Get Your Employer or Organization to Participate in the goNewHavengo CarFree Competition This September

goNewHavengo‘s mission is to promote health and well-being across the region by advancing safe, cost-effective, and convenient transportation for getting into and around New Haven. It does this by collaborating with communities, government agencies, businesses, schools, and NGOs in New Haven and across Connecticut to plan outreach and awareness events, design specialized strategies to reduce car dependency, encourage local leaders to champion sustainable mobility, and advocate for a multi-modal transportation system that services everyone.

One of its principal programs is the CarFree Competition, which began in 2014. Businesses, government agencies, and organizations, as well as individuals, compete to cut their transporation emissions by telecommuting, walking, biking, car/vanpooling, or taking the bus or train in September.

The number of individuals and the amount of emissions avoided has been growing, but the number of businesses and organizations participating went down last year. Get your employer or organization in which you’re a member to participate so that everyone can see how easy and beneficial it can be to commute in more sustainable ways.

Plastic Bag Recycling

Did you know that you can recycle your plastic bags and plastic wrap at a wide range of nearby grocery stores and home-hardware stores, including stores with grocery departments, such as Wal-Mart and Target? And this includes not only the plastic bags that originate in these stores, but also the bags newspapers are delivered in (for those without dogs), dry cleaning bags, zip bags, and all sorts of plastic wrap and bubble wrap. The plastic just has to be clean and dry when you drop it off in the bins in the front of these stores.

The plastic gets recycled into products such as new grocery bags, benches, and decking.

You can find the nearest dropoff locations at the Plastic Film Recycling website. The following stores came up in a New Haven search. If the stores you shop at aren’t recycling plastic, it would be worth asking them to start.

Whole Foods
Adams Hometown Market

The New Haven Climate Emergency Call to Action Day Has Been Changed from Today to Thursday

The New Haven Climate Movement‘s “Climate Emergency – A Call to Action” has been delayed due to rain from today to Thursday, August 10.

The New Haven community is invited to mobilize against climate change, joining the events at any point during the day between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm to hear or even give sidewalk speeches on immediate challenges to our environment. People are especially invited to come to City Hall at 5:15. Here are the times and places throughout the day:

The Intersection of Church St & Chapel St: 7 am – 9:30 am
In Front of Wells Fargo Bank on Church St: 9:45 am – 11:30 am
In Front of Yale New Haven Hospital: 12 pm – 2:30 pm
The Intersection of Whalley Ave and Orchard St: 3 pm – 4:45
In Front of City Hall: 5:15 pm – 6 pm
Informal Gathering on the green: 6 pm 7 pm

Volunteers Sought for Quinnipiac River Cleanup Committee

The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association has formed a Quinnipiac River Cleanup Committee (QRCC) that will facilitate year-round watershed cleanup and improvements.

This could include anything from an area cleanup to a larger mitigation project.

The Quinnipiac River Cleanup Committee will establish direct access for the public to report any issues that impact the watershed.
The Goals of the QRCC:
  • Create a sustainable committee that will work to improve the entire Quinnipiac River Watershed and in turn, your local community.
  • Achieve a partnership with local volunteers in each of the watershed towns to help with any projects that are undertaken by the QRWA.
  • Establish a local contact that will assist to organize local volunteers on an “as needed bases”
  • Obtain sponsorship from local businesses to help cover the cost of projects undertaken by the QRCC
  • Initiate a process to ensure that resolutions will be prioritized and resolved in a timely manner.

Interested people wishing to volunteer should contact the Quinnipiac River Cleanup Committee Chair, Tim Cutler, at

To volunteer for other committees, see the Association’s Volunteer page.

What to Do with Connecticut’s Piece of the VW Settlement

Connecticut is getting $55 million from the fund set up by VW due to its ruses regarding its “clean” diesels, which dirtied the air throughout the country. The League of Conservation Voters is recommending that CT residents tell Gov. Malloy to use the funds to help replace diesel school buses with electric school buses.

Here is the page for e-mailing Gov. Malloy, and below is my edited version of the League’s language on the page linked to above.

The Volkswagen settlement will give Connecticut $55 million for the purpose of cleaning up the air VW’s diesels dirtied over the years. Please spend it on transitioning from diesel to zero-emissions electric school buses, reducing toxic diesel pollution. This will protect the health of the 467,000 kids who ride buses to and from school in Connecticut, as well as the air of the communities they drive through every day.

This is the best use of Connecticut’s VW Mitigation Trust Fund.

350 CT General Assembly To Be Held on August 13

350 CT is a project to organize a grassroots coalition of citizens, NGO’s, faith communities, and businesses across the state to envision and build a future beyond fossil fuels, (click here to learn more about the project’s mission). 350 CT is holding a General Assembly on Sunday, August 13, 11 to 6, at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford.

The process before, during, and after the Assembly is intended to be as participatorily democratic as possible, to help determine the direction of 350 CT for the next year (at least). Groups and individuals can submit proposals for discussion, debate, and a vote, on policies, for specific campaigns or actions, and with respect to ideals for everyday organizational life in the group (the deadline for proposals is midnight, Aug. 6; click here for proposal guidelines and here for the agenda).

Registration is requested, so that the organization can plan for the number of people attending. To sign up for 350 CT announcements and for its discussion forum, click here.

350 CT is also looking for people to join and participate in its committees. These include an Outreach Committee, to build relationships with other organizations; a Media Team; a Tar Sands Working Group; Bridgeport Coal, to shut down the Bridgeport coal power plant; and the Global Warming Solutions Act Committee, to advocate for CT laws to reduce climate change pollution. Click here for contact information for these committees.

There are other committees that are looking for members, including a Legislative Committee, to keep track of bills and suggest actions; a Program Committee, to organize presenters for monthly meetings; a Digital Committee; and a Fundraising Committee. For these committees, contact



What You Can Do to Help Conserve Long Island Sound

The Long Island Sound Study (LISS) website has a great Volunteer Opportunities page. It lists volunteer opportunities relating to the conservation of Long Island Sound with over 30 different nonprofits and government agencies in CT, and even more in NY state.

The biggest annual event, International Coastal Cleanup, is in September. Save Our Sound, a program of the CT Fund for the Environment, organizes the cleanup in CT. Here is a link to the Calendar for the cleanup (but events have not been put up yet). Also check out the Don’t Trash LI Sound’s media center page.

The LISS website also has a What You Can Do page that links to five different sections of the website. The sections are In Your Home, Around Your Backyard, In and Around Your School, In and Around the Sound, and Curbing Polluted Storm Water Runoff.