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 Living in NYC: Bloomberg’s plaNYC and de Blasio’s OneNYC

You’re probably hearing the word “resilience” a lot lately. While the buzz is somewhat new, the concept isn’t. With roots in ecology science, the term arose to define the ability of systems to adapt or bounce back from shocks and setbacks—be it the environment or a niche ecosystem. Today, the concept has found prominence in wide-ranging disciplines from childhood development to city planning. As far as “future-proofing” cities to be resilient goes, NYC is ahead of the curve. In 2007, the Bloomberg administration introduced “PlaNYC,” a groundbreaking effort to address […]

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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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Elements Preschool Is Now Open

Earlier this year, I wrote about Elements Preschool, the urban nature preschool which was about to open on the Lower East Side. They had just finished designing their facility, which includes a carefully crafted large backyard rich with naturalistic elements. Shilpa Sethi, the founder of Elements Preschool, reached out to let me know that the school is up and running, and their summer program started last month! Check out the video below for a look inside Elements, and to learn more about their story: Elements Preschool has created a safe […]

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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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Feel Good Wearing These Fair Trade & Sustainable Clothing Lines

In recent years, consumers are becoming more aware of the moral and environmental implications of “fast fashion,” or mass-manufactured trendy clothing sold at chains such as H&M. It’s no secret that these “affordable” garments are meant to fall apart after just a few wears, and that unfair labor practices are used in the manufacturing process. If you’re looking to be kinder to your wallet, the environment, and laborers everywhere, here are some affordable, ethically-produced, and fashionable alternatives to fast fashion chains: Everlane Men’s and Women’s Apparel This San Francisco-based company […]

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Freshkills Landfill to Increase the Amount of Solar Energy Produced in NYC by 50 Percent

The world’s largest landfill will soon become NYC’s biggest solar energy plant. In 2013, Mayor Bloomberg announced that SunEdison will install a solar power facility over 47 acres of the former Freshkills landfill on Staten Island. This is part of a larger plan to turn the site into a 2,200 acre park, to be known as Freshkills Park. The park is the largest to be developed in New York City in over 100 years, and will be almost three times the size of Central Park. Situated on the western shore […]

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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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Brooklyn, the Next Solar City?

Brooklyn may soon join Freiburg, Germany in a growing movement of solar cities, or cities that live completely off the electrical grid with the help of solar power. Over a decade ago, Rolf Disch designed Freiburg’s solar infrastructure, which produces 4 times as much energy as the city consumes. In February of this year, Governor Cuomo announced the state’s $40 million NY Prize energy competition, which will provide funding for designing and building microgrids across the state. Up to 10 communities can earn $7 million to support construction of a […]

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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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Sustainable Living in NYC: Brooklyn’s Food Coops

The Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC), located in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn, was founded in 1973 and has more than 15,500 members today. The member-owned and -operated store serves as an alternative to commercial profit-oriented stores, saving members 20-40% on groceries in exchange for working 2.75 monthly hours at the store in such roles as checkout, stocking, packaging of bulk items, and walking members home with their groceries in a shopping cart. Only members are allowed to shop the PSFC’s selection of products which include local, organic produce; pasture-raised […]

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Tips for Eco-Friendly Grilling This Summer

For many people, enjoying grilled burgers and steaks is an essential part of summer. Hosting a barbeque is a great way to feed your friends and family, but is not always eco-friendly. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to reduce the environmental impact of grilling. Sustainably harvested wood chips and the use of alternative fuel can cut down on the air pollution caused by charcoal grills, and minimize the effects of using non-renewable fossil fuels for gas grills. The Huffington Post shared some green grilling tips from University of Michigan professor […]

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The World’s First 100% Bioplastics Chair, from Basque Furniture Cooperative, Alki

The Basque furniture cooperative Alki has brought us the first chair to be manufactured entirely of bioplastic, which is 100% biodegradable. The Kuskoa Bi, designed by Jean Louis Iratzoki, is molded to envelop the sitter for maximum comfort and support, and is made from a material known as “bioplastic,” which comes from plant-based renewable resources like beets, corn, and sugarcane. Unlike polluting, petroleum-based plastics, bioplastic can be recycled or composted and its production creates comparatively less greenhouse gas emissions. The wooden base is made from oak that is sourced from […]

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