Category: KRB Staff Picks

Getting Ready for Rockland PLUS 2022

Workshops Begin 2/1/22!

Now in its 17th year, RPLUS (Rockland PLUS) is a powerful educational experience for local high school youth. It prepares them to make informed choices for a sustainable future and gives them a forum to think and work creatively for the collective well-being of the environment and our communities.

This year, we have even more opportunities for student input. We’re highlighting inspiring examples of the power of the youth voice, especially when it comes to addressing climate change at all levels and creating climate smart communities.

We’re back in the classroom for Rockland PLUS workshops! And we’re very excited to be able to host symposiums for each of the participating classes – though once again at a distance.

We can’t wait to share the student’s visions for local redevelopment that promotes a balance of Social connections, Economic opportunity, Environmental sensitivity, and Equitable access to natural and community resources (S.E.E.E.). Check out some from last year.

TZHS Logistics Park Project
Many thanks to People’s United Community Foundation and M&T Bank, two community-minded institutions, for providing essential support for RPLUS 2022.

Shrink Your Carbon Footprint: Small Steps for Big Impact!

KRB’s newest Earth BEAT Eco-Station Shrink Your Carbon Footprint: Small Steps for Big Impact! empowers and inspires kids to take action to make a difference in reducing air pollution affecting our health and the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change and its devastating effects.

In this high-energy activity, students work in small groups to learn how they can shrink their carbon footprint by taking steps to reduce their consumption of electricity and single-use products, and consider alternatives to fossil fuel burning methods of transportation. A short skit created by each group demonstrates their chosen actions.  Their peers call out the message and then watch the giant footprint shrink.

Through their participation in this fun, hands-on activity, kids become aware of how their own behavior and choices can contribute to solutions, and how the power of their voice now and into the future can drive systemic change that addresses waste at its source.

We are proud and honored to have co-written our newest Eco-Station with Kottie-Christie Blick. Kottie is a skilled education consultant, university course instructor, award-winning classroom teacher (recently retired from Cottage Lane Elementary School), member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Planet Stewards Program, and webmaster of the popular website, KidsAgainstClimateChange.com.  Check out this great resource!

Many thanks to Maria Vega-Cabrera and her 5th grade class, as well as Jacob Tanenbaum, Abby Rudin, and the administration at Cottage Lane Elementary School, for helping us pilot Shrink Your Carbon Footprint. 

A Renewable Energy Movement Comes to Rockland

This fall a collaborative municipal clean energy program launched in Rockland County, transitioning close to one fourth of Rockland’s population onto renewable energy.  

Rockland Community Power, a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, provides 100% renewable energy at affordable, guaranteed rates and protects consumers from predatory suppliers.  This innovative program is the kind of big, transformative action needed to move us from fossil fuels to the clean energy that will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change.

And most consumers see a reduction in their utility bill!  A KRB member who subscribes to the program was delighted to find that she will cut the supply portion of her electric bill by more than half! 

We are facing a profound climate crisis.  Scientists are warning that we must cut emissions by 45% worldwide by 2030 in order to avoid runaway climate change.  It’s clear we will need sweeping and systemic change to avoid the worst-case scenarios.  New York State has set ambitious climate goals, including 70% renewable energy for electricity by 2030.  The question is, how do we meet those urgently needed climate goals?

Currently, six Rockland communities having taken a major step toward meeting those goals on the local level by participating in Rockland Community Power. They are: Clarkstown, Orangetown, and the Villages of Haverstraw, Nyack, South Nyack, and Upper Nyack.  These communities have chosen 100% renewable energy as the default option to replace “standard” energy transmitted through Orange & Rockland.  

If you live in one of the six Rockland Community Power communities and you are an Orange & Rockland customer, you should be getting an official welcome letter to the program (on municipal letterhead and signed by your mayor or town supervisor).  If you do nothing, you will be moved seamlessly onto renewable energy when the program launches.  

In fact, the power of CCA is the “opt out” feature, which gives the community leverage as a buying group – and makes all the difference in reducing our carbon footprint as a community.  Customers can ‘opt out’ at any time and without any financial penalty.  

Orange and Rockland will continue as your utility, delivering the energy, maintaining the power lines, and billing customers.

If your energy comes from an alternative supplier (not standard) and you would like to participate in the program, you can easily ‘opt in’ by calling (845) 859-9099, or going online to www.rocklandcommunitypower.com

You can also add on Community Solar, which supports a more local renewable energy source and provides a guaranteed discount of up to 10%! 

If your community is not yet participating in Rockland Community Power and you would like to bring this impactful program to your community, reach out to Community Coordinator, Peggy Kurtz, at Peggy@JouleCommunityPower.com or call 845 859-9099.

ENJOY • EXPLORE • LEARN

Don’t Miss Columbia University Lamont-Doherty’s Open House at Home, October 19 – 22, 2020. 

Whether you’re an aspiring young scientist or a long-time science enthusiast, you’re sure to enjoy the events and activities.  Join in on for virtual lab tours, participate in hands-on earth science activities with Lamont’s scientists from home, and learn from world-renowned researchers about their latest discoveries.

Open House is free and open to the public, with a $5 suggested donation.

More on their K-12 EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

What Is Your Foodprint?  

What we eat, where it comes from, and how its produced has an enormous impact on the environment and on human health.  Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture comprised of monoculture fields and concentrated animal factories. The industry makes intensive use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers that contaminate and pollute our air, soil and water. Read more