While we are currently asking customers not to bring reusable bags, we continue to honor our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good donation commitments. Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encouraged shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. This quarter, our recipients are Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now (CLEAN), the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, and the Ithaca Children’s Garden.

In the heart of upstate NY lie 11 lakes called the Finger Lakes. The lakes are long, narrow, and oriented in the north–south direction. Carved out by glaciers around two million years ago, these lakes are now the home of over 1.2 million people and boasts a thriving economy in the wine and craft beer industries. Cayuga Lake, the second largest of the Finger Lakes, is about 40 miles long and reaches a depth of approximately 435 ft at its deepest point. As the main source of public drinking water for at least 40,000 people, it is important to safeguard the health of the lake.

Cayuga Lake might look pristine, but it is threatened by industry, and it is already showing signs of distress.

Cayuga Lake is being jeopardized by many factors such as invasive species, inadequate treatment of wastewater, and emerging contaminants. Additionally, more intense weather events caused by climate change increases farm runoff and erosion of silt, leading to nutrient loading. Data indicates the increase in nutrients coupled with higher temperatures has been leading to harmful algal blooms.

Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now (CLEAN) is an independent advocacy group that is working to protect Cayuga Lake. They address industry polluters in an effort to highlight the need for remediation of industrial contamination. Based in Ithaca, CLEAN works with researchers, local environmental groups, and a legal team to address water quality issues on Cayuga Lake. They are affiliated with the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network. CLEAN has fiscal sponsorship through the Chris Dennis Environment Fund. They work to hold industry polluters accountable and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation responsible for protecting a resource that belongs to ALL of us: Cayuga Lake — from the waves up above to the salt down below.

GreenStar is pleased to be a part of supporting Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now!

Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization that might benefit from this program? Apply to be a recipient here.