December 6th Newsletter

Hello Sprout Up NYC family and friends!

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we know that some of you might be getting into the spirit of the coming holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule-tide, just celebrated The Profits Birthday, or are just excited for the New Year, it is no doubt a time to enjoy and reflect on what you have and look forward to what is to come.

With that in mind, there is certainly a tole that the holidays take on the environment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t  be festive and eco-concious. Here are a few tips to help reduce your impact over the season:

1. Look for locally made gifts: Gifts often come from half way around the world, when you support a local buisness you aren’t just helping your neighbor and supporting your community, you’re reducing the carbon foot print of your gift.

2. Look for recycled or battery-free gifts:

Gifts from Recycled Materials
Naturally-powered toys

3. Don’t be afraid/ashamed to re-gift: If you aren’t going to wear that article of clothing, use that new gadget or play with that toy, give it to someone you know who could use it! If you’ve already bought your presents, then donate what you aren’t going to use from the presents you’ve received. You’ll be helping families in need and decreasing waste, a win-win.

4. Minimize food waste: This may seem like a no-brainer but roughly 165 billion dollars worth of food is thrown out every year in the United States. While a lot of this is super-market and restaurant waste that doesn’t mean that the average American isn’t contributing. Some ways to help mitigate the waste this season: try not to buy in excess at the store, donate your unopened food to food pantries, freeze your left-overs or send them off with guests and lastly, compost your scraps. If you don’t know how much to buy save the food has a nifty calculator that can help: https://www.savethefood.com/

5. Incorporate environmentally friendly recipes. Substituting meat for fruits, vegetables, and grains can reduce carbon emissions associated with your food. You can try to go turkey-less this holiday a vegetarian substitute. Or, if you keep the turkey, try vegetarian and vegan sides at this link here.

6. Donate or volunteer! Nothing gets you into the spirit of the holidays like givingYou can help support environmental or educational activism by giving the gift of your time or donation to a cause you believe in. If you’d like to donate to Sprout Up NYC you can visit our donation page.  Here are some other great options to donate or volunteer with this season as well: http://www.eco-usa.net/orgs/ny.shtml

Chapter Team News:

Columbia University:

The chapter team recently had a very successful succulent fundraiser! Once again, tiny cacti are outstandingly popular!

New York University:

NYU chapter team had some good clean fun with a DYI all natural beauty and bath workshop! They made their own products to take home and use while learning that effective products can be made cheaply and without all the packaging!

Here are some photos from the event:

Volunteer Opportunities: 

Environmental: For The Birds!-The National Audubon Society’s volunteer program aims to inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities, providing individuals the opportunity to develop skills needed for a successful career in conservation. Currently, volunteer opportunities are being offered in the area of Environmental Education.

Educational:Room to Read!Raise awareness for children’s literacy and girls’ education, while getting involved with the local NYC community! We are looking for volunteers with diverse skill sets to help raise awareness and fundraise for Room to Read’s global mission.

Within Sprout Up: Op-Ed – Help us create an Op-Ed, commentary and submission section for future newsletters! Submit your drafts and ideas to fiona@sproutup.org

Do you do work with another organization outside of Sprout Up NYC that is dedicated to children or the environment? Are you zero waste/vegetarian/vegan/low carbon footprint/upcycling master/ all of the above or an otherwise creative environmental steward or trying to be and would like to write about your experience? Interested in science writing or social commentary? Hit us up!

If you are a fluent Spanish speaker and would be willing/ able to translate some articles and/or curriculum materials into Spanish please contact: fiona@sproutup.org

Estimated time commitment: 5hrs per semester, flexible scheduling.

Bite-size Environmental News:

Air Pollution from Traffic Lowers Birth Weight: “The findings suggest that exposure to air pollution from road traffic in London during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of low birth weight babies born at full term. But traffic related noise seems to have no effect.The researchers say their findings are applicable to other UK and European cities and call for environmental health policies to improve air quality in urban areas.”

Eating for Your Health is Better for the Environment: “In most countries (although not all) shifting to the recommended diet would mean eating less meat, poultry and eggs. That means, in turn, less land required to grow the feed for animals, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less water pollution. This is especially true of Brazil and Australia, where people eat lots of beef.”

Trump Slashes Size of National Monuments: “President Trump sharply reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah on Monday by some two million acres, the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history. The administration shrank Bears Ears National Monument, a sprawling region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and cut another monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, to about half its current size. The move, a reversal of protections put in place by Democratic predecessors, comes as the administration pushes for fewer restrictions and more development on public lands.The decision to reduce Bears Ears is expected to set off a legal battle that could alter the course of American land conservation, putting dozens of other monuments at risk and possibly opening millions of preserved public acres to oil and gas extraction, mining, logging and other commercial activities.”

Quote of the Day:

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

For questions, comments, concerns, ideas, and/or miscellaneous tidbits:

Please feel free to contact: fiona@sproutup.org

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