Thanks to the team at SaveOnEnergy.com for getting in touch after reading The Power of Wind for a Greener New York. Take a look at this great infograph they made which explains how wind turbines work.

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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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We Stay/Nos Quedamos: A Non-Profit Working to Revitalize the South Bronx

As the Bronx becomes increasingly appealing to developers and home buyers, many are understandably concerned about what that means for the mostly low-income community that lives there now. Nos Quedamos, a non-profit formed by a coalition of Bronx residents and business owners, has been advocating for low-income families in the South Bronx since the early 1990s, and has taken steps to make sure the existing community is included in plans for development rather than displaced as a result. In 1992, the Melrose Urban Commons Renewal Area, a 30-block area in the […]

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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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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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Eco-Friendly Flower Shops for Valentine’s Day

Giving flowers for Valentine’s Day dates back to the Victorian era, when sending flowers became a popular method of communication. The rose, which signifies romantic love, became the traditional Valentine’s Day flower, though people would give other flowers to show familial love or friendship. To this day, nearly half of Americans who celebrate Valentine’s Day give flowers as a gift. However, the fresh-cut flowers found in flower shops, especially during the winter, are not always eco-friendly. They tend to be treated with carcinogenic pesticides, grown with energy-inefficient artificial heat and lighting, cared […]

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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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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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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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Paris 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference & How We Can Take Action in 2016

On November 30th, talks began in Paris with the stated goal of ceasing all greenhouse emissions and the use of nonrenewable resources by 2050, limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, and investing in new infrastructures for a sustainable, green world. The 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, also known as COP21, was attended by representatives from participating governments and the industry, technology, and science sectors, including President Obama, French President Francoise Hollande and tech visionary Bill Gates. After nearly 2 weeks of talks, the […]

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