Sustainable Long Island
August 2012  
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
LICF Grants $20,000
Back to School Sustainable Shopping Tips
Reusing Resources
Don't Waste The Drought
Focal Point of the Community
Team Reflection
Green Streets Cut Pollution
Position Openings
Donate today!
Board of Directors

Ruth Negr
ˇn-Gaines: President

Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   

Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.

Lauren Furst: Treasurer   


Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.

Lennard Axinn

Island Estates   


Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank 

Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury    


Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College, State University of New York 


Pat Edwards

Citi Community Development     
Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation   


Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System


Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute


Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute


Robert Wieboldt  
















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Long Island Community Foundation Grants Sustainable Long Island $20,000

Funding will support Environmental Justice Campaign  



Sustainable Long Island has been awarded $20,000 from the Long Island Community Foundation in support of the development of an Environmental Justice Campaign. Sustainable Long Island will establish an Environmental Justice Advisory Council comprised of Long Island leaders with the goal of increasing awareness of environmental justice throughout Long Island.


Environmental justice has always been a significant underlying component of Sustainable Long Island's efforts, with our projects and programs designed to promote social equity for all Long Islanders. This funding will help define and expand our efforts in identifying environmental justice issues, while developing realistic strategies for addressing these challenges.


The Advisory Council will identify diverse environmental justice issues that exist on Long Island, including water conservation and consumption, locations of locally undesired land uses, access to fresh, affordable food, availability of open space, land use, and public health. Together, Sustainable Long Island and the Advisory Council will determine critical data sets and community values that will help to inform how to deal with these issues and aid in land use decision making processes.


The Advisory Council will then distribute the information across the region in an environmental justice literacy campaign and informational document, which will be made available electronically.


Back to School - Back to Sustainability

Energy Savings Shopping Tips from NYSERDA 


As you shop to prepare to head back to school or college, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recommends you look for the ENERGY STAR« label. Products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label use less energy, save money and meet strict energy efficiency requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From laptops and printers for schoolwork, to TVs and mini fridges for study breaks, ENERGY STAR qualified products not only save energy and are good for the environment, but are a symbol of quality.



Look for ENERGY STAR computers.

  • Desktops, integrated desktops, notebook (laptop) computers, workstations and small-scale servers are all eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR label, and an ENERGY STAR qualified computer, depending on the amount of use, delivers between 30 and 65 percent energy savings over a conventional computer.
  •  Power management is also important to saving energy, as computers are now used more hours per day than in the past. ENERGY STAR power management features place computers (CPU, hard drive, etc.) into a low-power "sleep mode" after a designated period of inactivity. Simply hitting a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse awakens the computer in a matter of seconds.

Consider ENERGY STAR qualified CFL or LED desk lamps and remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room.

  • Desk lights are often used for many hours a day, consuming energy and giving off heat. ENERGY STAR qualified desk lamps provide high-quality light output, save energy and emit less heat.
  •  ENERGY STAR desk lamps use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.



  • ENERGY STAR qualified televisions are on average more than 40 percent more energy efficient than standard models.
  •  The ENERGY STAR label can be found on everything from standard TVs and HD-ready TVs, to the largest flat-screen LCD and plasma models.

Opt for an ENERGY STAR compact refrigerator for your dorm room or apartment.

  • These compact or mini-fridges, defined as less than 7.75 cubic feet in volume and 36 inches or less in height, must use at least 20% less energy than the minimum federal standard to qualify for ENERGY STAR.

Be part of the solution. If every home office product purchased in the United States this year - including those bought for dorm rooms and student apartments - met ENERGY STAR requirements, we would:

  • Save more than $100 million in annual energy costs
  • Prevent 1.4 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to emissions from 125,000 cars
  • Save more than 900 million kWh of electricity

For more information on NYSERDA programs, please visit


Reusing Resources: A Broader Strategy  

Newsday Letter to the Editor


Sustainable Long Island was excited to read about the rain garden coming to the Malcolm House in Jericho (Historic Jericho house gets 2nd rain garden) and similar green initiatives across the region (Green tech for parking lots gain ground) as these projects not only offer an inexpensive way to filter runoff pollution and recharge local groundwater, but represents a broader strategy in how we are rethinking ways to reuse our precious resources.

Projects such as this rain garden signify a transformation of habits from "wasting it all away" versus "capturing what we can." It's a move toward an environmentally-friendly solution to stormwater excess and perhaps more importantly, recycling our water rather than considering it a disposable resource.


The concept of conserving and improving water consumption and quality expands to everyday life, where you and I can make a difference. Turning off the tap, shutting down the sprinkler, or locking up those leaks, are just a few starters to help us get into a routine that can profoundly change how we think about and use our water.


Don't Waste The Drought 

Charles Fishman, author of "The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water" penns NY Times op-ed


We're in the worst drought in the United States since the 1950s, and we're wasting it.


Though the drought has devastated corn crops and disrupted commerce, it also represents an opportunity to tackle long-ignored water problems and to reimagine how we manage, use and even think about water.


For decades, Americans have typically handled drought the same way. We are asked to limit lawn-watering and car-washing, to fully load dishwashers and washing machines before running them, to turn off the tap while brushing our teeth. When the rain comes, we all go back to our old water habits.


But just as the oil crisis of the 1970s spurred advances in fuel efficiency, so should the Drought of 2012 inspire efforts to reduce water consumption.


Our nation's water system is a mess, from cities to rural communities, for farmers and for factories. To take just one example: Water utilities go to the trouble to find water, clean it and pump it into water mains for delivery, but before it gets to any home or business, leaky pipes send 16 percent - about one in six gallons - back into the ground. So even in the midst of the drought, our utilities lose enough water every six days to supply the nation for a day. You can take a shorter shower, but it won't make up for that.


The good news: There are a number of steps that together can change, gradually but permanently, how we use water and how we value it. Some can be taken right now.


The average American uses 99 gallons of water at home each day. In the summer, half of that water goes to our lawns, way more than needed. There's no reason to water in the middle of the day - when the sun steals so much of the water - or to water every day. The lawn-watering restrictions that cities impose during early drought should be made permanent, as Las Vegas and Fresno, Calif., have done.

Plumbing fixtures need to be smarter, and more fun. How come I can't buy a toilet that reports how much water it has used today, this month, this year? How come I can't buy a spigot that tells me how much water my daughter's shower took? If we saw the amount we were using, we'd turn off the tap.


Building codes should be updated to require a new generation of buildings that use less water, in everything from toilets to air-conditioning systems. Zoning rules should be altered to require that all new buildings harvest the rainwater that falls on their land and roofs. The rainwater can be stored for use or returned to the ground. If a city with as primitive a water management system as New Delhi can require rainwater harvesting, so can we.


The nation's 55,000 water utilities need to redesign incomprehensible water bills with iPad-style graphics that clearly show how many gallons each customer used this month; how that amount compares to last month, and the same month last year; and how it compares to average use by families in the neighborhood. Americans are naturally competitive: customers who know how much water they consume, compared with their neighbors, typically cut their use.


Golf courses are huge, often careless users of water. In the last decade, Las Vegas strictly limited the water its golf courses could use, and while the texture of the courses has changed, the golfing hasn't. Other cities should follow Las Vegas's example.


We also need to rethink where we grow crops. Rice farmers in Texas have howled about having their irrigation water cut off. Rice farming? In Texas? Based on rainfall patterns and projections, we need to be brutally realistic about what kind of crops we should be growing, and where.


Fixing leaky water mains should be a priority of every urban water utility. There are typically thousands of leaks in a municipal water system, but new digital technology can help utilities identify the biggest ones. Congress should approve a proposed infrastructure bank that would give municipalities low-interest loans to finance capital improvements for water management.


Finally, we must get over our aversion to recycled water. Dirty water can be made as clean as you want it, and for most communities, the water they've already got in their pipes - storm water, wastewater - is the easiest, cheapest source of "new" water. San Antonio recycles almost all of its water, but it's an exception - only 7 percent of water in the United States is reused. Water recycling should be as routine as every other kind of recycling.


The pain of this drought, a slow-motion disaster, is very real. Drought can lead to paralysis and pessimism - or it can inspire us to fundamentally change how we use water. Water doesn't respond to wishful thinking. If it did, prayer services and rain dances would be all we'd need.


A Focal Point of the Community

Robert Rowley Park improving North Bellport

Photo Credit: Newsday
Robert Rowley Park reopened last month in North Bellport after undergoing a yearlong, $1 million renovation financed by the Town of Brookhaven Park Department's capital project fund. In 2007, Sustainable Long Island facilitated a community planning process with the Greater Bellport Coalition, which highlighted the communities desire to redevelop the park and improve Greater Bellport as a whole.
Although the project is not yet fully completed, according to the residents vision documented in the sustainable community plan, this is a great step in the right direction. The community continues to advance implementation initiatives, such as sewer enhancements, safety improvements, and the launch of the youth-staffed farmers' market.
Read more about the story in Newsday (excerpt below):

The vibrancy and laughter of children have returned to Robert Rowley Park, where Brookhaven Town officials say the criminal element that had plagued the site has been discarded with the old playground equipment.


The park, which reopened last month, underwent a yearlong, $1 million renovation financed by the town park department's capital project fund. Its neighbor, the Boys and Girls Club of the Bellport Area, has undergone a $4 million face-lift and is scheduled to reopen Tuesday.


"I missed coming to the park," said Jonae Gonzalez, 13, who now regularly plays on the swings and runs the track.

Rob Powell, program director of the Boys and Girls Club just south of the park, said the state-of-the art center should help restore Rowley Park's former image.


"It's an exciting time for this community," Tracie Romandetti, executive director of the club, said in a statement. "This newly renovated park combined with the new Boys and Girls Club facility will create an overall wonderful space for the youth of North Bellport."


Rowley Park now has new basketball and handball courts, separate playgrounds for toddlers and older kids, a walking path, shade shelters and picnic tables.


John Rogers, president of the Greater Bellport Coalition, added, "The renovations that the town has undertaken restored Robert Rowley Park, which is a focal point of the community."  


Sustainable Long Island Team Reflection
Putting a voice to the faces of Sustainable Long Island  

In a ongoing feature that gives you an inside look at some of the happenings here at Sustainable Long Island, we will be posting interviews from some of our staff, volunteers, interns, and High School Fellows on our Youtube channel. They will briefly discuss projects being undertaken at the organization, their experience working/volunteering/interning here, what they learned and liked most, and what their plans are for the future.

Sustainable Long Island Intern Reflection: Billy Sklar
Sustainable Long Island Intern Reflection: Billy Sklar

Sustainable Long Island Intern Reflection: Anustha Shrestha
Sustainable Long Island Intern Reflection: Anustha Shrestha

Sustainable Long Island Intern Reflection: Samantha Catalanotto
Sustainable Long Island Intern Reflection: Samantha Catalanotto

Green Streets Cut Pollution

More Than Previously Thought

American Society of Landscape Artists highlights report

Example of a Green Street

According to a new research study out of the UK, green streets are much more effective at cutting pollution than previously thought.


What can green streets not do? They can beautify streetscapes and increase walkability; reduce crime and accidents; save communities money; reduce accidents; and, according to a new research study led by Professor Thomas Pugh at Lancaster University, we learn, "adding trees, bushes, innovative systems like green walls, or even ivy or other creeping vines, can cut street-level nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and microscopic particulate matter (PM), two of the worst forms of pollution, by eight times more than previously thought."


Co-author Rob MacKenzie from the University of Birmingham adds "The benefit of green walls is that they clean up the air coming into and staying in the street canyon. Planting more green walls in a strategic way could be a relatively easy way to take control of our local pollution problems."


Read more info. on the report at the ASLA's The Dirt Blog. 


Sustainable LI Position Openings
Now is the time for you to make a difference 

At Sustainable Long Island, we work every day to better Long Island for all residents, now and for future generations. We do it because we care and more importantly, because you care about the future of Long Island. We have worked across the region for over a dozen years and now is your chance to make a difference.

Sustainable Long Island has new position openings posted online, including Director of Programs. Find out more information about the opportunities and apply today!

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Together we can build a more
sustainable Long Island


These challenging economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interests to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.


Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our ongoing, and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island

SAVE THE DATE: December 11, 2012
Sustainable Long Island invites you to a special End-of-Year Celebration. Please join us this holiday season, on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, for a wonderful evening of song and celebration at OHEKA Castle from 5:00 - 7:00PM.



Featuring renowned opera singer Daniel Klein!
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available.
Please contact Tammy Severino at for more information.