ScratchBox Project: An Interactive Neighborhood Art Installation

A few weeks ago while walking the poodles, I stumbled upon an interesting array of light bottles in Madison Square Park. It was a group of artists and designers promoting the Scratchbox Project. Of course, I asked them to scratch the poodles in the bottle!

The bottles are coated with a special paint that scratches away to reveal the light beneath and, of course, the art.

This interactive project aims to build relationships within a community by encouraging residents to share their experiences within it. In doing so, each person will get to know both the place and the people living in it. Check out the short video below!

The first Scratchbox event and panels are set to go up at First Green Street on August 16 & 17. The team at Scratchbox are crowdsourcing this project through a Kickstarter campaign that is in its final day! As a huge supporter of art, music, and life in public spaces, I want to see them succeed in this campaign. Check out more about the project on their Kickstarter page! 


NYC E-Waste events


UPDATE Lower East Side Ecology Center now accepting drop off e-waste Tues-Sat in one location

In many of my previous blogs I write about the Lower East Side Ecology Center and their amazing E-waste events in NYC. This January celebrates their 9th year of "After The Holidays" E-waste events. My favorite is being held Saturday January 21st in front of Tekserve, the 1st Apple store-support center in NYC (before there even was such a thing as an Apple store,) @ 24th st bet 6th and 7th avenues. Follow links for other events near you.  

Check out the list of what you can bring, I went to one with a full box and even brought my pups along for the trip (why not, it was a teachable moment). If you're in a car, it's simple, because they block a section of the street for cars to pull up-you don't even have to get out of your car or taxi. Some even come on a bike.

It would be great to get your neighbors and your Apartment Building or Small Business involved.

All collected electronics will be recycled by WeRecycle!, an environmentally and socially responsible local recycler. The Electronic Waste Recycling Program is made possible by Tekserve, Con Edison and The New York Community Trust.  

here's a clip I made of from my September recycling e-waste trip:

On September I7, 2011 I walked to an LES Ecology Center e-waste event in front of Tekserve. With my pups in tow, we brought a box of old cell phones, cameras, a fax machine, transformers and cables to be properly disposed of. It was a true NY moment. When we arrived I met Development Director, Caroline Kruse who shared with me just how easy it is to recycle electronic waste.
It might take a little of your time, but recycling e-waste is so important. It feels good to know there's something you can do to reduce the massive amount of toxic waste we produce and discard without much thought. The Lower East Side Ecology Center leads the way. 

E-Waste events in Flatbush and Park Slope

E-waste FAQ from the Lower East Side Ecology Center website: Why should I recycle my old electronics? What happens to the computers that people bring to events? Is my personal information on my computer safe? Do I have to delete the hard drive? What can I bring? What do I do with household batteries? Is there a limit to how much I can bring? Do you offer pick-ups? Can I take used items at the recycling events? Can I receive a tax deduction for donating my computer equipment? How can I have an Electronics Recycling event in my neighborhood?
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E-WASTE Recycling Day JULY 16, 2011

I am a huge fan of The Lower East Side Ecology Center, they not only champion a sustainable NYC (since 1987) but they are a go-to for education and my favorite e-waste recycling day. This will be their only summer event but will have events in all five boroughs in the fall. There's still time to do something that not only helps the environment, but helps you to feel good about getting rid of all that stuff you're collecting that you no longer have room or use for:
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Resolution 2011 Reduce Reuse and Recycle

If you're someone who likes to make New Years resolutions, here's one that worth sticking to. Learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle in NYC. The Lower East Side Ecology Center is just the place to show you how.  Their mission is to work towards a sustainable New York City. If you're like me, you cringe every time you see the curbs full of garbage that could and should be recycled, and transformed into something else.  I've seen far too many garbage trucks filled with easy recyclable items heading to landfill because so many citizens of this amazing city can't be bothered.  The city is growing and with it a huge amount of construction creating vast amounts of waste. There should be a comprehensive plan to reduce, reuse and recycle the tons of construction debris leaving sites heading for burial and not rebirth. And why is it that office buildings having the lion share of waste are not mandated to recycle?

Funny how another term for garbage is refuse, is it because we refuse to accept our responsibility for dealing with our own excessive waste? Why are we so apathetic? Waste has to got to go somewhere, and in the city we cart it away making grotesque toxic mountains in a whole lot of someone else's back yards. Or it's shipped onto floating barges to nowhere-and if some "accidentally" gets dumped into the sea, who's being held accountable? Garbage costs the city=us so much. We waste with our waste. But wait, there's money in them thar hills and garbage islands floating off the starboard bow!

The city's waste should be revenue based. It's a mountain of a challenge (pun intended) but we have to be up to the task, because sooner or later we'll come to our collective senses and see the value in making our city landfill free.

Here's one action to start the New Year: learn how, where and when you can recycle your e-waste. Make it a point to collect your junk together and instead of easily dumping onto your sidewalk, take a tiny bit more time and take your stuff to one of the listed e-waste locations. Feel good about being part of the solution.

The Ecology Center offers free public compost collection and education, electronic waste recycling, stewardship of public open space, and environmental education. Their programs focus on offering opportunities for all New Yorkers to learn about environmental issues facing NYC and to take responsibility for solving those problems.

So here's to the resolution to think before you throw away, and my bet you'll have a better time sticking to this resolution than giving up chocolate and you'll feel much better for it.