Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington

Resources tree iconEnvironmental Health

Looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious around the house? Here are a few simple ways you can protect yourself and the environment by being a HEALTHY HOMEOWNER.

1. Refurbishing

Picking The Perfect Paint

Many kinds of house paint contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are hazardous to your health when inhaled. Here are a few lines of

  • low-VOC paint:
  • Benjamin Moore Eco Spec
  • Sherwin-Williams GreenSure products
  • The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company
  • Glidden
  • Freshaire Choice Paints
  • Certain Behr paints

Finding Flawless Flooring

Carpeting can trap dust and toxins brought into the home, and hardwood flooring can give off VOCs. Here are some tips for making smart choices when reflooring your home:

  • Use flooring alternatives like cork, concrete, bamboo, and linoleum; they are environmentally friendly and healthier at home
  • Buy reclaimed hardwood flooring
  • Avoid vinyl flooring…it contains possible carcinogens!
  • Donate old flooring, doors, and windows to Habitat for Humanity

Follow these links for more information about:
VOCs
Sustainable flooring
Also, check out more information about green renovation here

2. Conserve Energy

Replace your incandescent lights with CFLs…they use 75% less energy and last longer than a standard incandescent

Do your laundry with a cold wash

Unplug appliances when not in use or use a power strip…many electronics still use up energy when plugged in even when not in use

Use Energy Star appliances…they will save you money in the long run

Check out Energy Star for more tips about conserving energy around the house

3. Conserve Water

Use a low-flush toilet OR put a weighted one quart plastic bottle in the toilet tank

Use a low-flow shower head and faucet aerators

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving

Use an Energy Star front-loading washing machine

4. Clean Consumer

It’s easy to be environmentally friendly when shopping for food and groceries. Here are a few ways you can be a clean consumer.

Buy Organic

Non-organic food can contain harmful pesticides or be the product of genetic engineering! Buy organic and buy local whenever possible…it’s more sustainable and better for your health and the environment

Purchase organic fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy

Support local agriculture by patronizing local farmer’s markets

Golden Earthworm Farmer’s Market in Port Washington at the Town Dock, Saturdays 8 AM-12 PM July-October Phone: (631) 323-3653

Christopher Morley Farmer’s Market, Wednesdays 7 AM-1 PM June-November Phone: (631) 323-3653

Become a member of Community Supported Agriculture here

Read The Fine Print

Many household products contain ingredients that are harmful for both you and the environment. Here are a few guidelines:

Avoid ammonia, monoethanolamine (MEA), glycol ethers, alkyphenol ethoxylates (APEs), pthalates, triclosan, Styrofoam, and polyvinyl chloride (a.k.a. vinyl or PVC)

Instead, here are some healthy alternatives:

  • Look for the words “nontoxic,” “biodegradable,” “chlorine-free,” “phosphate-free,” “non-petroleum based,” “vegetable oil based,” “fragrance-free,” and “contains no dyes” on the label…these are good signs that the product is better for you and the environment
  • You can make a simple, safe, and effective all-purpose cleaner by dissolving half a cup of Borax into a gallon of hot water
  • By mixing a quarter cup of white vinegar or a tablespoon of lemon juice with two cups of water, you can create glass cleaner that’s better for you and the community
  • Use a quarter cup of vinegar and a cup of borax to create a bleach-free toilet bowl cleaner

Check out the Green Guide for more tips on environmentally friendly shopping

5. Environmental Watchdog

One of Residents’ main priorities is monitoring the air we breathe and the water we use in our everyday lives in Port Washington. Here’s how you can help Residents by becoming an environmental watchdog.

Find details about our local air quality on the Department of Environmental Conservation database search

The maintenance of a healthy Port aquifer is one of Residents’ highest priorities. Learn more about the process of monitoring the aquifer and its importance below:

What It Is

The USGS has operated and maintained a hydrologic-data-collection program on Long Island since the early 1900s. Data collection intervals used by the USGS on Long Island generally are:

  • annual-synoptic, which provides data needed for base-line statistical studies and ground-water model calibration;
  • monthly, which in addition to the above, provides data needed for water-availability and saltwater intrusion studies, ground-water/surface-water interaction studies, seasonal-trend analysis, and drought and flood monitoring; and
  • continuous-recording or real-time, which provides additional data needed for short-term trend analysis, recharge and tidal variation studies, local ground-water withdrawal monitoring, and real-time drought and flood monitoring.

As part of the cooperative program, the USGS will collect water levels on the Manhasset Neck Peninsula at 33 wells—near-real-time at 1 well equipped with satellite telemetry, continuously at 2 observation wells equipped with continuous down-hole water-level recorders, monthly at 10 observation wells, and annually at 20 additional observation wells.

The Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) also collects biannual ground-water data on Manhasset Neck Peninsula, so the USGS will work closely with the NCDPW to minimize data duplication. Data will be disseminated by the USGS in a variety of formats, including digital web-based products, online data reports, and water-level maps. Online data for Long Island and the Nation are available through the USGS National Water Information System: Web Interface (NWISWeb), which can be accessed 24-hours per day at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis.

Why It’s Important

Operation of a long-term cooperative hydrologic data-collection program on the Manhasset Neck Peninsula is needed to provide scientists and water managers with a comprehensive data set of representative hydrologic conditions using nationally consistent data-collection techniques. These data would be available for use in ongoing and future hydrologic studies to improve our knowledge and understanding of the long- and short-term changes that occur in the ground-water system when various natural and man-induced stresses are applied, and are essential for addressing future management and development scenarios on the peninsula. In times of drought, these data could be used to properly manage the withdrawal of water from the underlying aquifer to help avoid additional saltwater-intrusion problems on the peninsula.

In addition, hydrologic data is needed for Phase 2 of a 2-year ground-water modeling study the USGS began on the peninsula in February, 2009. The objective of this ongoing study is to apply several new datasets and modeling techniques to the previously-developed USGS numerical model of density-dependent ground-water flow and solute transport, to gain further insight into the potential for saltwater intrusion, water-level changes, VOC contamination, and factors affecting sources of water to municipal-supply wells.