March 2nd Newsletter

Hello Sprout Up Friends and Family,

We would like to make a firm and definitive position for Sprout Up NYC in the wake of not only the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting tragedy, but the ongoing tragedy that is the corruption of our officials and the failure of many of the American people to not take the lessons of the past to heart. There are people in this nation of ours who still turn a blind eye to, or even actively oppose, reasonable gun control or a military-style weapons ban, who perhaps believe that  it is within their rights to far too easily access, and own, and fire, weapons of destruction.

We at Sprout Up NYC, support the rights of our teachers to be teachers and not body guards. We support the rights of our students and volunteers to go to school with backpacks and metal school lunch boxes, to go to school without having to pass one by one through security because “you never know”. We support the rights of our students and volunteers to breathe easy and learn with out fear. We also support the rights of those with mental illnesses, who are being used as political pawns instead of being given care that they need and deserve. Less than 1% of mass-shootings and gun-related homicides are committed by those with serious mental illness (see Gun Violence and Mental Illness-American Psychiatric Association Publishing) ; the real driver of gun-related death associated with mental illnesses, are suicides.

We believe that silence is acquiescence.

We believe that silence empowers evil.

We believe that silence does not belong within our community.

Signed,

The Sprout Up Executive Board

Other News:

We have some exciting news to share: As of today, classes have started for both chapters and lessons are in full swing! On top of that, Sprout Up NYC now has a twitter and instagram account so soon friends and family of Sprout Up NYC volunteers and students can check out how lessons are going.  Instructors, if your classroom has signed the parental photography wavers and your teacher says it is alright, be sure to take pics of how lessons are going and send to @sproutupnyc on instagram or @sproutup_nyc on twitter (and follow us in the meantime) 🙂 .

As always, your support is greatly appreciated. We would like to extend a thank you to our generous donors. If you are interested in helping us purchase materials, an ongoing project every semester, please see our donation page at: Donate

Chapter Team News:

Columbia University:

The chapter team will be having it’s first succulent sale of the semester this coming Monday, March 5th, in the lobby of the Diana building. If you’re around and are interested in a tiny cacti, be sure to act fast because CU has a track record of selling out quick!

New York University:

The chapter team has just had their elections for next semester’s team. We should be hearing the results in the next day or so. We look forward to working with the new leadership next semester and (preemptively) welcome them aboard!  The chapter team at NYU also has some major events planning in the works. We can expect for the coming month or so, another DIY beauty workshop and a panel discussion with the NYU political society on education and environmental policy.

Volunteer Opportunities: 

Environmental: Environment and Revitalization Projects with New York Cares-New York Cares volunteers work year round to keep our city’s public spaces well maintained for all New Yorkers to enjoy and make sure that donated clothes and materials are redistributed to those in need.

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:

Mushrooms Can Eat Plastic (ie best news you’ve heard this year): while this isn’t totally new information we think it bares repeating. Researchers from around the world have found and published, on more than one occasion, instances of Aspergillus tubingensisPestalotiopsis microsporameal worms and other organisms consuming and biodegrading polyurethane and styrofoam. The mushrooms in one study were able to do this in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, using the plastic as a sole source of carbon. We should still do everything in our power to reduce our reliance on such items but it is comforting to know life will go on (with or without us).

US could meet 80% of it’s current need for energy through solar and wind     with the battery technology currently available to us. Battery tech will need to advance a little further before 100% capacity is a possibility. As weather is highly variable throughout much of the US, weeks worth of energy will need to be able to be stored at a time in some instances. However, 80% seems like a good start and a far cry from a measly 10%, our highest percentage to date set in June 2017.

Recommended Read:

Today’s recommended read is an article from Buzzfeed, submitted to the Newsletter by Walter, our Director of Education:

What Happened After Standing Rock? 

The #NoDAPL movement at Standing Rock was forced to disband on Feb. 26, 2017, having failed to stop construction of a controversial oil pipeline that threatened the waters of the Missouri, Mississippi, and Big Sioux rivers and crossed through land sacred to the Lakota people. Despite this failure, the movement around it ignited changes that are still in effect and awareness that is creating conversations throughout the country.

Easy, Lazy, and Cheap Environmentalist Tips of the Day:

Simple Switch 1: Buy, or better yet, make from old clothes/fabrics, a few dishrags. You’ll be surprised how much you can save on paper towels and you’ll be cutting out waste not only on the disposal end but also in the production of paper products. Washing these rags is a minute amount of water used in comparison to water used in the production of paper products.

Simple Switch 2: If you just can’t give up fast fashion yet, go to H&M instead of Forever 21 or Macy’s/Express/etc. They offer 15% off coupons when you drop off your old clothes in their reuse/recycle bins. They will sift through your fabrics for you and either donate them to charity or recycle the fabric to make new textiles. They also have a “Conscious” section I encourage you to check out with your new coupon.

Simple Switch 3: Drink soy or almond milk instead of cows milk. Store bought soy has a calorie, protein, fat and micro nutrient content on par with 2% milk and even has more calcium and, on average, has less sugar. It’s cheaper by far than organic cow’s milk, lasts longer, and while you might be concerned about phyto-estrogen just remember that cows milk has mammalian estrogen, testosterone, and prolactin (ie, what our body is good at using, for better or worse), this is even if you buy “no hormones added” because lactating animals are never “hormone-free”. Almond, oat, flax, or hemp milks are great options if you’re allergic to soy, want some variety, or want some more omega-3s (flax milk is especially high).

Quote of the Day:

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