In this week's Newsletter: Yesterday was Earth Overshoot Day, it takes a village of microbes to make healthy soil, floating solar in Central Park and much more!
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August 2nd Was Earth Overshoot Day

Yesterday, August 2nd, was Earth Overshoot Day, the day when “humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” according to the Global Footprint Network, an international nonprofit that is working to make ecological limits central to policymaking around the world.

And as bad as it is to run out of resources with four months left in the year, in the US it took us only three months to exhaust our ecological capacity: March 14, 2017 was USA Overshoot Day. Of all the countries tracked by the Global Footprint Network, only Honduras is projected to make it to the end of the year without needing a resource overdraft. The GFN also has a Personal Footprint Calculator, so you can figure out when your own personal Overshoot Day is (hint: if you have to fly a lot, you might want to skip this; air travel eats up a giant slice of your resource budget).

You can read more about this, and check out some pretty cool charts, on here. 

It Takes a Village (Of Microbes) to Make Healthy Soil

Sometimes the things we can't see are just as important as the things we can, and soil, which has been undergoing dramatic degradation over the past 100 years, is not a simple substance but an incredibly complex eco-system. Natural soils are thriving with life. They contain an incredible diversity of microscopic bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other organisms. A handful of soil can contain tens of thousands of different species, all working together to break down complex organic materials and complete the biochemical processes that keep soil alive and healthy.

For too long, agriculture professionals, dedicated to a monoculture farmiong system that leaves fields fallow in between crop seasons, have ignored the growing problem. But now, with evidence growing that soil can be an effectib=ve tool for carbon capture as well as growing healthy foods, a nu,ber of groups, including large corporations like General Mills, non profits like the Nature Conservancy and the Soil Health Institute and government agencies are all working to help farmers make the transition to taking better care of their soil.

You can read more of the specifics at here.

Another Novel Idea to Expand Solar in NYC and Beyond

Last week, Crain's published an op-ed on the concept of installing  floating solar farms on NYC reservoirs to achieve NYC's ambitious renewable energy goals. While it may sound far-fetched, there are solar-powered reservoirs around the world, and (whether you support the idea or not) Solar One's Here Comes Solar staff estimates that a floating solar farm on the Central Park Reservoir would deliver a 1000% increase in Manhattan's solar generating capacity. Despite tremendous progress over the last few years, most New Yorkers still have limited access to solar -- especially low-income residents and renters that don't control their own roofs. Community shared solar can help expand access to solar savings among our low-income neighbors and seniors on fixed income, but there aren't many sites for large-scale community shared solar in Con Edison territory. Could floating solar be part of the solution? Regardless of whether solar is coming to a reservoir near you anytime soon, this is the kind of creative thinking needed if we want to make clean energy accessible to all New Yorkers.
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Upcoming Events at Solar One

Community Volunteer Day in Stuyvesant Cove Park
Solar 1, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 10:00am-1pm, free

Other Events

The National Lighthouse Musuem’s 7th Annual Light Keeper's Gala
200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, 6-10pm, $200+

Bronx River Estuary Paddle
Starlight Park, West Farms Road bet E. 172nd & E. 173rd Sts, Bronx, 10am-3pm, $30

East River Greenway Alliance Manhattan Loop Ride
East River Greenway at 60th St & York Ave, near the dog run at the bottom of the ramp, Manhattan, 9am-1pm, free for ECGA members/$20 includes membership

Paths to Climate Action: Make Earth Great Again
The New School University, Room 502-503, 65 Fifth Avenue bet E. 13th & E. 14th Sts, Manhattan, 12:30-2:30pm, free

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