Clean Out Your Closet and Make Room for Meaning: The 12x12 Project Starts Today!

Dearest Poopers, I do so hope you'll find time this week for...

WHAT: The 12×12 Project. Sit, drink tea, and join me in transforming NYC's used clothing into a communal work of art. Clean out your closet or just come for the craft! WHERE: First Park, 33 East 1st Street (at the corner of Houston and 2nd Ave) WHEN: Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 12-7pm. Rain or shine!

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WHY: In his preface to Twelve by Twelve, the inspiration for this project, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow and author William Powers asks: “How could humanity transition to gentler, more responsible ways of living by replacing attachment to things with deeper relationships to people, nature, and self?” This project is an opportunity to answer that question through action. For the next six days, the 12x12 will be a donation site for unused clothing, a model of consumption-less repurposing, and a space for crafting and community cohesion. (Read more about it in the original post.)

Craft, you say? Why, yes. To be specific, LATCH HOOK!

I gotta be honest with you now. The most exciting part of this entire thing might actually be the opportunity to latch hook. It's something I grew up doing with my parents, who used to do it together in the early days of their marriage. Talk about community, right? This goes waaaaay back...

Wait...you don't know how to latch hook? Don't let that stop you. It's easy, see?

So come on down! I can't wait to see you there.

Yours in balance,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

OUR PARTNERS

The World Policy Institute

The World Policy Institute is a center for global thought leadership focused on emerging challenges, thinkers, and solutions. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, policy development and media outreach, provide a forum for solution-directed policy analysis and debate from a global perspective.

https://fabnyc.org/images/fab4home.pngFourth Arts Block

Fourth Arts Block (FAB) is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by cultural and community groups to establish and advance the East 4th Street Cultural District, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery. FABnyc is partnering on the 12×12 exhibition at First Park as part of their SUSTAIN project, with generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund: www.fabnyc.org/sustainability.php

wc_logo(clothing recycling)Wearable Collections

Wearable Collections creates hubs of collections that make it as easy for New Yorkers to recycle textiles as it is to recycle cans, bottles and papers. We keep clothing out of landfills while raising money for charitable organizations.

Trash to Treasure in a 12x12

Dearest Poopers, Are old clothes cluttering up your closets? Make room for meaning Aug. 27-Sept 1!

Here's the skinny...

WHAT: The 12x12 Project WHERE: First Park, 33 East 1st Street (at the corner of Houston and 2nd Ave) WHEN: Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 12-7pm. Rain or shine! WHY: We all need more room, right? Especially in our tiny NYC apartments, and especially for FASHION! But even Oprah knows that we're already making do with less, wearing 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time.

If there's one thing poop can teach us, it's that when we let stuff go, we create space for something new to come in. So come out of the closet, get it off your chest, and bring The Puru your unused clothes! Sit in the shade of the 12x12. Take a rest, drink some sun tea, and we'll make something new.

I'll be turning old t-shirts into yarn strips, and inviting you and passersby to join me in latch hooking small patches of rug. It's super easy! Each patch is just 12 squares across by 12 squares up and down, so it doesn't take long. I'll spend the last day hooking all the patches together in a colorful expression of community cohesion. And we'll party that Sunday (9/1) from 5-7pm!

All clothes and textiles not turned into yarn will be donated to Wearable Collections for resale or re-purposing.

How did this all happen?!

In 2010, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow William Powers wrote a book called Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream, inspired by the story of a North Carolina pediatrician who renounced modern luxury to live on the land and off the grid. This tiny cottage got people asking: how much is enough? (More about the project's development and future plans HERE.)

The 12x12

Soon artists Simon Draper (from Habitat for Artists) and Betsy Damon, among others, were brought in to design and build a simple structure that could live in New York City. Throughout July, a swarm of artists created installations amongst the bees at the Queens Botanical Garden. Now the 12x12's come to roost in Manhattan until Sept. 1, in beautiful First Park.

See below for a full description of the artists, curated by WPI and Fourth Arts Block. Check back here for updates on the latch hook project as it evolves, and then come check it out in person! I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours in balance,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

OUR PARTNERS

The World Policy Institute

The World Policy Institute is a center for global thought leadership focused on emerging challenges, thinkers, and solutions. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, policy development and media outreach, provide a forum for solution-directed policy analysis and debate from a global perspective.

https://fabnyc.org/images/fab4home.pngFourth Arts Block

Fourth Arts Block (FAB) is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by cultural and community groups to establish and advance the East 4th Street Cultural District, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery. FABnyc is partnering on the 12×12 exhibition at First Park as part of their SUSTAIN project, with generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund: www.fabnyc.org/sustainability.php

wc_logo(clothing recycling)Wearable Collections

Wearable Collections creates hubs of collections that make it as easy for New Yorkers to recycle textiles as it is to recycle cans, bottles and papers. We keep clothing out of landfills while raising money for charitable organizations.

AUGUST SCHEDULE

August 6 -11, 2013: Presented by WPI, NYC-based artist Ivy Haldeman will use the 12 x 12 as a space to reflect on the aesthetics of darkness as an indirect means of living sustainably. In opposition to a mentality of 24/7 activity, Ivy will make the 12 x 12 into a place for napping and rest.

August 13 – 18, 2013: Presented by FABnyc, Mario Chamorro, Catalina Parra, and Pablo Gnecco of The Happiness Lab will create social experiments through art within the 12×12 space in order to explore and visualize how people use their own happiness to develop sustainable communities.

August 20 – 25, 2013: Presented by WPI, musician Jonathan Koh will compose music in the 12×12 space, using a combination of classical techniques and synthesizers. His work will contemplate how music can help the listener engage with space and reflect on smart consumption in a small space.

August 27 – September 1, 2013: Presented by FABnyc, NYC-based performance artist Shawn Shafner invites visitors to create their own square patch of latch hook rug, 12 rows across and 12 columns up and down. The last day of the project, the squares will be sewn together, creating a vibrant patchwork and an expression of community collaboration.

Green Your Home from the Bottom Up!

Dearest Poopers, Thanks so much to all those who made it out this past week for our POOP Project events; they're always poopy, but never crappy! We fed our metropolitan minds on the topic of urban farming last Tuesday with visionary ideas from Inger Staggs YanceyAnnie Novak, Dr. Dickson Despommier and surprise guest Alec Baxt in a panel conversation with the Visitor's Center at Newtown Creek. Then Saturday night we ranted, raved and exorcised the demons of shameful shitting at the VENT Performance Festival. And look! I even got my name printed on the wall like a fancy artist!! Mama would be so proud...if only it wasn't about poop.

But it is about poop. It always is.

And it gives me great pleasure to know that this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11am-5pm, I'll be helping people green their homes from their bottoms up! The POOP Project will be holding court at GreenHomeNYC's NEW New York Block Party, a revolutionary reinterpretation of the traditional street fair that will transform one city block into an urban classroom and bring practical, environmentally-friendly ideas straight to your doorstep. That is, if you happen to live on North 11th Street between Berry and Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, because that's where the event is. Otherwise, I invite you to make that block your temporary doorstep for the day!.

But wait--there's more!

People often say to me: "Puru! I love you. You know so much about poop! Do you want to get married?" And I say, "No. Anyway, not to you." To which they say, "Ouch! Oh, wait. I'm over it! Still, oh great Puru, how can I put some of your wise environmental principles into practice with my very own potty?"

In answer to this query, it brings me even greater pleasure to know that this Saturday I'll be bringing you two--count them--1, 2 ways to put your money where my mouth is. The POOP Project has partnered with two companies that excite me so much I just might tinkle! Which is exactly what they'd want me to do.

So, what are these mystery organizations? It's a mystery!!! That will be revealed over the next few days.

Till then, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Shit and Share

Dearest Poopers,

I admit it: I love poop. There's so much to love! Behind the closed stall door lie fascinating conversations about design, architecture, history, privacy, theories on the body, on dirt and socialization. Intellectually speaking, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

That said, I'm not very interested in sharing my shit in person, in pictures or in smell-o-vision. I understand that not everyone feels this way, which has given rise to websites like (WARNING: Not for Work!) Rate My Doodie and ShareMyShit. The latter is a social network (and Twitter feed) for people who want to...well, you know. Its creator, Jeff, and I emailed a few months ago, and it turns out there's more to it than what meets the big, brown eye:

I am artistically fascinated by the concept of taboo. The unspoken social contracts around certain subjects highlight the dark aspects, the shadow of human identity that most would rather not think about. Individually and culturally, we try to repress our shadow selves, only to find darkness slipping through the cracks in unexpected, unintended or destructive ways. A healthy mind is one that embraces all aspects of our humanity, even the less-convenient ones, and this involves thinking about things that make us uncomfortable.

Professionally, I am fascinated by social media and how it is changing the nature of some of those unspoken social contracts. So ShareMyShit is just a convenient marriage of some of my interests.

We've already opened up our personal lives, thoughts and pictures to the internet--perhaps this is the next step?

What I do share on a regular basis is art. Once a week, in fact, I meet with six other artists as part of Club Make and Do, or c(mad). C(mad) is a dynamic collective of artists working in different mediums who commune weekly to share, dialogue and support each other's practice. And we're having a sharing tomorrow night with beautiful images, performance art, music, wine and more!

Thursday, September 15, 7:30-10:00 The Soho Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street between Houston and Prince) $5-10 sliding scale, refreshments will be served.

I'll be showing a short preview of Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World, an interactive cooking show (no poop, I promise!) where we'll journey from kitchen to commode for an uncensored look at the imbalanced bowels of an American society consuming itself. (The full show performs one night only, Oct. 19 at Dixon Place!)

ALSO FEATURING!

Danielle Abrams – has two cats, sells fish, and performs her New York City lineage of European Jews and African Americans. www.danielleabrams.com Zhenesse Heinemann - creates Living Dioramas and character driven video art. She has shown in varied spaces such as John Connelly Presents, English Kills Gallery, Grace Exhibition Space, Scope Art Fair NYC, and at Banzai in the Red Room. www.zhenesse.com Glenn Marla – is a theatre performance artist and fat tranny superstar.  www.facebook.com/glennmarla Robert Pearre – is a video artist living in Brooklyn. www.robertpearre.com Franny Silverman – may be the nicest person you’ll ever know, or the craziest. She’s a Gemini, an actor/theatremaker/activist with a thing for make believe, narwhals and baked goods. www.frannysilverman.com

Looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Excremen-tainment!

Dearest Poopers, There are big things in the works--POOP Project events in NYC on Sept. 10, 15, and also Oct. 1 and 19th. More info coming PRONTO!

But a little teaser for the day: are you a woman in New York interested in asking Dr. Oz about your pee or poo, Tuesday the 30th? Allow me to explain...

This past week I was visiting my folks in Denver (even a Puru's got to have parents!), away from Brooklyn just long enough to miss Aunt Irene. In truth, I was a little glad to be away but more sorry not to be standing with my city--especially in what New York Magazine warned might be a literal shitstorm from combined sewer outfalls (CSOs) in the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. Based on the pictures in one local blog, it doesn't appear to be much of an issue, and the worst my block got was a big fallen branch. She IS a big one though!

So Friday, I'm at the Denver Zoo with the first family of feces (j/k Mom and Dad!). Like all zoos, they love poop. They sell their poo to gardeners in a can, have an online game where you can guess Whose Poo?!, and they're soon to open Asian Tropics, a multi-million dollar exhibit powered by biogas--utilizing 2,700 pounds of animal poo and 4,200 pounds of their visitor's trash EVERY DAY. I am impressed.

So I'm eating an ice cream alongside a free range peacock, and I look down at my phancy phone to phind (too phar?) an email from Dr. Oz.

That's right. The guru of positive poop talk himself. THE Dr Oz.

...or a Production Assistant from his show whose name was Sheena. It was hard to tell. But we all know that down deep he loves The POOP Project.

Anyway, my understanding is that they're taping a show Tuesday, Aug. 30th from 1-5pm about poo and pee. Any New York ladies out there who:

a) have been diagnosed with something because of/related to poo or pee and wanna sit in the audience and represent?

b) wanna ask a question that pertains to what the shape or color of poo means, why their pee is colored/smells a certain way or what the quantity of the pee signifies?

If you're ready for your 15 minutes of fecal fame, email me at shawn@thePOOPproject.org and I'll give you the low down.

That's all for now, poopers. Wishing you inphamous phoeces and peaceful pooping.

Shawn

Getting Gassy and All Fueled Up!

Dearest Poopers,

In nature, there is no such thing as waste. To have an ecosystem means that all the organisms present are balancing each other out, providing for one another so that every problem has an equal and opposite solution.

There's a gallon of rotting cabbage on my kitchen counter right now--a little delicacy called Sauerkraut. Guided by Sandor Ellix Katz' Wild Fermentation, I bravely chopped up a mess of cabbage, green onion, carrots and their tops, added water and salt, shoved the whole thing in a crock with a another one on top. That was last Monday night.

Click the pic for a Scientific American article about the dangers of antibiotics and bacterial extinction.

Now I've got a little ecosystem going in my kitchen, thriving with healthy bacteria that are predigesting the cabbage for me, freeing up nutrients my body couldn't otherwise access. The healthy Lactobacilli that came from somewhere in my kitchen will become a part of my body, an ecosystem (officially called the human microbiome) that already contains approximately 100 trillion bacteria living symbiotically with my 10 trillion cells--that's a 10:1 bacteria to human ratio. The approximately 500 species in my gut are so helpful in the digestive process that, according to a nicely footnoted Wikipedia article, "the metabolic activity performed by these bacteria is equal to that of a virtual organ, leading to gut bacteria being termed a forgotten' organ.[24]"

For more information check out this great Science Daily article about how decoding the microbiome might play a role in health and illness. You can also read the latest news from The Human Microbiome Project, a federal initiative to map the microbiome.

These ecosystems just go to show that for every problem there's an equal and opposite solution. To that end, I am pleased to announce two news items in this fashion!

PROBLEM A

New York's Riverkeeper released an important report yesterday revealing that, though the Hudson is getting healthier, there's still has a long way to go. In the words of Riverkeeper Boat Captain John Lipscomb, "We still have a significant problem with sewage contamination. The recent 200+ million gallon sewage spill in New York City is only a minor part of widespread contamination that regularly occurs in the Hudson.” I encourage you to check out the Riverkeeper website to read more about this eye-opening report, or listen to the audio explanation.

      SOLUTION A

The ultimate solution will mean that what goes down NYC's pipes during a rainstorm doesn't flow back unchecked into the river. In the meantime, it might be nice for swimmers, kayakers and river walkers to at least know when it's happening. You can help make this so! Sign this petition to join Riverkeeper, New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and New York State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti in calling for a Sewage Right to Know Law for New York so that the public can be  properly informed about where and when it is safe to get in the water.

PROBLEM B

I've recently been going to protests and meetings about the dangers of hyrdraulic fracturing, or "fracking." While there's tons of natural gas lying underneath the ground, current fracking technology is unsafe, requires millions of gallons of water that must be dumped after, and has the potential to contaminate the water we depend on for drinking (and flushing, but that wasteful practice is a whole other post). When I go to these events, I've been struck by the inherent dilemma--yes, fracking is a bad way to get energy and, yes, our energy consumption is out of control. So if we're going to say "No!" to fracking, but can we say "Yes!" to?

SOLUTION B

Sunday, 8/14, at 2pm The MORE Project presents a FREE screening of Josh Fox's Gasland, an expose on fracking, followed  at 4pm by Fuel the Film, all about exciting new possibilities for energy. A discussion with The Puru will follow and the beer will surely flow over at Pour George on 8th btwn 5th and 6th Aves, because there's nothing like alcohol and documentary films! Full details just below.

Now I've gotta go. It's sauerkraut hour.

Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

2 Great FREE films – Sunday 14-Aug-2011 at 2 PM in NYC

The M.O.R.E. project is proud to present a ‘fair use’ screening of TWO outstanding films on Sunday 14-Aug-2011. There is NO admission fee! A ‘fair use’ screening must be FREE!

The two award winning films are “Gasland” at 2 PM, and “Fuel” around 4 PM. They will be shown in the back room of a great bar in Greenwich Village called “Pour George” at 35 West 8th St, New York, NY 10011 / (212) 253-2999. That's just East of 6th Ave.  Take the N/R to 8th Street, the 6 to Astor Place, or the A/C/E to West 4th St.

“Gasland” by Josh Fox explores the truly deadly consequences of extracting natural gas by the process called hydraulic fracturing aka “fracking”. This process has reportedly already contaminated drinking water in 34 states and unless we block it, fracking will soon start in areas whose water feeds New York City.

People are being sickened and killed by fracking all over the country, but the laws that are supposed to protect us have been bypassed by Halliburton and other large companies.

Josh F’s courageous film digs deep into what fracking is, what it does, how it kills, and who profits from (literally) ‘making a killing’…

“Fuel” is the story of Josh Tickell, filmmaker and eco-evangelist, who spent eleven years exploring real-world energy alternatives to oil, coal, and natural gas. He put his findings into his film along with his brave spirit (as did Josh Fox).

Josh T found that there ARE real ways to create power that do not poison the Earth and all the living beings who share it.  In his film, he explores energy creation from wind, solar, tidal and biofuel power sources.  He also makes a fantastic case for biodiesel fuel created by algae from sewage and industrial waste. 

If you are coming to the event, please RSVP, John Hechtman at jhecht410@gmail.com. You don’t have to do this – as long as we have space to seat you, no one will be turned away. But Pour George is not a large place – it would be very helpful to have a rough idea of how many people are coming.  For more info call  212 586 4633.

Rally Against NYC Sewage Dumping TOMORROW

Dearest Poopers, If you live in New York City, you've probably heard by now of Wednesday's explosion and fire at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant. Oh, you know! The one that was spewing untreated sewage out into the Hudson until Friday evening (around 120 million gallons)? If this is news to you, check out this New York Times article. Perhaps most concerning is the discrepancy between tests conducted by the DEP and Riverkeeper, an independent watchdog for water safety and health. They were looking to see whether bacteria that normally live in our intestines (that little cutie down below) had moved en masse to riverfront property. And the answer was yes. Yes it had. From the Times:

On Saturday, Riverkeeper said that Thursday’s samples at 6 of 16 test locations in the Hudson, from the Tappan Zee Bridge down to New York City’s Battery, had unsafe counts ranging from 132 to 104,620 per 100 milliliters. “The concentrations near the discharge points were much higher than usual, comparable to the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek,” Dr. O’Mullan [of Riverkeeper] said.

Gowanus and Newtown, among the most contaminated bodies of water in the nation, were both declared federal Superfund sites last year and are to undergo decade-long cleanups.

The city’s own sampling Thursday showed much lower concentrations because the testing is done at beaches and in the center of the river, Mr. Sklerov [of the Environmental Protection Department] said.

Here's the problem (well, one problem): beachcombers are not the only ones who need to be told to stay ashore when sewage has been released into NYC water. There are boathouses up and down NYC's waterways. There are fishermen who live off of what they catch every day. There are even brave folk who swim in these waters without ever stepping foot on a public beach. And there are 2 billion gallons of effluent (washed down by 25 more billion gallons of wastewater--normally rain or snowmelt) coming out of large pipes around the city every year in what's called a Combined Sewer Overflow, or CSO. (You can find tons more information on this from the SWIM Coalition--and be sure to check out this swell factsheet.)

Eventually, the city needs to figure out an alternative to dumping untreated sewage into the river every time it rains or snows too much and the city's wastewater treatment plants can't handle the capacity. Until then, an effective notification system would at least help to mitigate the danger. Plenty of other cities have them (see this compendium, again from SWIM), so why not the Big Apple?

To that effect...

I look forward to seeing you there!  And till then, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

One Gas That's Not Okay to Pass

Dearest Poopers, Here at The POOP Project, we agree with Ben Franklin that natural gas is okey-dokey (see "Not Everyone's Against Gas"), and that us humans should be able to pass it without scrutiny. But one place where methane is definitely not welcome is in our drinking water. Unfortunately, with a new process for getting methane out of rock shale, called hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), this is precisely what might happen.

The Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland: A Film by Josh Fox is helping to inform people all over the country about this critical issue. If you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to rent this film and share a movie night with other people who like drinking clean water. You can watch the trailer below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8

If you're in New York, I welcome you to join me this Saturday, 7/30 at 7:30pm for a rooftop screening! This potluck evening is graciously hosted by Heather Brown and the Brooklyn Food Coalition on a rooftop at 17th Street & 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. You can learn more and RSVP here!

Wishing you, as always, peaceful pooping, but also fracking-free farting.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Bob Performs in Public

Dearest Poopers, First off, a big thank you to everyone who turned out last night to make the final installment in DEP's Summer Speaker Series a great success. The diverse viewpoints of Andrew Faust, Kaled Alamarie and Dr. Paul Mankiewicz supplied fodder for an intense debate about how best to achieve "A Sustainable Future", one I wish we'd only had more time to pursue. Lastly, I want to honor Julia Perciasepe and Jessica Bergeron, my collaborators and consecutive Special Events Coordinators with the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek who made it all possible. Stay tuned for future collaborations...

And while we're waiting, make sure to check out BOB the Pavilion, the communal composting toilet currently on display at Columbia University. In fact, why not do it tonight AND catch a show? I'll be in attendance; hope to see you there!

Peaceful Pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

PERFORMANCY FORUM XIV organized by PPL AT BOB THE PAVILION

Wednesday, July 13, 7-10:00 PM

TESS DWORMAN performing an intimate, solo dance piece

PAUL PINTO AND JEFFREY YOUNG (OF THINGNY) performing a mini opera tentatively entitled Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto Run for Office with the Help of Paul Pinto as his Wingman.

ANYA LIFTIG * performance art * performance art *

BEN SPATZ/MAXIMILIAN BALDUZZI/URBAN RESEARCH THEATER 

MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH an excerpt from A Gathering of Very Articulate Individuals 

CHRISTY WALSH performing her I had a dream of an endless string of beautiful days in the desert, a dance/video work

and

PPL composer BRIAN MCCORKLE, performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress Institute_Institut concert-style with MEGAN COOPER, GREG LOEWER JR, DANIELLA FISCHETTI, AND MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH

Bob the Pavilion is a composting toilet and inflated platform for performance and more http://www.bobthepavilion.com/

Bob The Pavilion was supported by a grant from Columbia University School of the Arts (SOA) and Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP).

A Sustainable Future TONIGHT!

Dearest Poopers, I've just arrived back from exploring the deep, dark Northwoods of Wisconsin. While technically not a poop-themed trip, I did come across an fascinating artifact while sifting through a local thrift shop. I believe it is none other than Mary Poppins' plunger!

I hope that, in between your Merry Poopin', you'll have a chance to check out tonight's panel conversation, "A Sustainable Future: Green Innovations" hosted by the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek. I'm incredibly excited to pick the brilliant brains of permaculture expert Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), green designer Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and ecologist Kaled Alamarie (Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, DEP--filling in for John McLaughlin). Seriously folks, this is top caliber talent. If you don't believe me, check out their bios following the poster below.

Looking forward to seeing you there, and peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Click the picture above to see the full flyer, or click HERE to get complete directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek.

Kaled Alamarie, graduated from Hunter College in 1997 a degree in Geology and a duel masters in both urban studies and Geology from Queens College. Kaled has been working for the NYCDEP for 11 years. During his tenure with the DEP he worked on the ecological restoration of Pennsylvania & Fountain Avenue landfill, Alley Creek wetland/upland restoration, Thrusby Basin Restoration, and most recently he is supervising the design and construction of the Jamaica Bay Watershed Green Infrastructure pilot studies.

Andrew Faust is one of the premier Permaculture teachers and designers in North America with nearly two decades of experience in the field. His passionate and visionary presentation and curriculum has been inspiring and motivating students since his days as an alternative school teacher at Upattinas in Glenmoore, PA. Andrew lived off the grid in West Virginia for 8 years where he designed and built a Permaculture inspired homestead including a 1600 sq ft strawbale house. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider life changing. He is developing The Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY with his partner Adriana Magaña as a pilot campus for his students, clients and baby daughter Juniper.

Dr. Paul S. Mankiewicz, Executive Director of the Gaia Institute, received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York/New York Botanical Garden Joint Program in Plant Sciences. He holds patents on a modular, in-vessel composting system, an ultralightweight green roof plant growth medium, and a biogeochemical reactor to breakdown dioxins and PCBs. Past president of the Torrey Botanical Society & board member of the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District, he is also a past member of the Citywide Recyling Advisory Board and formerly chair of the Solid Waste Advisory Board of the Bronx. Dr. Mankiewicz has designed and built natural landscapes to provide ecosystems services including ecological filters to treat water, capture carbon, and lower energy costs in urban centers. A number of working models have been constructed, including the first green roof in the Bronx, the first industrial-scale stormwater treatment meadow and green wall on a six acre truck-to-barge material handling site at SIMS recycling facility on the Bronx River, and the first process water/greywater treatment green roof on the Linda Tool Corporation in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the first ten of the Mayors PlaNYC 2030 enhanced tree pits for street-side storm water capture.

Discover A Sustainable Future, July 12!

Dearest Poopers, Please forgive my delay in updating the site of late. I've been deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin traveling, camping, and pooping in holes. Meanwhile, there's so much excitement happening back in New York, with two POOP events coming up next week, and one special event I know you'll enjoy.

The POOPs!

1. Tues, 7/12, 6:30pm, "A Sustainable Future: Green Innovations." A panel conversation with Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and John McLaughlin (Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, DEP). Hosted by the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by The Puru.

2. Sat, 7/16, 10am-4pm, City of Water Day Festival. Stop by the POOP table during this FREE day of entertainment, education & adventure on Governor's Island celebrating the potential of our NYC/NJ waterfront!

The Special Event!

3. Wed, 7/13, 7-10pm, Panoply Performancy Forum XIV at BOB the Pavilion.  Featuring theatre, music and dance at a composting toilet and inflated platform on the Columbia University campus.

DETAILS!!

1.

Click the picture above to see the full flyer, or click HERE to get complete directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek.

2.

July 16: City of Water Day Festival in NY & NJ From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water. Spread the word and come to the waterfront on July 16, City of Water Day! On this day, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance gathers many partners to showcase the potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. Come, enjoy, and help us revitalize the waterfront with this annual, one-of-a-kind festival for the entire family!

This year, festivities will take place at Governors Island and Liberty State Park. Free ferries will get you to Governors Island from Manhattan and Brooklyn (click here for the schedules) and to Liberty State Park. (Click here for the schedule of free transportation between Governors Island and Liberty State Park, and here for information about other ways to get to Liberty State Park.)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • FREE boat tours for thousands on historic and educational vessels. Click here for more information
  • FREE kayaking, rowing and fishing opportunities
  • Dozens of FREE arts, crafts, games and activities for kids
  • FREE ferries between Governors Island & Liberty State Park
  • An amazing range of demonstrations, hands-on projects, free merchandise and water-related literature at the Waterfront Activity Fair--INCLUDING THE POOP PROJECT TABLE!
  • Car-free waterfront bicycling
  • Delicious food from award-winning vendors
  • Live music, and much more!!!

If you can't make it to Liberty State Park or Governors Island on July 16, enjoy City of Water Day festivities at other waterfronts around the metropolitan region, including Harlem River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Staten Island, Bronx River Park, Battery Park City and Hudson River Park. Click here for information about City of Water Day in Your Neighborhood.

3.

PERFORMANCY FORUM XIV organized by PPL AT BOB THE PAVILION

Wednesday, July 13, 7-10:00 PM

TESS DWORMAN performing an intimate, solo dance piece

PAUL PINTO AND JEFFREY YOUNG (OF THINGNY) performing a mini opera tentatively entitled Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto Run for Office with the Help of Paul Pinto as his Wingman.

ANYA LIFTIG * performance art * performance art *

BEN SPATZ/MAXIMILIAN BALDUZZI/URBAN RESEARCH THEATER 

MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH an excerpt from A Gathering of Very Articulate Individuals 

CHRISTY WALSH performing her I had a dream of an endless string of beautiful days in the desert, a dance/video work

and

PPL composer BRIAN MCCORKLE, performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress Institute_Institut concert-style with MEGAN COOPER, GREG LOEWER JR, DANIELLA FISCHETTI, AND MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH

Bob the Pavilion is a composting toilet and inflated platform for performance and more http://www.bobthepavilion.com/

Bob The Pavilion was supported by a grant from Columbia University School of the Arts (SOA) and Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP).

--

Very much looking forward to seeing everyone there and wishing you, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Newtown Creek: Past, Present and Future

Dearest Poopers, The next panel conversation is almost upon us!  In fact, it's TODAY at 6:30pm!

 

 

A century ago, Newtown Creek had more cargo careening down the banks of Greenpoint and Long Island City than did the Mississippi. Now her docks are used to park cars, and her bottom--soiled by a century's worth of industrial pollution and oil spillage--has earned this toxic creek federal Superfund status. Learn more about the rehabilitation process now under way, and the economic/environmental advantages of once again utilizing our waterways instead of our highways.

Featuring Mitch Waxman (Newtown Pentacle) and Kate Zidar (SWIM Coalition, Newtown Creek Alliance).

NOTE: Due to the birth of a wee miracle, Mike Heimbinder (HabitatMap) will not be able to join us.  Alas, nor and Paul Parkhill (Place in History). I know, I know...excuses!

Looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

A Day for Pee-On-Earth

Dearest Poopers, While we normally extol the virtues of that brown stuff from behind, today we're turning around to wish you a very happy Pee-On-Earth Day!

But, please, hold it for just one more minute, and mark your calendars for Newtown Creek: Past, Present, and Future, a panel conversation happening this Thursday, June 23, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by The Puru.  Join experts Michael Heimbinder (HabitatMap), Kate Zidar (SWIM Coalition, Newtown Creek Alliance) and Paul Parkhill (Place in History) for an enlightening and engaging conversation about one of New York's most polluted water bodies--and what we can do about it.

And now...

It's always been good to be Number 1, but did you know that the yellow stuff flowing out of your urethra is actually liquid GOLD?  That's right!  Your very own urine is brimming with the nitrogen and phosphorous that plants crave to make them green and healthy. And today is the day to start spreading the love. (Unless you started last year like The Puru...)

Carol Steinfeld, wastewater expert and founder of the holiday, tells you how to do it:

PEECYCLE either directly or by depositing your contribution in a container you take outside and apply to: - Soil, wood chips or the forest floor (not pavement) - Your composter or compost pile (makes brown leaves and woodchips compost faster)

Or dilute it with 9 parts water to 1 part urine, and pour around plants! (Dilute or distribute widely: Lots of urine deposited in one spot on your lawn can result in nitrogen burn!)

She's even created this delightful decal to help you remember:

Now go out there and spread the love!!

Wishing you purposeful peeing and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Waste Not, Want Not: Recycling Rules in NYC

Dear Poopers, Thank you to all who came out yesterday to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek for the panel on Art and Sustainability. Through the natural, meditative works of George Trakas to Mary Mattingly's futuristic, floating Waterpod, I hope we scratched the surface of how art can promote sustainability in personal, communal and planetary planes. Stay tuned for the next panel, "Newtown Creek: Past, Present and Future" coming up June 23 (more info here).

At that very same Visitor's Center this past Thurs, May 19, I was found sifting through the garbage with a bunch of my Brooklyn neighbors. No, we weren't dumpster diving again (excuse me, "urban foraging"), but taking part in a recycling workshop run by David Hurd and Jae Watkins from the NYC Office of Recycling Outreach and Education (OROE).

The OROE is one arm of GrowNYC, which is not exactly a government program, but a non-profit which, in their words, "improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations." After a little context from the quick Mr. Hurd (in regards to both wit and pace--just try to keep up with his jam-packed 5 minute intro to the economics of recycling in NYC), we were treated to a showing of the Emmy-winning NYC TV production The Green Apple: Recycling (click the title to watch). Our group scored highly in the "Choose Which Bin" game Ms. Watkins facilitated afterward, and we challenged Mr. Hurd's encyclopedic knowledge with a barrage of questions. And then we ate snacks.

Here are some of the highlights of what I learned, followed by a few tips on how to be a stellar NYC recycler.

  • From 1947 to 2001, solid waste from all five boroughs was shipped to Fresh Kills on Staten Island, at one time the world's largest landfill. Since Fresh Kills is now getting made over into a sprawling park (with a composting toilet!), the 25,000 tons of trash that New Yorkers and their businesses create each day is trucked away at a total cost of around $300,000,000 each year. Generally speaking, Manhattan's waste is incinerated in New Jersey at a Waste to Energy facility (WTE), while most trash from Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx will wind up in nearly full or at-capacity landfills in Pennsylvania, Ohio or Virginia. (For a complete breakdown, download this Concerned Citizens report. Also check out this great NYC recycling overview from Baruch college.) Paper recycling, on the other hand, happens at Pratt Industries paper mill on Staten Island and makes the city a profit of around $35,000,000/year. In similar economic terms, the cost of carting metal, glass and plastic to a landfill is over $100/ton, while transporting the same ton to a recycling facility costs only $58.

  • In 2004-05, NYC conducted a thorough study of the waste found in both residential and street bins. They learned that 35% of the waste NYC residents produce can be recycled at the curb as pictured on the above pie chart. Of that 35% potentially-recyclable material, only half of it actually makes it to an appropriate bin, leading to a 17% "capture rate." In other words, New York City creates a resource from 17% of its waste.
  • 13% of NYC waste is composed of "other plastics," some of which are indeed recyclable but not collected by the city. (It is possible that the range of plastics NYC can recycle will increase in Fall 20012, when a "materials recovery facility" in south Brooklyn is expected to be completed.) Another 28% is organic matter that could be composted. As it is, all that rotting fruit makes landfills feel gassy, releasing harmful methane and CO2 into the atmosphere if not captured.

So what can we do, humble and concerned citizens, to see that more of our trash doesn't just go to waste?

  1. REDUCE! Let's face it. Much of the stuff we buy is, well, just stuff. The best way to prevent our lives from becoming cluttered is not to accumulate stuff in the first place. Consider also how you might reduce your intake of materials; you could buy a fruit with its own packaging (like an orange or banana) instead of something in plastic, carry a reusable coffee mug or water bottle and, for goodness sake, bring your own bag.
  2. REUSE! The city has a number of programs to help businesses and individuals pass on materials--from furniture to fabric--that they no longer need, preventing landfill waste, raw material manufacturing, and reducing cost. For small-scale, interpersonal trading, consider holding a swap meet or posting on Craigslist or Freecycle. Get creative! Here are 6 ways to reuse that plastic bottle, from crafty coin purses to designer lamps!
  3. RECYCLE! Let's face it: one only needs so many plastic bottle lamps. So the rest go in the recycling bin. But which bin? Inside a bag, too? And should that bag be blue or clear? You already know that recycling rules, now let's learn some regulations (see a complete list from the city here).
  • The machines at the recycling facility can automatically screen out items that are not recyclable, but it takes time and energy. By carefully sorting at home, you make the whole process more efficient and ensure that resources are spent on recycling, not clearing out the waste traps.
  • If you have clearly labeled bins, you don't need the bags! Trash goes in the trash bin, papers in the green-labeled bin, and metal/glass/plastic in the blue-labeled bin. (Call 311 to order your own decals, or click here.) If you must bag, don't be fooled by those blue "recycling bags" in the store--NYC mandates recycling goes in clear bags.
  • Paper means basically what you think it does: magazines, mail, newspaper, cereal boxes, etc. Corrugated cardboard needs to be cut in to small pieces or else flattened and bundled with twine. You don't have to remove every staple or all the plastic windows from your envelopes, but don't recycle anything with lots of tape or glue on it. Paper stained with food (i.e. napkins, paper plates) are also not recyclable.
  • Metals/glass/plastic is a bit more complicated. All household metals are acceptable, and all glass jars or bottles (no mirrors, light bulbs, dishes, etc.), but the plastics are a bit trickier. While most plastic nowadays is recyclable, NYC only recycles numbers 1 and 2, and then only when the neck is smaller than the base as with bottles and jugs. That means all those take-out trays, Starbucks cups, plastic bags and yogurt containers should go in the trash even if they are labeled with a 1 or 2 (something about the melting temperature...). The plastic cap is also not recyclable, so throw that away before recycling the bottle (metal beer caps are ok). Additionally, used cartons and Tetra Paks (from milk, juice, soup, etc.) also go in the blue bin. THUS, you might think of the blue as your "Metal/glass/bottle/jug/carton" bin. Now isn't that easy to remember?
  • When thinking about which bin to use, consider the item holistically. If 51% or more of the product is a recyclable material, then it's recyclable. That Pringles can, for example, has both paper and metal. You could separate the bottom from the cardboard tube and recycle each separately, or just recycle in the green bin since more than 51% of the can is paper.
  • NYC is working on expanding the range of what's recyclable at the curb. In the meantime, any store larger than 10,000 sq/ft or a chain with 5+ stores is legally required to offer plastic bag recycling. CFL lights are recyclable at places like Home Depot and Ikea, while batteries, cell phones and other electronic waste can be taken to your local electronics store (more details here). Or check out this reader-recommended exchange program from Verizon that turns your electronic recyclables into gift cards.

Lastly, remember that 28% organic, gassy waste decomposing in the landfills? Give those veggie scraps, old flower arrangements and grass clippings a rebirth instead of a burial, and compost them into new soil! You can compost at home in a pre-made backyard bin or one you build with friends, an apartment-sized worm bin, or keep your scraps in the freezer (to prevent smell) and drop them off at an actively composting community garden or local collection. (GrowNYC lists a number of drop-off sites in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn--some of which are only offered through June 25 as a pilot program, and I'm sure could use your support.) NYC will even take your fall leaves and Christmas trees to nourish plants throughout the city. For more information or to become a trained compost captain, check out the Lower East Side Ecology Center or the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

While we are not responsible for all of New York City's waste, we can take responsibility for our own. So spread the word!  Recycling rules.

Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Cruising At the Creek

Dearest Poopers, While we're waiting for Bob's ship to come in, can I interest you in doing something forbidden this weekend? Something casual and exciting? Maybe with someone you've never met before?

Well, dear friend, you've got to go cruising down Newtown Creek.

***Newtown Creek Cruise***

When: Saturday, May 21st, Departs 10:00am sharp, Returns 1:00pm Where: Pier 17 South Street Seaport  [directions] Price: $60, to purchase tickets visit the Working Harbor Committee website.

Join us for a special water tour of Newtown Creek with expert narration from historical and environmental guest speakers. There are limited tickets available on the MV American Princess for a very rare tour of Newtown Creek. Guest narrators will cover points of industrial and historical interest as well as environmental and conservation issues during your three-hour exploration. New York’s forgotten history will be revealed - as well as bright plans for the Creek's future.  MV American Princess is a large comfortable vessel with indoor and outdoor seating. Complimentary soft drinks and a tour brochure are included.  Cruise runs rain or shine.  Queries? Contact Tour Chairman Mitch Waxman: waxmanstudio@gmail.com

Hosted by Hidden Harbor Tours ® in association with the Newtown Creek Alliance.

 

But there's MORE!

The POOP Project is proud to announce the second in DEP's Summer Speaker Series on June 1, 2011: Art and Sustainability.  With presenting artists George Trakas and Mary Mattingly, and a panel discussion moderated by yours truly.

SWEET BUDDHA!  There's still more!!

New York City enjoys public curbside programs that sweep our bottles, cans and cardboards swiftly away to be recycled. But due to lack of access to recycling facilities, not every piece of plastic or paper is actually recyclable in NYC, and a host of other cities. Google your municipality or call the local environmental department to learn more, and if you're in New York, check out this event tomorrow night (recycling information also at the NYCWasteLess website).

 

Well, I'm exhausted.  How about you?

Looking forward to seeing you cruising 'round Newtown Creek sometime soon. Just be careful who you wink at and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

 

Bob is Coming...

Happy Friday everyone! First off, a big thank you to our friends over at Superhero Clubhouse, and congratulations on last night's work-in-progress reading of URANUS (a play about waste).  Be sure to check out the full production this June 10-12 at the Figment Festival on Governor's Island.

But what are you going to do until then?  Why not spend some time with Bob?

So, wait...what?

It turns out, Bob is part of an end-of-year project by students of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and School of the Arts (SoA). Starting tomorrow, May 14, the pubic is welcome to check out a whole pavilion's worth of interesting projects.  But the real star, I'm sure, will be Bob.

Bob's press release states:

The pavilion will be open from May 14th until July 25th, and features a centralized public restroom with a composting toilet, a projection wall, twelve student-designed double seats and a bar flanked by an inflatable canopy. The inclusion of a composting restroom facility is integral to the concept of the installation, and emerged from the studio mantra concept that “a society that does not provide public restrooms does not deserve public art.” The single-occupancy bathroom intentionally forces a correlation between public space and a societal responsibility to provide and ensure basic necessities. The canopy will serve as temporary rain cover and shading throughout the summer months. The projection wall, a shared wall between the bathroom and open public space, will regularly feature evening film series.

There's an opening party tomorrow from 5-7pm, and you know the Puru will be in attendance.  I hope you'll join me!

Wishing you peaceful (and possibly public) pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Poop all over the place

The People's Own Organic Power Project is more than pleased to announce no less than three--that's right THREE!--opportunities to see The Puru in action the first week in May. SUMMARY:

1. Tues, May 3, 8pm, Adult Education presents: "Social Anxiety" at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  I'll be presenting on "The Agony and the Excrement."

2. Wed, May 4, 6:30pm, "Water for Cities: The Urban Challenge." The first in a summer series of environmental panels with the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by yours poo-ly.

3. Sun, May 8, 7pm, "Mother May I?" An evening of performances at The Delancey honoring mothers everywhere, and benefiting SIX SEEDS: The Persephone Project, a theater piece by warner|shaw opening in June at The Tank.

FULL DETAILS:

1.

ADULT EDUCATION PRESENTS: "SOCIAL ANXIETY" Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 8 pm (doors at 7:30) Union Hall in Park Slope 702 Union St. @ 5th Ave $5 cover (buy tickets online here)

BEN DOLNICK: "First Base and Beyond" Dolnick will teach you how to have a girlfriend in middle school and how to write about it when you grow up.

CAISSIE ST.ONGE: "This is Your Parents on Drugs" St.Onge discusses survival tactics for the moment you're old enough to realize that dad's not going out for milk.

SHAWN SHAFNER: "The Agony and the Excrement" In the 1500s, someone actually had to write a book on manners including instructions not to, "foul the staircases, corridors, or closets with urine or other filth." Shafner will explain what happened to the good old days, and how the potty has trained us.

JILL STODDARD: "The Body: Tales of a Traitor" No matter how hard we try to make our bodies into ornaments of how sophisticated and cultured we are, they still will confound us with their own rogue agenda. Stoddard discusses the lengths we go to hide our body's expressions, and the ways we still fail at it.

With YOUR host, Charles Star

2.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection presents the first event in our Summer Speaker Series:

Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge (The United Nations World Water Day Theme)

Wednesday, May 4th 2011 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Visitor Center at Newtown Creek 329 Greenpoint Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11222

Talks followed by a panel discussion moderated by Shawn Shafner of The People’s Own Organic Power Project (www.thePOOPproject.org)

Featuring:

Frederik Pischke Interagency Water Advisor UN-Water

Vyjayanthi Rao Assistant Professor of Anthropology New School for Social Research, New York

Jennifer Farmwald Project Manager Water Supply Infrastructure & Watershed Assessment NYC Environmental Protection

Directions to the Newtown Creek Visitors Center: Subway: G train to Greenpoint Avenue Station (Walk east on Greenpoint Avenue, cross McGuinnes Boulevard and Provost Street. Walk to traffic light. Entrance will be on left.) Bus: B24 Car: • Take the Long Island Exp. I-495 W toward MIDTOWN TUNNEL (RT-25 W) • Take exit #15/VAN DAM ST onto QUEENS MIDTOWN EXPY • Continue straight on BORDEN AVE • Make a U-Turn at 31ST PL onto BORDEN AVE • Turn Right on VAN DAM ST • Bear Right on GREENPOINT AVE • Go over JJ Byrne Memorial Bridge and continue on GREENPOINT AVENUE • Entrance is on the right on GREENPOINT AVE & HUMBOLDT ST. Parking is not available on site.

3.

MOTHER MAY I The Delancey, downstairs 168 Delancey St (btw Clinton and Attorney) Sunday, May 8th | 6pm doors, 7pm show Monologues, Music, and 2 for 1 Drinks! CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Forget brunch this Mother’s Day. Take your mama, your baby mama or just your totally grown up, independent self to celebrate (or commiserate) with stories, songs and two for one drinks at The Delancey on Sunday, May 8. Whether your mother was a goddess of love and support or a smothering bitch, your inner child will laugh, cry and try not to poop y...our pants at MOTHER, MAY I?, a night of performances by writers, actors and singers in honor of mothers. There’s a woman somewhere who you owe your life to, and we want to thank her. Join us for stories, lullabies and comedy. We won’t judge your outfit or your date.

Hosted by warner | shaw co-founders Franny Silverman and Annie Levy.

Featuring:

Glenn Marla (reigning Mr. Coney Island and Miss LES 2006, glennmarla.com) | Sarah Graalman (Mama Rice N’ Friends, mammaandfriends.com) | Shelly Oria (McSweeney’s, 2008 Indiana Review Fiction Prize) | Lisa Lewis (1000 nights at The Creek, lisalewiswriting.com) | Tara Hyman (Mama Rice N’ Friends, tarahyman.com) | David Wolkin (Inner Monologues, Speakeasy Stories, wolkin.com) | Christine Siracusa (Brave New World Rep) | Galeet Dardashti (Six Points Fellow ’07-’09, Le Poisson Rouge, galeetdardashti.com) | Shawn Shafner (Joe’s Pub, POOP Project, thepoopproject.org) | Naomi Less (Jewish Chicks Rock, naomiless.com) | Anni Bruno | Mara Leventhal | Brian Gelfand and other special guests.

-------

Looking forward to seeing you there!  And peaceful Spring pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

 

Food+water=poop

It's a simple fact of life: put food and water together, mix it inside the human stomach for 12-72 hours, and voila!  Poop. As a Puru, I spend much of my time on the product, but this week I'm heading to a few cool NYC events that highlight the process.  This Thursday, April 14, I'll be at Cooper Union's Great Hall from 7-9pm for the Service to Sustainability Awards, and the launch of Water-Aid, USA: "a new initiative to ensure the purity of America's waters."   It's like two events for the price of one!  There'll be celebrities like Yoko Ono, Olympia Dukakis and Sabrina Artel of Trailer Talk, plus a lot of important people whose names we don't know!

Then, Saturday evening, I'm headed to Brooklyn for Sowing the Seeds, an event held in partnership with Food & Water Watch to get people involved in the upcoming Farm Bill .  We're going to be sprouting and fermenting with Barry Schwartz, learning 'bout the Bill (see Simple, Good and Tasty's primer here), and feeling ironic as we eat popcorn and watch King Corn, a documentary film about how corn has come to be the cream of all our crops.

Wishing you all the best of food and water, and may you enjoy peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

This Friday: the future of New York City's Feces

CALLING ALL NEW YORKERS! Brown is soon to become the new green.  Only yesterday, the New York Times ran an article on how New York City will soon be turning its citizens' waste into a resource.  As it turns out, the city is already making use of the energy sources that can be recaptured through wastewater treatment.  But the city's hoping that by next year, your home could be run off your own natural gas.  As the article details:

About half of the methane produced by the city’s plants is already used to meet about 20 percent of the energy demands of the city’s 14 sewage plants, whose electric bills run to a total of about $50 million a year. Now the city wants to market the other half, which is burned off and wasted.

Through a partnership with National Grid that is already in the works, officials said, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn is expected to add enough methane gas to the city’s natural gas network next year to heat 2,500 homes.

And that's not the only way they're looking towards the future.  This Friday, you can join NYC Environmental Protection Commissioner Caswell F. Holloway for a time capsule ceremony!  (Click here for a pdf of the invitation.)

There will be remarks from the Commissioner, a special presentation from a local school, AND a tour of the Newtown Creek facility starting at 11:30.  I will definitely be there.  Will you join me?

Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner