Here at the Environmental Action Lab we strive to reconnect people to their local environment and educate communities on sustainable stewardship. We are a group of college students, professors, scientists, farmers and future leaders in the field of Urban Sustainability. The Environmental Action Lab has programs in both Brooklyn, NY and Puerto Rico, in which we educate students through field work, activism and service learning.
A Brooklyn Pigeon (Bigeon)
In the city, pigeons are referred to as flying rats, but they used to be considered barnyard animals. Pigeons are not indigenous to the Big Apple. They were brought over from Europe during the 1600's. Since their domestication, some 6,000 years ago, pigeons have been supplying humanity with food, fertilizer, entertainment (pigeon racing), and even medicine.
Bigeon and his comrades live in urban centers across the globe. Researchers say there are approximately 4 million pigeons in NYC. These feral birds are descendent of rock doves and messenger pigeons. Bigeon and his unique heritage shows us how to be resilient for climate change. By taking a holistic view of a problem, we at the Environmental Action love our friend Bigeon and all he represents.
We need a Green New Deal because people are suffering, friends, family and peers. It is impossible to ignore the dire situation. To ignore is a choice. Will we continue to overlook injustice? For how long? Until it knocks on our own front doors? No. We need to act now. Neighbors are losing their lives to racism, poverty and environmental injustice. The World Health Organizations estimates that climate change cause 150,000 deaths annually. A disproportionate majority are low-income people of color. What will happen when climate change makes certain parts of the city uninhabitable?
We at the Environmental Action Lab understand the urgency of now and know we cannot wait around for politicians to save us. That’s why we’re dedicated to creating green infrastructure that is community controlled and run. By giving the community control, we can create a resilient population ready to live through climate change. By utilizing space efficiently in urban areas, we can create food for humans and heal the ecosystem. Community garden beds can be made out of pallets and divert waste from the land fills. Native pollinators are at risk of going extinct due to habitat lose. Installing bat boxes, planting pollinators and making “bee hotels” are great ways for regular people to help bring back a healthy ecosystem. By investing in a green future, countless jobs will be created giving local people meaningful work.