In this week's newsletter: The NYS plastic bag ban goes into effect this Sunday, have your special spring or summer event at Solar One, synthetic mangroves could help protect coastlines and much more!
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New York's Plastic Bag Ban Goes into Effect This Sunday 

Stuck in tree limbs, clogging storm drains, breaking down in waterways and filling the stomachs of wildlife, single-use, thin-film grocery bags have been in the crosshairs of environmental activists in New York for quite some time, and for good reason: New Yorkers use and discard about 23 BILLION bags every single year.

While the word "ban" implies an all-out crackdown, that's not really what's about to happen. We are not going to have Plastic Prohibition, where all plastic bags disappear overnight and become illegal contraband. Produce bags, bags for takeout food, prescription drugs and sliced or prepared-to-order foods like deli meats and cheeses, newspaper subscription bags and dry cleaning bags will all be exempt- and so will prepackaged boxes of bulk bags for trash, recycling, compost and dog waste.

So don't expect plastic bags to just disappear...but do expect that the worst excesses- shopping bags that are used for 5 seconds and then end up in the East River, for example- will be significantly lessened.

You can read all the details of the new plastic bag rule on Gothamist here.

Planning an Event This Spring or Summer? Have It at Solar One!

If you are one the the many thousands of people who have enjoyed Stuyvesant Cove Park, remember us if you're planning an event this spring or summer!

While it's not the fanciest location in town by any means, the blacktop event space is a great venue for children's parties, informal weddings, birthday parties, fitness demonstrations, dance and music concerts, and pretty much anything where a wide open space with water access and solar electricity is needed.

Prices depend on timing, circumstances, whether the potential user is an individual, an organization or a for-profit company and the needs of the user. For more information and to set up site visits, please email Dina Elkan, Park & Events Director, at

Biomimicry in Action: Synthetic Mangroves Could Help Protect Coastlines

Biomimicry is a design philosophy that adapts processes found in nature to improve design efficiency and elegance. Mangroves are fascinating tropical tress that thrive in brackish or even fully salty water. Using an ingenious pressure method, they are able to suck up saltwater through their roots and still pump fresh water to their leaves. In trying to understand the mechanism by which they accomplish this, researchers figured out a way to build synthetic mangroves capable of the same feat.

While you might think that the synthetic mangroves would make ideal desalination devices, think again. The amount of energy needed to use them for desalination on a grand scale would be overwhelming. But the devices, which resemble a large French press rather than a tropical tree, could help cities deal with stormwater surges. Installed as part of building systems, synthetic mangroves could use pressure differentials to suck excess water up and then allow it to evaporate as freshwater vapor, making buildings much more resilient to sea level rise.

You can read more about this on here.
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Solar One Events

We currently have no upcoming events scheduled. See you in the Spring!

Upcoming Events

26th Bronx Parks Speak Up: Sustaining the Future
Lehman College Faculty Dining Room, Music Building, 250 Bedford Park West Boulevard bet Paul Ave & Goulden Ave, Bronx, 11am-5pm, free

Earth Celebrations’ ECOLOGICAL CITY: Art & Climate Solutions Action Workshops
Sixth Street Community Center, 638 East 6th Street bet Aves B & C, Manhattan, 12-4pm, free

Art Exhibit: A Woman Lights the Lights of Florida
National Lighthouse Museum, 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, 11am-4pm, free

LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Workshop
Urban Green Council, 55 Broad Street, 9th Floor Blue Room, between Beaver St & Exchange Pl, Manhattan, 9am-4pm, $350

CityWide Ferry Service Expansion Public Hearing—Staten Island
Staten Island Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace bet Nick LaPorte Pl & Schuyler St, Staten Island, 6-8pm, free

Remember Us: The Hungarian Hidden Children
LDP at Waterside, 25 Waterside Plaza at E. 26th st, Manhattan, 6-8pm, free

BQX Workshop: Williamsburg/Greenpoint
Bushwick Inlet Park, 85 Kent Avenue bet N. 9th & N. 10th Sts, Brooklyn, 6:30-8:30pm, free

Biophilia in Building Design & Operations
CookFox Architects, 250 West 57th Street, 17th Floor, bet Broadway & 8th Ave, Manhattan, 6-8pm, $20 general admission/$10 members/free for Leadership, Sponsor & Organizational members

CityWide Ferry Service Expansion Public Hearing—Brooklyn
PS 90 Edna Cohen School, 2840 West 12th Street bet Neptune & Surf Aves, Brooklyn, 6-8pm, free

Exhibit Opening of Ebb & Flow with Live Recording of Person Place Thing
NYC Department of Records & Information Services, 31 Chambers street, Suite 11, bet Elk & Centre Sts, Manhattan, 6-8pm, free

CityWide Ferry Service Expansion Public Hearing—Manhattan
Battery Park City, 6 River Terrace Community Room, West St at Murray St, Manhattan, 6-8pm, free

GPRO Operations & Maintenance Essentials
Urban Green Council, 55 Broad Street, 9th Floor Blue Room, bet Beaver St & Exchange Pl, Manhattan, 9am-5pm, $400 general admission/$350 Urban Green members
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