Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seasons Greetings from Brooklyn Green Team

Remember, be strong, no red meat! Influence your relatives. Need some help convincing why that 89c per pound ground chuck just isn't the best for the planet? Try showing them The Meatrix!

Monday, December 21, 2009

your shirt's imprint

every action we take has an impact. whether negative or positive. being green isn't just totes anymore. it's our clothing. the good news is that in a city like NYC, there are so many options, green clothing stores galore (Kaight, Camilla Boutique, AuH20, Playback Clothing and Nau for a limited time) and there's tons of vintage.

...environmental problems caused by the common cotton T-shirt range widely, from irrigation-based farming practices that strain water supplies and damage ecosystems, to overuse of chemical fertilizers, to water pollution from dye wastes:
  • Only about 10 percent of dye wastes are recycled, and about a third of the rest flows directly to the environment. In provinces like Xinjiang, this waste is a major contributor to industrial and municipal pollution so severe that nearly 1 in 4 of China’s 1.3 billion people drink contaminated water every day.
Did you know that conventional cotton from Africa is made with a lot less chemical fertilizer and pesticides than that from China?
  • The researchers found that the use of agrichemicals differed widely among major supply regions, with China’s own farmers dosing their fields with six times more fertilizer and pesticide than growers in sub-Saharan Africa. American farmers and others in Brazil fall somewhere in the middle.

Read more about your 1 Tequilla, 2 Tequilla, 3 Tequilla, Floor t-shirt on Mother Nature Network.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Teaching BK to Recycle!

I’m sure many of you, while dutifully putting your paper recyclables in the green bins, and metal, glass and plastic recyclables in the blue bins, have often wondered: When the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) picks these up, do they really go to a recycling center?

According to David Hurd, director of the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education (OROE) at the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) — which is not a city agency — they do.

“So many New Yorkers want to believe that the Department of Sanitation is actually not recycling the recyclables that they pick up,” he said. “That’s absolutely false.”

In some cases, people are recycling less or not recycling at all. So, through OROE, “What we try to do is basically get people to understand the program,” he explained. “To debunk the classic myth.”

CENYC, which is almost 40 years old, created OROE in 2006. Five outreach coordinators tackle each borough by community district, using a Residential Waste Characterization Study conducted by DSNY to target the districts that have low recycling diversion rates first.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Compost Bin Sale!

December 16th @ Brooklyn Botanic Garden
1000 Washington Ave, BK
Classroom 125

The NYC Compost Project is hosted by the NYC Compost Project in BK and funded by
NYC Department of Sanitation’s Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling.

Contact (718) 623-7260 or
Learn More.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No Red Meat Eco-Challenge!

Reconsidering Red Meat Challenge

December - February

Moo-Moo Move over red meat: we’re taking a break. (We at the Green Team take great pride in our puns). This is not to say that we don’t love your delicious taste or how you flavor a broth. You're the potato's other half. But you are racking up some real carbon emissions. According to Treehugger, you, red meat, are the most resource-intensive food on the table and eating less of it can be the single most green move a person makes.

We're not saying there are not good farmers who raise you right, because there are. We’re just trying to prove that we, Brooklynites (New Yorkers, Americans) can cut back on our intake while we reassess our participation in the process of cow to table. We are excluding other types of meat from this Challenge: Chicken, fish, pork, turkey, and venison all remain fair game (again with the puns). Won't you join us?



A Study in New Scientist magazine reported that the production of one kilogram of beef produced as many greenhouse gases as three hours of driving.

Links between meat consumption and climate change have been widely known for many years, partly due to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest to make room for the livestock (

Meat production has increased by 500 percent since 1950 (Worldwatch Institute).

Approximately 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production. Livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation. (New York Times)

Experts predict that by 2050 nearly twice as much meat will be produced as today, for a projected total of more than 465 million tons. (Worldwatch Institute)

Stuart B. Levy, M.D., who has studied the subject for years, estimates that there are 15-17 million pounds of antibiotics used sub-therapeutically in the United States each year. Evidence suggests that the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals can pose health risks to us. (PBS Frontline)

Livestock emit methane and other greenhouse gases through excrement and belching. The FAO estimates that cow manure and flatulence generate 30 to 40 percent of total methane emissions from human-influenced activities. (The New Standard)

This graph is a good one and it's courtesy of Good.

A pound of beef requires around 12,000 gallons of water to produce, compared to 60 gallons for a pound of potatoes or 278 gallons for one pound of chicken. Check out this graph.

Read) fine out what author Jonathan Safran Foer has to say about the subject of factory farms in his new book, Eating Animals. Then there's always Michael Pollan.

Videos - For Our Digital Age

ABC News Clip about Beef

Meat the Facts on Global Warming


Meat Alternatives lists brands of meat alternatives by country and product. Explore the site to find out what vegans are eating in Belgium or Maritius.

Eco Salon posts delicious alternatives to add variety to your diet, including quinoa, almonds, legumes and more.

The Vegetarian Times is an excellent resource for healthy eating with resource pages to ensure you’re maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet.

So, this winter, leave the meat, take the cannolis.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Green News Round Up

Bike Lanes 86ed On Bedford [FREEwilliamsburg]

Sustainable Design Continues Growing Despite Economy [New York Construction]

Survey Finds Manhattan Bike Lanes Regularly Blocked [Daily News]

It’s Time for DOT to Think Big at Grand Army Plaza [StreetsBlog]

New Environmental Chief Causes Stir [NY Times]

Police Crackdown on Pedicabs [NY Post]

Five Companies Eyed for Newtown Creek Cleanup [Daily News]

Commuting by Bike Continues to Increase [Daily News]

State's Energy Efficiency Ranking [Report-American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy]

Pedestrian Safety [Report-Transportation For America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership]

Compiled by Rebeccah Welch

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meet the DOE’s Director of Sustainability Ozgem Ornektekin!

Are you in the education field? If so, you might want to meet this guy.

Join the UFT Green Schools Committe Meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

4:30pm @ UFT – 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

Please RSVP:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Passive Houses in NYC

the euro energy and cash saving building standard starts gaining traction in NY.

Buildings generate most greenhouse gas emissions in the city. A handful of local architects is convinced that the German "passive house" standard might be the purest way to dramatically cut home energy use. They think passive houses accomplish what many LEED rated green buildings don't: they cut energy consumption directly though a low-tech, cost-effective approach that makes the walls, roof and ground floor airtight and rooms comfortable with minimal need for heating or air conditioning. . .

Right now there's only 6 certified homes in the U.S. Architect Sam Bargetz is using the technique to make Andrew bulger's 1,600 square foot pad in Greenpoint.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009