Of Bees, Pees, and the B.B.B.B.

06/10/2009 4:00 AM |

The Bees Are Upon Us

Surely you remember my plea for leagalized beekeeping in New York
City, written just as the wee bees were themselves waking up from their
winter hibernation (I would like to think, but don’t have the proper
apiaryological knowledge). To recap, for those who were themselves
hibernating, beekeeping is currently illegal in the five boroughs, on
the grounds that bees are potentially dangerous: the law, hopelessly
outdated and overprotective, ignores the fact that we need bees to
pollinate our food, and beekeeping is a great, high-value small-scale
agricultural project. Well, the marvelous people spearheading the
legal-bee movement, Just Food, have put together a Pollinator Week
from June 22 to June 28th.

Attend the Beekeeper’s Ball on June 22nd, on the South Street
Seaport’s Water Taxi Beach: honey-infused drinks and snacks will be
served, and awards awarded for bee and bee-keeper costumes. If that’s
not your style, on Thursday June 24th a group of restaurants will be
serving up New York Nectar, a collection of special local honey-infused
dishes and menus at some of the city’s coolest restaurants. Jimmy’s
43, Txikito, Rose Water in Brooklyn, and Wave Hill Cafe, among others,
will participate. For the complete listings, see JustFood.org.

Finally, the sweetness comes to the Union Square Greenmarket, with
the all-day Honey Fest on June 26th. Local honey will be available (it
cures allergies, I swear) and apiarists, and hopefully a few bees, will
be in attendance. Get out and show your support, and stock up on some
golden goodness. Don’t forget that honey is great for the skin, tastes
fantastic in coffee as well as tea, and adds an awful lot to savory
dishes. Buy a big jar, and thank me later.

The Pee Stays in the Bowl

I recently happened upon a funny clip of Cameron Diaz on The
Tonight Show
. Apparently La Diaz is an avid environmentalist, and
she does all kinds of “kooky” things to live a greener life. Jay Leno
got her to admit, in front of millions, that she doesn’t always flush
her toilet: “If it’s yellow, leave it mellow, if it’s brown flush it
down” was Cameron’s take on the “golden” rule (I’ve always heard “let
it mellow”…) Kind of funny to hear coming out of the mouth of a woman
wearing Chanel, but I’ll take it!

In any case, I was reminded that summer is coming, and with it,
almost inevitably, come water shortages. More than half of your water
use is probably going down the toilet, so a little “mellowing” can go a
long way toward reducing your water consumption. Give it a try —
it won’t kill you, and it will save thousands of gallons a year. Go the
extra mile and get a bucket or two to catch your shower water as you
bathe, and use that to flush your toilet, and you’ll save tens of
thousands of gallons a year.

The B.B.B.B.

Last issue I wrote about the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, which was
supposed to go into effect on the first of June, collecting a five-cent
deposit on water bottles. As I discussed, there were many critics of
the bill, and it excluded any “water” drinks with sugar in them, a
strange and unfair exclusion. Well, the bill WAS postponed, until April
of next year, on the grounds that requirements to label the bottles
were unconstitutional.

What does that mean for us? Well, the State of New York would have
gotten an estimated $115 million from its share of unclaimed bottle
deposits, and the homeless and others who collect containers (and there
are a lot of them out there) would have gotten another income stream.
Collection centers, which employ people, had planned on taking on more
workers, but now will not. And of course, our overtaxed waste-disposal
system will have to manage several billion bottles over the next

Call or write your state representative, and tell them to get
cracking — we’ve waited 25 years for an expanded bottle bill, and
it’s crazy that we now have to wait 11 more months.

2 Comment

  • Most probably CDs cleaning lady comes every time after her and flushes the toilet. It starts to stink and gives rims when you let the pee stand. Because of the rims you’ll be using more harsh chemicals to clean the bowl more often and thus create more damage then the little water saving could make up for. There are actually two-way flush mechanisms that one can build into the toilet which give a little water for the pee and a lot (the standard amount) for more solid fare.

  • If you don’t want to clean your toilet with harsh chemicals, do it with white vinegar. Problem solved, at least until composting toilets become mainstream.