NY Climate Tech: February 27 - March 6, 2023
SNOW!!! Plus a decarbonization demo day, some arts + climate workshops, a WILD film festival to keep you on your toes!
First and foremost, enjoy the first REAL snowfall of the season tonight! Much belated - but better late than never. We are beyond excited for these flakes and we hope you are too! ❄️
Start off your Monday with a Sustainable Fashion Community Meeting with the NYC Fair Trade Coalition. On Tuesday, hear more about what it takes: building next-generation infrastructure in America (like roads for autonomous vehicles and much else!). Wednesday will be busy with the Decarbonization Accelerator Demo Day, film screenings on Technological Ecologies, or have your choice of one of two arts + climate workshops with ECOLOGICAL CITY and Earth Celebrations. On Thursday, start your evening learning about the Clean Energy Leadership Institute's Fellowship, then head to a seminar on how to Grow a Resilient Society with plants, and start your weekend early with the 9th Annual New York WILD Film Festival (as two wildlife nature lovers, we can’t wait!). Close off the week on Friday with a tour of various Sustainable Harlem businesses and finish the weekend with another arts + climate workshop, this time focused on Microbial Painting with our friends at Genspace!
Alec and Sonam
Hot Take: Talking Trash
I bet you’ll engage in a relay race through the chaotic streets of New York this evening, jumping across big black bags of trash as you try to make it to the subway before the doors close. My hunch is that you’re probably not thinking about where all 12,000 tons of a day’s trash came from, where it’s going, or frankly, who it’s feeding (everyone in this city has a favorite neighborhood pizza rat, let’s be honest).
I’ll do a much longer post about the “Voyage of Gross” as our friends at Curbed so aptly describe, but today we’ll focus on the role governments can play in shifting how much trash is produced in the first place. And for this, we’ll head across the pond to Europe to learn a thing or two on how policy-makers can be market-makers when it comes to talking trash.
Last year, the EU proposed regulations that would require companies to make their packaging easier to reuse, recycle, or compost - complete with better materials, better design, and better labeling for consumers. All takeout food, drinks, and alcohol would need to be in reusable packaging by 2030, and say goodbye to half empty containers with tons of space fillers! This is on top of a complete ban on single-use plastics, cutlery, straws, and the like that went into effect in 2019. The aim: reduce packaging waste by 15% and especially curb plastic waste, which makes up 80% of all marine debris found near surface waters. The goal is to shift the onus on the producers of plastic rather than the consumers who are traditionally left with limited choices.
And all this is just the beginning. The EU is working in partnership with the UN High Ambition Coalition, a group of countries that includes the EU member states, the UK, Ghana, Senegal, Australia, Canada, and small island states such as Kiribati and Tonga that suffer the bulk of negative consequences of marine plastics washing up on their shores. Together, they hope to create a global set of rules for the redesign of packaging materials, and more importantly, strict controls on plastic production.
Each kilogram of plastic that comes on the market has already caused 3 kilograms of GHG emissions through its production process. This is a global business with thousands of nodes - and no clear standards on what can be degraded, composted, reused, or recycled. Every country has had its own set of piecemeal regulations, with Bangladesh being the first country in the world to ban plastic bags back in 2002 while France has banned plastic packaging for all produce. A comprehensive, global standard is what’s missing and that’s where the EU is stepping into a leadership void.
The goal for the EU is to utilize ‘green diplomacy’ to influence global environmental negotiations, and become both a policy leader and market leader. And a plethora of sustainable packaging startups are ready for the action! From Germany’s Circleback building deposit-return systems to the UK’s B2B startup Sourceful providing sourcing and supply chain platform to Estonia’s Woola that is creating compostable packaging made of sheep wool, there’s no shortage of creative ideas to make a dent in our global plastics ecosystem.
Want to close the loop? Learn more about circular economy startups and ecosystems from our friends at the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, check out the amazing work New York City’s Closed Loop Partners is doing to build and invest in circular systems, and stay tuned for our upcoming NY Climate Tech visit to my favorite place to talk trash, the Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Brooklyn!
Community Shout Outs
🌎 Climate Tech Cities
We are expanding! We started as an 8-person dinner and now have over 4,000 members in our community. We’ve had people across the world reach out to us to start their own chapters - so we’re launching a new Climate Tech Cities organization to kick of 2023! If you have friends who are interested in becoming chapter leads, please share the word! Here’s to a global network of local communities making a positive impact!
👩🏻🔬The Carbon 2 Value Initiative
The Carbon 2 Value Initiative is bringing innovative carbontech solutions to scale— and accepting applications for the Year 3 Cohort! Read the RFP and submit your solution to collaborate with Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs, Fraunhofer, and NYSERDA by March 31!
♻️ Clean Tech Open
Applications are now open for the 2023 Cleantech Open (the world’s largest cleantech accelerator!). Get access to expert and specialized mentors, a full business development training program, and investor networking! Apply today at bit.ly/cto2023. The application period is open until 11:59 PM PST on April 16th.
Events This Week
👖 Sustainable Fashion Community Meeting: Mon, Feb 27
🚄 What it takes: building next-generation infrastructure in America: Tue, Feb 28
✅ Decarbonization Accelerator Demo Day (Spring 2023): Wed, Mar 1
🎬 Technological Ecologies: Wed, Mar 1
🎭 ECOLOGICAL CITY - Art & Climate Solutions Workshops: Wed, Mar 1
🍄 Bio Arts Workshops with Mycelium, Kombucha and Seaweed: Wed, Mar 1
⚡️ Clean Energy Leadership Institute's NY 2023 Fellowship: Thu, Mar 2
🌿 PLANTACT! Growing a Resilient Society: Thu, Mar 2
🦒 9th Annual New York WILD Film Festival: Thu, Mar 2
🌱 Sustainable Harlem Tour: Fri, Mar 3
🧬 The Art of SynBio: Microbial Painting: Sat, Mar 4
Read on for more details about this week’s happenings and upcoming events this month
💃 Climate Museum + Fashion Act Social: Tue, Mar 7
🎨 Meditate and Paint: Tue, Mar 7
🙋🏻♀️ Women and Climate | BOLD After Party: Tue, Mar 7
🏳️🌈 Out in Climate - NYC meetup at Free Agency + panel on talent: Thu, Mar 9
♻️ Circularity Day NYC at Barnard College: Fri, Mar 10
💵 2023 Wall Street Green Summit: Mon, Mar 13
👩🏽💼 NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business Practice Forum: Tue, Mar 14
🏙 Urban Green Council Spring Member Reception: Wed, Mar 15
🥗 A Seat at the Table: Uplifting Voices for Equitable Food Systems: Mon, Mar 20
👩🌾 Indoor Farming through Hydroponics, a solution based practice: Sat, Mar 25
🥦 Food and Energy Resiliency with Small Scale Biogas: Sat, Mar 25
🧫 Exploring the Microbiome: Sat, Mar 25
🚌 The Climate Museum - Field Trip: Sun, Mar 26
🧶 Sustainable Fashion: A Mending and Repair Workshop: Wed, Mar 29
Events This Week
👖 Sustainable Fashion Community Meeting
When: Mon, Feb 27th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Kent State University, 315 West 39th Street #STE 402, New York, NY 10018
Join the NYC Fair Trade Coalition Family for an evening of sharing, snacking, and connecting with liked-minded individuals. We'll start with a short presentation on Design for the Environment, move on to sharing upcoming opportunities and events, and follow up with short, sweet, and to-the-point presentations from a few members.
🚄 What it takes: building next-generation infrastructure in America
When: Tue, Feb 28th from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Register for address
Join Caffeinated Capital on February 28th in Lower Manhattan for a fireside chat with Demetrios (Dimi) Kellari on what it takes to build next-generation infrastructure in America. Dimi Kellari is a former MIT, CERN, and Airbus engineer who incubated and invested in next-generation energy, mobility, waste, and water platforms at Google X and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners. Dimi currently leads systems and integrations at Cavnue, a startup he incubated at Sidewalk Infra that creates roads purpose-built for autonomous vehicles.
✅ Decarbonization Accelerator Demo Day (Spring 2023)
When: Wed, Mar 1st from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where: Rise New York, 43 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
On March 1st, eight teams from the inaugural Decarbonization Accelerator will pitch before an audience of executives, investors and fellow founders. These pitches will include completed versions of the 'Dreams and Details Strategy Map'--a leadership framework developed by Jim Hagemann Snabe (Chair, Siemens; fmr Chair, Maersk and co-CEO of SAP) and Mikael Trolle (fmr CEO, Volleyball Denmark).
🎬 Technological Ecologies
When: Wed, Mar 1st from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: e-flux, 172 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Inspired by sites where nature and culture, the organic and the scientific, the human and the more-than-human merge in ways that threaten to dislodge these binaries altogether, this issue thinks through the frame of technological ecologies. It analyzes and contests the division between the ecological and the technological in an array of audiovisual practices. It integrates cinematic and recording devices into embodied, affective, and political nonfiction, resonating with Arturo Escobar’s notion of sentipensar (feel-think), which suggests a way of knowing that does not separate thinking from feeling, reason from emotion, knowledge from caring. Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm for a screening of Jeannette Muñoz, Strata of Natural History (2012), Mileidy Orozco Domicó, Mu Drua (2011), and Syma Tariq, Partitioned Listening: I hear (colonial) voices (2022); and a discussion with issue guest editors and Counter Encounters members Onyeka Igwe and Laura Huertas Millán, moderated by World Records editor Jason Fox.
🎭 Ecological City - Art & Climate Solutions Workshops
When: Wed, Mar 1st from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: Earth Celebrations - Sixth Street Community Center, 638 E 6th St ,New York, NY 10009
Join Earth Celebrations' Ecological City: Art & Climate Solutions Workshops and collaborate with our artists-in-residence creating visual art, giant puppets and costumes. Artistic works are presented in the culminating Ecological City - Procession for Climate Solutions celebrating climate solution initiatives throughout the community gardens neighborhood and waterfront on the Lower East Side of New York City.
🍄 Ecological City - Bio Arts Workshops with Mycelium, Kombucha and Seaweed
When: Wed, Mar 1st from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: White Box, 9 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
The Ecological City - Bio-Arts & Climate Solutions Workshops engage participants to collaborate with Earth Celebrations' Artist-in-Residence, Kathy Creutzburg, creating visual art and with mycelium fungi, kombucha, and seaweed. Participants learn to use natural bio materials for sculpture and costumes, growing mycelium (mushrooms root) into a structural bio-degradable material that is grown into molds in various forms. Learn how to make Kombucha (fermented mushroom tea) into a leathery textile that will be integrated into a Zero Waste costume for Ecological City Procession for Climate Solutions.
⚡️ Clean Energy Leadership Institute's NY 2023 Fellowship: Meet and Greet
When: Thu, Mar 2nd from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Energy Impact Partners, 600 3rd Ave Floor, 38 New York City, NY 10016
Applications are open for the NY 2023 Fall Fellowship! The CELI Fellowship prepares early-career to mid-level professionals to effectively serve as clean energy leaders in their fields. Join us for a casual info session to connect with the NY climate and clean energy crowd interested in learning more about the CELI fellowship and community! Info session takes place at the Energy Impact Partners office, refreshments and snacks will be provided.
🌿 PLANTACT! Growing a Resilient Society
When: Thu, Mar 2nd from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Consulate General of Germany, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
The University of Cologne New York Office cordially invites you to an evening panel featuring work from its cluster of excellence CEPLAS (Cluster of Excellence on Plant Science) and partners on the topic PlantACT! - Plants for Climate Action: Growing a Resilient Society. This event showcases the PlantACT! initiative which brings together leading plant scientists and other stakeholders with the aim of tackling climate change challenges. From finding solutions to the future of global food production, to reducing agriculture-based emissions, PlantACT! shows research in action.
🦒 9th Annual New York WILD Film Festival
When: Thu, Mar 2nd at 6:00 PM to Sun, Mar 5th at 2:30 PM
Where: The Explorer's Club, 46 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021
New York WILD™ is the first annual documentary film festival in New York to showcase a spectrum of topics, from exploration and adventure to wildlife, conservation and the environment, bringing all things WILD to one of the most urban cities in the world.
🌱 Sustainable Harlem Tour
When: Fri, Mar 3rd from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: The Schomburg Center, 101 West 135th Street New York, NY 10030
You will have an opportunity to learn about and volunteer with an important and impactful new venture from the New York Fair Trade Coalition at the Sustainable Fashion Community Center. The space serves as a clothing recycling center, a member-led pop-up shop, and a safe space for gathering, sharing, and educating. The program launched in February of 2021 in direct response to the pandemic with the goals of providing commercial space to business owners free of charge, and bringing financial stability, commerce, beauty, and hope back to NYC.
🧬 The Art of SynBio: Microbial Painting
When: Sat, Mar 4th at 10:00 AM to Sat, Mar 11th at 1:00 PM
Where: Genspace, 132 32nd Street #108, Brooklyn, NY 11232
The emerging multidisciplinary field of synthetic biology promises to be infinitely transformative; to problem solve in the realms of agriculture, medicine, manufacturing, and beyond. From new types of vaccines, to hornless cattle, to fabric made from spider silk, synthetic biology is focused on the notion of engineering life to collaborate productively with humans. As exciting as these innovations are, it often seems abstract and unclear how to get started. So how do we begin to understand SynBio – and how it can be used – in a manner that cuts through jargon and makes it relatable? How can everyone (especially those of us who are not biodesigners or bioengineers) participate? And as a human, what does it mean to create collaboratively with microbes? We’ll look at some existing and some imagined applications, and consider how the development and implementation of these applications could impact the world we live in.
Join the Fun!
We know all of you are cooking up great events that highlight the latest and greatest in our collective effort to save our city - and our planet! 🌍 We would love to spread the word. Please share any event details and we'll add them to the list.
Share Your Ideas
We're excited to grow the Climate Tech community in cities across the globe! What started as an 8-person mid-pandemic outdoor dinner has since morphed into a 4,000+ strong and ever-growing group of rockstars trying to change the world. We aim to be a community resource - built for and by our community. Share your thoughts!