Sustainable Business Spotlight: Algramo

A company based in Santiago, Chile is revolutionizing the way we package, distribute, and buy our staple foods. Algramo, (Spanish for 1 gram), was founded by José Manuel Moller in 2012 after a period of time spent living and working in one of Chile’s poorest communities. Moller realized that much of the cost attached to the food we buy is the result of a convoluted means of distribution and a general lack of access to food in bulk. The increase in cost amounts to a “poverty tax” as people with low incomes and […]

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Tesla: A Lot has Happened in the Last Year

Since I last wrote about the unveiling of the Powerwall Home Battery in May, a lot has happened over at Tesla. Shortly after an April Fool’s Day press release poking fun at recent smartwatch announcements from competitors, Tesla introduced the Model S 70D, an all-wheel drive car with a 250 mile range at 65mph. With a starting price of $75,000, the 70D is a slightly more affordable version of the Model S for those who don’t wish to give up features such as access to Tesla’s Supercharger network (which, by the way, […]

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How Tech is Changing Food Production

According to The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, there are 795 million people worldwide who don’t have adequate access to food and proper nutrition. One of the major causes of hunger is the increasing drought, flooding, and changes in weather patterns due to global warming. Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the countries of Somalia, Ethopia, Kenya, and Uganda, have been hit particularly hard by food shortages in recent years. As the human population continues to grow, we can only expect to feel more pressure on the food supply. By 2050, we will need […]

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Passive Houses Around the World

It’s been nearly a year since the launch of my blog and my first article about the Passive House/Passivhaus building standard, which makes it a good time to take a look at some notable projects around the world. In review, the concept of the Passivhaus (German) was born in 1988 during a conversation between two researchers, Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist. They discussed the ways in which new technology and design which worked in concert with their environment could be used to drastically reduce energy consumption and minimize a structure’s carbon footprint. While […]

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Urban Beekeeping 101

20 years ago, if I had written about beekeeping in the city, it may have been a light-hearted piece of informative fluff. These days, the situation is a bit too dire for that. Honey bee populations around the world are being threatened with extinction by a constellation of old and new environmental stressors and the mysterious disappearance of adult bee populations in hives, which scientists have dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Since 2007, when the disorder was first publicly identified, honey bee populations have seen a dramatic decrease in their numbers. While […]

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Tall Wood: Mass Timber Movement Grows In NYC

Rendering courtesy of SHoP In recent years, a quiet revolution has been underway: the revolution of mass timber. Several visionary architectural firms and developers are exploring “tall wood” as a viable alternative building material to steel and concrete. While a number of mass timber projects have been completed around the world (none of which have been eaten by termites), America’s new wooden warriors have been greeted with quite a bit of skepticism here in the U.S. Most people’s first thought is probably the risk of fire; after all, wood has […]

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Top 10 New Developments in Miami for 2015

Over the past few years Miami has seen a building boom with luxury condos rising above the scenic coastal views. Having recently returned from a week in Miami for Art Basel, I thought it appropriate to spotlight some of the most buzz worthy projects down south, where a growing number of clients and friends have invested or are looking to invest. Pairing the best of urban living with beach side views and spacious accommodations, these ten developments show the height of what 2015 brought to the Miami skyline. Let me know if […]

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Blue Sea Development, Creating Sustainable Affordable Housing in the South Bronx

My recent article about the developments popping up in the Bronx elicited several emails expressing surprise that this recently sleepy neighborhood is becoming a burgeoning hipster scene. I thought it appropriate to call attention to a less flashy but highly admirable development company in the area, Blue Sea Development. Many New Yorkers have grown accustomed to feeling at odds with the spaces they inhabit. This is perhaps most acutely true in the city’s affordable housing sector, where too often, “affordable housing” has meant a drab, cramped, insensitively designed box that is far […]

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Eco-Friendly Holiday Shopping Guide

If you’re looking for sustainably-sourced, eco-friendly gifts to give this holiday season, here are some local vendors that offer unique options for men, women, kids, babies, and everyone in between. Magpie 488 Amsterdam Ave Upper West Side, Manhattan Offering gifts that are locally made and constructed from recycled materials (or handcrafted by fair trade cooperatives), Magpie is the place to go for stylish, sustainable gifts for everyone on your list, with a selection including jewelry, stylish men’s accessories,  and goods for babies and children. Té Company 163 West 10th Street […]

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Spotlight on Make It Right: An Organization Bringing Sustainable Homes to Low-Income Families

August 29, 2015 marked the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a storm that caused severe destruction along the Gulf Coast and destroyed 5,363 homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward alone. Make It Right, an organization founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, is still working in the Lower 9th Ward to bring families back home. Since 2012 I have been a supporter of Make it Right and, as some of you consider which organizations to support during the holiday season and in the coming year, I wanted to give you background […]

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Sustainable Design: 20 Beautiful Objects Made out of Waste

From recycled denim sunglass frames to breathtaking bottlecap tapestries, designers and artists are constantly finding innovative ways to turn waste into eco-friendly works of art and high-end products. Anything we can do to divert trash from landfills is a step in the right direction towards living a more sustainable life, so I often share the work of innovative sustainable designers whose work is inspriring.  Here are 20 surprisingly beautiful objects made out of trash. Dirk Vander Kooij’s Endless Chair This chair is made out of one plastic string, crafted by a […]

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