2011-11-07 – Green’s Theme at OWS – NTD Television

Green’s the Theme at Wall Street Protest HQ
Created: Nov 07 2011


Less than one week after their generators were confiscated, Occupy Wall Street protesters are using bicycles to generate power for their encampment in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.

With the help of environmental action group ’Time’s Up’, demonstrators have acquired and assembled two power bikes that use a flywheel to harness energy. The energy is then transferred and stored in large batteries.

The unit, which currently has 88 volunteers, develops environmental initiatives like the energy bikes to help keep Zuccotti Park clean and sustainable.

Members say that as hundreds of people began to eat, sleep and pass through the Lower Manhattan plaza each day, it became clear that environmentally friendly systems were needed to dispose of large quantities of garbage, food waste and dirty water.

Brennan Cavanaugh regularly organizes the compost pick-ups.

Cavanaugh estimates that on any given day, there are 75 to 200 pounds of compost that needs to be disposed of, between the camp and the off-site kitchen, where much of the cooking is actually done.

[Brennan Cavanaugh, Compost Pick-Up Member]:
“We’re bringing it to local community gardens. We have several in the East Village that we’re coupled with and one on Governors Island, which is a compound specific farm and they turn it back into soil and turn it back into something which makes rich growing material.”

The protesters have also implemented a grey water treatment system that uses wood chips and gravel to filter dirty dishwater and prevent any contaminants from re-entering the New York water supply.

[Sonnie Joh, Grey Water Treatment System Member]:
“The gravel and the plants are absorbing nutrients from the grey water and then the overflow is being used to water plants in park. So the idea is that we are reabsorbing nutrients from the grey water and putting back into the soil instead of putting it into the water stream.”

The Sustainability Group is hoping that other Occupy Wall Street movements around the world will take a cue from them and keep their protest spaces green.