Ethical Coffee In NYC

For many people, the only thing that will get them going in the morning is a cup of coffee. Knowing that the coffee is ethically sourced and eco-friendly should give drinkers an added boost. Drinking Fair Trade and organic coffee means that farmers are compensated fairly and your coffee is free of harmful chemicals, and bird-friendly certification ensures that farmers are maintaining forest covers which house local bird species, provide shelter for migrating birds, and encourage reproduction. In order to obtain bird-friendly certification, farmers must maintain a variety of shade trees throughout their plantation, which protect […]

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Community Supported Agriculture in NYC

CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture groups, are an increasingly popular way to get farm-fresh, organic produce in NYC. When you join a CSA, you pay in advance for a season’s worth of products which include fruits, vegetables, and sometimes dairy and/or meat from a specific farm. Your membership fee supports the farm in buying tools, fertilizers, and necessary equipment for the growth season. Depending on your arrangement with the farm, you can pick up a weekly, biweekly, or monthly selection of produce from a designated drop-off point in your neighborhood. […]

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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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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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The Perennial: A New Standard in Sustainable Dining

San Francisco is now home to The Perennial, a new leader in sustainable dining that was just written up by Fast Company. Every element of the business has been created with sustainable living in mind. The grains used to make the flour for the bread were designed to suck carbon out of the atmosphere, and the food scraps are composted by worms that are later fed to fish that create fertilizer used for the greens that are served in the restaurant. Read about this inspiring restaurant founded by restaurateurs Anthony […]

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The Benefits of Going Vegetarian for a Day (Week/Month/Year/Lifetime)

You may have heard that a global reduction in the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods would have huge benefits for the planet. What you might not know is just how radical these impacts would be. Take a look at these statistics: According to a Huffington Post article, If everyone in the U.S. went vegetarian for one day, we would save: 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough […]

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Sustainable NYC Living: Organic Farmers at NYC Farmers Markets

There’s something very relaxing about strolling through an outdoor farmers market, and NYC is home to many of these arrays of colorful produce and delicious aromas. On weekends and some weekdays, various corners of the city are filled with everything from vegetables, microgreens, and orchard fruits to grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, and exotic cheeses from northern New York, western Pennsylvania, and as far south as Cumberland County, NJ. Activities such as recipe and book exchanges, cooking demonstrations, and live music all add to the magical feel of these displays. While I’ve rounded up […]

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Sustainable Farming for Veterans on the Heroic Food Farm in Claverack, NY

Up in the Hudson River Valley, 20 tranquil acres of farmland are about to take the shape of a military training ground—to teach veterans about sustainable farming and food entrepreneurship. This program, called Heroic Food Farm, has two aims: to help veterans and to help address the crisis in US farming. According to the US Labor Department, the unemployment rate for soldiers who have served since 2001 is more than 7 percent. As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, agricultural production in the US decreases by roughly 9.5 percent […]

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Sustainable Living: Organic and Biodynamic Wines

Grape-harvesting season is coming to New York soon and before we know it, we’ll have the newest collections on the shelves with only a small percentage being labeled organic. This is partially because there is still a lot of confusion over organic wines since certification and labeling requirements are unclear to even some of the most knowledgeable wine drinkers. However, just because a wine is not labeled organic does not mean it isn’t made using organic farming and winemaking. Some winemakers choose not to label their wine organic because the […]

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Sustainable NYC Living: Foam Packaging Ban

Earlier this summer, New York joined a growing list of cities, such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Portland (Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine), in banning Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS). As of July 1, the packaging material commonly used for takeout containers and coffee cups, as well as packing peanuts, can no longer be used in the city (with some exceptions for wholesalers and butchers).  Marketed under the name Styrofoam when it was invented by Dow Chemical in 1941, EPS is produced by steaming tiny plastic beads with chemicals […]

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World Expo, Milan – Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life

The World Expo is currently taking place in Milan, Italy and the theme this year is, “Feeding the Planet, Energy For Life.” The theme is based on the need to develop sustainable lifestyles as they relate to the availability and consumption of food worldwide.  With over 1.3 billion tons of food being wasted each year, while 870 million people suffered from undernourishment between 2010-2012, the Universal Exposition has invited countries to, as the website says, “reflect upon, and seek solutions to, the contradictions of our world. From the very first […]

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Sustainable Living in NYC: Reducing Food Waste in the City and Beyond

France made international headlines in May when its national assembly voted unanimously to pass a law banning supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. If the food is still safe to eat, it will need to be donated to charity; if not, it will be donated to farmers and turned into animal feed or compost. The law will also introduce an educational program about food waste in schools and businesses, as part of a wider drive to halve the amount of food waste in France by 2025. In recent […]

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Brewer’s Row, A History of Breweries in Bushwick

With construction on the first of ten developments at the former Rheingold brewery site in Bushwick set to start this summer, I thought it might be interesting to look into the history of Bushwick’s breweries. The Rheingold brewery, which opened in 1883, was one of two dozen breweries operating in Bushwick at the time. Now, only two of the original buildings remain, one of which is home to a small brewery. What happened to Bushwick’s formerly thriving brewing industry? In the 1840s and 1850s, Brooklyn saw a wave of immigration […]

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Organic Liquors and Beers, Made in NYC

As someone who strives to live sustainably in New York City, I’m always open to recommendations regarding locally sourced and organic food and drinks. Aside from sharing news about real estate in New York, one of the main purposes of my blog is to bring light to organizations and businesses that are making a positive impact on our city and world from an environmental standpoint.  Organic agriculture, in addition to producing safer, healthier food, benefits the environment by reducing pollution, conserving water, and protecting soil quality. Breweries and distilleries committed to […]

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Rooftop Reds, New York’s First Rooftop Vineyard

Later this month, Rooftop Reds will officially launch New York City’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard. There are plenty of craft breweries and a few spirits distilleries in NYC, but until recently, the closest we could get to “local” wine came from Long Island or upstate, sometimes several hours away. Devin Shomaker hopes to change that with his 14,000 square foot rooftop vineyard at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In 2013, Shomaker recruited winemakers Evan Miles and Chris Papalia along with Thomas Shomaker to develop their Brooklyn-grown wine business, named Rooftop […]

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