage Rate Calculator
  • Thinking of leaving your land to Nature instead of developers?  Find out how from The Land Trust Alliance, who  promotes voluntary land conservation and strengthens the land trust movement by providing the leadership, information, skills and resources land trusts need to conserve land for the benefit of communities and natural systems.

My Town RochesterMy Town Rochester: "Welcome to My Town Rochester. This site is a Johnson Controls-sponsored initiative dedicated to providing a new interactive resource for the Rochester community that allows you to stay connected with your friends and neighbors. The site is part of a project that aims to bring residents together through the sharing of green living, energy efficiency and sustainable building news, stories, photos and everything else that encompasses daily life in the greater Rochester area. "

Get more tips on Living Sustainably

There are many expert sites that focus on how you can do things in your daily life to help our environment.


Green MonroeHelp GreenMonroe reach as many residents as possible by forwarding this email to your Monroe County neighbors, friends and family - encourage them to visit and to sign-up for the GreenMonroe email-newsletter. They only need to input an email address in the Sign-Up form.