Community Meeting

Be a part of one of the most ambitious community environmental efforts in the nation!

Please join us for a Community Meeting, share your ideas for climate action, and find out more about how you can be involved.

  • What are the Bedford 2030 goals and what can you do?
  • How will we involve our entire community?
  • What activities and events are coming up this fall as we relaunch B2030?

RSVP for July 23, 2020; 7pm via Zoom

Click here to join Zoom Meeting

RSVP

Now Accepting Applications

Are you passionate about climate action? Motivated to reach ambitious goals? Excited to work in Bedford for positive change?

We’re hiring!

Check out these job descriptions and if you fit the bill, please submit your letter of interest and resume (with your name in the document title) via email to Ellen Calves.

 Please share this information if you know someone who may be interested in working on our team! Please apply by July 20th!

Volunteer!

Starting August 1st, we will put on our masks and gloves and re-open the TIOLI shed!

If all goes well, we will also host a Repair Cafe or two this fall.

Please let us know if you would like to help make these waste reduction community events a success. Sign up below and we will follow up wtih more details. Thanks!

Thank you!

Volunteer Form – Summer and Fall 2020
When would you like to volunteer? *
Are you interested in general volunteering during other times? Check all that may apply.

Questions? Contact us!

Invasive Species Tips

Our yards and landscapes suffer under a continuous attack of brutal exotic invaders. Once you recognize these enemies, you see them everywhere: Japanese barberry, winged euonymus, privet, multiflora rose, Japanese honeysuckle, mugwort and Japanese knotweed. And the list goes on.

All these plants crowd out our native plants, on which our pollinators and birds depend as food sources.

Tackling this issue in our woodlands requires measures beyond the scope of homeowners alone.

Healthy Yards advice: Don’t let the bullies intimidate you! A good strategy is to have a look around in your yard and decide how much you can manage and then start removing ONE species after the other.

Start with the most aggressive spreaders first:

In Europe this plant is charmingly called Modest Henry, which illustrates how complicated the issue of invasives is: outside of its natural habitat, a plant can gain completely new characteristics.

Here in the USA, garlic mustard has a strong allelopathic capacity, which means it doesn’t just crowd out other plants, but it also makes the soil less suitable for them to grow in.
  • Removing garlic mustard is fairly easy:
  • Remove it before it goes to seed 
  • Remove root and all
  • It’s a biannual: Learn to recognize the first-year plant and get that at the same time
  • It’s easiest to remove after rain when the soil is soft
  • Keep at it! 
  • Dispose of seed heads in the trash or commercial compost facility
  • Replace with part shade loving plants: packera, creeping phlox, wood anemone, or any other native plant you can get hold of
  • The good news: once you have removed this, natives from the old seed bank will start growing again

Again a beloved wet soil loving spring flower in Europe, but here it’s an unstoppable plant crowding out all our spring ephemerals. Lesser celandine creates a massive and thick underground structure, composed of a mass of bulblets and roots, so dense that there is no room for other plants. The window for removing this plant is short and its removal is tedious. Get it as soon as you see it appear in your yard — don’t pause to admire its pretty yellow flowers or glossy leaves, or else you will be run over!
  • Prioritize natural areas, celandine has little impact on turf, but is disastrous for our natives ephemerals
  • Start where the plant seems happiest and go from there
  • Remove ALL roots and bulblets (every little piece will regrow!)
  • Replace immediately with moisture-loving natives as skunk cabbage, wood poppy, wild leeks
  • Dispose of all the plant material in the trash or a commercial compost facility (or feed it to your chickens if you have them!)
  • Keep at it!
  • In Europe the soil contains nematodes- microscopic worms- that keep Lesser celandine from becoming a nuisance. Using animals species to control invasive is called Biological control. Biological control with imported species has risks and requires a period of study to ensure it will not harm other species.

Japanese Knotweed and Mugwort are bordering most of our roadsides today with dense rhizome-rich patches, but they are also unwelcome and greedy guests in our yards.
  • Wait for after heavy rain so roots can easily be pulled
  • Remove all roots or every little piece will regrow!
  • Japanese knotweed and Mugwort love nitrogen: don’t fertilize these areas.
  • The roots can be so dense that pulling is no option, in that case keep mowing the area and removing the plant debris, until bare patches appear.
  • Replace pulled roots, or use the bare patches to fill, with strong rhizomatous native wildflowers such as monarda, mountain mint, wild geranium, milkweed, primrose, goldenrods
  • Use non-systemic herbicides only as a last resort
  • Dispose of all the plant material through the trash or a commercial compost facility
  • Keep at it! 
Japanese stilt grass is last on our list. It might take over the landscape at the end of summer, but its roots are very shallow and do less damage to our native habitat than the species above. It is an annual grass and its small seeds spread everywhere.
  • Pull Stilt grass before the seed heads are formed.
  • Replace with tall, late summer flowering, part shade-loving plants, such as goldenrods and asters
  • Keep pulling: the wind will bring in new seeds every year.

Interesting enough, Stilt grass serves as a host plant for some native satyr butterflies, such as the Carolina Satyr and the endangered Mitchell’s Satyr.

Thank you to Healthy Yards for these great tips!

Greenlight Award Finals 2020

Congratulations 2020 Greenlight Award Teams!

Forty students from six different area high schools participated in Bedford 2020’s 5th annual Greenlight Award Finals on Sunday morning in two Zoom sessions that ran simultaneously for over three hours each.

We congratulate all the teams who should feel proud of all they accomplished!

Starting in fall 2019, each of these teams put together a project proposal, incorporated feedback from evaluators and modified their plans, moved ahead to implement goals, pivoted as needed to new goals or strategies. Even in the face of a global pandemic lockdown, many contestants moved forward. In April 2020, these teams submitted impressive presentations and expertly fielded questions from the judges at the finals!

Fourteen judges joined to watch, question, and evaluate the fifteen projects and their impact on the environment.

Teams competed in one of two categories — Advocacy or Innovation — and winning teams were awarded cash prizes of up to $1,000.

Click here to read more about the contestants and click on the project titles below to view the student presentations.

Innovation Category

Flue Energy Harvesting – 1st place
Food Wastage App – 2nd place
Solar Powered Battery Station – 3rd place
PV Charging Stations

Advocacy Category

True Bamboo – 1st place
Roll to Reuse – 2nd place (tie)
John Jay High School Sustainability Week – 2nd place (tie)
Lil Planters – 3rd place (tie)
Recycle Right with Riley – 3rd place (tie)
Ardsley Community Garden
Carbon Free BCSD
Forks for our Future
Ride and Reduce
Solar Greenhouse
Stop Your Engines!

1st Place Advocate – TrueBamboo

2nd Place Advocate (tie) – Roll to Reuse

2nd Place Advocate (tie) – JJHS Sustainability Week

1st Place Innovator – Flue Energy Harvesting

 

3 Ways to Compost

The Dig In Virtual Series kicked off on Thursday, April 9 via Zoom!

Composters from Bedford 2020 and Healthy Yards shared their experience and answered questions from participants.

For more information about composting:

2020 Greenlight Finals Info

Big green ideas will be celebrated at the Finals
Sunday, April 19th – via Zoom!

In this challenging time where no one can meet in person or go to school, we understand that many of the Greenlight Award projects have come to a screeching halt. However, we still want to hear from our teams to see what they had planned and to see if they were able to move their project forward before or during this crisis.

OVERVIEW

Finalists will present the results of their Greenlight Award projects before panels of judges on the morning of Sunday, April 19 via Zoom. All participants and the public are invited to participate in the virtual event.

Presentations will be 3 to 5 minutes long and Judges have 5-10 minutes to ask questions. Judges will use the Finals Score Sheet to score the projects.

Since the finals will be held via Zoom, there will only be one round of scoring. The highest scoring teams win cash prizes and others will receive special recognition for specific efforts.. Winners and honorable mention categories will be announced during the week after the final evaluations are completed.

Finalists, please fill out the final update form online and upload all presentation materials to this Dropbox folder and remember to name your files using your team name.


DUE DATES

April 3 Submit project photos via email
April 8 Final Report
April 10 Submit slide presentation
April 15Have an adult email us to verify they gave your team
feedback on your presentation
April 15Submit video presentation (use Screencastify.com)
April 16Submit project flyer (click here for examples)
TBDSign up for time slot for April 19 Finals (link coming soon)
April 19Zoom Finals (link and instructions coming soon)

FINAL REPORT

This online report is similar to the project proposal and mid-way reports that you have already done. Click here to access the online form and submit by April 8th.


SLIDE PRESENTATION

Please create a 3 to 5 minute slide presentation using Power Point, Google Slides, Prezi (or other) to showcase your project and submit it by April 10 to the Dropbox folder. Then make a video of your team presenting the slideshow using the website Screencastify.com (more about this below).

Include information the judges will need to give you a score on the Finals Score Sheet (use this as you would a rubric at school) and put your project into context so people who don’t know anything about it will understand it.

  1. What is the environmental problem you addressed?
  2. To address this problem, what behavior did you set out to change? What invention/innovation did you create to bring about a change?Among whom?
  3. What were your goals?
  4. What are your results?
  5. How did you achieve this? Explain your strategy and your tactics or tools you used or created to carry this out.
  6. Be sure to demonstrate at least one tactic or tool that you used that was unique and that might possibly be replicated, adopted, or continue to be used, or that brought attention to your project in a unique way. 
  7. How did you use your budget and available resources?
  8. Evaluate the overall short-term and potential long-term impact of your project. Make an argument why your idea could make a real difference.

Tips

  • Keep slides simple, not too many words. Not everything you say when you present should be included on the actual slide.
  • If you created materials for your project, show photos of the materials, events, and activities. If the materials you created include a video, you may show it as a part of your presentation to the judges on Zoom.
  • Your slide presentation can be no longer than 5 minutes. 
  • Practice before someone who evaluates your presentation using the Final Score Sheet to make sure you address all criteria.
  • A strong presentation will quantify results and activities. Include number of people who changed behavior or any data you collected testing your invention; you could also cite number of articles you got in school newsletter, number of people who attended an event or joined your coalition, number of social media posts, shares and likes, etc.
  • Remember you can get an extra point for showing your presentation to an adult, getting feedback. We recommend you set up to FaceTime with your advisor or other faculty member to do this. Ask the person to email ellen.calves@bedford2020 by April 15 to acknowledge that they heard/saw your presentation and gave you feedback. If you cannot find someone to do this, let us know and we can provide a volunteer.
  • When submitting your slide presentation please name it using this format: Team Name_Slides

VIDEO RECORDING

Please create a video recording of your final presentation using the website Screencastify and submit it via Dropbox by April 15. Please try to keep it between 3 and 5 minutes. The judges will watch your video prior to asking you questions at the finals.

Tips

  • Use the free version of Screencastify to create your video.
  • The record option allows you to use your webcam and microphone to record. It can also capture things in a website tab and on the whole screen in addition to the webcam.
  • The edit tool allows you to merge videos together, in case you have a video you want to include in your presentation. You are able to cut, rearrange, delete and crop clips through this tool. The option to overlay text also exists.
  • Recordings are saved to your Google drive for easy submission.
  • You can record up to a 5 minute video using Screencastify. 
  • When submitting your video to Dropbox, please label the file name using the following format: Team Name_Video Presentation

PROJECT FLYER

Please create a PDF of a project flyer to convince the judges that your project is a great solution to the environmental problems that we face. Submit a pdf via Dropbox by April 16. Include:

  1. Highlight what you created
  2. The actual results of your project
  3. The potential impact of your project

Tips

  • Include photos of your team working on your project, at an event, or of your project in action.
  • Canva.com or other software is helpful and templates are available.
  • See the Former Greenlight Projects to see examples of past project flyers.
  • Please submit your flyer as a PDF and name it using this format: Team Name_Flyer

We look forward to seeing you on Zoom on April 19th. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Summer Internship

Bedford 2020 is seeking a highly motivated college student to work in our Katonah office on a variety of outreach efforts and programs this summer. The intern will receive a stipend for up to 10 weeks to work with our team.

Click here to view the job description.

Please contact Ellen Calves with questions or to apply by April 10.

Speaker Form

EarthShot 2030 Speaker Form

Thanks for being an EarthShot 2030 Speaker! Please fill out this form to help us be ready for you on April 19th.

We will contact you to ask for A/V materials 2 days prior to the event so that we may test them. Please also bring materials on a flash drive to the event as a back up.
Websites are generally blocked on the school network and will need to be pre-approved and un-blocked by high school staff prior to the event.

Thank you for your participation on Sunday, April 19th at EarthShot 2030! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Cat Litter

Yuck! Cat litters are often not biodegradable and made with clay and a lot of chemicals.

Cat owners who want to go zero waste have asked what they can do about their cat litter. Unfortunately, although the plant-based litters are biodegradable, for health reasons soiled cat litter should not go in the compost pile and must to go in the trash. Some products claim to be flushable. You can minimize your impact if you buy more environmentally sustainable litter in the first place.

Cat litter has gone through quite an evolution in recent years moving away from clay, which uses mined clay and often includes chemical additives. It’s also not biodegradable and creates dust. Natural cat litter sales are growing faster than cat litter sales overall (15% vs 2%), which is a good sign. 

Natural ingredients such as corn, wheat and pine have become popular bases for cat litter, and are quite efficient: Wood-based litters can absorb up to 500 times their weight in liquid.  But those with ingredients that are food related experience price fluctuations, and some of the plants are sprayed with chemicals.  

Recently, natural grass litters, such as those that use switch grass, are made from a plant that is not food related, grow quickly without additives and consequently have a low price point. 

Post-consumer paper is another on-trend material for natural cat litter. 

We recommend using any of the biodegradable litters, made from non-food, post-consumer use products – paper and wood – or the switchgrass. Look for packaging that is biodegradable.

The plant-based litters are suitable for the Waste-to-Energy Plant where trash from Bedford ends up.

Here are some examples of what’s on the market:

  1. Feline Pine

Made of pure pine therefore biodegradable and not bad for the Wheelabrator, the waste-to-energy plant where Bedford trash goes. 

Claims it is more efficient than clay litter 7 lbs of pine = 20 lbs of clay. Plastic packaging. 

Made from corn and although biodegradable we don’t recommend it because of the environmental cost of growing corn. 

  • Okocat  Made from reclaimed fallen timbers and unused lumber. Free of additives and chemicals and synthetic scents. Comes in clumping or not.  Some formulas claim to be flushable. Company is committed to sustainable sourcing. Packaging is compostable and biodegradable. 
  • sWheat Scoop biodegradable cat box filler is certified flushable (sWheat Scoop does not recommend flushing the litter into a sump pump hole that has to pump the litter uphill.)

Made from wheat  — a renewable resource, but why grow wheat for cat litter? Unless they are using the wheat stalks – website is not clear on this. 

  • Fresh News Made with 100% recycled paper; Fresh News® is biodegradable and burnable. Dust free. (Fresh News is Michigan based and runs the PaperGator, which pays non-profits for recycled paper.)
  • Frisco Grass Clumping Litter Made with 100% natural grass ingredients with no added chemicals, dyes or fragrances.
  • OurPets Switchgrass Natural Cat Litter with Biochar. Switchgrass is the most recent generation of cat litter. It’s a natural grass litter using the native vegetation of North America. Low cost materials, price stable, made from nonfood materials, no need for pesticides/fungicides/etc. for growth, no fertilization, use of chemical sprays (pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides) or use of toxins for growth. It is a biodegradable, flushable material.