Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Vote is In on Your Xmas Tree

Real Trees are better for the environment (even when you cut them down and prop them up in your living room) than the fake stuff. We figured, but hear it from the Times.

Read all about it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Think Outside of the Gift Box this Holiday Season

This particular poster is for Mercy Corps (and came from GOOD), but you get the idea. Support a cause of your loved one. Do so much with your holiday generosity.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Belize Bans Trawling

It's not Brooklyn-centric, but the state of our oceans is one of particular concern to us Green Team members and we all play a part. Every time we order shrimp at a restaurant or at the counter at our overpriced market, we are supporting (usually) the destruction of our oceans. It sounds dramatic, but it's true. Here's some good news though from our friends at Oceana:

All forms of trawling in Belize have been banned in the country’s waters including its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) when Fisheries Minister Rene Montero signed the Statutory Instrument effecting this legislative change today.

The ban, effective December 31, 2010, is a historic decision by Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration, which has been making these environmentally friendly decisions on the heel of the threat from UNESCO that it would strip the Belize Barrier Reef System of its World Heritage Site status.

Trawling can be compared to deforestation. It’s a destructive fishing practice where weighted nets are drug across the seafloor, destroying everything in their path - turning vibrant seafloor ecosystems to rubble in an instant and leaving baby fish with nowhere to call home. The reef system which lies in Belizian waters is the largest in the Western Hemisphere (second largest in the world) and is one of the U.N.’s World Heritage Sites.

Here's what you can do: not eat seafood, only eat seafood you get at the farmers market, ask how it was caught, and stop eating things that are trawled (that's the worst).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Whole Foods

Well, Whole Foods is set to open in Gowanus at the end of 2012. Based on urging from passionate Brooklynites, they've made several changes to make the store more friendly and green.

Read all about it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Local Shopping Ideas from Brad Lander

Here are a few ideas for shopping local this holiday season: Start locally: Before you head online or to a mall, think about how much you can get from neighborhood stores. Think especially about the people in your life who love Brooklyn, and how much they'll appreciate a gift that helps make it stronger.

From Brooklyn Green Team: plus, when you support small family owned businesses, it's easier to make suggestions to them on how to green thier operations rather than submit to a "contact form" on a corporation's website -- right...AND by keeping those businesses thriving you prevent 50 nail salons from descending in your hood. Check out Borough President Marty Markowitz' "I Shop Brooklyn" website for neighborhood shopping ideas.

Small Business Saturday, tomorrow, November 27th: Tomorrow is the first national "small business Saturday."

Join the 3/50 project: Pick three local businesses you'd most like to support, and commit to spend $50 per month at them.

Share your favorite local shopping stories and ideas with us: Email me at with your favorite stores and stories -- especially of those local businesses who are great employers & neighbors -- and we'll share some of them with others on our blog. You can also check out the web sites of our local BIDs and merchants associations:

-- Park Slope 5th Avenue BID,
-- Kensington Area Merchant & Residents Association,

-- Court Street Merchants Association,

-- Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association,

-- Park Slope Chamber of Commerce,
-- Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce,

Thanks Brad!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Film Biz Recycling comes to Gowanus!

Film Biz Recycling (FBR), a non-profit that seeks to re-use, recycle, redistribute and re-purpose items from NYC’s film, television and commercial productions, is moving its warehouse from its present location in Long Island City to Gowanus, Brooklyn.

To welcome them to the neighborhood, GreenEdge NYC is inviting you to a Sneak Preview Holiday Sale at their new home. Film Biz Recycling has offered to unpack their treasures from those great holiday commercials and TV Specials so you can grab those cool, colorful, Christmas decorations directly from the sets – you’ll find mini-trees, lights, ornaments, candles, wrapping paper and more! In addition, there will be an assortment of one-of-a kind gift items perfect for the people on your gift list – jewelry, frames, art, mirrors, junktiques, decor, vintage and modern. So if you’ve begun shopping—or are at least shopping for ideas—this is the place for everyone on your list - even the hard to shop for types.

What’s more, you can pick up what you like at half the price of retail stores and you’re helping Film Biz Recycling keep these “as-seen-on-TV” props out of the local landfill.

WHEN: Thursday, December 9th 4:00-8:00pm
WHERE: 540 President Street -- between Third and Fourth Avenues. (Home of the Brooklyn Creative League where we host our Supper Clubs.).
WHAT TO BRING: Your holiday shopping lists, your family and friends. Children welcome - stroller parking available.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BK Vintage

Brooklyn Based, a great blog and sender of emails, sent one last week about vintage shops in Brooklyn. Many were ones we didn't include in our eblast so check them out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Challenge Launches!

We're going old-school (is 3 years old school?) and digging in our closets to bring back our

No New Clothing Challenge!*

Join us in going vintage, thrift, recycled, hand-me-down or eco-friendly. Every single action has an impact in some way somewhere on this planet. Because of globalization, we are often disconnected from the impact of our everyday choices. For example, our new fall shirt might be made with cotton that requires 1/3 lb of chemicals to produce and manufactured in a pollution-emitting factory far away. Let's make a positive impact and equal the balance. Support local shops owned by locals that dig out wearable treasures from the past and present. This will make you more stylish because five other people aren't wearing it to work. Unleash your inner fashionista, while helping the planet.

Worried about bedbugs? Us too. Throw your clothes in a dryer right away to kill them off OR you could put them in the freezer for 2 weeks (really)!

More compelling reasons to do it:
The average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year.
10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides in the U.S. are used to grow cotton.

The 12 to 15 percent of people who shopped at consignment and thrift stores in 2006 saved 2.5 billion pounds of clothes from re-entering the waste stream.

The manufacturing of nylon emits nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a carbon footprint 310 times that of carbon dioxide.

According to the USDA, in one year alone over 50 million pounds of pesticides were used on U.S. cotton fields. Pesticide and fertilizer use on cotton has been linked to ground and surface water contamination, and the pollution of drinking water.

In California, cotton ranks third in the state for total number of pesticide-related illness. Fish and wildlife and also impacted, with pesticides causing migration die-offs and diminished reproductive capacity.

For those of you living in the New York City area, we've attached a list of vintage and second-hand clothing stores in our area.

Brooklyn is Vintage Store Mecca. Here are a few we know and like:
Beacons Closet (Park Slope + Williamsburg)
Buffalo Exchange (Williamsburg)
Black Bear (Park Slope South/Windsor Terrace):
BK Flea (Fort Greene)
Mesihmar (Park Slope)
1 of a find NYC (Prospect Heights)
Almost New (Park Slope)

There are also clothing swaps:
Brooklyn Clothing Exchange
Five Boroughs Clothing Swap

Want to host a Clothing Swap? Rachel Avalon lays out the fundamentals in this video.

If you would like to join the Challenge, email and say, "Yes! I'm ready to join the No New Clothing Challenge !"

*Challenge does not apply to underwear or environmentally friendly clothing. We think it's only fair.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mayor Breaks Ground on Recycling Facility

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today broke ground on a new Sims Municipal Recycling Facility that will serve as the principal processing facility for all of the City's metal, glass, and plastic recyclables. The recycling facility is part of the City's landmark Solid Waste Management Plan, which establishes a cost-effective, equitable, and environmentally sound system for managing the City's waste for the next 20 years, and it is a key part of the City's effort to achieve PlaNYC's goals of improving air quality, cutting traffic and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new, state-of-the-art facility located at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park will minimize the distance that collection trucks travel between pick-up sites and receiving centers, allow Sims to expand its barge and rail-based transport systems, eliminate over 260,000 vehicle miles traveled annually from City roadways, and create 100 new jobs when the facility is opened, which is expected in December 2011.
Learn More.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Unclogging Your Drain

A couple of green team members were in standing water for weeks. A drain that's not draining isn't pleasant. It's tempting to go for drano when a snake just isn't cutting it, but it's SOOO bad for water.

After bubbly cleaning liquids disappear down our drains, they are treated along with sewage and other waste water at municipal treatment plants, then discharged into nearby waterways. Most ingredients in chemical cleaners break down into harmless substances during treatment or soon afterward. Others, however, do not, threatening water quality or fish and other wildlife. In a May 2002 study of contaminants in stream water samples across the country, the U.S. Geological Survey found persistent detergent metabolites in 69% of streams tested.

PLUS... (according to Organic Consumers Association) The most acutely dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners, according to Philip Dickey of the Washington Toxics Coalition. Corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases.

Instead, try using a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Let it sit for a half hour and then follow down with 2 quarts of boiling water. You may have to do it more than once. You can also go at it with a hanger (as we wound up doing) b/c the all-natural product we were using truthfully didn't cut it. Or call the plumber!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gowanus Garbage

Watch this disturbing video depicting trash and sewage flowing freely in our beloved Gowanus Canal.

What can you do about it? Volunteer with Gowanus Canal Conservancy! Email to volunteer and be a steward of this waterway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Let Companies You Care About Thier Green-ness

A fellow blogger from posted this interesting survey, asking readers if their purchasing decisions would be influenced by a company's efforts to go green. You can find the survey here:

This survey coincides with an article I've written about five companies that are greening their supply chains. In the article, I discuss the efforts of IBM, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Patagonia, and Pepsi to reduce their impact on the environment, which are certainly commendable. But should they be doing more? What are the real motivations behind a greener supply chain? Are consumers even aware of these efforts?

Let them know it DOES make a difference!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Green Clothing Store Comes to BK

It's a little expensive, but for those of you who can afford it...

It's official: Kaight has opened a second location in Brooklyn! Help celebrate by popping by next Saturday for the opening party and toasting to a new space. Cava and a few nibbles and offering 15% off all purchases that night.
When: Sat., Sept. 18, 6 p.m - 9 p.m.
Where: Kaight (382 Atlantic Ave., between Bond & Hoyt)
What: Toast the opening & shop new fall collections. Cava and nibbles. Tunes by DJ Sonny Choo of Sidewalk TV.

Visit Kaight online.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recycling Update

our friends at GrowNYC tell us...

Mayor and City Council Update NYC Recycling Laws
On August 16 Mayor Bloomberg signed a series of new laws to update and expand recycling. The law of most interest to our readers is likely the expansion of plastic recycling to include all rigid containers like yogurt cups and take out containers. But don't go piling up your plastics just yet! This change won't go into effect until a new recycling facility is built in Brooklyn, scheduled to open in 2012.

Other laws include the addition of 700 more public space recycling bins over the next 10 years, household hazardous waste collections for residents, expanded clothing and textile recycling, improved recycling at city schools and agencies and more leaf and yard waste composting.

Get all the news, including e-waste and textile recycling dates here!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Natural Gas Controversy

From Gotham Gazette

Melissa Checker Aug 2010

While New Yorkers hotly debate the safety of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method for extracting natural gas from upstate rock formations, a second natural gas issue has quietly started to simmer.

Houston-based Spectra Energy filed a preliminary federal application to construct approximately 20 miles of new natural gas pipeline across northern Staten Island and southwestern New Jersey, under the Hudson River and into Manhattan's trendy meatpacking district where it will connect to Con Edison lines around Gansevoort Street and the West Side Highway.

The project will expand and diversify an existing natural gas pipeline system between Staten Island and New Jersey. According to a Con Edison spokesperson, Chris Olert, the expansion will help meet growing customer demand for natural gas and improve the reliability of gas delivery. Currently, Con Edison delivers 225 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year to residential and commercial buildings. New pipelines will increase that capacity by 8 million cubic feet per day. In addition, Spectra estimates the project will create 100 new construction jobs when it launches in 2012 and 500 in 2013, when it goes online.

However, some communities along the new pipeline route, which include Staten Island's North Shore, Bayonne, Jersey City and Manhattan's West Village, have rallied to protest the project.
Safety ConcernsAlthough natural gas explosions are relatively rare (the US Department of Transportation reported only 47 serious incidents across all US pipeline systems in 2009), they can be dangerous. Project opponents point out that just this summer, natural gas leaks led to explosions and deaths in Michigan, Texas and South Los Angeles. Closer to home, last February, a natural gas explosion in Middletown, Connecticut killed five people and in 1994 a natural gas pipeline ruptured in Edison, New Jersey, causing damage in excess of $25 million.

Competing for Space
Part of the problem is that in dense urban areas, pipelines vie for space with other infrastructure. Last month, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection expressed concerns that the pipeline would have serious impacts on water and sewer lines along its routes in both Manhattan and Staten Island. In a January letter to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy argued the pipeline would complicate city's ongoing efforts to service its aging water and sewer infrastructure.

On Staten Island's North Shore, which has the borough's highest asthma rates, proposed project construction would re-route heavy truck traffic from Richmond Avenue to residential streets. Traffic effects are less clear where the pipeline crosses the West Side Highway, but at this month's scoping meeting, Gonzalez promised to "minimize traffic interruption."

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission spokesperson confirmed that it will accept comments by phone, mail and email until Spectra submits its formal application, which they project for December. Until then, Spectra stated that it would continue to adjust its route and respond to public input. For instance, just before the scoping meetings, they announced that they were considering moving the pipeline from Staten Island's heavily trafficked Richmond Terrace into the water around Shooters Island -- a World War I shipyard turned bird sanctuary.

Read the full article.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We're sorry to have been so delinquent in our posts. Summer is hard, us green team members are flying around trying to reduce carbon (not on planes of course, just with our capes).

We're back online now.

Now that we have your attention...mark your calendar for

Wednesday, Sept. 29 @ Union Square (south of Greenmarket)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Want to Find Green in the City?

Green Sky Designs, a Brooklyn-based landscape architecture firm, came up with their GardenSpace NYC application for the iPhone, iPad and and iPod Touch. Users can green-thumb their way through this comprehensive directory of New York City’s hidden parks and secret gardens.

Using GPS, GardenSpace NYC maps the location of the nearest publicly accessible gardens – a handy tool for urban explorers, romantics looking for a quick green hideaway, or tourists hunting for the Big Apple’s flowery underbelly. The app also allows users to search green spaces by neighborhood. This interactive field guide, replete with stunning photographs of the gardens, along with a description and history of each space, give users key information about access, garden vibe and facilities present at each garden.

Though GardenSpace NYC currently features gardens in Manhattan, this gardening duo have plans to extend their app into New York City’s other boroughs in the near future.

check out the app.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BK District 39 Energy Challenge Launches Aug. 1

Brooklyn Green Team gets lazy in the summer. But on the bright side, we're on our computers less and instead are spending time outside. Which we hope you are too.

That means we've been lagging on our challenges but we'll pick up this fall!

From Brand Lander...

To help lessen the burden, I'd like to remind you to sign up now for our Reduce Your Use - Green Homes Challenge. It's the perfect way to reduce your energy consumption, learn about how to maintain a more sustainable home, and win prizes.

The challenge begins on August 1st, so please sign up today! In partnership with the NYS Energy Authority (NYSERDA) and ConEd, we are signing folks up by the day to compete with one another on energy savings. All it takes is filling out this quick online sign-up form: (

You will need to enter your ConEd account number, so please have it ready (you can begin the survey without your account number if you don't have it handy). Winners will be announced in two categories at the end of the challenge--the home with the lowest overall per capita electric bill, and the home with the greatest overall reduction in usage over the course of the competition. We'll also be keeping track of how different neighborhoods stack up against one another, so we can see which is the greenest neighborhood in our district.

Also, I hope you will join me at the kick-off event for the competition on Sunday, August 1st at 2pm at the Old Stone House in Park Slope. NYSERDA, ConEd and vendors of energy efficient equipment will be there to offer some good starting tips on greening your home. If you are not yet a part of the challenge, you will be able to sign up at the event. The Old Stone House is in J.J. Byrne Park at 5th Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets. Food and refreshments will be served. You don't have to attend to join in the challenge, but it will be a great way to get started.


Monday, July 12, 2010

An Invite from the North Brooklyn Compost Project

It's NBCP Potluck Picnic Social time, so break out those deviled eggs, potato salads, pies, ice cream and lemonades!

On Sunday, July 18th starting at noon, we will be gathering in McCarren Park in the leafy area along Driggs Avenue (right across the street from the dog run and compost site). It is a potluck affair so bring a dish/cold beverage to share.

This will be a casual get-to-know your fellow composters event, and is totally and absolutely open to non-NBCPers, so bring friends, families, and foes. Ball games, Frisbees, bocce, horseshoes, guitars and banjos, and anything else that's playable should come with you, too.

Check out North Brooklyn Compost Project in New York Magazine!
Learn more about NBCP.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Protect New York City's Drinking Water

Call State Senate Majority Leader Sampson TODAY at (518) 455-2788 to protect New York's drinking water from toxic gas drilling. There will be a vote for a moratorium on drilling this month. Lend your support!!!

The oil and gas industry wants to drill in the region that supplies tap water for 9 million people. Drilling can leach toxic chemicals into drinking waters and can create millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater. Flammable methane gas can also wind up in our tap water causing it to catch on fire.

For more info, check out:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lend Your Talents

Do you care about the environment but toil in your apartment focused on peak oil and melting glaciers rather than taking action? Then this communication is for you, potential superhero...

"Most people don’t know that the nation’s largest and best known environmental organization has a local volunteer group. With the advantage of national Sierra Club’s excellent reputation and capacity, the NYC volunteer group has long had the opportunity to be a leading voice for green activism in one of the world’s cultural and media capitals. Unfortunately, that potential has been unrealized, although the need for that activism has never been greater.

The NYC group, one of 11 eleven volunteer groups in Sierra Club’s New York State Chapter, is governed by an Executive Committee, elected by the 10,000 Club members living in NYC. Because the activities of the NYC group have been so limited, hardly any Sierra Club members pay any attention to it. Two years ago, only 100 members voted. Because participation in Executive Committee elections is so low, Executive Committee members have been able to remain in office indefinitely, without any scrutiny of their record.

You can make a more active Executive Committee a reality – today. A group of enthusiastic new Sierra Club NYC volunteers have launched multiple new programs to catalyze a big jump in the City’s sustainability. We’re dedicated to using the power of the Sierra Club to get New Yorkers involved. We’re partnering with the City to paint the roofs of buildings white, which cuts air conditioning bills and carbon emissions at the same time. We’re recruiting volunteers to paint the roofs of nonprofit buildings and find nonprofits who want to get their roofs painted. We’re setting up neighborhood sustainability events to link residents with green programs that can benefit them. We’re organizing oil spill response forums, collaborating with MoveOn and the New School. You can read the full plan at"

For more information, or to get involved, please contact Dan Miner at 917.319.2924 or

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From artist Chrisina Kelly who is working on a project called Maize Field you might have stumbled upon in BK...

"This summer I'm growing blue corn in two areas of Brooklyn as part of a public art project called Maize Field. The gardens are located in Boerum Hill and Canarsie. I hope you'll have a chance to visit them over the course of the growing season.

Each garden is located in an area that was documented as Indian maizeland in the 17th century. They are traditional three sisters gardens (corn, beans and squash) using crop varieties that are part of the heritage of the Lenape and Haudenosaunee from this region. The gardens are a meditation of the change and displacements that have been a part of New York's history. The project participates in the continual change that defines the city by highlighting a historical past then integrating that history back into the present landscape.

You can learn more about the project on my website and follow the gardens on my blog.I hope you'll enjoy watching the corn grow."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shop Seventh blog launches

This week, the Park Slope Chamber of Commerce launched a new blog site called "Shop Seventh" ( or The site will be regularly updated with the latest news and events taking place in the stores, bars and restaurants along 7th Avenue. We're always happy to see a local economy thriving. It's a win-win to support your local boutique which probably features stuff made by locals vs. say Big Box store XYZ.

What else is there to say?

visit the blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Calculator to Test Out

One Green Team member just read a New Yorker about the guy behind this great tool. Give it a whirl...WattzOn is a free online tool to quantify, track, compare and understand the total amount of energy needed to support all of the facets of your lifestyle with the goal of helping you find ways to reduce your personal power consumption.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

from our friends at GCC...

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy join forces with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to beautify the Gowanus!

11am - 2pm on June 26th at the Gowanus Canal, 2nd Ave between 5th St & the Canal.

We'll be constructing a compost bin and holding a composting workshop and education seminar in partnership with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We will also be planting trees, shrubs and flower beds as well as mulching, weeding, removing trash and debris, relocating, preparing and maintaining Conservancy nursery plants and finally, installing bird houses.

To volunteer for the June 26th event please email: or call us at (718) 541-4378. Volunteers under age 18 must have a parent or guardian on site to sign a release and available to supervise them (please call if you need more information).

Learn more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Planet Connections Theatre Fest

Thank you for those who came out on Saturday for our Extravaganza. Our partner was Planet Connections and they are doing a month-long theatre fest. Tickets are $18 and performances are in three theaters downtown.

We like them because they are NY's premiere eco-friendly theatre fest, striving to help the environment in any way they can. Each production is challenged to make their shows greener in at least one way - from marketing techniques, costume or set design, or the rehearsal process. Each production partners with a nonprofit of their choice so they are shedding light on what's out there that people should get involved in. Some of the plays are about the environment but many aren't. Anyway, a good excuse to go out and see some theatre.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dispatches from the PS 295 Edible School Garden

Fresh off our Urban Garden Challenge, we thought this project was worth following...
At PS 295 The Studio School of Art and Culture in BK, they are building an edible garden! Garden education is so important for kids, particularly in an urban environment where they are often disconnected from the food they eat.

The school’s librarian, Susan Weseen, is spearheading several initiatives to educate all students at the school about gardening and the importance of knowing where nutritious food comes from. Through Ms. Weseen’s efforts, PS 295 was recently adopted by Slow Food NYC to participate in their Harvest Time Program, which provides schools with financial assistance to support good food education.
Beginning June 5th, PS 295 will be building 10 raised garden beds in the schoolyard and creating a mobile kitchen cart that will enable students to plan, grow, harvest and cook the food and herbs they’ve grown. In addition, she continues to co-facilitate a gardening class in the school’s after school program, which has planted and tended to two local community gardens, and was instrumental in planning an upcoming visit from Truck Farm, a Wicked Delicate Film and Food Project.

Slow Food NYC connected Ms. Weseen with Hans Hesselein, a Park Slope-based landscape architect who designed the garden beds.

Ms. Weseen, Gardening students, and volunteers including parents and members of Slow Food NYC began building out the raised beds on Saturday, June 5th. Compost will be delivered later in the month and starting in the last few weeks of school, students will begin planting the first crops including lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, nasturtiums, cilantro, swiss chard, peppers, and basil.

All students at PS 295 who have been involved with gardening over the past four years will be meeting with the filmmakers and will then share their experience with the rest of the school later this year.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Saturday Come Find Us...

The Know Your Sustainable Community Extravaganza

We've teamed up with Planet Connections Theater Fest to host this green-themed carnival that is free and open to the public.

12pm (get there on time - it's not an all day event!)
440 Lafayette in the Robert Moss Theatre

This promises to be a fun event with groups such as GrowNYC, South Street Seaport, GRACE, Louisa Shafia, author of Lucid Food, a green photo booth, raffle and more! If you are interested in attending this FREE event please RSVP to or RSVP on facebook HERE!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Support the Guys Who Collect Your Food Scraps!

Celebration by the East River
with the Lower East Side Ecology Center

Saturday June 5, 2010 5-8PM
East River Park Amphitheater

Activities for the whole family & silent auction
Master of Ceremonies
Reverend Billy Talen

Live music by the
Rude Mechanical Orchestra

Charlie Bayrer
, Earth Matter NY, Inc.

Bill de Blasio
, NYC Public Advocate

Jennifer London
, Xoom

Kate Sinding
, Natural Resources Defense Council

the Amphitheater, located at the southernmost
part of East River Park, across the FDR Drive from Corlear's Hook Park
at the intersection of Jackson and Cherry Streets.

In case of rain, Celebration by the East River will be at
Fontana's, 105 Eldridge Street, and we will
announce the change of venue on our website.

For more information please contact:
or 212.477.4022

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If You Know a Restaurant Owner...

We just found out about this company called Upstate Wine Co., wholesalers of NYS wine (there's some good stuff out there, in fact you can get some at Greenmarkets across the city). Their mission is to only carry wines harvested, produced, and bottled in Upstate New York, to minimize environmental impact, and to choose only the highest quality, award winning wines for patrons in New York City. Currently we are representing Thirsty Owl Wine Co. and Atwater Vineyards, and will be picking up more wineries in July.

So if you have a friend that owns a restaurant, why not recommend they start sourcing locally (cuts down their carbon footprint and supports regional agriculture!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

For You Birds Out There...

Sheri Ann Richerson, expert gardener and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Year-Round Gardening (ISBN: 9781592579709, February 2010, $19.95) will field gardening questions live from her garden via a video Twitter chat Thursday, May 27 at 11:00 am CT. Log on to Twitter and search #AskCIG to participate. Please include #AskCIG in all questions. Take an early look at the live feed of Richerson’s garden at

Have fun and keep up the gardening!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Help Out Gowanus Canal Conservancy This Saturday!

"Please join us for our next event on Sunday May 23 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. We will be located on Degraw Street @ Bond Street (west side of the canal). We will be cleaning up trash, debris, weeding, pruning, planting, and mulching GreenStreets beds and beginning work on a small sidewalk garden project. We recently received 100+ plant donations from Pleasant Run Nursery located in Allentown, NJ which we will be installing around the canal throughout the season! We hope that you will join us as we work to Clean & Green the streets of the canal and the community...

You must wear closed shoes; we suggest you wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Tools and gloves will be provided but if you have heavy-duty work gloves or specific clean up/gardening tools that you'd like to use, please feel free to bring them (make sure they are labeled with your name). Please bring drinking water for yourself. To volunteer for the May 23rd event please email: or call us at (718) 541-4378. Volunteers under age 18 must have a parent or guardian on site to sign a release and available to supervise them (please call if you need more information)."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Urban Garden Challenge Dispatches

From our friend Micki J., co-founder of UFT Green Schools Committee. Check out her blog.

"I'm trying to garden in my backyard in Flatbush (got the compost cooking at least, but the squirrels are totally tormenting me by digging up whatever I plant!!)... but even better I have my 9th graders gardening at our local nyrp garden in Williamsburg. We have okra, peppers and tomatoes growing in reused yogurt containers reclaimed from the Park Slope Food Coops Plastic Recycling Shift (we drilled holes in the bottom)..."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Attention Williamsburg Garden Enthusiasts

WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN. The North Brooklyn Gardening Club - launched by Town Square Inc. - just had its first meeting and will be dedicated to nurturing budding plant and flower enthusiasts as well as a place for experienced gardeners and designers to share their knowledge. Whether your garden is big, small, or simply a window box, and whether you know a lot, a little, or nothing about gardening and flowers, all are welcome.

Future events may include garden tours, seed and plant swaps, a fall harvest contest.

Learn More.

Friday, May 14, 2010

One Bag One Earth

These guys' business cards have been sitting on a Brooklyn Green Team desk for about two months. this company One Bag One Earth makes bags similar to chico-bags, but here's how they difer

"We're trying to get to a place where all the materials we use are either recycled from other waste (like RPET, a fiber spun from recycled plastic bottles) or made out of existing materials that are sitting there doing nothing or on deck for the trash dump. We've come up with a new quest that is truly looking for mileage: go find premium materials that already exist so we don't light the fires of manufacturing to create new ones. This ultimately keeps us (and you) treading lighter on our precious resources. While the creation of materials has its impact, it doesn't do anyone any good if what was created just winds up in the dump, especially if it's not recyclable.

So here's our deal: we're currently combing through textiles and fabrics that some factories aren't using. The materials we choose are only of the finest quality. Then we apply a healthy dose of love, sewing them into something that looks good, and that people should use every day, instead of churning through disposable bags that serve no one in the long run."

very cute bag, they fold up very small. we probably all have more totes than we can use but if you or someone you know is using plastic at the grocery store, a couple of these in your purse/messenger bag/man bag/fanny pack/wagon wouldn't hurt to have on hand.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Duane Reade Gets Into the Act

So NY based drug store chain Duane Reade has wised up to demand for better options. We recently spotted some eco-friendly products at the store like method laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, recycled tp, ecostore brand lotions, organic cotton tampons, recycled aluminum foil (which we ALL should be using) and organic snacks. So while we of course think it's best to either make your own cleaning solutions or to refill your shampoo and lotion at the 4th St Co-op, it's still nice to know that when you're in a bind, you can get something that won't pollute the river when you rinse it down the drain!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The World's First LED for the World's Most Common Lightbulb

Philips Unveils the World’s First LED Replacement for the 60 Watt Incandescent Bulb – The Most Common Household Light Royal Philips Electronics unveiled today the world’s first LED replacement for a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. For the first time, consumers will now have an alternative to replace their most common household light bulb with a viable LED replacement that will deliver up to 80% energy savings and last 25 times longer. The new lamps will be available for sales in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of this year.

Why should we care?
  • Replacing 60-watt bulbs (when they run out we suggest) with LEDs will help eliminate 5.6 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
  • The new lamp will give the same soft white light and similar shape they are accustomed to with an incandescent bulb.
  • Latest technology will deliver up to 80% energy savings and could save households $120 per bulb in electricity costs
  • An LED Bulb can last 15-20 years based on average use (4-8 hrs per day)
good news.
click here to watch the video.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Don't Trash Your Corks!

According to our friends at GrowNYC, you can drop your wine corks (only the natural cork ones) to any Whole Foods store! They will be made into new products by Jelinek Cork group. Good news.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Volunteer With Us!

As part of NYC Wild Flower Week pitch in with us and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Green Team

Time: Tuesday, May 4, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Location: Meet at the entrance to the park at the corner of Main and Plymouth Streets in Dumbo, Brooklyn (across from 1 Main Street)
Contact: Kara Gilmour, Education and Stewardship Director (, 718.802.0603 x 18)

Get your hands dirty by cleaning and preparing garden beds and planting a variety of native wildflowers. Also get a guided tour with Sara Stopek, who will be talking about the native wildflowers and plants in the park.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Recycling Awareness Benefit

This is a great event if you care about recycling. BUY TICKETS! nonprofit, govt. and student rate

May 11
South Street Seaport Water Taxi Beach
live music. good food. drinks. fun. all while supporting recycling education and outreach across the five boroughs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dispatches from Urban Gardening

Longstanding Brooklyn Green Team challenger Justin V. shares with us the following:

"Rooftop Strawberries are going bonkers! 25 plants purchased from a nursery last year, have doubled into 50+ flowering plants this year. Berries are already growing. It is soooo easy to do............a little bit of nice topsoil gardening mix to plant in, a few planting containers, plenty of light, and the berries are absolutely loving it."

"Next up, Raspberries! 5 Raspberry 'canes' purchased from a nursery last year for about $16. Potted and well watered on the roof, they all produced the tastiest raspberries that you can imagine that summer. Left these babies out over the winter, they are a very hardy bush, and this spring? The 5 canes have multiplied into 50+ new canes for this year. Within 2 years, not only could you begin selling raspberry plants for people to grow themselves, you can get to the point where you would never have to buy a plastic clamshell filled with week-old raspberries ever again! Picking a perfectly ripe berry from the roof is completely transformative on the consciousness in such a profound way."

Thanks Justin for the inspiration!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Edible's New Book

We so rarely do product reviews so sorry for two in a row, but...

We have looked through a copy of the beautiful Book Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods. You probably have seen Edible Brooklyn in stores and picked up a copy. You might know that Edible focuses on the joys of eating locally - whether shopping at your local farmers market or joining a CSA or a local pickler winemaker or bread baker (that's starting to sound like a song, isn't it?).

Their book delves deeper into stories of farms or what they dub "local heroes" across the country. Locally, you'll learn about Red Jacket Orchards and their quest to bring heirloom apples into the mainstream. There's a huge recipe section in the back which will make your mouth water. The images starting right on the cover are amazing and bring to life the farms, farmers and recipes.

If you're a food lover, it's a great addition to your coffee table.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Better Than Rocks

Celeb gardener William Moss was using Better Than Rocks last week. It's great for container gardens (large pots). It's a netty plastic roll that is made from 100% recycled plastic. You cut Better Than Rocks to fit in the bottom of container (one layer for indoor houseplants; two or more for outdoor planters)

Then put the soil on top, the plants, and water thoroughly.

After growing season you can rinse, store and reuse!

Makes your planters much lighter and roots can grow through them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Are you participating in our Urban Garden Challenge? we hope so. you've got until May to plant a garden. your tree pit, your windowsill, your window box, your backyard, wherever you can.

Two simple points

An annual will only last one season.
dianthus, pansies, nasturtiums are nice ones.

A perennial comes back each year.
lavender, phlox, ivy, and forget-me-nots are good choices.

if you plan to stay at your place for a while we suggest the latter. they grow stronger every year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Go Green Greenpoint Earthday Fest

Sunday, April 25th from 11-4 (rain date May 2nd) at McCarren Park.

highlights: NYS Assemblyman Joe Lentol will kick off the festivities at 11 am with his inimitable rendition of a song of his choice!

Over 70 schools, community groups, companies, and government agencies will offer exhibits and merchandise, designed to enhance our understanding and appreciation of ourselves, our environment and the Earth that we all share.

Children’s Center. Activities for kids and kids at heart including soccer tips by FC Select Soccer, tumbling games by the Gym Park, chess challenges by the IS 318 Champions, an obstacle course by Ms J, interactive art projects by NY Creative Arts Therapists, judo activities by Sylvester Gawel Judo Club, earth-friendly arts & crafts by Spacecraft, and Box City.

Greencycle Swap. With the view that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” we urge you to drop off your cleaned and gently used clothes, shoes, bedding, toys, and books. Taking in bicycles & electronics (in working order please!) and computers (both working and non-working). All remaining items will be donated to Goodwill.

Live Music & Performances featuring Alex Smith and Mike Mizwinski, Baby Soda, Jonathan Samson, the Gym Park Gymnasts, Pat Hull, the Polish American Folk Dancers, and Sylvester Gawel Judo Club.

Learn more.

Monday, April 19, 2010

BBG Announces Important Plant Biodiversity Findings

New York Metropolitan Flora Project (NYMF) data, gathered over the course of the last 20 years, provides the first hard evidence on how native species are faring, and how non-native species are spreading, in counties within a 50-mile radius of New York City, including all of Long Island, southeastern New York State, northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

While much of the botanical community concentrates on researching and tracking the threats to biodiversity in the tropics, scientists at BBG have chosen to undertake an unprecedented study of its own region.

At least 50 varieties of native plants are locally extinct or nearing elimination. Nuttall’s mudflower (Micranthemum micranthemoides), last collected from the region in 1918, is likely extinct throughout its range. Scarlet Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea), pennywort (Obolaria virginica), sidebells wintergreen (Orthilia secunda), and sundial lupine (Lupinis perennis) are among the wildflower species to have seriously declined in the region. Black crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) is locally extinct, without a trace of a population remaining today in the metropolitan area.

At the same time, “A number of invasive species introduced from distant areas, with climates similar to ours—such as parts of Asia, Europe, and the southeastern United States—are newly thriving in the New York area,” says Dr. Gerry Moore, director of science at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and coordinator of the New York Metropolitan Flora Project. “Camphor weed, native to the southern United States, is common in Brooklyn now; however, at the time of the Garden’s founding a century ago, it was considered to be quite rare.”

Although agencies and municipalities may wish to restore native species to particular habitats, the NYMF findings suggest that some native species can no longer survive in their native region. “How do you restore the flora original to, say, a coastline, when you know that the sea level is rising each year?” asks Dr. Moore.

Some native plants, like Britton’s violet (Viola britoniana), are rare in native habitats but thrive when brought into cultivation in the metropolitan area. Some non-native cultivated plants, such as Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), can escape from cultivated landscape and dominate natural areas. Efforts are now underway to better recognize and manage for these invasive plant species, which thrive and spread aggressively outside their natural range and can be particularly invasive when introduced to a new habitat, due to the absence of insects, diseases, and animals that naturally keep its population in check in its native region.

Learn More.