Mothering Mother Reinvents Produce Bags, An Extension To On-Going Plastic Bag Ban Efforts


Over 50,000 communities world wide have woken up to the fact that single use plastic bags are BAD!

Bad for the environment, bad for the municipalities, bad for the tax payers.

They never biodegrade, they clog up sewer systems, they hang decoratively from trees, they get into our food chain, they kill animals,  and there are thousands more reasons why they are bad.

However most single use plastic ban legislation does not cover the plastic produce bags that are commonly used to package produce.

Unfortunately these plastic produce bags are often mistaken for candy by the consumer. I have seen shoppers pulling on that roll with such vigor, taking 10-20 bags at a time, to then package up in each bag one bundle of already plastic wrapped bananas, and one plastic wrapped ice berg lettuce head. And most don’t use all bags they pre-pulled, and leave them laying in their cart for the wind to carry off. No thought.

Fortunately, there is a WAY better solution.0603_1900-209x300

Mothering Mother, a company founded by Pelham Resident Sydney McInnes, has tackled just Combined-230x230that problem.  Their cotton reusable bags help to make the commitment to health with reusable produce bags, bulk bags and totes. Shopping with cotton gives a gentle, ongoing reminder to eat well, for your health and the health of the planet. Bag single use plastic habits once and for all!  

Check out their website at







New Rochelle Students Proud of their Earth Day Project

This is from a few years ago. Every day I walked by this part of the woods and it bothered me to no end to see all this garbage. So, I donned some gloves on my little trash troopers, and off we went to save the world. The kids were so proud afterwards and the newspaper even picked up the story.


(PS: we emptied the bags into the recycling can afterwards, the DPW crew gave me a LOOK when they emptied all these beer and wine bottles from my recycling can)


The Recycle Right Program Helps Take the Confusion Out of Recycling

Recycling rules evolve all the time.  Municipalities change which plastic and paper materials they accept, and some have moved from source separating to single-stream recycling.  While most people have good intentions, there is a lot of confusion about what materials are recyclable and which are not, as well as the appropriate method to discard each type of recyclable.

The Recycle Right program helps clear up this confusion. Simply having clear labels on recycling bins can help increase recycling by 50%.  Watch the video here:

Hastings-on-Hudson Board of Trustees Unanimously Approves Plastic Bag and Polystyrene Ban

Hastings-on-Hudson joined other municipalities in Westchester County and around the country to band single-use plastic bags and polystyrene.  As well, starting on June 18, the Hastings Department of Public Works will no longer pick up grass cuttings, and suggests that residents process the cuttings using “grassrecycling” or composting.

Click here to view a pamphlet by Westchester County on what to do with Grass Cuttings:

Congratulations to the Hastings community on these smart decisions to make their environment healthier!

GETTING RESULTS: New Rochelle BOE Provides Recycling Cans at Board meeting

Having an Exit Plan is vital to any organization, and at last nights BOE meeting, after agitating the issue for a long time, FINALLY an exit plan for the offered plastic bottles was offered. Prominently featured, right next to the table, right next to the small garbage can was a blue, large recycling bin.

And ….oh wonder, oh wonder…. when the logistics are offered and visible, the bin was used and there was not a single plastic bottle in the garbage.

I credit Dr Korostoff’s policy of open door and giving me the support in my work. I also credit the custodian Derrick Burford for embracing the concept. He has shown me how he collects bottles out of the trash throughout the BOE Central Offices and places them in one central recycling can. He was very receptive to my explanation that plastic cups also belong into the category, not just bottles, and he immediately began also placing other rigid plastics into recycling.

As Neil Armstrong so famously said: ” That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. I think the same can apply here.

Way to go.

NYC District 3 Green Schools: How 6 People Changed the Way Mighty NYC Looks at Trash

People often wonder what they, as individuals, can really do to help the environment and to create change. Most give up soon after formulating the thought, because they think, there is nothing they can do. But they are so WRONG.

We were treated yesterday at the Greenburgh Nature Center  to a fabulous presentation about how 6 caring individuals from NYC schools made a HUGE difference. They started a composting pilot in 2012 in 8 NYC public schools – a pilot that wound up being adopted by the City in September 2012 and expanded to – currently – over 450 schools, with plans to eventually expand to all 1,800 NYC public schools.

And that -of course- is sending a shock wave through the country. Suddenly other school districts are waking up to the fact that the waste they create in the schools, their usage of EPS trays, because they are “cheap” is not longer acceptable. If the largest school district can make changes, so can……….must they.

Emily Fano of D3 Green Schools
Emily Fano of D3 Green Schools

These parents started in 2009  by meeting monthly with a “green support group” of sorts called the District 3 Green Schools Group.  (Check them out at  At the meetings they shared strategies for starting classroom and cafeteria recycling programs, energy conservation programs, fundraising by selling  waste-free lunch products, and school gardens and rooftop greenhouses.  Several of the D3 schools had PTA funded compostable trays to replace the DOE-issued Styrofoam trays because of concerns the trays leached toxic chemicals into the food and because of the disposal nightmare they cause.  This was what started their focus on trying to figure out how to compost the trays, which later developed into the tray and food waste pilot of 2012.

The school lunch recycling program, started parallel in New Rochelle in 2010 is also gaining traction fast in Westchester, however to take it to the level that the NYC D3 parents have managed, it will take high level administrative support.

Right now the program is in 7 school districts with a total of 22 schools, To make this program work, many moving parts have to be adjusted. But it all starts with a single engaged person!

So, every one of us can make a difference. Who knows what river YOU will be creating.

Thank you Emily Fano, Lisa Maller and Jennifer Prescott for sharing your story with us.



New Rochelle Trinity Students Honored at Green Writing Contest Celebration


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe auditorium at New Rochelle’s Trinity Elementary school was filled with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders today and they were so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.  At 9:30 am Assistant Principal Inas Morsi Hogans and Principal  DiCarlo welcomed Ms Jean Chin and Ms Irene Schindler to their school for the first Green Writing Contest Celebration in Honor of Nina Chin.

Nina Chin was a teacher in whose honor the family is giving a grant to one school per year to host a Green Writing Contest. Anna Giordano was honored to be chosen as administrator for this grant.

Ms Jean Chin shared with the students the story of her mother and how Nina Chin has tried to always make a difference and had offered writing contest prizes from her own money for decades to encourage her students to be high achievers.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trinity school has shown exemplary efforts to reduce its footprint with consistent recycling in the lunchroom and was chosen as awarded school.

26 students rose to the challenge of writing an essay or poem to the topic ” I can make a difference”. The entries were judged by three independent judges and they shared with me afterwards that there was a wealth of lovely entries and it was a really hard choice as to who would snag the coveted cash prizes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7 students were awarded a  cash prize and every participant got a certificate and a hug from Ms Schindler, who is a published author, a  national prize winner for many writing contests, with over 70 (!) years of teaching experience.  She spoke to the children about winning a Chevrolet Bel Air at some point, and audible gasps of surprise came from the adults in the room.

Ms Morsi Hogans read excerpts from a few essays and it was very powerful to hear their words and their commitment on how each and every single one wants to make a difference.  All parents were clutching a tissue, it was very moving.

A lovely and inspiring celebration.