DESIGNING A BETTER WORLD Herman Miller, Eco Trendsetter
16 BRAD PITT’S SEXIEST ECO-PARTNER The Bottom Line
32 ORGANIC REVOLUTION LEADING NEW YORK’S
DRINKING GREEN Hottest Organic Spots
54 CORN Energy of the Future?
OUR GREEN DIRECTORY
Over 100 of the City’s Greenest Businesses
Abraham Slavin CEO/Publisher email@example.com
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Dear reader, Thank you for picking up Our Green Book, the ultimate guide to the green sector in the New York metropolitan area. In these pages you’ll find an informative, useful, and above all, fun guide to New York’s eco-friendly community. The goods and services offered in Our Green Book are the result of maintaining harmony with the planet we share as well as with the people with whom we share it. We lead by example, printing Our Green Book on recycled stock paper, using vegetable based dyes and even going as far as duplicating it online to minimize our paper usage. The journey in creating Our Green Book has been an enlightening one. Through the wealth of information I’ve discovered while researching the local green industry, I have become even more aware of ways to heal our planet and minimize my own carbon footprint. I would even go as far to suggest that I have benefited from producing Our Green Book as much as you will from using it. Although our team was already familiar with the enormity of the Green Movement, Our Green Book has truly granted us a priceless learning experience. I encourage you to explore and patronize the organizations featured here and make the most of the information offered in Our Green Book to enlighten, entertain and inspire yourself. When I began planning how Our Green Book was to be created, I did so with the belief that this vital information about green products and services should be made readily available. The "our" in Our Green Book refers to all of us, and that’s exactly who should have access to such a useful reference tool. Our Green Book is so much more than a comprehensive directory; it’s an invaluable resource for anyone looking for green products and services. Here you will find stories about restaurants and night clubs powered by wind energy, and dance floors powered by the movement of peoples’ feet. You’ll learn how to stay green without betraying your sense of style, and how to make eco-friendly decisions in all aspects of your life. It’s not too farfetched to suggest that the future of our planet depends on what choices we make today. You’ve already made an important choice by picking up Our Green Book. Use it wisely. Sincerely,
Abraham Slavin CEO/Publisher
OUR GREEN BOOK
Designing A Better World by Andrew Tan
Herman Miller, Inc. has always had big
ginal pieces exist today as collectible anti-
ideas compacted in its line of space sa-
ques. After World War II, Miller’s business
ving furniture, this time it is the health
began to find its place in the furniture in-
and wellbeing of our planet that will be
dustry. Its legacy of consistently being the
the benefactor of their latest concept. As a
first to bring groundbreaking innovation
leading global provider of office and resi-
to the marketplace is what has propelled
dential furniture it’s almost impossible to
this small-scale furniture store to emerge
go anywhere without encountering their
a global leader in furniture design.
handiwork. This innovator has laid the path for the others to follow, from simple
In the 60s and 70s, Herman Miller sales sky-
and elegant to outlandish and practical,
rocketed with breakthrough inventions such
by crafting some of the most innovative,
as the office cubicle and open plan work
adored pieces of furniture the world has
spaces. The company popularized ergo-
ever seen. The company has fully esta-
nomics, the scientific discipline concerned
blished itself as an industry leader.
with designing objects that fulfill human needs. In 2008, Herman Miller garnered
Herman Miller is considered one of the top
its fifth consecutive placement on the Dow
100 best companies to work for, according
Jones Sustainability World Index, an eva-
to Fortune magazine. Mark Schurmann,
luation of the annual performance of the
director of external communications, who
world’s largest companies using economic,
has been with the company for more than
environmental, and social criteria. In the
15 years, certainly enjoys his job. His en-
21st Century, Herman Miller maintains its
thusiasm for the Herman Miller culture of
reputation with its “Perfect Vision”, a broad
design, the product, the people, is conta-
and aggressively ambitious initiative that
gious. When the company started in 1923
sets 2020 as a deadline to only design pro-
as a manufacturer of traditional residen-
ducts that generate zero landfill usage, zero
tial furniture, it was a humble shop pro-
hazardous waste generation, zero water and
ducing high-quality furniture that people
air emissions during production and 100%
loved to need. Some of the company’s ori-
green energy for all of its power needs.
OUR GREEN BOOK
Check their website www.hermanmiller. com for more details on this exciting, trailblazing project.. Other green goals highlight the company’s high standard for designing eco-friendly products. Several well-known furniture pieces have earned McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry Cradle-to-Cradle certification for environmentally friendly design . A customer can rest assured that Herman Miller makes products that are of a quality far beyond what is necessary. This new green initiative carries on Herman Miller’s mission to “strive to create a better world around you.” Tobron Office Furniture located on 135 W. 18th street has an extensive gallery of Herman Miller design collections and custom works which will stagger any preconceptions of what furniture should be.
OUR GREEN BOOK
OUR GREEN BOOK
Showcasing hundreds of eco-friendly designers, stories and sustainable products, STYLE, NATURALLY is the ultimate fashion and beauty source book for people who care about the planet and want to look good while doing it. In this lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed book Summer Rayne Oakes, fashion model, activist and resident expert on Treehugger.com and Discovery Network’s Planet Green, explains the basics (from fair trade to organically grown), and showcases hundreds of designers and eco-friendly brands. With over 500 photos, pages of resources, and stories from the hottest and most committed trendsetters, it’s the go-to fashion and beauty bible for women who want to feel good about looking good. Style, Naturally donates 1% of the procedes if it’s sale to Energy Action, the non-profit climate change group. Available at Barnes & Noble, $24.95.
OUR GREEN BOOK
My nuBest Tote!
The nuBest Salon and Spa, a destination for the latest in hair and beauty treatments in Manhasset, NY celebrated its 35th anniversary by launching the “be green” campaign. “The time has come for everyone to be more environmentally and socially responsible. I want nuBest to be a leader of the recycling movement in the salon industry,” says owner Michael Mazzei who has spearheaded the recycling campaign at nuBest. This inspiring initiative is literally painted across the exterior windows of the salon as Artist Brian Josselyn has painted vibrant globes in the windows lining Northern Boulevard to raise awareness about environmental issues.
The creation of the “nuTote” is another important initiative of the “be green” campaign. These unique bags have been created exclusively for nuBest by Ecologic Designs using old discarded billboard signs that once served as highway advertisements for the salon. Recycling the vinyl billboards into bags has given them a second life and saved them from the landfill. “An essential part of the ‘be green’ initiative is to raise awareness and encourage people to start making changes in their own lives,” says Mazzei. nuTotes are sold at the salon and at nubestsalon.com with a portion of the sale benefitting future “be green” endeavors.
For more information about nuBest Salon and Spa and the “be green” campaign, please contact: nuBest Salon 1482 northern boulevard manhasset, ny 11030 www.nuBestsalon.com 516-627-9444
OUR GREEN BOOK
How to Be
10 Simple Tips for Living a Greener, More Organic Lifestyle. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse... water bottles, shopping bags, boxes, printing paper, sandwich bags, etc... Get Back to Basics... choose locally grown whole foods, use electronic paperless services, decrease your number of cosmetic and hair products by one third. Walk, Ride, Carpool... walking or riding a bike is good for you; carpooling even 2 days a week makes a big difference. Grassroots... shop at and support local green companies. Read Labels Carefully... make sure products you use contain pure 100% ingredients free from mixes or blends. Simple is usually better. Watch out for "green-washing" and other marketing tactics used by quasi-green companies. Know the Alternatives... they now have corn-based plastics (PLA) and sugar cane paper, perfect for disposables and packing. 100% essential oils are a safer, cleaner, better alternative to chemical fragrances. Use Less... turn off the faucet while washing or brushing, lower your thermostat, and use fluorescent light bulbs. Traveling... reuse your towels and sheets at hotels, only order what you will eat, and of course, recycle your trash (even on that road trip). Grains, Fruit & Veggies... it takes a lot of "earth-energy" to produce meat; seafood is particularly taxing on the earth. Alternatively choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Join A Cause... from the rainforests to animal habitats to global warming there are many companies and organizations who can benefit from your support and help. Just choose one, and get started today!
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L U ) F I T U A E B o c e ( 3.
1. mod.skin organic Chilean Lip Panache, $8.95 www.modskinlabs.com 2. Bee Yummy Raw & Organic Skin Food, 2oz $29 www.live-live.com 3. Juice beauty organic antioxidant serum, 2oz $45 www.juicebeauty.com 4. Eminence organic lemon grass cleaner, 1.7oz $58 www.eminenceorganics. com 5. The Organic Pharmacy Organic Collagen Boost Mask, 50ml $138 www.newlondonpharmacy. com 6. Aveda Organic Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser, 250ml $20 www.aveda.com 7. NVEY ECO Certified Organic Makeup, $24 - $61 www.econveybeauty.com 8. Juara, Organic Candlenut Body Cream 6.25oz $35 Organic Candlenut Body Polish, 6.75oz $35 www.juaraskincare.com
OUR GREEN BOOK
GreenFashion Our Favorite
BAHAR SHAHPAR Playful silhouettes that are both modern and gracefully refined. The line uses organic cotton, Ahimsa silk, hemp, linen, and organic wool, as well as Tagua nut buttons and vintage trims. Each Bahar Shahpar collection is produced locally in New York City to minimize transportation costs and support the local garment industry. www.baharshahpar.com
DEL FORTE Made in the USA with 100% organic cotton, Del Forte Premium Denim reflects a combination of luxury, distinctive design and ethical production. www.delforte.com
ASHLEY WATSON bags Each Ashley Watson piece is made from carefully selected recycled leather. One of a kind, and eco chic! www.ashleywatson.com
SUBLET NYC-based clothing company, whoâ€™s mission is to design and manufacture sustainable garments for the creative community that inspires their collections. they design simple, refined silhouettes balanced by thoughtful details. www.subletclothing.com
OLSENHAUS Olsenhaus Pure Vegan is commited to being 100% animal-free / cruelty-free. Check their website for a large variety of designs. www.olsenhaus.com
OUR GREEN BOOK
”Organic” labeled retail items have had an abysmal sales record last year, according to a recent study conducted by TABS Group, a market research firm. Though, no surprise here. The entire retail sector has already slipped with the proverbial rug. The 2009 sales forecast is just as dark and stormy. It’s a good thing some retail companies have roots that grow beyond the bottom line. Dedicated to fine quality skin and hair care products, the venerable New York-based company, Kiehl’s since 1851, has recently partnered with actor Brad Pitt to form JPF Eco Systems, a charitable foundation committed to global environmental initiatives. Kiehl’s Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser is a product specifically introduced in support of the initiatives by JPF Eco Systems. The first of these is to help Brad Pitt’s ‘Make It Right’ initiative supporting the devastated communities of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, which had taken a beating from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 100% of the net profits from the sale of the body cleanser will support the foundation’s efforts.
Based on rumors, the body cleanser is so eco-friendly, so eco-innovative, that if I took my bottle, buried it in the ground, walked away, and came back 28 days later, I would discover…nothing. Poof! 16
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A n d r e w
The cleanser is certainly biodegradable; the bottle not so much. It comes close though. Made of 100% food-grade, postconsumer recycled materials, Kiehl’s manufactured the bottle from discarded food and beverage containers collected in recycling programs. Kiehl’s body cleanser passed a stringent ”Green” Test as the first Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedCM beauty product. This means that Kiehl’s body cleanser surmounted diverse judging criteria including safe material use, responsible energy and water usage, and responsible company behavior, such as publicly communicating corporate ethics and fair labor statements. Is this certification important? Yes. For starters—skin can absorb nearly 60% of whatever substance is applied to it. Horrifying, if you consider that the chemicals listed on many of the mainstream soaps and skin cleansers read like a toxic waste manifest. Numerous traditional products use compounds that can contaminate water and soil upon disposal and cause cancer. The FDA doesn’t have the money or resources to test the safety of every single chemical. Real danger awaits those who use poorly designed skin and body care products. Parabens in particular are nasty for women. Parabens can act like estrogen hormones in the body and increase the risk of breast cancer. Recent studies have found parabens in breast tumors, and parabens can pass from mother to developing fetus.
greenbeauty Take these "must have" bags to the beach, to the market or on your travels across the globe. The ECOBAGS® Fiesta Classic String Bags are rich with color, expand to hold 40 pounds and fit neatly into a purse or glove compartment. Stitched with 100% certified organic cotton these bags are fun, functional and ecofriendly.
Skin exposure is more of a risk than food borne parabens because the digestive system destroys the toxin. Coal tar colorants (dyes) typically found in healthcare products are also harmful to the environment and cause serious illness in animals. In humans, they can elicit allergic reactions, cause skin rashes, and hives. Kiehl’s body cleanser doesn’t have parabens, or other toxic chemicals (i.e., sodium laureth sulfate). The clear-colored liquid cleanser is also dye-free. The bottomline: Kiehl’s has formulated their body cleanser with a keen eye on the environment and human health. And as Mr. Pitt reminds us, “All proceeds will go to benefit green initiatives around the globe.” Kiehl’s Aloe Vera Liquid Biodegradable Body Cleanser is now available at many stores throughout New York City. The price for a 6.8 fl oz (200 mL) bottle is $16.50. OUR GREEN BOOK
“I always recycle; I never just throw anything away. That includes my gum, I make sure not to spit my gum on the ground. I always throw it away.” -Keilo B., Midtown east
“I recycle, don’t let the water run when I brush my teeth, as well as conserve power.” -James M., Midtown East
“I buy organic food and organic skin care products, most importantly though, I stay clear of plastics!” -Nadia R. & ., Midtown East
“I do my best to conserve energy, I never leave the water running and I always turn off my electronics.”
“I make a conscious effort to separate my glass, plastic, and aluminum. I started bringing my own cloth bag with me to the supermarket. There is no way I will use a plastic bag anymore!” -Assaf T., Midtown East
-Sabrina W. Chelsea
“I am not a vegetarian, but I love organic food. The healthier the better!” -Arielle G. Chelsea
“Green initiatives in New York City are absolutely necessary between the amount of foot traffic, congestion, and tourists. They are the only way to maintain the health and vibrancy of the city.” “I recycle, I don’t drive a car, and I always turn -Dane Ferguson, Downtown down a plastic bag. Also, I always carry a reusable coffee container- I never use disposable coffee cups.”
OUR GREEN BOOK
-Keith H., Brooklyn
Cleaning Up the
Film Industry by Terrance Edwards
In a little over eight months, more than 28 tons of waste was recycled by Eva Radke and her organization, Film Biz Recycling. With 15 years of experience in the film industry, some help from past associates, and a fair bit of research, Radke has successfully pioneered greener methods for the film industry. Described as a liaison between the environment and the media, Radke’s organization has greatly improved upon the bad habits of the film industry. After a film is declared a wrap, her organization comes in to collect the lumber, painting supplies, costumes, rugs, and any other salvageable materials you might expect to find on a film set. “In the good old days it was a lot less expensive and complicated to simply rent a dumpster than to hire somebody to make sure that every little bit of unused material goes to an environmentally and socially sound end.” Knowing how enormously wasteful film production can be and the need for certain materials in New York for film production, Radke devised a self-sustaining business model that could directly impact New York City and the environment.
Many of the items collected are donated to charities like Socrates Sculpture Garden, Girl Scouts of America, and various homeless shelters throughout the city, said Radke. What’s left is stored away in Film Biz Recycling’s prop house to help fund the organization. Certain items are impossible for production companies to rent in Manhattan, so they often must buy them and usually toss them away when the production team is finished filming. Instead of disposing of these items, Radke retains them for film makers to rent or borrow for future projects. Before Film Biz Recycling, Radke often spoke to aspiring film makers in the Young Brooklyn Film Makers Association and donated props to selected projects. When she found a way to help clean up the city and aid young film students, it was a step that seemed only natural. “I am a film enthusiast first,” said Radke. “To be honest, I became an environmentalist after I started this. I knew it was wrong, but I was too busy to really know why.” Currently, Radke employs a small team of staff, freelancers, and on-call volunteers working to create a sustainable film industry in New York City. Using her reputation, wealth of experience and knowledge, she is creating an internship program for students interested in environmentalism or film. She also hopes to extend her talents to other urban communities like New Orleans, where they are building the first green LEED certified studio, acting in this project as a consultant.
“This can be replicated in every city,” said Radke. “If New York was funded and running, I would [consult] for free… This is not about ego or money; this is about keeping these materials out of land fills.” For more information, log on to www.filmbizrecycling.com OUR GREEN BOOK
There is no use trying to escape traffic in Manhattan. If cities are a magnet for traffic, then Manhattan is a black hole. This monster pulls in SUVs, motorcycles, scooters, and sedans congesting our roads, filling our air with dust and vapor, and engulfing the airwaves with engine roars, honks, and obscenities flung at fellow commuters. Perhaps that is why the sight of a quiet Park Avenue, absent of all automobiles, was so jarring during the few hours each week in August when bikers and pedestrians ruled the road. Cars were banned from 6.9 miles of road in Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park from 7 am to 1 pm on Aug. 9, 16, and 23. It was all part of the Summer Streets campaign first announced by Mayor Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on June 16. "We hope the Summer Streets experiment will become as much a part of the New York experience as strolling 20
OUR GREEN BOOK
the Coney Island boardwalk, participating in the 5-borough bike tour, or listening to the Philharmonic in the park." The plan was modeled after other cities around the world that put on similar events around the world, including Paris, France, Tokyo, Japan, and Bogota, Colombia. Of all the closed street events in the United States, Manhattanâ€™s was the largest in scale ever conducted, said press representative of the Department of Transportation Scott Gastel. Included as part of the festivities were a photo competition, dance classes, and aerobic exercise demonstrations. However, the Mayor made it clear that he didnâ€™t want the event to evolve into a fair-like atmosphere filled with vendors. The event was a sight not often seen in New York. Lafayette Street and Park Avenue were filled with bike enthusiasts racing down the road, couples strolling along town, and kids playing tennis in the middle of the street. At Union Square,
by Terrance Edwards
New Yorkers lazed about in the unusual quiet afforded by the absence of traffic. “It’s the most remarkable thing. I can’t think of another time people have just grinned for no other reason than the sights ahead,” said Noah Budnick for Transportation Alternatives.
“If you look at how many people have come out and how many have come up and asked if it can go longer, it shows how much New Yorkers care.” Transportation Alternatives had booths set up all along the 6.9 miles of road providing bike rentals and helmet fittings. The group also traveled from areas like Queens and Brooklyn to guide bikers from the surrounding boroughs to the event, said Budnick. "We’re trying to get people to envision their streets differently," said Sadik-
Khan. "You’ve got 600,000 people within a 20-minute bike ride of lower Manhattan." However, the event advocated more than commuting by bike. The aerobics and dance classes promoted exercise and healthy living. By placing water spigots at designated areas, event planners tried to encourage visitors to reuse water bottles. “We’re out here for people to enjoy the streets, not to put a burden on the Department of Sanitation,” said Gastel. At best, events like this can get commuters used to the idea of alternative forms of travel. The likelihood that certain streets could ever be permanently car-free is slim, but Summer Streets gives New Yorkers an excuse to try their commute on bike. The possibility of another event like this has yet to be determined. The DOT will meet with community leaders to evaluate this year’s success. However, Gastel said they already received great feedback from the community at the DOT and felt positive about this year’s turnout. OUR GREEN BOOK
going green as
I can remember when my son was only an armful. I spent hours on the rocking chair to put him to sleep, to feed him, to just hold him. It became his favorite place, and I must admit, it was mine too. Many times I caught myself staring out the window while I rocked him there dreaming about his future. What will his voice sound like when he starts talking? When is he finally going to sleep through the night? And as he grows older, will he ever fall in love? Will the world be kind to him? We can dream about our children’s futures all day practically. I have recently found myself more and more convicted about my role in preserving our world for his tomorrow. It is so easy to forget about taking care of our earth when motherhood has gone through such a major revolution. The changes vary from cloth to disposable, from wash boards to washing machines, from hand made to store bought, from wooden blocks to” Tickle-Me-Elmo”. Things were simpler, quieter, yet harder then. All of our conveniences today make mothering so much easier. More time is freed up for us to have careers, have a life. Unfortunately, our over consumption could be hurting our little one’s tomorrows. Sure, today looks good, and the baby 22
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by Alison Parker
seems so peaceful and content with all that we’ve provided. But is it really good for her? Our challenge should be to raise our children with a fair balance of the innovations today without forgetting to be mothers of great conviction for the world tomorrow. To help you get started towards becoming a green-friendly mother, I have three suggestions, easy to remember and easy to do: Share, Care, Dare.
Share. The next time you stop to instruct your toddler to share, take a moment to remember the importance of implementing green sharing habits. Sharing is a great way we mothers can help the environment. As your baby grows up and so out of her clothes, crib, toys, or highchair try to pass them on for another new mother to use. If you are the new mother, graciously accept hand-me-downs and utilize yard sales. You will be surprised to find what some people are willing to give away at a next to nothing price. A helpful hint is to hit up yard sales in higher scale housing. You will find bigger name products and more for your money. Online you can also find ways to share your baby items from bib to stroller. Go to www.freecycle.org and you can give and take from this non profit organization.
A great way to begin caring for our earth is to teach your child ways they can help everyday. It is a wonderful gift to be able to teach your child something and then watch them own your instruction. They have taken their first steps clinging to your fingers, said your name after hours of encouraging “ma ma ma”, and celebrated retiring diapers for underpants all because of you. Now it is your chance to be the one who was there to watch them understand the importance of caring for the earth. Even at a very young age you can begin instilling simple ways they can care. You could teach her to turn off the water between rinsing her toothbrush and brushing her teeth. This saves water and allows other people and plants and animals to enjoy some water too. As she becomes more independent you can set up two trash cans just her size, one black for trash and one green for recycling. Get her started early recognizing which items we can recycle and which we do not. Another way to engage your child in caring for the earth is to take her outside and get in the dirt together. Put some gardening gloves on and plant a seedling tree purchased from www.americanforests.org. Take a few hours to volunteer at a public park picking up trash. Or, you could just
go on a nature walk stopping often to enjoy the beauty of creation while teaching her to respect the natural habitats of plants and animals along the way.
I dare all mothers to do something extraordinary for the well being of our planet earth. Even better, dare yourself. This must be a personal decision. I can make suggestions to get the ball rolling, but ultimately, it must make sense for you and your child’s needs. Dare yourself as a green-conscious mother to use less disposable diapers. Diapers do not decompose well. They contribute to so much of our waste. So, dare to potty train her early. Dare yourself to only purchase chlorine-free disposable diapers which have non-toxic chemicals creating less pollution (www.seventhgeneration. com). Even dare to use cloth diapers now made with Velcro instead of pins, machine washable, and most importantly environmentally friendly. Choose to boycott all paper and plastic wear in your home. Reuse cups and wash utensils clean. Dare to not purchase convenient juice boxes which are not recyclable; instead refill bottles and sip cups. OUR GREEN BOOK
greenmoms If possible, choose to breastfeed. It is the most natural way to feed your baby. Though formula may be easier, the containers that hold the formula and the product inside requires our earthâ€™s energy and resources. Even though our minds race with worry and sore with dreams for our tiny infants to fulfill, we have another aspect of their lives that we need to remember: caring for our planet earth so it can continue to care for them long after we are gone. It is time for us to look back at how our mothersâ€™ mothers did it all those years before us, and to balance the best modern motherhood has to offer today. It may mean we need to do some dirty work, and it may mean we have to sacrifice some luxuries of mothering. In the end, we can feel like we have done something to help. Our children will see that the earth is important to us. Because of our example, it will become important to them too.
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The Holistic Moms Network is a non-profit support and resource organization connecting parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. HMN was founded in 2003 by a handful of moms yearning for the support and friendship of others parenting outside the mainstream. Today, thanks to the everincreasing popularity of alternative medicine and a growing environmental consciousness, HMN has over 120 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. HMN is informing thousands of people about the benefits of holistic health and green living.
HAPPYBITES! These delicious organic finger foods have hidden veggies and nutritious dipping sauces in the flavors kids love. Each serving is a complete meal for a toddler and a healthy snack for children and adults too. Four clever animal characters teach kids about global warming, recycling, health and deforestation. Happy Bites are available at Whole Foods, Fresh Direct and at www.happyfamilyshop.com Every time parents buy Happy Bites, Happy Baby, Happy Bellies or Happy Baby Puffs, they also feed malnourished children in Malawi and Sierra Leone through Project Peanut Butter, their non-profit partner.
y Going Green is Child’s Pla Natural, eco-friendly toys are more popular today than ever as our awareness grows about green living and our individual carbon footprints. The challenging economy has also initiated a return to simplicity – a longing for simpler times, simpler things, and more special moments with family and friends. According to Forbes.com, the best selling toy in early 2009 was wooden blocks, another indicator of our desire for investing in toys that spark childrens’ imagination and creativity, and that are natural and last for generations. Luckily, finding those earth-friendly, imaginative toys is just a mouse click away. Rosie Hippo provide toys that are handcrafted, made from organic fabrics, reclaimed materials or sustainable woods with natural, safe finishes. Many come from special companies and individuals in the U.S. and abroad, including many villages and cooperatives where Fair Trade policies are helping to improve the lives of struggling families. For engaging, affordable, earth-friendly fun, visit www.RosieHippo.com OUR GREEN BOOK
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“Foods from the Top of the World, to Your Kitchen Table” Since 1991, International Harvest has grown to become a leading supplier of certified organic & raw living foods direct to consumers, retail outlets and manufacturers. Owners, Bob Sterling and his wife Karesse Grenier, began feeding Hunza Organics to her infant son Adrian Grenier (star of HBO show: Entourage and film: Devil Wears Prada). Today, Adrian continues the healthy eating habits learned at his mom’s kitchen table. Karesse remarks that “Raw Hunza Apricot pudding was Adrian’s favorite as a baby, I think that’s why his hair is so full of curls”. Over the years Bob and Karesse have worked to strengthen International Harvest’s product lines (Go, Hunza, Himalayan Harvest and Fruitfull Granola) searching around the world for hidden pearls of nutritious foods that will “help heal peoples mind, body and spirit”. They are dedicated to developing long-term relationships based on sustainable organic farming and fair business practices. GoHunza.com.
OUR GREEN BOOK
WELCOME TO THE GREENER SIDE OF NEW YORK By Stapha Charleme
Would you feed your child a peach dripping with pesticides? It doesn’t sound very appetizing does it? Well it isn’t very safe either. Pesticides can have lifelong effects on your loved ones and your children are most susceptible because of their vulnerable immune systems. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a not- for- profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and the environment by reducing pollution in the air, water, and food. During the period of 2000 and 2005 the EWG ran nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce and based on their results peaches ranked worst with a score of 100 for “highest pesticide loads”, followed in close second by apples with a score of 96, and sweet bell peppers came in third with a score of 86. Although washing your fruits and veggies may reduce the level of pesticides it does not completely eliminate the risk. Dangerous levels of pesticides are not our only concern when it comes to food nowadays. We also need to consider the hidden dangers of processed foods, the outbreak of salmonella, and genetically modified crops which require a significant increase in proprietary chemicals amongst other factors. We have every reason to be cautious of the foods we put into our bodies. The time has come to ask yourself how safe the food you feed your family really is. Now you can ensure the quality of your food because the Council on the Environment of NYC (CENYC) has revolutionized the way some New Yorkers today eat by creating the Greenmarket program at Union Square. So far, there are about 51 markets in 37 locations throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. 28
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The CENYC began in 1970 under the order of Mayor John V. Lindsay as a privately funded citizens’ organization. It is a hands-on- nonprofit organization committed to improving New York City’s environment and has been doing just that for more than 30 years. They have an extraordinary devoted staff that goes above and beyond to green our neighborhoods by donating things such as plant materials to facilitate several community workloads, promote waste and recycling, and run the largest farmer’s market in the entire country. The Greenmarket program took its very first breath in 1976. With virtually 200 local farmers it has flourished into the most successful open air farmers’ market program with food so fresh that it feels and tastes like you delve into the natural earth to retrieve it yourself. The farmers are entirely dedicated to providing New York City residents with the freshest provisions possible. They grow the most succulent and crisp fruits and vegetables, catch the freshest seafood and raise their livestock as humanely as possible as well as other locally produced products from their regional farms. You simply cannot get more dedicated than that. During harvest season many New York City restaurants owe their culinary success to the convenience of the many Greenmarkets
greenfood drizzled throughout the five boroughs. Greenmarkets are downright enticing to a mélange of New York City eateries. Chefs from restaurants like Manhattan’s Gramercy Tavern, Get Fresh in Brooklyn, La Flor Bakery & Café in Woodside, Queens and Café Henri in Long Island City are habitual regulars of the Greenmarket scenery. These restaurants have access to the freshest produce which in turn stay fresher longer and taste better. Food purchased and consumed closer to the time it is harvested preserve more essential minerals whereas food that has been travelling for many days lose those quality minerals before reaching customers. The Greenmarket program lends itself to increase business for many New York City restaurants because customers are more liable to pay more for best quality local foods. Thanks to the Greenmarket program small family farms are able to thrive and coexist in a time where larger agricultural farms usually reign supreme. But the benefits far surpass the preservation of family owned farms and delivering fresh healthy food to NYC residents. For those of you who are environ-
5 foods you
should eat organic
mentally conscious Greenmarkets considerably decrease many harmful effects to the environment. According to the CENYC it takes 435 fossil-fuel calories to merely transport a fivecalorie strawberry from California to New York. This is not a small concern because fossil fuels pose adverse effects to our atmosphere by contributing to global warming, acid rain and smog. We can all be proactive in preserving the world around us and it simply begins with one single step. Here’s a helpful fact: buying food from local farmers conserves considerable amounts of energy due to the fact that local foods travel much shorter distances. It is best not to think of Environmental dangers strictly as a global issue, the truth of the matter is the problem also stems locally. The CENYC is tackling both avenues and so should you. Donate your time to a cause that possibly holds the key to a safer future for you and generations to come. Volunteer at your local garden and learn how to conserve energy, reduce waste, preserve local farms and help maintain a greener New York.
Eating organic can take its toll on your wallet. Thats why we have picked out 5 foods that are essential for those who want to be healhy without breaking the bank.
Cattle are fed grains that have been sprayed with pesticides, and whatever is in their bodies ultimately finds its way into yours. Organic meat comes from animals that are only fed organic feed and are not fed any types of steroids, antibiotics or anything else.
Just like meat, dairy is another animal by-product which can carry the same harmful substances as the animal from which it was harvested. Even cows that are not being specifically bred for their meat are fed growth hormones and antibiotics to keep them from getting sick.
Most of the coffee we buy come from beans grown in countries that do not have strict laws or enforcement regarding the use of chemicals or pesticide in farming. Many coffee-producing countries have farming operations that exclusively address the demand for organically grown coffee and do not use chemicals of any kind in their farming.
Because of their delicate skin, pesticides can seep deep into the fruit, so washing them is practically useless in removing most or all of the pesticides. Grapes are also heavily saturated with chemicals because they are sprayed at various times during the growth of the product, even before the thin skin is developed. The pesticides may as well be injected directly into the grapes.
Another thin-skinned fruit, the nectarine’s soft outer shell offers little to no protection from the many pesticides that are sprayed on it, and some nectarines have been found to contain 26 different types of chemicals.
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Leading New York’s Organic Revolution by Daniel Cuevas
With green products and services in higher demand than ever before among New Yorkers, one might assume that there is no untapped segment of the green market left to serve. No pioneers. But Alberto Gonzalez, founder and CEO of GustOrganics boldly offers what no other restaurateur has before. Using only 100% certified organic ingredients, biodegradable packaging, a kitchen full of energy-efficient equipment, composting its food waste, using only organic uniforms and flowers and printing its menu with soy ink, GustOrganics successfully provides its patrons with what Mr. Gonzalez describes as "a holistic experience".
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But Mr. Gonzalez’ vision of serving lovers of organic cuisine extends far beyond his menu as the eatery is powered entirely by wind energy, sits atop recycled floor boards from a 200-year old barn, and is the first and only 100% certified organic restaurant in New York as well as in the United States. Completely made from recycled materials, the restaurant’s stylish array of furniture handcrafted from recycled wood add to the charm of this restaurant located in the heart of Greenwich Village. GustOrganics’ diverse organic wine list and selection of organic beers, liquors, cocktails and other mixed drinks also make this trend-setting establishment the world’s first and only 100% green bar. Eyebrow-raising selections like the basil daiquiri, dulce de leche martini and variety of organic yet non-alcoholic fruit smoothies make GustOrganics the perfect spot for thirsty patrons seeking to maintain an organic lifestyle without sacrificing taste or quality. With warm lighting and cool music in an earthy yet hip, urban atmosphere, GustOrganics has quickly become one of Manhattan’s trendiest nightspots as well as the greenest. Don’t let GustOrganics’ urbane setting, hip organic bar or late hours fool you into only seeing it as merely another trendy Manhattan nightspot; during the day it is a family restaurant like any other. The restaurant features an impressive babies’ menu with such nourishing and delicious choices as zucchini, carrot and tomato puree, macaroni with spinach and parmesan cream, and tenderloin beef or chicken breast chu-
greenfood nks with zucchini and carrot puree. According to Mr. Gonzalez, his restaurant’s clientele is as sophisticated and tasteful as his menu, describing them as "generally well-educated people who care about the environment, want to live a healthy lifestyle and care about responsible businesses."
One of the most unique features at GustOrganics is its water, New York City tap ran under a UV light to kill bacteria, run through a purification system that removes any remaining toxins or metals before being poured into glass bottles and chilled. The water is served to patrons and is also used for all of GustOrganics’ cooking. Another unique feature is the restaurant’s focus on Latin and Italian cuisine. A native of Argentina, Mr. Gonzalez adds a touch of Latin flavor into his eclectic menu, featuring such items as empanadas, tapitos, Dona Maria cheese and Buenos Aires-style steak. Italian food is as popular in South America as it is in the U.S., and Mr. Gonzalez’ menu travels throughout the Italian peninsula with diverse regional dishes such as penne primavera, piadinas, risotto, pasta, and a tasty assortment of organic pizzas from fugazza, capresse, napolitana, fugazzeta with
champignons to tenderloin beef. In a world of jumbo portions, processed foods and CEOs driven purely by their companies’ bottom lines, GustOrganics puts people before profits and strives to minimize its carbon footprint as much as possible while offering the healthiest and hippest menu in the city. "Profits should always be the consequence of doing the right things right, but never a driver itself," says Mr. Gonzalez. "I also believe that we truly are what we eat, and that what we eat shapes the world. These were the core beliefs Mr. Gonzalez held for 10 years while he cultivated his dream of launching the world’s first 100% organic restaurant before quitting his job as a small business consultant in 2008 and pouring his life savings into GustOrganics. Ironically, it was the city’s then disappointing lack of access to nourishing organic cuisine that inspired Mr. Gonzalez to establish a 100% organic restaurant here. "I was surprised that one of the most sophisticated cities in the world lacked an abundance of fresh, high-quality foods," Mr. Gonzalez recalls. His inspiration drove him to create one of the most memorable milestones in the organic food services industry. What’s next for GustOrganics? Mr. Gonzalez is eager to launch Gust Express, a lunchtime restaurant with a limited take out menu. There are also plans to open full restaurants in LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports as well as in Equinox’s Upper West Side flagship facility. His long-term goal is to open 43 restaurants in the next 10 years. For now, however, GustOrganics shall remain a New York destination, as his next restaurant will most likely be established in another part of Manhattan, says Mr. Gonzalez. GustOrganics and its commitment to providing New Yorkers with an uncompromising all-organic menu is proof that a passion for good food, a genuine commitment to green principles and an extraordinary vision can lead to extraordinary results. OUR GREEN BOOK
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by Kevin Voglino
Look around; the city is greener. New Yorkers are wearing organic cotton shirts, coming from yoga classes in hybrid cars, screwing twisty fluorescent bulbs into their light fixtures, using recycled toilet paper, rainwater juices, organic foods and cleaning products. Search further and discover a plethora of nouveau organic cocktails, now setting the scene for a greener, more chic aspect of New York City. Each day more and more organic beers, wines, and liquors pour into bars and nightclubs all over the city. For anyone who likes eating and drinking healthier, this is great news as this organic dining landscape was limited throughout the municipality until now. “I’ll take an organic martini, please,” is becoming a commonly heard phrase in many bars and clubs in all boroughs. Organic drinks are distilled from ingredients that have been certified organic. Eco-chic clubs now offer everything from dance floors that 36
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generate electricity to stationary bikes that power the DJ booth. Others use recycled goods and energy efficient lighting. Some lounges even plant organic herb gardens outside their club, using crops like basil and mint in their eco-cocktails. Many eco-friendly clubs in New York City serve organic cocktails, drafts and mixed drinks. Thanks to local laws, New York’s tradition of smoke-filled nightclubs has been pushed out to the curb, making nightspots healthier than ever. Most light bulbs have been replaced with spiral energy savers while other establishments install solar panels on the roof to generate electricity for lighting and video. Dance floors are built out of recycled wood and promotion flyers, once a staple of local nightspots, are now seen as a waste of paper and expense and are rarely used. Mas (farmhouse), in Greenwich Village uses esculent products grown on the premises as well as organic products from
greendrinks local farms. The atmosphere is trendy chic with an elegant style. Walls of brick and wood soften the room, creating the ambience of a country house in Southern France. Perfectly proportioned entrées are served on long modest wooden tables. The menu is bohemian chic prepared by a very talented Bouley-trained chef, Galen Zamarra. They offer a wide collection of organic drinks, including biodynamic agricultural wines, a Champagne cocktail, made with Champagne, lump sugar soaked with their orange bitters, and pomegranate. Great favorites include Herman Story Grenache, Burgundy, Rhone, Provence, and Chateau de Trinquevede Tavel Rose. At the bar, a new Earth Chardonnay, an organic wine, has been added to the other wines. Also, 360 Vodka, an eco-friendly vodka joins ranks with other bottles. The organic beers include Peak Organic beers— the number one selling Organic Beer in the Northeast, including Peak Pale Ale, Peak Nut Brown Ale, and Peak Amber Ale. Some bars in New York City seem to go above all others. The mecca of organic drink selections are at Counter, an organic wine & martini bar with a vegetarian bistro. Vegans and organic drinkers alike can break Hummus Tahni together while sipping an organic Cuba Libre. The lounge is located in the East Village, esteemed as the most historic neighborhood in America. Now, eco-friendly New Yorkers can taste eco-cocktails, spilling biodynamic wines while admiring the East Village architecture of elegant Dutch suburb, Federal townhouse mansions and gargoyled tenements. Deborah Gavito, the proprietor of Counter, offers a selection of over 300 organic and biodynamic wines and she plans to make Counter the most diverse organic bar of its kind. Counter is a Green Restaurant Association member.
The range of wines stems from Spain’s Cava Brut, ‘Castellar,’ a green apple and lemon flavor, to a Shiraz, Cederberg from South Africa with a dark chocolate and roast coffee flavor. Over ten organic wines are offered by the glass; and Counter’s wine tasting flights are a great way to sample their selections. There is an immense sparkling and dessert wine list. The martinis are 100 percent organic and dozens of organic beers are on the menu. Ms. Gavito insures that everything on the menu is organic. When creating the drink list, popular drinks were updated, making drinks like the French Martini and Bloodhound with herbal-infused Rain vodka and organic fruit nectars. Counter offers a drink for everyone, like the Hot and Dirty, a vodka drink infused with habanero peppers for customers with spicier palates. Counter’s Married in a Fever is red wine-
NUEVO MUNDO Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec Vintage: 2007 Appellation: DO Maipo Valley, Chile 50% Cabernet Sauvignon 50% Malbec
Handpicked Certified Organic Grapes aged in French oak for 14 months. Aromas of berries, spice and cocoa. On the palate, bold, rich blueberry, cassis and black currant fruits are accented by subtle nuances of espresso bean, cinnamon, and cedar. 2005 Chilean Wine Producer of the Year—International Wine & Spirits Competition London, November 2005
ORGANIC VINTNERS YOUR ORGANIC WINE SPECIALIST
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greendrinks poached pear nectar mixed with smoked the economy by increasing and diversifying pear-infused vodka with a sweetly charred the energy supply. Barcade is in an old maflavor. Joe McCanta, a bartender wanted chine shop warehouse converted into an to give it a smoky taste. He helped create industrial-sized drinking and gaming space signature drinks for the bar. Counter’s Dir- with over twenty-five classic videogames tiest Martini is made with basil-infused lining the walls. Eighties classics like Moon vodka, both organic and greased with olive Patrol, Galaga, Asteroids, and Donkey Kong juice. For the more adventurous, try the are all playable. There is also a pool table 13-inch cucumber, a drink consisting of a for nightly exercise and competitions. With cucumber soaked in cilantro infused vodka 20 beer taps running, Barcades’s beer seand garnished with red peppers or Tie Me to lection is extensive with uncommon but the Bedpost, a lavender-rosemary infused delicious brand names like the Climax and the Shakespeare Stout. vodka with cranberry There, all the friendly nectar. Counter is a and knowledgeable barfun and exploratory tenders allow a taste so place to take a date. you can figure what inteIf your engagement resting beers to chose. leaves early or you Slender wooden counneed something to ters between the games rev up the evening try serve as a place to rest The World’s Most Exyour brew. pensive Organic MarThe 80s nostalgia tini with ingredients mixes with sounds of inspired from the Miss PacMan and FrogEgyptian Book of the ger fatalities. Barcade Dead. This to-die-for has many beers on tap drink is $665 with iriand with the exception of dium as a main ingreGuinness, they all came dient, which is belie1 1/4 oz 360 Vodka from breweries within ved to have powered 3/4 oz Melon Liqueur 200 miles of New York The Arc of the Cove1/2 oz Peach Puree or City. A local favorite is nant. All proceeds Daiquiri Mix the complex Brooklyn for The World’s Most 1 oz Orange Juice 1 oz Pineapple Juice Weissbock with a slightly Expensive Organic sweet finish, and the Martini go to Green Southampton Imperial Connection, an ecoRussian Stout, served in conscious charity. At a wine goblet. other bars, inspiraOne of the newest green spots located in tion comes from the deadly past. Other eco-friendly New York bars tend to Soho is Greenhouse. Hipsters frequent it as have different themes. Barcade, located in do big-name movie stars like Colin Farrell, Brooklyn is an establishment that runs en- Bruce Willis, and Jodie Foster. Greenhouse tirely on wind power, using no fossil fuel and is renowned for being the most genuine emitting no greenhouse gases thus helping eco-friendly nightclub in the city. First-time
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greendrinks visitors should take caution to bring wads of cash and their best connections as Greenhouse’s bouncers have shoulders as cold as they are broad for anyone not on their guest list. All the bars mimic vista designs where trendy customers can order sexy fusion cocktails with assertive attitudes. Greenhouse is an opulent two-floor eatery with a full catering menu that can accommodate 600 guests. Locals and A-listers alike can enjoy a night of eco-friendly dancing while addressing global concerns just by ordering a drink. After visiting New York City’s most ecofriendly pubs, leave the car, share a taxi, become inspired by the greener businesses and dare to walk home—take a friend. New York bars, clubs and lounges like Mas, Counter, Barcade and Greenhouse are milestones in the newer, greener New York
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City. These establishments have become pioneers, inspiring other bars to incorporate more recycling practices, use renewable materials, use organic products to make cocktails and mixers, and to install more energy efficient equipment. Sip your drinks on hypoallergenic cork floors, dance on hardwood floors sustainably produced in FSC-certified forests. There, the trees are restored, biodiversity is preserved, and air and water quality are conserved. New Yorkers have become environmentally conscious, so visit eco-friendly bars, and order “greener” spirits like 360 Vodka, Charkbay Vodka, Orange V Vodka, Reyka Vodka and Square One Organic Vodka. And by all means, do what I did; take a stroll to Counter and ask for an Angry Lesbian—organic of course. They’re fabulous.
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The Road to Brewtopia by Ashwin Sodhi
Nearly two decades ago, beverage visionary and Beer School author Steve Hindy made a decision that would help change the way New Yorkers drank beer. “You want me to do what?” asked Brooklyn Brewery’s first head brewer. “I want you to brew the best-tasting beer you can, whatever the cost,” replied Hindy, the company’s president and co-founder. For the brewer, it was an unusual request, one he had never heard before. He came from a tradition of beer-making that had been dominated by large-scale producers - macrobreweries like Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors - whose light-tasting, marketing-heavy beers accounted for 19 of every 20 beers sold in the US during the ’80s. But over the next twenty years, rogue “craft brewers” (Hindy and his upstart Brooklyn Brewery among them) would gain ground by using macrobrewery production as a foil. They insisted the title craft beer be used to differentiate breweries that were small (producing less than 2 million barrels annually), independent and dedicated to using 100 percent taste-centric ingredients. Today, because of that insistence on quality 42
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over quantity, they are the fastest growing segment of the beverage industry. While macrobrewery growth stagnates, craft breweries enjoyed an unparalleled 58 percent increase in sales between 2003 and 2007. Having achieved a sustainable level of success, they’re taking an opportunity to once again change the way their customers think about beer. No longer bemuddled by finding their niche in the market, Hindy and a few upstart brewers are refocusing their energy on, well, energy itself. A handful of craft pioneers are reinvesting their profits in green power, and, in doing so, expanding what it means for everyday imbibers to drink responsibly. They’re powering their operations with wind, solar, and bio, energy, and finding new ways to recycle and reuse their waste, all despite the fact that it is getting more expensive to do so. Shortages of grains and hops, coupled with increasingly hostile competition from larger conglomerates has put a pinch on their efforts. On principle though, they forge on. “Alternative energies are costly,” Hindy says, “but we think it’s the right thing to do.” This year, Brooklyn Brewery will produce
greendrinks 80,000 barrels of beer - and they’ll do so having run entirely on 100 percent sustainable wind-power. The energy alternative adds a 10 percent premium to a monthly bill that already hovers around $20,000; but it prevents more than 300,000 pounds of pollution from entering the earth’s atmosphere each year. When the system was implemented several years ago, Hindy received unexpected praise: some sent letters, others simply bought more beer.
“I guess people feel better about their beer knowing it’s powered by the wind.” In the face of corporate lip-service announcements, Brooklyn Brewery’s quiet efforts led the way in showing New Yorkers that reducing their carbon footprint wasn’t about walking on USDA-certified organic eggshells. It was about everyday choices, even the ones made in the beer aisles of the local supermarket. Months earlier, in a distant Williamsburg office, Hindy set the tone for such decisions. After biking to work from his home in Park Slope, he sat down at his desk, considering operational improvements that might be made without reducing the quality of his beer. Some time in the afternoon, he received a call from a local energy advocate informing him of a temporary strain on the grid. After Hindy hung up, he walked to the front of his office and switched off the lights and went on working near his window. He would go on to review improvents in his distribution network, making a concerted effort to distribute within a reasonable radius. Growing regionally is more practical, he says, now that it costs more than $3 to truck each case of beer across the country. Down the road, Hindy’s staff anticipates working with partner-breweries to spread the Brooklyn taste: crafting, bottling, and distributing Brooklyn-inspired beers on someone else’s home turf.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more breweries collaborating, sharing their processes in the future,” he says. At home, too, Brooklyn Brewery continues to evolve their brewing process. They are in the midst of searching for a new facility, and the opportunity to start afresh has fueled a host of eco-friendly, energy-efficient ideas. Harnessing solar energy, utilizing natural heat transfer, and capturing chemical reactions are a few of the promising initiatives that would bring the brewery closer to running on its own homegrown power. “Breweries lend themselves to a lot of ecofriendly processes,” Hindy says. As soon as the battle for a new space is won, they’re ready to tap in. Solar panels, for one, have the potential to alleviate the largest energy expenditure in a brewery. Constant temperature modulation (roasting grain solutions, boiling and sanitizing the sugary byproducts, then reducing the scalding liquid down to cold, fermentable temperatures in the mid-50s) is akin to Brooklyn Brewery constantly heating and cooling the water held in 150 swimming pools. According to the New York Public Services Commission, however, solar panels could supply half of that power (one-third of the brewery’s total usage) with an initial price tag of under $500,000. Recouping that cost through energy savings and government rebates would take Brooklyn Brewery less than 20 years, half the solar panel’s lifetime. Furthermore, if they chose to couple the solar installation with a heat-transfer system, the brewery could make even more efficient use of energy. Pipes running alongside the hot panels could deliver water naturally heated to 140 degrees, well on its way to the requisite boil. Processes happening within the brewery, many of them chemical, also hold potential to subsidize breweries’ energy needs. Scientists in Australia and Colorado have discovered that the same bacteria used to ferment beer can be used to help fuel the brewery. The process is simple: What we consider waste, the bacteria consider food. By placing them in an oxygen-free microbial cell with the brewery’s waste water instead of in tanks of beer, the bacteria consume undesirable elements in the water, and, in the process, leave behind both chemical energy OUR GREEN BOOK
and partially-treated water. Foster’s Brewery in Australia produces enough energy with this method to power a house for one year. Still, significant hurdles stand between Hindy and his brew-topia. Rising real estate costs in Brooklyn have made the battle for a new brewery nearly impossible, shelving green innovation for the time being. To make matters worse, precipitate rises in the price of grains and hops (the bittering agent in beer) have increased brewers’ costs an extra dollar for every six pack produced, compared to just 3 years ago. It may not sound like much, but with macrobreweries like Anheuser-Busch and Belgian-owned InBev consolidating to hold more sway in the grains and international markets, craft breweries know something has to give.
Reducing quality has never been an option for the Brooklyn Brewery. The use of adjuncts, additive grains like corn and rice favored by larger breweries, would dilute their taste and violate the goal of brewing the best beer regardless of cost. “You can’t compromise those kinds of principles without sacrificing your business,” Hindy says. As for their green initiatives, he believes “they may be costly in the short run, but in the long run they will be worthwhile.” Warily, Hindy announced this past February that Brooklyn Brewery would be increasing the price of their products by six 44
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percent, across the board. Since, he has followed the numbers anxiously. Were his customers still committed to good-tasting, eco-responsible beer? Moreover, were they willing to pay extra for it? In a bar three blocks away, during the dog days of summer, Hindy found some answers. Everyday, construction workers descend from their scaffolded workplaces, and slip into Mug’s Ale House for a pint. The beer selection is one of the best in New York City. Sitting in clusters on barstools, the dusty faces scan a dizzying row of beer taps. They chat loudly, sometimes to no one in particular, and often about beer. “Did yah get a load of what he’s drinkin’? Budweisah.” says a burly man with long black hair. “Ain’t gonna catch me drinking that shit no more.” On the other side of the bar, an old patron starts up. “Gimme a Brooklyn Brown,” he tells the bartender. Then, turning to his friend he continues, “Damn good beer. It’s made right here, too, you know?” "Yeah, right around the corner" his friend replies. Despite the price increase, Brooklyn Brewery’s sales have held steady, proving that New Yorker’s were still willing to support local businesses that share their values as well as serve their thirst for quality
Car Planet Offers Motorists
The Ultimate Green Garage
by Daniel Cuevas
For those who love their cars almost as much as they love the planet, Car Planet (www.carplanetdetailing.com) has just what they’ve been waiting for. Inspired by the disappointment from the high toxicity of auto detailing products on the marketplace and the ineffectiveness of existing green alternatives, Car Planet founder and CEO Larry Cohen spent two and a half years perfecting his line of auto cleaners to maintain your ride in showroom quality while respecting the earth. This young yet innovative company has exploded onto the marketplace with six effective and earthfriendly auto cleaners since it was launched almost a year ago. Among Car Planet’s product line are its rain repellant which helps windshields repel rain, snow and even insects for up to six months and its odorless alcohol-free glass cleaner which is as friendly to tinted windows as it is to the planet. Its car wash not only removes dirt and grime from car paint but it is so powerful, one ounce of the solution can make up to one gallon of car wash. For the most stubborn stains and grease residue, Car
Planet offers its all-purpose cleaner that is safe to use on the interior as well as the engine bay. "All of our products have the highest level of biodegradability of any auto cleaner out there," said Mr. Cohen. "They’re so safe and non-toxic you could drink them if you wanted to." Car Planet’s detail garage-tested solutions have already made inroads in both the green and automotive worlds. Their all-purpose cleaner earned the company a Global Media Award at the 2008 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas, the premier automotive accessories trade show in the world, which attracts 100,000 industry leaders from over 100 countries. Though business is booming for Cohen, this inventor and entrepreneur has no intention of slowing his company’s breakneck momentum. Combined with plans to set up Car Planet detailing shops, this company is closer to saving millions of cars’ appearances as well as the planet on which they are driven.
Going Green with Smart Car by Denise D. Gibson
Mercedes Benz of Manhattan’s Derek Ramga, director of Smart Car, enjoys “going green” in his Smart for Two Smart Car. Ramga’s decision to drive a Smart for Two was a great economic judgment because of its reasonable price ranging from $12,000 to $17,000 and it emits less pollution in the air because the 8.7 gallon tank burns half as much as the average car. The 6 foot 5" driver loves how he can sit comfortably in his two door coupe with a passenger, $150 in groceries and his dog. Other perks are that he can find parking in tight spaces on city streets, easily maneuver through traffic and save cash when he fills up his gas tank. Certain park and pay lots offer a reduced rate on parking fees for Smart Cars in the Manhattan area due to their small frame.
Mercedes Benz invites you to visit:
Smart Center Manhattan
536 West 41st Street www.smartcentermanhattan.com 888.860.7267 OUR GREEN BOOK
Segways Chug Past Autos Amidst Rising Fuel Costs and Environmental Consciences by Terrence Edwards Last summer’s spike in gas prices and a hard economy forced Americans to leave their cars at home and park their SUVs out front with a for sale sign. Instead, commuters opted to ride their bikes, carpooled with coworkers, or take the bus to work. Segways could appear as a popular transportation alternative for its efficient fuel economy and low emissions output. Segway boasts that its device is 4.5 times more energy efficient than a Toyota Prius, produces 5.6 times less greenhouse gas per mile than a hybrid car, and runs on just 10 cents per 24 miles. The company claims that since the device became available seven years ago, there have not been any reported failures and the only maintenance needed was to its tires.
“Usually green technology is more expensive, but fueling these is cheaper.” -Jack White of Sunray Mobility Services, a Segway dealer located in Poughkeepsie, NY.
White says he has been following Segway’s progress since before its designer, Dean Kamen, even unveiled his invention in December 2001. In 2006, White opened his dealership, selling the Segway along with other personal transportation machines. However, White had bigger plans for his business than simply acting as a dealer. White recruited his 23-year old son Jason and made Sunray New York’s first authorized Segway tour guide. White developed an intriguing and deep historical look at the city located alongside the Hudson River. Conveniently located Sunray Mobility near the train station, Sunray 35 Main Street,Suite 322 Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 hopes to take part in an exwww.SunrayMobility.com periment led by the Segway 845-471-7867 company to incorporate a locker system so commuters can park their Segways before taking the train into Manhattan. “If you look at old newspapers, you’ll see that when bicycles came out we had the same kind of negative criticisms,” said White. “People said they looked funny, and pedestrians were scared of them, but look where we are today.” Segways could very well evolve to follow suit in the near future.
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Made from the plastic of discarded water bottles, the Solar-Powered Blue Earth Phone from Samsung will sweep away any feelings of guilt one may have had using other mobile phones. Its recycled paper packaging further plays to the sensibilities of the eco-conscious and its smooth rounded design makes the Blue Earth stand out in a world of angular, mechanical-looking communication devices. www.samsung.com
CLICK TO CLEAN The Eco Key is the worlds first planet cleaning search engine powered by Google. They donate 40% of their revenue to organizations such as Adopt a Highway and Coastal Cleanup. They remove litter from parks, highways, streets and beaches across America while you search. www.TheEcoKey.com
This amazing, eco-friendly Bedol Water Drop Clock actually runs on water -- it does not need any plugs or batteries! Its metal electrodes take the energy from the ions in the water. All you need to do is change the water every five to seven weeks and add some fresh lemon juice, and it keeps perfect time. Available in five bright colors. www.bedolwhatsnext.com
Why You Need To Recycle Electronic Waste eWaste (electronics waste) is one of the fastest growing forms of toxic waste in the world. Some of the toxic substances of eWaste include heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and lead. In fact, nearly 70% of all heavy metals found in landfills come from electronic waste. On average, computers and monitors are 20% lead by weight. Almost 99 percent of the average electronic product can be recycled. So donâ€™t just toss eWaste in the trash, it ends up either being burned and the toxic gasses are released into the atmosphere, or it ends up sitting in a landfill where the toxins slowly leach into our groundwater. Do the right thing and find an eWaste recycler!Check out websites like E-Cycling Central (EIAE. ORG), Earth911.com and Mygreenelectronics.org.
Recycling Your Stuff...
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Penadoration b y A n d re w Ta n
I love fountain pens.
A sentence or signature written with a fountain pen is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a natural reflection of your mood. The writing point, or nib, molds and flexes under the pressure of your hand as it glides across the paper. The pen will translate your mind and heart. A heavy spirit will appear on the page as a broad streak. A new day, when the sun is shining and the penance is light, the lines become thin and graceful. Today, almost everyone who writes, at home, office or school, writes with a disposable ball point pen (or plastic refillable one). Let’s assume there are 100 million office workers in the United States. Each person uses two different pens in a month, even with refillable ink sticks. These cheap pens break, get lost, or stolen. That’s a total of twenty-four pens per year for every person. For 100 million office workers (which discounts everyone else who writes, students, blue-collar, etc.) that’s 240 million pens thrown away into the garbage heap. Now throw in the rest of the world and we have a major problem. What about the plastic packaging? Cheap, mass-produced pens create huge amounts of non-biodegradable packaging waste. All this stuff doesn’t disappear from the soil (it’s plastic!) and who knows how much damage it does sitting in the Earth for thousands of years. 50 OUR GREEN BOOK
The pen experts (and myself) say the wise alternative is to indulge in the subculture of the fountain pen. Because of their durability and resilience to the effects of time, a good quality fountain pen is environmentally friendly. A single, well-kept fountain pen can replace hundreds of disposables. They also will work for the duration of your lifetime, maybe longer, becoming a great heirloom for future generations.
This makes the fountain pen extremely costeffective in the long term on a personal level. Over the course of their life, their initial purchase cost is offset by the savings, which perishable writing tools quickly consume. As a wise choice for anyone mindful of their habitat, a fountain pen is a slap in the face of our throwaway culture. Fountain pens have character. A small change in pressure of the pen to paper, will produce a variety of line variations, thick and thin, curvy and splotchy. Whatever your fancy, the pen can do it; they are the hallmark of sophistication.
greenoffice Although fountain pens require a bit of care, so does everything that has a personality. And therein resides my love for them. Each pen I own in my collection is different from the others, and more importantly, from any other writing instrument in the world. Fountain pens are objects of patience, kindness, and self-control. A person might disregard the fountain pen as obsolete, forgotten instruments of timesâ€™ past, replaced by better tools and technology. This stigma, however, is a misconception. They are not hard to use, do not leak as often as commonly believed, and work better than most any other hand held instrument for recording things on paper.
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Fountain pens are like finely-tuned European cars. To calm the stormy waters, I should note that the contemporary fountain pen, and even many older vintage models, are extremely durable and can take quite a bit of abuse. An owner ought to have little to no worry. The modern fountain pen is made of sturdy plastics and metals that resist corrosion by the environment. The writing tips, or nibs, of a fountain pen tend to be made of resilient, sometimes precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, exotics like palladium or rhodium, and good olâ€™ stainless steel handle the heavy use of everyday writing well. The downside is some of these metals happen to raise the cost of the top shelf brands.
greenoffice Interestingly enough, one of the greatest dangers to pens is the use of poor quality ink. A bad ink will destroy a pen. These happen to have thicker, less soluble pigments or chemical lacquers that can clog the inside workings of pen like a blood clot. In some cases, inks can be acidic and corrosive, and can degrade or stain the penâ€™s ink reservoir, discoloring a once beautiful, translucent barrel. Many ink companies have risen to the challenge of manufacturing inks that are safe for fountain pens. These inks are gentle, designed to flow freely through any fountain pen, and bind to paper smoothly and effectively. Some inks even contain lubricants or detergents that clean the pen as they are used. Two great brands of fountain pen ink are Noodlerâ€™s Ink and Private Reserve, distributed and recommended by fountain pen retailers.
It doesnâ€™t take a lot of money to get started in the joys of owning and caring for a fine writing instrument. The easiest way to begin is to purchase a cheap, but excellent quality pen. The first one I purchased was 10 years ago, a graphite-colored Lamy Safari (~$40) and I still use it regularly today. The best bet is to talk to a fountain pen specialist at a local retail store in New York City. The two of my favorite stores in the New York area are Joon (www.joonpens.com) and the Fountain Pen Hospital (www.fountainpenhospital.com). Their knowledgeable and friendly staff will impress you you with the rich history and meticulous details of their pen collections. You might even be tempted to take one for a test drive. Now for the crazies, there are also pen shows near you .... Be careful though. Love hurts.
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Biofuel Debate Impedes Search for
Are biofuels America’s answer to climate change and our dependence on foreign energy sources or are they merely a seductive yet shallow solution? The name and variety varies from region to region, (ethanol in America or biodiesel in Europe), but the idea is always the same: organic materials grown on farms are used to fuel our cars and heat our homes. However, it seems just as ethanol advocates have gotten their grasp firmly around the policymakers in Washington, naysayers have appeared out of the woodwork to tear them away. In recent years, Biofuels have become the answer to America’s energy woes and the global warming epidemic for many. Willie Nelson made headlines in December 2005 when he first opened his biodiesel pump station in Texas, calling his product “BioWillie.” The idea caught on and the bright-eyed, pigtailed country-folk singer became the spokesperson for the biofuel movement. The timing seemed impecca54
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ble, following the soaring gas prices that blew everyone away after Hurricane Katrina.
” It seems like that’s good for the whole world if we can start growing our own fuel instead of starting wars over it.” said Nelson to the press.
Promoted as a more efficient fuel that produces less carbon emissions than petroleum, environmentalists eagerly jumped on the biofuel bandwagon. Even President Bush suggested that the US replace 20 percent of gasoline distributed in America with ethanol in his 2007 State of the Union Address. Bush applauded the construction of 85 ethanol projects, doubling the volume of ethanol in America. Yet experts aren’t as sure as biofuel’s advocates. Numerous studies have been conducted testing the carbon output of these fuels, but many are contradic-
greenenergy tory and inconclusive. Studies have also found ethanol to be inefficient because its energy output is overshadowed by the amount of energy needed to produce it. “Unfortunately, there is nothing on the horizon that comes close to gasoline as far as cost and performance are concerned... it takes a tremendous amount of energy to grow corn and a lot of energy to distill it into ethanol and get it onto the market,” said Jerry Taylor of the CATO Institute. Alex Farrell and Michael O’Hare of the California Resources Board told the Wall St. Journal, “...ethanol could be twice as bad as gasoline from a carbon-emissions point of view... Even if only a small fraction of the emissions calculated [through the change of land use] are adding to estimates of direct emissions for corn ethanol, total emissions from corn ethanol are higher than those of fossil fuels.” A study Farrell participated in found that converting carbon sinks—areas responsible for absorbing atmospheric carbon—into corn fields destined for ethanol production leaves more carbon in the atmosphere than burning fossil fuels. However, Farrell wasn’t convinced of these findings either. After all, cultivating ethanol removes the mining process and the production of mining tools. Furthermore, ethanol production could be made more efficient using farming tools that run on ethanol, and creating farming techniques to produce more corn per acre. However, the controversy has recently shifted to a matter of food production. Food prices increased 140 percent this year and a fear of famine swept over poverty stricken nations around the world. Debate mounted and experts argued whether using corn for fuel instead of food was to blame. Rising transportation costs due to the high price of gas was another possible culprit. Ethanol proponents met their biggest challenge last year when the London newspaper, The Guardian, leaked an unpublished UN report in which Dr. Donald Mitchell, Lead Economist in the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank, blamed the sharp increase of food prices squarely on ethanol production. “Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat
and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate.” said Mitchell in the report. The infamous Mitchell Report claimed that about half of the increases in food costs were due to ethanol production. The report cited the conversion of corn fields from food to fuel production and grain speculation as two reasons for the rise in food prices. He also found the Land Use Change (LUC), policies which encouraged farmers to set aside land for fuel production instead of food, caused a great deal of the strain as well. In a press release, The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a lobby group supporting ethanol fuel quickly struck back. They claimed Mitchell failed to differentiate ethanol from biodiesel, a fuel they claim has led to much more LUC and has a far more wasteful production process. Furthermore, the RFA asserted that corn production has expanded to meet fuel needs rather than replace food crops. “Examination of acreage patterns fails to show the sharp land shifts Mitchell blames for the decline in wheat production and increase in prices,” said RFA officials. The group insisted that land used for rice crops doesn’t compete with land intended for corn, wheat, and oil seed. Therefore, ethanol couldn’t be responsible for the dramatic shift in food prices. US policy imposes a 54 cent per gallon tariff on Brazilian produced ethanol. Derived from sugar cane rather than corn, the Mitchell report claims that ethanol produced in Brazil hasn’t resulted in the same disastrous course of events, leaving many wondering why the tax persists. Still, a recent CBS/New York Times Poll reported that 70 percent of Americans said they supported ethanol because it is cheaper and can be produced domestically despite its inefficiency as an energy source and its potential to cause a rise in food prices. So the debate continues, perhaps leaving the consumers’ choice as the only real decisive factor. It appears as though the world can’t have its fuel and eat it too. OUR GREEN BOOK
9jYfmcbYX][gig Thereâ€™s always something growing at the historic Queens Botanical Garden s
39 acres of scenic beauty