Mainstream Green in the News: Reusable Shopping Bags You Don’t Have to Buy

Many people have expressed concern about the impact that plastic shopping bag bans would have on  low income people.

In this video, a news story which appeared on Spectrum News in CNY, Mainstream Green's President, Dana Johnston, talks about how people can use what they already have, to make their own reusable shopping bags. Click on the image to open a new window with the video.

Mainstream Green in the News: Provided Thousands of Reusable Shopping Bags to Food Pantries

Many people have expressed concern about the impact that plastic shopping bag bans would have on  low income people. Mainstream Green has addressed this issue in a number of ways, including donating thousands of reusable bags to food pantries throughout Onondaga County NY, and using social media to suggest that other charities in other counties and states take the same action.

In this video, which was a news story produced by Spectrum News CNY, Mainstream Green's President, Dana Johnston, talks about how reusable bags are an investment in our children's children's futures. Click on the image to open a new window with the video.

MLK Day: Lifting #EnvironmentalJustice with Reusable Bags

MainstreamGreen has eliminated the waste of 364,000 single use plastic shopping bags this year alone by donating thousands of reusable shopping bags to food pantries in Onondaga County, NY.  Here Mainstream Green's president, Dana Johnston, delivers 200 bags for distribution at the Martin Luther King day of service celebration at Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Inc.

Mainstream Green donates reusable shopping bags on Martin Luther King Day of Service, Syracuse NY

#EnvironmentalJustice   #DoTHISwhereYOUlive



Mainstream Green in the News: Ways to be Environmentally Friendly over the Holidays

The holidays can be brighter for our planet if people make greener choices in gifts, wrapping, eating and drinking while enjoying their traditions! Having less waste, of energy, food, or materials, can have a beneficial impact.

"Our organization's goal is to encourage people to make very easy lifestyle changes that in aggregate will go a long way in saving our environment," says Steve Williams. "Like everybody's vote counts? Everybody's efforts count."

In this video news story which appeared on Spectrum News, Mainstream Green's Steven Williams and  Dana Johnston  talk about a variety of ways people can help the planet when they celebrate the holidays.. Click on the image to open a new window with the video.

Give a kid you love a t-shirt, cleaner air, and a planet to keep living on!

Tee shirt reminds people to turn off their cars instead of wasting gas by idling

Love a kid & love your planet, at the same time, with #TURNitOFF anti-idling t-shirt!

Don't Idle Away Our Atmosphere!  Did you know: We waste 3.8 million gallons of fuel EVERY DAY in America, by letting our cars run while they are stationary? Burning 1 gallon of gasoline in a car engine produces 18.07 lbs of CO2.  Carbon traps heat in earth’s atmosphere.  If we avoid 1% of gallons used idling, we’d prevent release of 390 tons of carbon daily, with no drastic change to lifestyle.

Purchase one of these t- shirts and spread the message about idling!  When your car is in P, #TURNitOFF!

Available in Children's Small, Medium, Large and XL. These shirt are 100% cotton and Made In America! Proceeds go to Mainstream Green, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. Order now using this form, and we will send you an invoice you can pay online or with a check via US mail. All shirts are shipped via Priority Mail fixed rate boxes.

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Mainstream Green President’s Commentary Published in Post Standard

Sustainability and Climate Must Be Part of Economic Development Planning

Picture of Dana Johnston, Mainstream Green president, at podium

#TrammelCrow recently proposed building the #secondlargestwarehouse in the world in the #OnondagaCounty, NY Town of Clay. The project is being developed for an unnamed client (guess who... worlds biggest online retailer maybe?)  Dana Johnston wrote the following Commentary, which was published in and the Post Standard.

The Climate Crisis is the single biggest threat to human and animal life on this planet, yet today there is no formal Sustainable Development plan in place for Onondaga County, that takes into account the most current scientific data and sets a path towards safe economic growth.

Unfortunately, without guidance of such a Sustainable Development plan, the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency and the Town of Clay planning board have been operating at a disadvantage during the approval process regarding the proposed development of the world’s second largest warehouse.

While the advantages of increased economic activity alone are valuable, without adequate consideration of climate impact of this project, both locally and globally,  neither OCIDA nor the Clay Planning Board could  have exercised full due diligence when they quickly agreed to give the developers an incentive bundle that includes a sales tax exemption estimated at $20 million, a $1.7 million exemption from the state mortgage recording tax , and finally, a 15-year property tax discount worth $49.1 million.

In changing the zoning and purpose of that land, the county and the town are trading an area that absorbs and sequesters carbon, and rain, for one that increases and expels greenhouse gases and creates significant rain runoff.

Even though this tradeoff affects more than just Onondaga County, at least the local impact could have been evaluated. Air pollutants, voluminous rain runoff due to massive amounts of hard surfaces, and contamination of  watersheds will definitely increase during construction and in the years immediately following, as the 25 tractor trailers per hour and thousands of employees’ internal combustion vehicles steadily release carbon,  and greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

During the 15 years of property tax breaks for this project, the world (and our county) must make a near total transition from internal combustion vehicles to electric or fuel cell vehicles and electric heat pumps instead of burning fossil fuels for heating.

Could the OCIDA and the Clay Planning Board have exercised greater due diligence if they had required that the project be designed with climate in mind? If they had, for example, required the project to meet some LEED standards or to be energy net neutral?

Just imagine if we’d been shown drawings for solar panels, stretching across the acres of warehouse rooftop, and perhaps viewed ideas for the creation of  micro-grid. We also might have seen an area for geothermal wells or reservoirs, for a building that will encompass nearly 3.8 million square feet and will need heating and cooling.

We might have seen plans for charging stations or hydrogen fuel cell refill stations for 21st century cars, trucks, snowplows and fork lifts.

We might have been shown green roofs  along with site development plans with rain collection and water storage areas. We know that hard paved and built areas cause rain runoff to gain speed and  carry solids along to contaminate clean water areas, and we know that simply building culverts and more sewers is not the answer.  We know that only well designed buffer areas with trees and other vegetation can sufficiently slow down and process such tremendous amounts of water. Wouldn’t it have been beneficial for us to see if and where they are planning the buffer areas, and whether they are sufficient in capacity for their load?

Taxpayers are well within their rights to expect that, by approving tax benefits to a private developer, their representatives will not deprive them of a 21st Century opportunity for sustainable development. by saddling them with what could be a harmful, unsustainable 20th century private enterprise project AND lost tax revenue.

The unnamed future occupant and Trammell Crow Co., the developers of the enormous Clay warehouse, still have a chance to shape the project for posterity. I hope they step up to the plate with 21st Century technology and climate needs in mind, so we all will not be be stuck with a facility that is obsolete before it is built.

And I hope that our County Executive and legislature will assign top priority to adopting a data driven, scientifically sound Sustainable Development plan for the county to help us grow and prosper, while ensuring livability of our community and the planet.

Screen shot of online commentary by Mainstream Green President Dana Johnston

Spooked by Waste? Repurpose your Pumpkins!

Halloween pumpkin in costume with big pumpkin next to her

Of the nearly 2 billion pounds of pumpkin grown in the United States in 2014, some 1.3 billion pounds were thrown into solid waste trash instead of being eaten or composted, according to the US Department of Energy.
Mainstream Green’s got resourceful ideas about what you can to do with your unpainted pumpkins after Halloween: Cook ‘em, Compost ‘em, or throw into woodsy areas for wildlife to consume. Download a pdf of recipes here!