Archive for the ‘Natural Resources’ category

Wangari Muta Mary Jo Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011)

October 1, 2011

Grace School Friends,

Thank you for your kind words. We are deeply pained and saddened by her departure even if it was not unexpected. When I visited your school, I had an eerie feeling that we were in the final days weeks of her life. But we all thought we would have her a little longer. The planet has lost its most fervent advocate. The world has lost an extraordinary human being. Kenya has lost an irreplaceable jewel. You and I have lost a colleague, mentor, role model, heroine, friend, relative …..

May the Lord rest her soul in eternal Peace.

Karanja Njoroge


Here at GCS, we mourn the loss of Wangari Maathai. After spending a year studying and admiring her work from a far, and then having the overwhelmingly lucky opportunity to visit her program in Kenya, we are so sad to see her go. Of course, our wish is that her work is even more highly recognized and honored in the coming years. The learn more about her, please see the the GBM website;
“Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmentalist, a civil society and women’s rights activist, and a former parliamentarian.”

Help Farmers – Get More Greens!

September 25, 2011

This summer, Hurricanes Irene and Lee put enormous pressure on our local ecosystem.  The GROWnyc program has tips and ideas for families that wish to help farmer’s make it through a tough season.   Go to for more information.

Greenmarket’s Hurricane Irene Relief Fund: As the flood waters begin to recede from the fields upstate, we will learn about the full extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene in the days and weeks to come. Counties in New York, New Jersey, and Vermont have been declared “major disasters” by the federal government. The Black Dirt region is still flooded, Sullivan County and Ulster County have seen significant damage, and there are parts of Greene County that no longer exist. We estimate that 80% of Greenmarket farmers have been impacted, with about 10% reporting severe loss—80-100% of their products.

While farmers are still assessing the damage and figuring out how to move forward, here are two ways you can help:

1. Donate.

Give what you can, but those of you donating $50 or more and dedicating it to “Hurricane Relief” between now and September 30 will receive a free Greenmarket poster illustrated by artist Claudia Pearson. 100% of all donations will directly support Greenmarket farmers impacted by Hurricane Irene.

Make a check out to GrowNYC and send to:

Attn: Hurricane Relief
51 Chambers Street, Suite 1231
NY, NY 10007

Write in the memo: Hurricane Relief


Go to our Network for Good donation page
Choose Program Designation: Hurricane Irene Relief

Green Cup Challenge Video: Snack Attack!

February 8, 2011

You can VOTE FOR GCS, and see the video submissions of other schools at the Green Cup Challenge website.

Here’s a quick, fun, update!  Another unrelated video contest is being held for high schools called Green For All.  Here is a great submission from the Climate Crew!  Enjoy!

Snack Attack – Green Cup Challenge

January 30, 2011

Teachers  and students all over GCS are turning out the lights during the Green Cup Challenge.  GCS already makes use of wind power options from ConEd and participates in Energy Curtailment Service’s Power Down events.

“First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the globe…. Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!” –  Henry David Thoreau

You can see how our progress compares to other schools here: ( this month.  We are focusing on the ways we can save energy while we eat. Hosted by the Green Schools Alliance, we are encouraging all classrooms to consider saving energy in the following ways;

  • Turn out the lights during snack and story time
  • Don’t leave chargers plugged in when they are not in use
  • Turn off printers, monitors, and SmartBoards when not in use
  • Turn off unneeded hallway lights
  • Turn of the main bank of lights at lunch on a sunny day.
  • Walk instead of taking the elevator
  • Enjoy one of Chef Sheehan’s Green Lunches!

You can look at our Top Ten Green Tips (in the sidebar on the right) if you would like to find out even more ways to keep energy savings up and reduce our Carbon Footprint!

“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.” ~H.G. Wells

December 26, 2010

Mr. Schneider has been cycling to work for years, and over time, has learned the city routes well.  He’s cycled around all 5 boroughs, and even in Vietnam!  A big supporter of Transportation Alternatives, he knows that riding bikes in NYC is great green move.  “I love to ride my bicycle! I get around so easily, I enjoy the scenery, I benefit from the exercise, I conserve gas and save money, and…… this has been my little secret up until now: I feel like I’m flying! Of course I do all that with a helmit, as safely as possible!”

Compost Guests Arrive!

October 31, 2010

Our worms arrived for our first compost bin this Wednesday.  The Green Gremlins got to prepare their bedding, give them their first meal, and feel them squirm!  Click here for a video of the worms before they were set in the bin.  Chef Sheehan provided some of the kitchen scraps collected during Wednesday’s lunch.  The kids plan to collect scraps from lunch tables during the fall.    Is your classroom interested in having a compost bin? They are easy to maintain and a great educational resource.  Check out the upcoming Wormshop from the Lower East Side Ecology Center this month at Friends.  Composting from home?  You can set up your own bin easily, but if this is not an option, consider bringing your vegetable scraps to a local compost outpost.  Also, the map of compost station in NYC can be found here.  

Green Roof at the Gramercy Park Hotel

October 21, 2010

The Gremlins had an amazing mini field trip to the Gramercy Park Hotel this afternoon.  We not only learned about some innovative urban gardening techniques, we also had some tasty samples of fresh tomatoes, beans, and figs.

Kevin Denton gave us the grand tour.  We were impressed by the number of re-used items the garden had successfully transformed into roof-top garden wonders.  An old duck roaster, floor tiles, and broken containers were upcycled and freshly blooming with fall vegetables and compost created with hotel and restaurant left overs.  Diners at Maialino are lucky to have the most local and fresh ingredients in the neighborhood.  We learned about how the garden uses rainwater collectors to irrigate “crops” and is working on adding some small wind turbines to add to the re-use program.  Students were fascinated by the variety of herbs, and many saved leaves to smell on their way home!

Composter made of old duck roaster and floor tiles!