Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's True!

Blog readers in the New York City area have no doubt seen the labels on subway station trash receptacles that read "CAN IT FOR A GREENER PLANET!" and claim to recycle after the trash is collected. Hard to believe that someone somewhere actually sorts through the trash in search of recyclables. It's true!

According to MTA spokesperson Deirdre Parker, A contractor retrieves the trash after it's taken to various collection points and the plastic, cardboard, paper and glass are pulled out. A fifty cent credit goes to the MTA, and last year 63% of the waste collected from the MTA was recycled!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Textile Recycling Update!

Good news to all of us who bring our clothes, towels, sheets, and other textiles to get recycled. CENYC has just made it easier - here's what they had to say:

New York City estimates that over 193,000 tons of reusable and recyclable textiles are sent to landfills and incinerators each year. Textiles represent nearly 6% of New York City's annual residential waste. Throwing your unwanted clothing into the garbage damages the environment and could cost the taxpayer millions of dollars each year in unnecessary carting and disposal costs. We started with a pilot program to collect textiles in Union Square in June 2007 and have since expanded the program to include four locations, including one in Brooklyn. We have collected over 240,000 pounds of materials and we hope to collect more with your support. Bring clean clothing, shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts and other textiles.
They'll get sorted into different grades including usable/non-usable, cotton scrap, cotton blend scrap and synthetics. These commodities are then sold for reuse or to recycling markets that turn materials into wiping rags, fiber for car seats and insulation.

New 2009 Locations:
Union Square Greenmarket - Saturdays (begins January 3) 8am-6pm(West side of the Park)*

Tompkins Square Greenmarket - Sundays (begins January 4) 8am-4pm(East 7th St. & Ave A)*
97th Street Greenmarket - Fridays (begins January 9) 8am-2pm( 97th St. & Columbus Ave)

SPECIAL ONE-DAY COLLECTION:* Inwood Greenmarket - Saturday, January 10 only, 8am-2pm (Isham St. b/t Seaman & Cooper).

Learn More.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let Your Fingers do the Walking

Co-op America's National Green Pages is a great source to find environmentally and socially conscious business listings. Categories range from clothing and travel to financial investing and health care. Co-op America is a not-for-profit organization working to harness economic power to create environmental sustainability and social justice. In other words, money talks, and where and how you spend your dollars will control what is produced and how eco friendly that production is.

Visit Co-op America!

Check out the National Green Pages!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Your Guilt-Free Christmas Tree


About 30 million christmas trees will be purchased this year. These millions of trees help to offset enough carbon to make a big impact - the equivalent of taking 4,960 SUVs off the road for one year.

source: earth911

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Clean Coal Video

Local Green Heroes

TogetherGreen Fellowships recently awarded to forty of the nation’s most promising conservationists include a brooklynite. Jillian Rubio, who has been involved in conservation efforts for over a decade, is one of only 40 people selected from competitors nationwide for the TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Program, part of a new conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society with support from Toyota. Fellows receive specialized training in conservation planning and execution, the chance to work and share best practices with gifted conservation professionals, and assistance with project outreach and evaluation AND $10,000 towards a community-focused project to engage local residents in conserving land, water and energy.

Jillian will partner with Stoked Mentoring, an action sports mentoring program in NYC, and together they will create a unique opportunity for Brooklyn youth to get paired with a mentor and take part in both a series of onsite environmentally-focused workshops and activities at Prospect Park and in offsite activities including snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing. By engaging urban youth in this unique way, they will have an opportunity to be outdoors and experience nature, on their terms. Congratulations Jillian.

Learn More.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Join Brooklyn Green Team Saturday Night

Our beloved partners at GreenEdge Collaborative NYC are celebrating two years of bringing folks together to eat drink watch forage and scavanger hunt around sustainability in New York City. Please come out to support them on Saturday at 8pm @ ReBar (147 Front St) in Dumbo. You can enter the cake-making contest!

Learn More

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Man's Trash

Have you heard of Freecycle? It's a nonprofit global network similar to craigslist where you can search for items people are giving away for free. Similarly, you can post an item that you'd like to get rid of.
Why is this a good idea? It touches on two of the most important aspects of saving the planet: reusing and keeping stuff out of landfills. It could also save you money on that desk you want for your apartment. A win/win situation!

Visit the freecycle website

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We Made It!

We made the Park Slope 100 List on the annual entry presented by Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn. Here's some of what it said: 

Brooklyn Green Team because you're a community group in Park Slope devoted to reducing your environmental impact and you inspire others to do the same through small changes which make a big difference...

Mulch-Fest 2009

While all of you are maybe not even yet setting up your tree (if you read our recent post you know to get a real one not a fake plastic one), its time to think about its time beyond your living room. Rather than the garbage, your tree can provide walk-ways throughout Prospect Park. Completing the circle of life - doesn't that sound nice? Brought to you by Prospect Park Alliance, Park Slope Civic Council and Together Green, Holiday Tree Recycling at Prospect Park will take place January 10 and 11th from 10am - 2pm. 

Remove all decorations
Pick up mulch for your own garden while you're at it

January 10, 11 @ Third Street and Prospect Park West and the Park Circle entrance (intersection of prospect park southwest and parkside ave)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Support NY State Parks and Historic Sites While You Shop

While shopping online from home, especially for the holidays, make your purchases count!
Support New York State parks, historic sites and their many programs just by shopping online at your favorite stores through  I-Give

Every time you shop at any one of the over 700 name-brand stores in the I-Give Mall The Natural Heritage Trust will receive a percentage of each online purchase you make, at no extra cost to you- it’s easy and free!  Stores include: eBay, Lands' End, Staples, JC Penney, Barnes & Noble, Overstock.com, drugstore.com, Office Depot, QVC, Expedia, Home Depot, HSN, Best Buy, Gap, Buy.com, Nordstrom and many more. 

Follow these steps to register your giving at IGive.com:

·        Step 1: Register for free at: iGive.com/NHTParks

·        Step 2: You will be asked if you would like to download the I-Give shopping window.  If you download the window, it will pop up at whichever participating site you are shopping at.  Alternatively, you can begin your online shopping by going to the I-Give website and accessing the online store you want from there.

·        Step 3:  I-Give will give a percentage of your purchase to the NHT (Natural Heritage Trust) as a donation on your behalf anytime you shop through the I-Give Mall website or at a participating site with your shopping window. (at no cost to you).

Visit Natural Heritage Trust or email nht@oprhp.state.ny.us

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!

You're a BGT blog reader, and you've probably given some thought as to whether or not you should get a Christmas tree this year. Maybe you've considered a fake tree as a more eco-friendly option.

According to the Boston Globe, the better choice is to get a real tree. Here's a few reason why:

- Artificial trees are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which does not break down in the environment. Artificial trees also often contain lead.
- Many artificial trees are manufactured in China, so factor in the carbon footprint left in shipping them to American stores.
- The average life-span of an artificial tree is six years, then you're back to square one.


- Purchase of a real Christmas tree results in money being injected into the economy-something to take into consideration these days.
-Real Christmas trees come from tree farms and will mostly likely be replanted, making for a more earth-friendly enterprise (although keep in mind many tree farmers use pesticides).
- Real Christmas trees can be mulched or recycled after use.

Learn more about treecycling and other ways to green your tree!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Be there. 22 cents on every dollar made that day goes to energy efficiency improvements throughout the store!

the scoop: 
Carrotmob NYC will hold a reverse boycott at Tarzian Hardware, 193 7th Ave SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14 from 12 - 3. The group will bring hundreds of shoppers to this family-owned hardware store. Carrotmob shoppers are expected to spend thousands and Tarzian has agreed to put 22% of the day's profits towards energy improvements such as upgraded lighting, heating, etc. Carrotmob NYC was inspired by the original carrotmob based out of San Francisco. Check out our previous post on them with a great youtube video. 

Bring Your Own Mug Challenge Update

3 Months. No Paper Cups. Can You Swig It? 

Naidre's Cafe (in talks with brooklyn green team) on 7th Ave in Park Slope and on Henry Street in Cobble Hill decided to change their menu to read that your own mug, any size, gets you a coffee for only 1.50 (the price of a small coffee). How exciting! You can also find our mug challenge flyer on 7th Ave.

JOIN THE CHALLENGE. email brooklyngreen@gmail.com and write I Bring My Own!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Brooklyngives.org is an initiative of the Independence Community Foundation. THEY WANT YOU! to make charitable contributions to BK nonprofits. While they're not all green there are a few in there. Improving the environment means many things. Check it out. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Red List

Greenpeace put out a list of no-no's for us seafood eaters. Check it out. They even have a search engine by state.
  • Albacore tuna
  • Atlantic cod (scrod)
  • Atlantic halibut
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Atlantic sea scallop
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Bluefin tuna
  • Chilean sea bass
  • Greenland halibut
  • Grouper
  • Hoki
  • Monkfish
  • Ocean quahog
  • Orange roughy
  • Pollock
  • Redfish
  • Red snapper
  • Sharks
  • Skates and rays
  • Swordfish
  • Tropical shrimp
  • Yellowfin tuna
Is your supermarket's seafood sustainable? Greenpeace is assessing supermarkets' sustainable seafood policies and practices. Find out how your supermarket is helping or hurting the oceans.

Tell a Friend: Create a tidal wave of action by telling your friends and neighbors!

I'll Have a Green Christmas

Feeling festive? Why not go see some beautiful eco-friendly Christmas lights in Brooklyn?

Greenpoint Holiday Lights is the final project by Town Square for the 2008 year and they are thrilled to announce that the sparkling white lights that accompany green garlands strung around street light poles are LED, which saves 90% in energy costs

The lights will line Manhattan Avenue from Java to the north and Driggs to the south and there will be a lighting ceremony in front of Greenpoint Toy Center at 738 Manhattan Avenue between Meserole and Norman. The Brooklyn Brass Quartet will be on hand to supply your favorite carols and you are encouraged to stick around to do some local Christmas shopping.

Town Square is volunteer organization whose mission is to build a vibrant community in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Learn More

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Green Video Contest

JustDoOne.org, the online community for sustainable living, today issued a global call for personal green solutions. The Just Do One organization is collecting the best ideas for more sustainable living, summarized in three-minute YouTube-style videos, and sharing them free with the interested community worldwide. The best video entry, as judged by the JustDoOne.org community and an expert panel, wins a $5,000 cash prize.

“Three years ago when Living Green: A Practical Guide was first published, the sustainability movement was just gaining momentum,” said Greg Horn, best-selling author and founder/sponsor of JustDoOne.org. “There was a lot of new awareness and concern, but almost no one was talking about solutions. Now people realize that the stakes are enormous, and they want to do something positive. Nobody’s perfect, but we have to get past the angst and anger over the scope of the problem, and get started with solutions on the scale of individual action.” For anyone wondering: “What can I do?” JustDoOne.org has a wealth of easily actionable ideas, from the people who know best – the sustainable living community. “One person’s actions can make a difference,” said Douglas Horn, independent film-maker and collaborator on the project, “and one person’s idea for greener living, told in a compelling video, might inspire hundreds or even thousands of others. We quickly realized that the only way to get the very best thinking and make a real difference quickly was to open up the doors to the entire community.”

Video entries up to three minutes in length are being accepted from January 1 to March 1, 2009. Winners will be announced April 1, 2009 in time for media coverage leading up to Earth Day. If you ever wanted to save the world, here’s your chance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tour the Clean Coal Facility

You just have to WATCH THIS VIDEO


Brooklyn Green Team in partnership with GreenEdge Collaborative NYC says its not too late to join...
November 08 - January 09

This Just In! Red Horse Cafe has partnered up on the mug challenge. Stop in and see them on 6th Ave in BK for a coffee with your mug and get discounted to the next size down! Starting this week, you can sign up for there for the Bring Your Own Mug Challenge. Thanks Red Horse! Also catch us this Thursday at the Snowflake Celebration, encouraging folks to buy local in Park Slope.

For those of you who are with us - Thank You! For those of you who are not yet...
Sign Up: email brooklyngreen@gmail.com and write "I Bring My Own!" Include your first and last name and zip. Please pass on to friends and make the impact stronger.

Today, there is no way to compost or recycle the billions of disposable coffee cups used in the U.S. each year. That's because cups are lined with a petroleum-based plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leaking.

Most disposable coffee cups have a life of only 5 minutes before they are tossed in the trash. In a single week, the average coffee joint goes through 4,000 cups and plastic lids!

Every year, Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee. Of those, 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper cups— enough to wrap the earth 55 times if placed end-to-end!

Sign up for the challenge and use a travel mug. Often made of stainless steel, these beauties will keep your coffee or tea hotter longer than a disposable cup.

Suggest that stores offer a discount when you bring your own. Patron stores that already offer this. If you buy coffee five days a week, and use your travel mug, you save 260 cups per year!

Thank You Lion in the Sun, EPA's WaterSense, Recycline, Camilla Boutique, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Postmark Cafe, Ozzie's, Red Horse Cafe, 3rLiving, Environmental Defense Fund, and VivaTerra!

Monday, December 8, 2008

This Lawn is Your Lawn!

Check out "Eat the View!" This campaign was started to urge President-elect Barack Obama to replant an organic garden on the First Lawn. The produce would be used in the White House kitchen and go to local food banks.

"Eat the View" is coordinated by the nonprofit Kitchen Gardeners International. Based in Maine, this network of 10,000 gardeners from 100 countries are inspiring and teaching people to grow some of their own food.

On the Eat the View website, you can:

-watch videos about the project
-sign a petition that will be sent to Barack Obama
-learn more about how to contact your local and state officials to "edible-ize" a landscape near you.
-learn how you can (symbolically) buy a parcel of the White House lawn. Proceeds go to organizations world wide that help people learn how to grow their own food.

Yes we can set an example to the people of our own country and those around the world.

Learn more

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Green Shopping

For those of you who don't receive our emails, here's what you missed. (to sign up email brooklyngreen@gmail.com and write ADD). We'll run this in two parts

Season's Greetings from Brooklyn Green Team!
We'll get right to it. We've been crunching the numbers, checking it twice, and we've come up with some suggestions for your earth-friendly gift giving this year...

The Tangible Gifts
Give a subscription to Good  [magazine]. Trust us, it rules. Plus 100% of the price goes to a nonprofit of your choice (from their list) and the printing is green and the content is terrific. 

How about a suite of eco-friendly cleaning products? Support local and pick them out at Go Green on Atlantic Ave.

Eco Puzzle's bright, friendly-looking wooden puzzles come in many colors and shapes - cars, dinos, turtles, you get the idea.  They are made from recycled chipboard and are hand-painted using non-toxic acrylic paint. Order online or mosey over to the Union Square Holiday Market.

In these tough economic times good food may be the best gift of all. Purchase a gift certificate from your local natural foods store. Back to the Land in BK and Whole Foods offer certificates. 

The 20oz./.6 liter "I Bottle My Own" water bottle is an emblem of Riverkeeper's Take Back the Tap New York Campaign. Made from #304 food-grade stainless steel, it comes in blue, aqua, red and silver. 

Everyone in this city deserves an umbrella. Totes model is made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles, bamboo and 70% recycled materials. You can find it at Target.

Vintage Signage on Atlantic Avenue sells old subway signs, Coca-Cola advertisements, any sign you can think of. What a great gift (second hand = no carbon footprint) to give a friend who has more than they need already! Vintage Signage is located at 334 Atlantic (btw. Hoyt and Smith)

Ginga Jewelry is a line of jewelry inspired by, and consisting of the shapes, designs and metals of small bicycle parts. These pieces emphasize the importance of cycling as transportation as well as a reusable source of material.

Try a cool shower curtain from 3rLiving on 5th Ave in Brooklyn or a cute top from Camilla Boutique on Atlantic. 

Talented? Make art.

One word: Etsy


Friday, December 5, 2008

Change the World Tomorrow

We mentioned this earlier in the week, but tomorrow is Global Climate Campaign's day of action. In honor of the big event, ie the UN climate talks, Brooklyn Green Team is challenging you to do something positive towards protecting our environment. Let us know what you plan to do for the big day and we'll put you on our blog! Some suggestions:

Don't buy anything made of plastic or wrapped in plastic
Turn off the TV for a day (or if you do turn on the TV invite friends over for an environmental film)
Make a contribution to an environmental org you believe in
Host a rally promoting climate change awareness
Send an email to your friend with green tips

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shop Local Tonight!

At the Snowflake Celebration where you can shop and get discounts and other stuff in shops along 5th and 7th Ave in Park Slope. Catch Brooklyn Green Team in front of the Park Slope Food Coop selling official "Buy in Brooklyn" reusable travel mugs to go along with our Bring Your Own Mug Challenge!

Check us out in Gowanus Lounge.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Nurturing the planet encompasses many philosophies. Of these, a sense of caring and empathy are paramount. And then, of course, there's the little practice of reduce, re-use, and recycle.

What better way to express all of these sentiments than by donating a coat that you don't need anymore?

Global warming not-with-standing, Northeast winters still bring frigid temperatures and there are many people out there, adults and children alike, who need a coat to stay warm this winter. New York Cares works hard every year to bring your generous donations to those in need.

Learn More

We Interrupt This Message for An Important Announcment on Plastic Bags

From Christine C. Quinn - Speaker of the NYC Council ...

In spite of months of effort on the part of the New York City Council and environmental advocates, the "Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act" - State legislation that undermines and preempts the City Council's stronger plastic bag recycling legislation - has made its way unchanged to Governor Paterson's desk. The Governor now has until December 12th to act on this bill. The City Council is continuing to urge Governor Paterson to secure a chapter amendment removing New York City from the bill's weaker requirements before signing this legislation into law. Your help could make the critical difference in achieving this goal.

Please join us by signing a letter to Governor Paterson

And if you know of anyone else who's concerned about the fate of the City's plastic bag recycling program, please pass this information along and encourage them to sign the letter to Governor Paterson as well. Thank you in advance for helping us to create a greener future for our City. I'll keep you updated on our efforts moving forward.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Do your part today. Do something (or not do something you typically do) for the environment. Unplug your cell phone charger. Turn off the TV a little earlier. Don't forget your tote. You get the point...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Get into the holiday spirit, boost the local economy, and save the planet!

The Brooklyn Green Team is thrilled to partner with the Park Slope Chamber of Commerce for the second annual Snowflake Celebration campaign!

Stores in Park Slope will be staying open late on Thursday December 4th and Thursday December 11th to get you in the holiday spirit and to offer sales, giveaways, raffles, carolers, food and drink. Most importantly, shoppers can feel the warm glow of keeping your local economy strong by buying local!

With many cafes participating, the Brooklyn Green Team will be selling stainless steel travel mugs with the Buy in Brooklyn Logo in front of the Park Slope Food Coop on Union between 6th and 7th Avenues.

What's that you ask? Why yes, we are in the middle of our latest challenge, the Bring Your Own Mug Challenge, in partnership with GreenEdge Collaborative NYC. In an effort to cut down on those paper cups and plastic lids (not to mention the cardboard coffee sleeve), Brooklyn Green Team will be signing up folks for the challenge at the Snowflake Celebration. Not only does using a travel mug save resources, it also saves your local businesses the expense of these coffee accessories.

Participating stores will be open until 10 pm. For more info and to see a list of participating stores, click here.