• Oil vs. Water – Cleaning Slick from the Gowanus Canal

    The rainbow sheen that dances on the surface of the Gowanus Canal isn’t anything pretty, its oil! This oil comes from the streets and from manufacturing along the Canal. Some of the oil has floated in the Canal since the industrial revolution. Oil is one of the biggest problems for the Canal because of the whole oil vs. water thing. Water and oil don’t mix, but you can’t just sift out the oil as no technic has been able separate the two even though they don’t mix. It a conundrum or maybe not! Scott C. Smith of OPFELX Solutions shows how a simple product can remove oil from water. It’s almost like magic! The oil is pulled in by some green polyolefin foam that looks like the remains of a muppet. The product sucks up all the oil out of the water and then that oil can be strained out for reuse. It really sounds too good to be true. Check it out…

  • An Ecological Approach to Improving Resilience and Sustainability in NYC – P. TIMON MCHPHERSON, PHD

    Turns out you’re not living a good life. Not that you’re evil or anything…well, you could be. Evil or not you’re probably not that environmentally friendly. Sure, you reuse grocery bags and eat hippy food, but we’re pretty sure that none biodegradable iPhone you carry around lowers your ‘saving the planet’ points. Don’t freak out or anything, you can still earn those points back by developing a sustainable existence. But how does one really work with the environment in an urban setting. Probably magic or by listening to scientist like P. Timon McPhearson, PhD.

    P. Timon McPhearson, PhD is really into urban ecology. He spent three years as Columbia University Science Fellow teaching environmental & ecological science, while conducting research at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He now is over at the New School as an Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology and Coordinator for Environmental Science. He’s giving a lecture tonight over at 61 Local mezzanine on “An Ecological Approach to Improving Resilience and Sustainability in NYC”. You know all those things we should do, but don’t know how to.

    Full Details:

    Join the Gowanus Canal Conservancy at their first Wednesday night lecture to promote awareness of local ecological issues and raise community environmental consciousness.

    “An Ecological Approach to Improving Resilience and Sustainability in NYC”

    Abstract: Doctor MCPHERSON will discuss our life’s in the Anthropocene; an increasingly urban, interconnected and changing world. Over the last few decades there has been increasing recognition that human population expansion and development is reshaping the ecology of the entire planet. Given global urbanization trends compounded by other environmental pressures, the primary dynamic that must be understood for increasing urban sustainability and resilience is the social-ecological relationships between humans and the urban ecosystems. A Q&A session will follow the lecture.

    Note: The views expressed by speakers do not necessarily represent the views of the Conservancy.

    61 Local mezzanine: 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 6:30pm
    Admission: $5 or free if you renew or become a new member of the Conservancy.

    6:30 Social hour and music.
    7:30 Lecture.

  • Eco-Expo & Mixer

    Film Biz Recycling is having one of those ‘industry’ type events with a green twist. On May 19th, Film Biz will be holding its first Eco-Expo & Mixer for those who are on the production side of the entertainment industry. The event will have a whole host of green presenters that include:

    Canal Creatures

    A sustainable production services company with the resources and connections, earned through 15 years of hands-on experience, to create the most time-efficient, cost-effective and polished films, web promos, and broadcast commercials.

    Green Product Placement

    Green Product Placement is a media product placement company that places and promotes green, sustainable, socially enterprising and/or local entrepreneurial brands in mainstream media, concentrating on television shows, feature films and web media.

    Sip N’ Go

    Make the transition away from bottled water easier on your crew.  Introducing the Sip N’ Go – reusable foldable water bottle for life on the go. Reduces landfill, BPA free, snaps shut and is pocket size when not in use. Smart hydration!


    Vokashi is a simple, easy and odorless way to ensure your food scraps stay out of landfills and get to the place they’re needed most – local farms and gardens.  Vokashi does all the dirty work by delivering the supplies you need and picking up your food waste and delivering back to the earth. Easy. Clean. Sustainable.

    Eco Set

    EcoSet implements environmentally responsible practices into commercial productions, minimizing the impact and recirculating reusable materials back into the local community.  We strive for Zero Waste and are partnering with our clients to set new standards for advertising productions.

    Soda Stream

    Save lots of money, reduce waste and recycing needs, and trips to the beverage wholesale outlet and get the fun and delicious alternative – make your own selzter and soda!  It’s a great savings in all regards and everyone will have a great time with bubbly, morale-boosting deliciousness.  

    Rock and Wrap it Up!

    Productions always have lots of food left over.  Make sure it goes to feed the hungry instead of the garbage to create pollution!  ROCK AND WRAP IT UP! is an antipoverty think tank. Founded in 1991, it was the first charity to address waste in entertainment sectors across North America: music/sports/film. Food prepared but not served was kept out of land-fill and re purposed to feed the hungry.

    Abby Kaish is the North American Director for Sports and Film recovery efforts.

    Plus, a who lot more!

    The event is meant to cultivate the re-use of materials and recycling of materials used in the entertainment industry.


    Get more details and RSVP for the event here.



  • Ennis Park and street tree stewardship & Block Party

    Last October Gowanus Alliance and Gowanus Canal Conservancy combined forces for a tree planting. This event was really successful with the help of volunteers who brought green back to Ennis Playground.

    The two Gowanus-centric groups are coming together again for a festival in the same park they helped to improve. The Clean & Community Celebration will include: BBQ, Weaving Workshops, an educational workshop from Gowanus Canal Conservancy, kids games, gardening, and more. This event will take place Saturday May 26th, 2012 from 11am-5:00p at the Ennis Playground, which is located off 12th street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues.

    Here’s the breakdown of activities:

    11:00am-1:00pm: Weed and mulch gardens, water plants and take care of street trees in neighborhood. 

    1:oopm: Food Served (BBQ, Veggies, Fruits, Snacks)

    2:00pm: Recycle T-Shirt into Rug-Weaving Workshop

    2:30pm: Recycle Fleece into Rug-Weaving Workshop

    3:00pm: Volleyball Game

    plus, fence thread mural, chalk drawing, water ballon games, education workshop hosted by Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and more. 

    Check Gowanus Alliance’s Facebook page for updates.



Gowanus, Brooklyn

The crack between two hipster neighborhoods, home to the now superfunded Canal, the flash point for the new 'Buy Local' and textile revolutions, & filled with brilliant bohemians. . . this is Gowanus & it’ll awesome your face off.

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