Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Turn Your Christmas Tree Into Compost or Mulch at Locations in Brooklyn

As usual, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will hold its annual holiday tree curbside collection and recycling program this year. Starting Monday Jan 4 and continuing through Friday, Jan 15 you can put your tree out by the curb — having removed all its ornaments, and not in a bag — and it will be pick up, chipped and made into compost.

Compost will then be spread over the city’s parks, community gardens and ball fields. Last year, 122,235 trees were collected by DSNY.

“Providing collection and recycling options for residents is environmentally valuable and benefits our neighborhoods,” said Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty. “Compost is a natural fertilizer and is an excellent soil enrichment that promotes the healthy growth of plants and grass.”

With a little extra effort — and maybe the use of a car — trees can also be brought to one of 16 locations throughout the borough (there are more throughout the rest of the city) to participate in the 14th annual MulchFest held by the Parks Department.

On Saturday, Jan 9 and Sunday, Jan 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., bring your tree to be mulched at one of the designated parks, which are indicated as either chipping sites or drop-off sites. At chipping sites, you are encouraged to bring plastic bags; you can take home free mulch for your own garden.

“Chipping machines” turn dead trees into mulch, which is used in tree pits and horticultural areas, conserving warmth and soil moisture during wintertime, and preventing weed growth.

There are more than 80 parks participating in this year’s MulchFest. Chipping sites in Brooklyn are Added Value Community Farm at 305 Van Brunt St.; Cobble Hill Park at Verandah Place and Clinton Street; Fort Greene Park at Washington Park and Willoughby Avenue; Hattie Carthan Garde at Lafayette Avenue and Clifton Place; Marine Park at Avenue U and 33rd Street; McCarren Park at Driggs Avenue and Lorimer Street; Owl’s Head Park at Third Street at Prospect Park West; and Prospect Park Circle at Parkside Avenue and PRospect Park Southwest.

Drop-off sites in Brooklyn are Coffey Park at Dwight Street and Verona Street; Green-Wood Cemetery at 25th Street and Fourth Avenue; Lincoln Terrace Park at Buffalo Avenue between East New York Avenue and Eastern Parkway; Maria Hernandez Park between Knickerbocker Avenue and Suydam Street; McGolrick Park at Moniter Street and Driggs Avenue; Prospect Heights Community Garden at 252-256 St. Marks Ave.; and Sunset Park at 44th St and Sixth Avenue.

Click here for more information about curbside collection, and here for more information on MulchFest. To volunteer during either day, visit milliontrees.org.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Recycling Outreach in Brooklyn

I’m sure many of you, while dutifully putting your paper recyclables in the green bins, and metal, glass and plastic recyclables in the blue bins, have often wondered: When the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) picks these up, do they really go to a recycling center?

According to David Hurd, director of the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education (OROE) at the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) — which is not a city agency — they do.

“So many New Yorkers want to believe that the Department of Sanitation is actually not recycling the recyclables that they pick up,” he said. “That’s absolutely false.”

In some cases, people are recycling less or not recycling at all. So, through OROE, “What we try to do is basically get people to understand the program,” he explained. “To debunk the classic myth.”

CENYC, which is almost 40 years old, created OROE in 2006. Five outreach coordinators tackle each borough by community district, using a Residential Waste Characterization Study conducted by DSNY to target the districts that have low recycling diversion rates first.

Brooklyn’s recycling outreach coordinator, Jae Watkins, says of her approach, “I try to find active community groups in the districts.” At their meetings she does a presentation with samples, “a collection of things that are both recyclable and not recyclable. I clear up the confusion about the program.”

Much confusion is generated from what DSNY does and does not collect. Plastic bottles are the only type of plastic that can be recycled; yogurt and takeout containers are not recyclable. Milk cartons seem like they should go out with paper and cardboard, but they actually get recycled with plastics and metals. Also, household items that are at least 50 percent metal — pots and pans, irons, toasters and wire hangers — can be recycled.

Watkins mostly speaks to building owners, giving them tips about ways to make recycling easier in their buildings, such as making sure their bins are in places that are well-lit and clean.

Of the neighborhoods Watkins has tackled so far, she said, “I started out in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area a couple of years ago and then I moved to Bed-Stuy, and then Bushwick, and now I’m working in the CB 2 area, Fort Greene.”

Once she’s established herself in a community district, Watkins says she remains a resource for recycling questions and requests. She gets calls every once in a while from building owners who are looking for more ways to educate their tenants, such as getting signs in languages other than English.

“A lot of people, they have all these questions but they don’t know who to ask,” Watkins said.

Though she has covered a lot of ground in her three years at CENYC, Watkins still has a ways to go. “It takes six months to really get in good in a community district, and there are 18,” she said.

“What I think makes us effective is that staff really does try to completely absorb the neighborhood,” Hurd said. “Not only do we use data from the Department of Sanitation study, but we also use demographic data from the Department of City Planning to identify larger target population groups.”

OROE also identifies the other opportunities that exist in neighborhoods, such as composting, appliance repair shops, or shoe repair shops, Hurd explained, to make objects last longer rather than be thrown out.

“We’re trying to get people to remember that whole concept, that garbage is a choice that we make,” he continued. “There are a lot of things that are perfectly good but we decide that they are no longer good for us. We try to talk about changing that mentality where we can.”

For more information about recycling, visit www.cenyc.org.

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The Actifist: Connecting New Yorkers to Copenhagen

Documenting Chris Neidl's third day at the climate conference is a clip about the "actifist," an interactive installation designed by Adam Harvey that connects New York to Copenhagen. When New Yorkers slam their fists down onto a podium here in support of a science-based climate change treaty, an artificial fist slams down on the other end. Check it out in action:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

See Brooklyn's Parks at Museum of the City of NY

In October photographer Joel Meyerowitz released Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks, a collection of photographs documenting the almost 9,000 acres of parks in the five boroughs of the city.

Commissioned by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the book features 250 photos of green spaces from Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx (the largest park in the city at over 2,700 acres), to Riverside Park in Manhattan, to High Rock Park in Staten Island.

Naturally, there are a large number of photographs taken in Brooklyn, most from Prospect Park.
Eagle editor Raanan Geberer spoke with Meyerowitz last month, you can read his story here. Last week, I took a tour of the accompanying exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, given by the photographer himself.

Split into three rooms, works in the first two rooms are printed on large sheets of recyclable Tyvek paper.
Meyerowitz explained that he also used biodegradable ink for the prints, “a green process for a show about the environment.”

Upon walking into the exhibit, you are literally in the Bronx River, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling photos and a photo on the floor, “so you can walk on water,”
Meyerowitz said. Going to the next room, you proceed “from river into woodlands” he explained, where there are more Tyvek prints, this time of various trees and woods throughout the city.

The final stage of the exhibit is a larger room with dozens of photographs separated by Borough. Brooklyn is represented by Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park, Marine Park, Louis Valentino Jr. Park, Owl’s Head Park and Sunset Park.

I thought the exhibit was amazing, particularly Bronx River room — it was as if we actually were in the river. I was blown away by these photographs, because when I think of New York City, I don’t really think of wilderness. So many of the pieces have no urban elements, if I didn’t know they were taken in the city, I would never guess.

Meyerowitz gives a fresh and much-needed look at the green spaces around us, and I think (I hope) as people see his photos, they have a new appreciation and respect for what’s in them.

The Legacy photography exhibit will continue through March 21. For more information, visit www.mcny.org/exhibitions/current/Legacy.html.

All photos of Prospect Park. Top photo: Long Meadow, autumn. Middle photo: Wellhouse Drive, spring. Bottom photo: woods in the Ravine, autumn.

Copyright Joel Meyerowitz, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, NY

Scientist James Hansen Speaks at Secret Science Club in Brooklyn

Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor at Columbia University's Department of Earth and Environmental Science, James Hansen, visited the Secret Science Club at the Bell House on Tuesday evening to speak about the climate crisis.

He doubted that the climate conference in Copenhagen will change much, while warning that environmental troubles are nearing a "tipping point" of no return unless action is taken while there is still hope. Though "CO2 has already passed its limits into the dangerous zone," Hansen said, "we can still reverse it."

His solutions are to "phase out coal, prohibit carbon fuel, improve forest practices and re-forest lands, and institute no-till agriculture."


Eagle
reporter Harold Egeln went to the meeting. You can read his full story here.

Party and Benefit for Bushwick Farmers' Market

This Sunday, Dec 20, a party and benefit for the Bushwick Farmers’ Market, the “Winter Solstice Feast,” will be held at 130 Palmetto St. in Bushwick from 6 p.m. to midnight.

An annual tradition hosted by of some of the market’s organizers, this year the hosts have asked attendees who are able to make donations in support of the Farmer’s Market, which is just finishing its first year but lacks necessary funding for 2010. There will be opportunities for giving during the event and there is no cover charge.

There will be live entertainment, a silent auction and food. The event is BYOB/N — bring your own bottle and napkin — to make the event as low-impact as possible.

For more information or to volunteer, visit www.bushwickfarmersmarket.org/solstice/.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the Scene at COP 15, Days 1 and 2

Brooklynite Chris Neidl, advocacy coordinator for Solar One, traveled to Copenhagen last weekend for the climate conference. He's documenting his experiences along the way and sharing them with GreenBeat Brooklyn. Here are videos from Neidl's first two days:







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Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy 15th, Recycle-A-Bicycle!

Recycle-A-Bicycle’s 15th Birthday Celebration is tonight at Superfine Restaurant, 126 Front St. in DUMBO from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission prices start at $20, all above $50 come with a Recycle-A-Bicycle T-shirt.

The celebration will include a benefit for the organization, which is a community-based bike shop and non-profit organization that provides educational/job training programs and encourages environmental stewardship and everyday bicycle use. The auction will feature twelve orange NY400 Batavus Bicycles (only 200 exist in the world) and bike-themed art.

Other bikes and biked themed objects such as bike jewelry, bike animal sculptures, bike chairs, bike lamps, and more will be for display and sale. All proceeds directly support Recycle-A-Bicycle’s youth and environmental programming.

In this past year alone, Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) has worked with more than 1,000 young people and collectively pedaled more than 10,000 miles. On average, RAB salvages 1,200 bicycles each year from the waste stream, diverting a total of 36,000 pounds of waste from NYC’s landfills.

Visit www.recycleabicycle.org for more information or to donate to the organization.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Brooklyn Green Team Eco-Challenge

The Brooklyn Green Team is back with a new challenge: reconsidering red meat. Join them and eat less beef! According to Treehugger, red meat is the most resource-intensive food on the table and eating less of it can be the single most green move a person makes.

A couple of alarming facts the team shares with us:

A study in New Scientist magazine reported that the production of one kilogram of beef produced as many greenhouse gases as three hours of driving.

Experts predict that by 2050 nearly twice as much meat will be produced as today, for a projected total of more than 465 million tons. (Worldwatch Institute)

Other types of meat (chicken, fish, pork, turkey, and venison) are excluded from the challenge, sign up by emailing brooklyngreen@gmail.com. Visit the Green Team's blog for more information, resources and encouragement.

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Park Slope Petitions Obama For Leadership On Climate Defense

The Eagle received this press release:

On Sunday, Park Slope citizens had a chance to tell President Barack Obama that real cuts in carbon emissions are necessary to avoid environmental catastrophe, as activists from the Park Slope Greens and Parents For Climate Protection collected signatures to send to the White House.

In under two hours the activists collected close to 150 signed pledge cards from Brooklynites, stating that US legislation and policies must cut climate pollution by at least 25 percent to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent to 95 percent by 2050. These are the targets that climate scientists say are necessary to avoid a climate crisis.

The Obama administration’s earlier announcement of cuts of 6 percent from 1990 levels fall far short of the warnings of the scientific community.

In addition to posters and literature about the climate defense movement, the activists displayed a dozen home-made ice globes that melted in the afternoon sun to symbolize the need for climate defense now, as glaciers and arctic sea ice recede every year.

Activists in attendance included David Pechefsky, Green Party 2009 Candidate For City Council, and Gloria Mattera, Green Party Candidate For Brooklyn Borough President in 2005.

The pledge cards will be mailed to the White House before President Obama appears at the Copenhagen conference on December 18th.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three Brooklyn Students Are Finalists in 'Green Teen' Essay Contest

Six New York City students — three from Brooklyn — were finalists in the second annual Green Teens Essay Contest. It was a competition which invites young writers ages 12 to 18 to submit a 300-word personal essay about how they will help Mayor Bloomberg implement MillionTreesNYC, which is a PlaNYC initiative to plant and care for one million trees by 2017.

The grand prize winner of the contest (who was from Manhattan) received $1,000, two runners up received $500 each, and three honorable mentions received $100 each.

“Growing young minds through environmental awareness is the key to success in greening New York City,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “These green teens have demonstrated a savvy understanding of the immense health and environmental benefits of trees, and they have generated a number of creative ideas to engage even more New Yorkers in MillionTreesNYC. We look forward to working with the essay finalists to further develop their ideas for implementation and help create a greener, greater New York City.”

Runner up Nedine Dobson, 17, from Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights titled her essay, “A Melting Pot of Beautiful People With Beautiful Trees,” and in it wrote, “Each school district should be responsible for involving each school in the district to embark on a go green project. The project will require groups of students to be responsible for the design of areas in their school district to plant trees — this initiative promises to make New York, with its melting pot of beautiful people, a garden of beautiful trees.”

Eric Murray Datcher, 16, from the Bushwick High School for Social Justice, earned an honorable mention with his essay, writing, “The key to the Mayor’s plan is involving the youth of New York City. There are young people throughout the city who are simply waiting for an opportunity to make a major change. The Million Trees project could be that change to unite the youth in a positive project. I believe I can use my strong voice to gather more students, young people, and community members to beautify more places throughout New York City.”

Jamel Irby-Shabazz, 12, of Park Place Middle School in Park Slope, also earned an honorable mention with his essay, in which he wrote, “Every month we will get teens to sign up as a special citizenship program with the NYC Parks Department to help plant trees. Teens will then make a difference in their community and experience something positive in their community. The teens will also be able to place their family name on the trees. I also believe that a million trees will equal a million healthy breaths. A million healthy breaths can help a brain learn and be more conscious about the environment in which we live.”

The essay contest was sponsored by Flowerworks Florist & Landscape Contractor, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Our Time Press, and Gxart Studio. Essay finalists were honored on November 19th at Restoration Plaza on Fulton Street, in an event celebrating the newly-formed Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District (BID).

For more information about MillionTreesNYC, visit www.milliontreesnyc.org.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Environmental Film Screening at St. Francis in Brooklyn


Tomorrow, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m., attend a free screening of the film
Split Estate in the main auditorium at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen St. between Clinton and Court streets. The screening is co-sponsored by the Independent Neighborhood Democrats and is hosted by Ken Lowy.

About the film, from its web site:

"Imagine discovering that you don't own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas two hundred feet from your front door. Imagine having little recourse, other than accepting an unregulated industry in your backyard. Split Estate maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health.

Zeroing in on Garfield County, Colorado, and the San Juan Basin, this clarion call for accountability examines the growing environmental and social costs to an area now referred to as a 'National Sacrifice Zone.'

This is no Love Canal or Three Mile Island. With its breathtaking panoramas, aspen-dotted meadows, and clear mountain streams, this is the Colorado of John Denver anthems — the wide-open spaces that have long stirred our national imagination.

Exempt from federal protections like the Clean Water Act, the oil and gas industry has left this idyllic landscape and its rural communities pockmarked with abandoned homes and polluted waters. One Garfield County resident demonstrates the degree of benzene contamination in a mountain stream by setting it alight with a match. Many others, gravely ill, fight for their health and for the health of their children. All the while, the industry assures us it is a "good neighbor."

Ordinary homeowners and ranchers absorb the cost. Actually, we all pay the price in this devastating clash of interests that extends well beyond the Rockies. Aggressively seeking new leases in as many as 32 states, the industry is even making a bid to drill in the New York City watershed, which provides drinking water to millions.

As public health concerns mount, Split Estate cracks the sugarcoating on an industry touted as a clean alternative to fossil fuels, and poignantly drives home the need for real alternatives."

For more information, www.splitestate.com.

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Isabella Rossellini to Debut 'Green Porno' in Greenpoint

Screen goddess/model/director Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet) will be at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. for a screening/Q&A/book signing of Green Porno — her book and accompanying short film series about the sex lives of marine animals, insects and other creatures. Tickets are $25 and include one copy of the book and two seats at the screening. They are available at www.wordbrooklyn.com. For those of you not up on film icons, Rossellini is the daughter of actress Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca) and director Roberto Rossellini.
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Williamsburg Florist Honored For Green Entrepreneurship

While growing up in West Virginia, Kimberly Sevilla (pictured at left with her daughter Lavender) frequently noticed non-natural gardening practices: plants lined up in rows, and the use of Miracle-Gro products, to name a few.

“Americans were never really taught how to garden and how to compost and use the world around them,” said Sevilla, who cultivated a passion for gardening as she traveled the world to study the techniques of other cultures, reading historical books on the subject.

Sevilla has always gardened for herself — she has a garden in upstate New York and one at her home in Williamsburg — but didn’t make it part of her profession until just over a year ago, when she opened Rose Red & Lavender, a full service florist in Williamsburg.

Rose Red & Lavender isn’t just a place to buy cut flowers. Sevilla offers classes in urban gardening to the community through the store. “We’re teaching people how to repurpose and reuse things that they may have already to grow [gardens].”

She showed children how to plant a variety of seeds — herbs and vegetables — in a five-gallon bucket to create a “meal in a bucket” and also teaches students at her classes to create planters out of old tires. “This was popular in the ’60s,” she said. “We’re trying to revive that.”

Sevilla started a campaign to distribute seed balls, which are balls of clay that have flower seeds in them that don’t need to be planted in the soil. “It’s a technique used by Native Americans,” she said, and the flowers can sprout anywhere, namely the number of vacant lots in Williamsburg.

During the summertime, Sevilla sources her flowers from local farms. She grows the lavender she sells at the shop on property in West Virginia. She composts all the waste from the flowers and recycles everything she can.

It is this commitment to educating the community and making Williamsburg a greener place that won Sevilla an award for green entrepreneurship by the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, an organization dedicated to small business development in New York City’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Entrepreneurs were selected for this award for their efforts to go beyond just recycling in their green businesses.

Sevilla wants the award to help her spread eco-awareness. “I hope that people will seek us out for advice,” she said. “Everybody wants to be green — I don’t think they necessarily know how to do it.

“People come to me and say, ‘I don’t have a yard.’ Well, you don’t need a yard,” Sevilla continued. “We could be growing food on the roofs, there’s so much wasted space on the roofs ... you have a wall, put hooks on your wall, use window boxes.

“There are a lot of things around us that we can use.”

For hours and information about Rose Red & Lavender’s products and services, visit www.roseredandlavender.com. For information about BOC, visit www.bocnet.org.


Photo above by Amy Wise. Little Lavender came before the shop.

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Mayor Bloomberg Appoints Brooklynite Caswell Holloway to Head Department of Environmental Protection

The Eagle received this press release:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Caswell F. Holloway — who lives in Brooklyn Heights — as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. Holloway currently serves as Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler and as Special Advisor to Mayor Bloomberg.

Holloway took a leading role in the writing and implementation of the Administration’s report on the health impacts of September 11 and led negotiations on 9/11 health legislation that has been introduced in both houses of Congress. He also played a lead role in developing the City’s comprehensive cleanup plan for the Gowanus Canal and in the passage and implementation of the City’s new Solid Waste Management Plan.

Holloway will replace Acting Commissioner Steven Lawitts, who has served since the departure of Commissioner Emily Lloyd last October. Holloway will begin work at the Department of Environmental Protection in January.

“Since he came to City Hall, Cas has worked a couple of desks away from me and I have watched him take on some of the toughest assignments and deliver solutions, from 9/11 health to the Gowanus Cleanup to reforming demolition procedures in the wake of the tragic 130 Liberty Street fire,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “I’ve seen him work closely with senior managers at a range of City agencies on matters large and small, with a singular focus on results. Under Cas’s leadership, we’re going to complete vital infrastructure projects like the Third Water Tunnel, improve security of our city’s 2,000-square-mile watershed, and move forward with DEP’s ten-year, $13 billion capital program. I want to thank Steve Lawitts for leading this agency during the transition period, and I know Cas will build on his good work.”

“New York City has the best drinking water in the nation, and the waterways that surround us have always been a key to the City’s prosperity,” said Commissioner Holloway. “Mayor Bloomberg has led the way in making the investments necessary to prepare our water and sewer infrastructure for the next century, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with the talented and dedicated team at DEP to continue that effort, and to press forward aggressively to open as much of our waterfront as possible to renewed investment and recreation.”

Commissioner Holloway has started key initiatives like the new citywide public recycling program and worked with the Fire Department to implement new inspection protocols and safety measures for first responders on construction sites. Over the last year, he led the negotiations that resulted in the Project Labor Agreements announced last week, which will allow the City to save money on and invest more in major infrastructure projects. The agreements include provisions that will ensure better access to good construction jobs for Minority and Women-owned small-business enterprises.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s more than 6,000-person staff is responsible for the City’s air and water quality, for the safety and operation of a water supply system that serves more than 8.5 million people daily, for collecting and processing wastewater, and for enforcing compliance in the handling and disposal of hazardous materials.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Recycled and Stitched Art Exhibition in Brooklyn

The Gumbo Gallery and Stevie’s Artisans present a multimedia exhibition of “Recycled and Stitched Art: The Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary” at Gumbo, 493 Atlantic Ave. (between Nevins and Third avenues). The exhibition opens with a reception Sunday, Dec 6 from 3 – 5 p.m. and runs through Sunday, Jan. 31.

“Recycled and Stitched Art,” will feature fabric art by Margaret Cusack; zipper jewelry by Kate Cusack (left); pillows and wall hangings by Joyce Daniels; stitched portraits on paper by Marlene Mayerson; mobiles made from recycled wood, metal and poetry fragments by Elizabeth Ortiz; paintings on broken glass and sculpture by Ibou N’doye; spray painted fabric and paper towel construction by Beatrix Piesh (What Do You Do For Love, spray paint on wood, below); mixed media wood boxes by Leslie Rubman; quilts by Teri Scaduto,;and dolls from recycled New York Times bags by Beatrice Weiner Cohen.

During the reception, artisans featured by Stevie’s Artisans will demonstrate their crafts in mini-workshops. Participating artisans are Elizabeth Ortiz, Karen Ahn, Aaron Lazansky and Diana Pucci.

This exhibition complements this year’s theme — “A Green Holiday” — of the holiday window displays of the Atlantic Avenue merchants. Windows will be judged by a distinguished panel of judges and winners will be announced at the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Belarusan Church at Atlantic and Bond.

Images courtesy of
Stevie’s Artisans
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Score Produce From a Local Farm For Thanksgiving

Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint, at 44 Eagle St. between Franklin and West streets, normally sells directly to area chefs, but it will open its doors to the public this Sunday, Nov 22 for an open market. Visit anytime from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards funding next year's seed stock.


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A Sad Fate For a Green Wall

It's not in Brooklyn, but I thought I'd post this because it's such a tragedy. The living wall outside Pure Yoga at East 86th Street, which was built about a year ago, is in a sad state due to a scaffold that covered it. What once was lush, beautiful and eco-friendly is now almost dead. Read the full story at the Real Deal.


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Take Advantage of Green Carts This Thanksgiving

The Eagle received the following information about NYC Green Carts:

Instead of loading up a Thanksgiving Day plate with fatty gravies, starchy stuffing, and canned cranberries, the NYC Green Carts initiative offers New Yorkers the opportunity to trim their turkeys with the freshest fruits and vegetables.

NYC Green Carts is a public-private partnership between the Mayor’s Fund for New York City, the New York City Department of Health, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, in which specially permitted street vendor carts sell only fresh fruits and vegetables throughout areas of the five boroughs where such produce is limited. The program is designed to help curb obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and related illnesses, which disproportionately affect people in these underserved neighborhoods.

“The fresh produce found on your local NYC Green Cart makes for a wonderful way to celebrate and give thanks with your loved ones,” explained Laurie M. Tisch, President of the Illumination Fund that bears her name. “We know that people who have more access to fresh fruits and vegetables eat more of them. We also know that eating such produce goes a long way to combating obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. So, eating healthier is something we can all be thankful for this year.”

Residents can find these healthy foods, and the carts that carry them, by looking for the colorful green umbrellas labeled with the NYC Green Cart logo in their own neighborhoods.

For more information on the NYC Green Carts program, visit www.lmtilluminationfund.org or http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cdp/cdp_pan_green_carts.shtml.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Con Edison Power Breakfast at Tomorrow in Brooklyn

Join a panel of business owners and industry experts as they share stories of how they’ve made a positive impact on the environment, and learn how a commitment to the environment and the community can add up to profits for your company.

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Business Library at 280 Cadman Plaza West will present a Con Edison Power Breakfast tomorrow from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., moderated by Vanessa Knight, of the Sustainable Business Network of New York City. Panelists will be Michael DiMarino of Linda Tool; Jennie Dundas of Blue Marble Ice Cream; Mark Ehrhardt of Movers, Not Shakers!, Inc.; Aisha Glover of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.; and Ron Spinelli of Industrial and Technology Assistance Corp.

Register online to attend, or call (718) 623-7000 and select option 4.

 

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Recycle Batteries and Cell Phones at Brooklyn Greenmarkets

The Eagle received the following press release:

Beginning this week, the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) is placing collection boxes to recycle old rechargeable batteries and cell phones at select Greenmarket farmers markets across the city.

CENYC has joined the Recyclable Battery Recycling Corporation’s (RBRC) national Call2Recycle program which will help NYC residents conveniently recycle their cell phones and portable rechargeable batteries. All of the materials collected through the Call2Recycle program are recycled and used to create other types of materials, including new batteries and scrap metal. None of the material broken down from the recycling of rechargeable batteries and cell phones makes its ways into landfills.

Residents can now easily recycle these items at eight Greenmarket locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Collection boxes will be available at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket (the northwest entrance to Prospect Park) on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“By participating in the Call2Recycle program, we’re able to conserve natural resources and at the same time prevent harmful materials from entering our landfills,” said CENYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “This program is one of the ways we help New Yorkers recycle better, reuse more, and reduce waste.”

Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, cordless power tools, two-way radios, camcorders, digital cameras, and a variety of other portable electronic products. When the battery can no longer hold a charge, it can and should be recycled. In fact, with the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2005, it has been illegal for NYC resident to discard rechargeable batteries in the trash since December 2006. The average American cell phone user has a total of 3 or more cell phones and 6 cordless electronic products in their possession.

“Community participation is a crucial part of our program because it puts us in touch with the public,” says Carl Smith, RBRC President. “Communities like New York City are helping to make rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling a reality, and that’s great for the environment.”

“We’ve seen how textile recycling programs at our farmers markets are a success and we are thrilled to add rechargeable batteries and cell phones to the list of materials we collect for recycling,” said Greenmarket Director Michael Hurwitz. “Our Greenmarkets are becoming the go-to resource for sustainable living—with many offering compost collections, textile recycling, and other community-based activities.”

In addition to cell phones and rechargable batteries, CENYC also collects unwanted clothing at 8 Greenmarket locations. Through its clothing and textile recycling program, CENYC has diverted nearly 500,000 pounds of textiles from the landfill.

For more information, visit www.cenyc.org/recycling/batteries.



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Edible Schoolyard Program Coming to Gravesend School

Pictured here is a rendering of an organic garden and greenhouse coming to P.S. 216 in Gravesend as part of the Edible Schoolyard program started by renowned chef Alice Waters. P.S. 216 will be the first New York City school to participate in the program, which first began in San Francisco in 1995.

Students in the program will plant, harvest, prepare food and eat together, which will tie into a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum involving science, math, social studies and the arts. Part of what is now an asphalt-covered yard at the school will be converted into a quarter-acre organic farm, a kitchen classroom, and a mobile, four-season greenhouse. Funds are now being raised for construction, hoped to start in June 2010.

Read the full story about the project by Eagle writer Phoebe Neidl here.

Image courtesy of WORK Architecture Company



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Make Your Own Reusable Bags at Etsy Labs


Tonight, at the Etsy Open craft Night at Etsy Labs (55 Washington St., suite 512, in DUMBO), sew reusable bags with Bags for the People — a non-profit organization that provides the public with a sustainable alternative to plastic bags — and Katherine Bell, author of Quilting for Peace. Stop by anytime from 4 to 8 p.m. for the bag making tutorial. If you can’t make it, you can watch the tutorial online at 5 p.m. Here is more information on tonight's event.

Bags for the People and Etsy will team up again next weekend for the first annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off Benefit. On Sunday, Nov 22 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., at SPACECRAFT (355 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg), sample homemade pies and home brewed beer from Brooklyn Brews. There is a $10 entrance fee that will go to support Bags for the People. This event is sponsored by Brooklyn Based and Etsy. For information on how to enter the bake-off, click here.

Pictured above is Glenn Robinson, one of the founders of Bags for the People, sewing bags at the Green Brooklyn... Green City fair in September.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Green Mountain Energy Company Launches in New York City Neighborhoods

The Eagle received this press release:

Residents and businesses in Brooklyn now have a new option for choosing renewable energy. Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner energy, is now available in the Con Edison service territory and offers customers a choice of competitively-priced renewable energy products. With the company’s entrance into the market, Green Mountain becomes the first and only electric services company in New York City that is focused solely on providing cleaner electricity products to customers.

Customers in Brooklyn can choose their supplier of electricity because the state’s electric industry is open to competition. Only 15 percent of Con Edison’s nearly 4 million customers have shopped for electric service since energy competition began in New York City in 2005.

“Not only can Brooklyn residents and businesses choose who supplies electric service to their homes, schools and workplaces, they can also chose how their electricity is made,” said John Holtz, director of East Region Markets for Green Mountain Energy Company. “Green Mountain was founded 12 years ago with a mission to ‘change the way power is made.’ That mission is at the center of everything we do, because cleaner energy is all we do.”

The traditional production of electricity from fossil fuels is the largest source of industrial air pollution in the U.S. Purchasing Green Mountain Energy electricity is one of the easiest things Brooklyn residents can do to help reduce their household’s share of CO2 emissions — even easier than recycling.

Holtz noted that if every household and business in Brooklyn used Green Mountain Energy electricity products for one year, it could prevent over 439 million pounds of CO2 emissions (Based on approximately 884,000 residential and commercial electric accounts in Brooklyn). That avoids as much CO2 pollution as recycling about 175 million newspapers — a stack as high as over 11,000 Empire State Buildings on top of each other!

Green Mountain Products in New York City:

Residential Customers:
Green Mountain is offering New Yorkers the choice between two electricity products that use clean renewable sources like wind and water: Pollution Free electricity and the 100% Wind product.

• Pollution Free electricity is made from New York wind and water sources. An average New York City household choosing the Pollution Free product for one year can offset almost 500 pounds of CO2 (Based on average household usage of 500 kWh per month in the Con Edison service territory). That’s like not taking 128 cab rides, or recycling almost 200 pounds of newspaper.

• 100% Wind product helps support the development of renewable energy in America. With the 100% Wind product, Green Mountain matches 100% of the customer’s electricity usage with clean energy generated from wind power sources in the U.S. An average New York City household choosing Green Mountain’s 100% Wind product for one year can offset nearly 8,000 pounds of CO22. That’s like not taking over 2,000 cab rides, or recycling nearly 20,000 aluminum cans.

Commercial Customers:
Green Mountain’s Commercial Services division is offering small and medium commercial class customers in Brooklyn customized cleaner energy solutions that include national or regional wind resources.

“More and more businesses in New York City want to use cleaner electricity to offset their carbon emissions,” added Holtz. “The City has instituted policies promoting renewable energy. Purchasing Green Mountain Energy electricity can help businesses in Brooklyn and throughout New York City reduce their carbon emissions and make their businesses greener.”

Greenmarket:
Green Mountain plans to have a regular presence at different Greenmarkets in Brooklyn. Local residents can talk to Green Mountain representatives in person to learn more about the company and sign up for Green Mountain Energy electricity.

Enrollment Information:
• Residential Customers: 877-216-GMEC (4632)
• Commercial Customers: 866-767-5818
• Online at www.greenmountain.com/newyork

The Con Edison service territory is the second electric market Green Mountain is serving in New York State. Green Mountain has been serving cleaner electricity to National Grid customers in Upstate New York since 2002, through the utility company’s “GreenUp” renewable energy program.

Green Mountain, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, such as wind and water, and carbon offset products. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 4.9 million tons of CO2 emissions. For more information, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

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Call For Sustainability-Themed Artwork

Green Edge NYC — a social network that connects people with businesses, organizations and the resources they need to build a sustainable future — seeks art submissions focused on one or more element of sustainability: environment, society, economy, lifestyle/individual.

The organization is looking for artists to donate a piece to be displayed and auctioned at its annual fundraiser celebration, this year a third birthday bash.

The event will be held Thursday December 3 at Littlefield performance and art space in Brooklyn. It is expected to draw more than 100 people, and will be a great opportunity for you to present your work to a like-minded crowd. Selected artists will be seen by Green Edge’s large online network, included in email blasts and included in media materials.

Donation of art qualifies the artist for free +1 admission to the event.

All proceeds from the silent auction will go to Green Edge NYC to continue its mission to connect people with the resources they need to live more sustainable lives, and artists can request a documentation for their donation for tax purposes.

Twelve to 16 works will be selected to be featured at this event and auctioned off as part of the silent auction, so email your best sustainable-focused piece to art@GreenEdgeNYC.org. Submissions are due by Wednesday, November 18. Selected artists will be notified by Tuesday, November 24.

GreenEdge Collaborative NYC was founded in 2006 by then-Park Slope resident Carolyn Gilles. She wanted to connect businesses and residents who live sustainably. Since then, GreenEdge has expanded to include a Kentucky chapter, and a San Francisco chapter is in the works.

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Williamsburg Bars Powered By Wind

While new hotspot Brooklyn Bowl has made headlines lately with its eco-friendly features and commitment to energy efficiency, did you know that the other Williamsburg bowling alley, The Gutter, at 200 N 14th St, gets its electricity through wind power, and has been since it opened two years ago?

Owner Paul Kermizian, who also owns Barcade at 388 Union Ave (in Williamsburg), was "concerned about the energy drain" his bars would have, I read in a report on the Mother Nature Network. He switched Barcade to wind power after opening it, serves local and regional beers, and the decor is secondhand. Read more about the eco-friendly features of the two bars in the full story here.



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Friday, October 30, 2009

City College of NY to Offer Masters in Sustainability

The Eagle received the following press release:

The City College of New York (CCNY) will offer a new, interdisciplinary graduate program, “Sustainability in the Urban Environment,” that incorporates emerging approaches from the disciplines of architecture, engineering and science. The program will enroll its first students for the Spring 2010 semester. It will award a Master of Science degree in Sustainability to its graduates.


The 30-credit program is designed to respond to the increasing demand for a workforce equipped to meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Students in the program will be prepared to adapt old and advance new generations of buildings, urban infrastructure and open spaces using approaches that take into account rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, peak oil and climate change.

The program’s core curriculum lays a foundation in sustainability values, strategies and metrics through coursework in urban and natural systems, environmental economics and industrial ecology. It draws upon approaches such as ‘whole systems thinking’ and life cycle analysis to understand and evaluate complex urban ecosystems.

An interdisciplinary capstone project, requiring teamwork and interchange among groups of architects, engineers and scientists, will develop experience with the processes and dynamics of integrated design.

This new program is designed to meet employment demands in the Tri-State area as well as nationally.

For admissions information and other questions about the new graduate program in Sustainability in the Urban Environment call (212)650-6977 or write to graduateadmissions@ccny.cuny.edu. An online application is available here.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Greenway Party Tonight!

The Brooklyn Greenway Initative is throwing a party from 7 – 10 p.m. tonight at FIND Home Furnishings at 59 Ninth St. near the Gowanus Canal. Join fellow greenway supporters for great food and drink, live music from the Hot Johnsons, and lots of raffle prizes, all in support of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Tickets are $25, or two for $40.

Food and drink will be provided by Alma, Joya, Rocky Sullivan’s, Union Market, Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies, Nine Cakes, Bee Desserts and Sixpoint Craft Ales. Raffle prizes were donated by Bar Tano, Fort Defiance, Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, Sophie Lair-Berreby Photography, Metal and Thread, Olive Design, Perch Design, Massage Therapy by Gerald Pulis, Tom Rupolo Urban Landscape Photography, and FIND Home Furnishings.

Directions: F/G to Smith-9th, B75, B77, or take the bike lane along Ninth Street. Bike parking will be available.

 

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Botanic Garden Trees Named State Champions

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has named two trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden state champions — meaning they are the largest of their species on record in the state. The Kansas hawthorn and the Carolina holly are the first trees in New York City to receive this honor. The awards will be presented at a ceremony tomorrow in the shade of the champion trees.
 

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March for Climate Leadership Over B'klyn Bridge

Hundreds of New Yorkers joined environmental advocacy group Greenpeace this past Saturday in the March for Climate Leadership across the Brooklyn Bridge. The march was part of the largest global day of climate action ever as one of more than 4,500 events in over 170 countries to call on President Obama and other world leaders to secure a fair, ambitious and binding global deal in Copenhagen this December at the UN Climate Change Conference.
There were more than 50 events throughout New York City, as reported by the New York Times. Why was the number 350 on so many signs carried by demonstrators? According to the report, 350 parts per million is the upper limit for heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
 

Photos by Michael Nagle courtesy of Greenpeace


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Enviromedia Mobile Unveils at Borough Hall

Yesterday at Borough Hall Plaza Park, the Enviromedia Mobile, a traveling urban nature maritime museum on wheels, was officially unveiled. An 11-year project of the Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy under the direction of Ludger Balan, the museum is a way for New Yorkers to “think of our urban environment as a habitat,” Balan said. Students visiting the museum can learn about species native to New York’s waterways and how climate change will impact them.

Pictured here in front of the mobile museum, left to right, are Jay Kaplan of Waste Management, who presented the Enviromedia Mobile with a $10,000 check; Balan; students Robert and Margaret Ellis; Dan Wiley representing Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez; Assemblyman Bill Colton, who funded the Mobile with a $100,000 grant; and Rachel Amar of Waste Management.

Here is a view of the entire Enviromedia Mobile from the entrance. Some photos of exhibits are below, including models of two cormorants, which are birds native to New York. Another feature of the Mobile is an authentic dugout canoe used by Lenape women, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Hudson River.











"The success of our environment begins with young people," Belan said. "If they are not connecting, the stewardship will not be there."

For more information visit www.urbandivers.org. For bookings call (347) 224-5828.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Chamber Tours Award-Winning Green Buildings

Three winners in this year’s Building Brooklyn Awards were toured this week by members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Real Estate and Development (RED) Committee. The tour focused on how each project achieved LEED certification, according to Lori Raphael, RED director.
Traveling in a Con Edison-sponsored bus, the group started at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, went on to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and ended up at the Brooklyn Navy Yard — first at the Perry Building to view its rooftop solar panels (pictured here), and then to see the future green manufacturing site.

Photo by George Kwong, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

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Bay Ridge Leads Brooklyn in Recycling

Out of all the Brooklyn neighborhoods, Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights are leading the borough in terms of recycling. Three out of every five of the area’s residences and businesses recycle paper, plastic, glass and metal — a fact that garnered the areas the Department of Sanitation’s highest rating. Read Eagle writer Harold Egeln's report here.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Bay Ridge 'Green' Festival

Last week's Third Avenue Festival in Bay Ridge was the 36th annual, but the first ever with a green theme. About a dozen booth entered themselves into a "Green Pioneer" contest, the winners of which will be announced at the 16th Annual Third Avenue Pioneers and Civic Awards Reception on October 26 at Café Remy.

Pictured here are the three "Green Judges" at the Festival: Home Reporter arts columnist Liz Gassimi (second from left), Bay Ridge Courier Marketing Director Jeanne Eisenhardt (second from right) and myself (right), with Festival Chairman Chuck Otey (left).

Stay tuned for details on the festival entrants with photos, and also for the winners!


Photo by Giancarlo Annese

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eco-Awareness at Last Weekend's DUMBO Art Festival

This past weekend saw the 13th annual D.U.M.B.O Art Under the Bridge Festival, a neighborhood-wide event where art appears indoors and out. Eagle writer Mary Frost attended the festivities and reported on some of its eco-conscious works. Below are some green highlights from her piece, which you can read in its entirety here.

The Experience of Green (above) is a gallery-sized installation by
Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen, which will be at DUMBO Arts Center (DAC) through November 29. It represents old growth trees made from massive amounts of red kraft paper. “If you stare at it long enough, you see green,” said Breda Kennedy, DAC executive director. “The artists’ intent is to heighten awareness of the environment.”

At Smack Mellon, Ellen Driscoll’s awe-inspiring work FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2, which will run until November 8, (above) comments on oil and water consumption. The sculptural installation comprises 2600 #2 water bottles transformed into a 28- foot, time-spanning landscape.


Waste Management (above), a street installation made of discarded cardboard cartons by Ian Trask, “grafts material waste and unused urban space, emphasizing the accumulated magnitude of what we throw away,” according to the artist’s explanation.
Photos by Mary Frost

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Bloomberg's Trip to the Greenmarket

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is seeking election to a third term this November, stopped by the weekly farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza last Saturday to chat with constituents, and to buy some grapes. Perhaps also because his eating habits were recently scrutinized in a New York Times feature?

Photos by Mike Plotz

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Green Brooklyn Fair a 'Huge Success'


To explore a sustainable future for New York City, green experts and novices alike flocked to Brooklyn Borough Hall last Thursday for the “Green Brooklyn … Green City” Fair hosted by the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC).

Brooklyn was the perfect place to hold the celebration, according to Borough President Marty Markowitz, who referred to it as “the ‘green’ republic of Brooklyn,” saying, “Brooklyn is really leading the way forward for a greener New York City.” Markowitz cited his own office as an example: it’s the first borough president’s office in the city to install bike racks and to use hybrid cars.

Participants could shop and tour the Borough Hall Greenmarket and visit 40 exhibits in Columbus Park. Encouraged to make the exhibits as minimal waste as possible, exhibitors brought interactive elements to their booths instead of paper giveaways. Petri Plumbing and Heating had a dual flush toilet on display, while Brooklyn-based Green Depot had some of its products on display.

There were booths focused on green design as well. From the Source, a Greenpoint design firm, uses “reclaimed and sustainably harvested woods” to create furniture, said designer Kristin Riccio. At another exhibit, Kris Drury, a representative from the Pratt Design Incubator, explained that her organization supports Pratt’s entrepreneurial alumni in starting sustainable businesses. The Incubator is currently assisting a startup called SMIT to develop and launch a new solar/wind-powered “ivy” technology.

Artist Derick Melander was at another exhibit with a group of volunteers folding and stacking clothes for an on-site art demonstration. He told the Eagle that around 40 volunteers enlisted, and at the end of the day, the sculpture of folded clothes was around six feet tall. “It definitely had a big visual impact and got the message across,” Melander said.


Workshops on Climate, Business and Food

Three workshops took place in the Ceremonial Courtroom at Borough Hall throughout the day. The first, “The State of the Climate,” was moderated by CENYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. Panelists were Dr. Radley Horton, Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Hugh Hough of The Climate Project and president of Green Team USA; and Dr. William Solecki, professor of Urban Environmental Change at Hunter College and director of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities.

The three speakers touched on the alarming state of the current climate, rising global temperatures, and increasing occurrences of extreme weather events. Even a summer like this one, which didn’t see as many high temperatures as in previous years (the hottest year on record was 2005, said Hough), is still consistent with climate change, explained Horton.

The second workshop of the day, “Green Your Business,” was moderated by Christina Salvi, recycling outreach coordinator, at the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education at CEYNC. Presenters were Vanessa Knight, director of the Sustainable Business Network of New York City; Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; and Jim Holiber, general manager of Green Depot.

Knight presented a portion of Brooklyn’s wealth of innovative green businesses and said that to succeed in the green market means “running a business with people, planet and profit in mind.” Holiber spoke about Green Depot and how the business listened to its customers and evolved its product line.

Kimball talked about the green goings-on at the Navy Yard, most notably the most recent project, the adaptive reuse of buildings to create a Green Manufacturing Center and an exhibition and visitors’ center.

“The most green thing you can do is an adaptive reuse of an historic structure,” Kimball said.
“Local vs. Organic: And Why We Care” was the last workshop of the day, moderated by Michael Hurwitz, director of the Greenmarket Program at CENYC. Speakers were Anna Lappe, noted environmentalist and bestselling author; Justone Bossert of Red Jacket Orchards; and Dr. Dickson Despommier, professor of Environmental Health Science at Columbia University.

“We absolutely need to support our local farms,” said Lappe. “Without doing that we will have no farms left.” Farmer Bossert agreed, while Despommier took it further, explaining that we don’t have enough land to farm on. “We farm [land] the size of South America,” he said, explaining that with new technologies, we can build vertical farms, like greenhouses, that allow us to grow any kind of food anywhere.

This was the fifth year for the fair, the first for CENYC as its host. “Looking out at the crowds, it was easy to see Green Brooklyn ... Green City was a huge success,” said Van Ooyen. “For some participants it was a chance to make new connections, share ideas, and expand their knowledge base of environmental issues. For others, it was their first discovery of simple ways to help improve the environment.”

Photo: Derick Melander (center in the blue shorts) stands with a group of his volunteers as they take a break from folding recycled clothes at the “Green Brooklyn … Green City” fair last Thursday. Melander was conducting an on-site sculpture demonstration with the clothes. At the end of the day, the stacked, folded clothes were six feet tall.

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