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Brooklyn: Here Are Some Quick Tips to Reduce Your Footprint This Climate Week

Climate Week NYC returns for 2021 with a focus on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments, and organizations.

Time to break out the reusable tote bags, Brooklyn.

This week in New York City is Climate Week, a time reserved for conferences, events and initiatives surrounding sustainability.

Anchored by the United Nations and the nonprofit Climate Group, in partnership with COP26 and the City of New York, events will take place all over the city from September 20 to September 26.

This year, there will be a special focus on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments and organizations.

"It is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase leading climate action and discuss how to do more, fast," reads the Climate Week mission statement.

Here are some quick tips for Brooklyn locals wanting to reduce their climate footprint this week:

Compost with BK Rot

Throwing out organic waste in landfills generates greenhouse gas. Composting, made easy with BK Rot, keeps methane emissions low and reuses waste to eliminate the need for chemical fertilizer for plants and agricultural crops.

BK Rot is NYC's first community-supported, bike-powered, fossil-fuel-free food waste hauling and composting service. The BK Rot team accepts food scraps at their site at the Bushwick-Bed-Stuy border on Sundays from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.

Give 'Freecycling' a try

This is your chance to prevent new and gently used items from ending up in landfills. Whether you're shopping for or looking to get rid of clothing, baby supplies, pet supplies, household appliances, or furniture, try freecycling -- to give something away, rather than throwing it away -- first.

Check out Bushwick's free store on Suydam and Knickerbocker near Maria Hernandez Park every Tuesday, beginning at 3:00pm. The free store, organized by Bushwick Mutual Aid, is stocked just like any second-hand store where you can shop for what you need, or leave donations-the main difference is that spending money is completely optional.

To freecycle in other parts of the borough, check out different Facebook groups like Brooklyn NY Freecycle, and 'Buy Nothing' groups which are organized by area:

Skip the packaging

The single-use plastic pervasive in grocery stores and pharmacies ends up in landfills and oceans, potentially contaminating the land and food we eat despite the City's best recycling efforts.

However, this doesn't have to be the norm. Make an easy switch to buying in container-less stores by bringing your own containers and bags. Look no further than Brooklyn for groceries and toiletries that come package-free.

Here are some local and affordable options:

  • The Fillery in Prospect Heights is a bulk food and household products store. The store has a special jar exchange program for people looking to use clean, donated containers for their purchases.
  • Package Free in Williamsburg replaces the single-use plastic items in the household with more sustainable options. The store specializes in 'zero-waste' kits to make the switch to reusable more simple. Even better, Package Free is giving customers 30% off this week for Climate Week.
  • Precycle in Bushwick sells package-free local produce, bulk foods and home goods. The shop has a no-contact option, where people can buy online and then pick up in store.

Find a farmers market

Shopping at local farmers markets is a great way to support the small agricultural businesses that take environmental stewardship seriously.

All over the city, GrowNYC markets accept EBT cards, have a textile recycling program and a compost drop-off. Find a green market, a farm stand, or a fresh food box in your area with the GrowNYC interactive map.

Head to a local event

Local events are going on all week in honor of Climate Week. Find one in your area to learn about the environment and environmental stewardship, like this panel on the ocean's impact on climate at Pioneer Works on Wednesday, September 22.

For a more kid-friendly option, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy's day of recycled crafts and a nature-themed storytime on Saturday, September 25.

Or, on Saturday in Bushwick, join the Clean Bushwick Initiative for an afternoon of volunteer street clean-up.

For virtual events, check out the official Climate Week website.

Miranda Levingston

About the Author: Miranda Levingston

Miranda Levingston is an award-winning reporter and editor passionate about covering the change-makers in her borough.
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