Search Results: Tim Keating

April 19, 2006

Responsible Wood Alternatives: From Extraction to Production & Design – April 19, 2006

When: Wednesday, April 19th, 6:30-8pm Where: Hafele Showroom on Madison Park (25 E. 26th St.) Speakers:Tim Keating, Executive Director, Rain Forest Relief Bart Bettencourt, Bettencourt Green Building Products Tim Keating from Rainforest Relief and Bart Bettencourt from Bettencourt Green Building Supplies are teaming up for a lecture on responsible wood alternatives. Rainforest Relief works to end the loss of the world’s tropical and temperate rainforests and protect their human and non-human inhabitants by reducing demand for the products of rainforest logging, mining and agricultural conversion, through education, advocacy, research and action. Bettencourt Green Building Supplies is dedicated to providing quality green building materials to designers, architects, contractors and homeowners on the East Coast. Bettencourt provides elegant and appropriate alternatives to many of the environmentally damaging choices currently available in the industry. We’re embarrassed that a progressive metropolis like New York City is the largest consumer of tropical hardwoods in North America. To help spread the word about alternative wood materials and to remind people that our society, and our city, continues to support deforestation practices, we proudly hosted Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief, and Bart Bettencourt of Bettencourt Green Building Supplies. These speakers presented two ends of the sustainable wood spectrum: how the consumer demand for tropical hardwood is destroying our ecosystem, and how to identify and purchase eco-friendly alternatives in the area. Tim Keating’s work with Rainforest Relief is exhaustive, alarming, and something that more New Yorkers should be familiar with. Most of us don’t pay any attention to the mahogany doors at Barnes and Noble, or the benches, made from Brazilian walnut that we sit on in local parks. To meet the demand for these invaluable woods, importers are contributing to the decimation of tropical rainforests, and in turn, we are facing the most rapid mass extinction on earth. To give you some numbers, 50-90% of biodiversity exists exclusively in rainforests (50% being generous). We are destroying 2 ½ acres of rainforest per second, and about 400 species per day. The majority of that (70%) is due directly to logging and road construction to obtain wood for everything from truck flooring to pencils. At the rate we are going, all unprotected tropical rainforests will be wiped out within 40 years. That leaves 3% of the rainforest standing. Okay, so now that we’ve introduced you to a very sobering reality, we’d like to illuminate people like Bart Bettencourt, who design and sell sustainable wood options for us New Yorkers. Bart is at the helm of Scrapile, a company that designs awesome furniture comprised of scrap wood, and Bettencourt Green Building Supplies. The latter is a Brooklyn-based company that serves as a resource for cabinet, furniture, and flooring alternatives made out of bamboo, coconut palm, and reclaimed agricultural fibers. While you may conjure up images of grass mats when you think of ‘bamboo flooring’ (I did), the samples that Bart passed around were beautiful, dense, and felt just like wood. He mentioned that the majority of these materials cut, sanded, screwed, held up, joined, and reacted to finishes just like regular wood, too. Another excellent alternative is recycled plastic lumber, which is more durable, requires less maintenance, and is more environmentally friendly than wood products. Wood makes up much of our national waterfront infrastructure (think pilings, piers, and boardwalks), and has a relatively short lifespan, especially when immersed in water. Recent advanced-aging tests that found that recycled plastic lumber had no significant deterioration over the course of 50 years. If you’d like to see this material in action, visit the Tiffany Street Pier in the Bronx. If you’re not in the position to purchase these materials, you still have options. Salvage furniture off the street, or buy secondhand. And if you must, aim to buy wood that is domestic and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Most importantly, do your homework and choose to support companies that are environmentally friendly and responsible. -Shawna Michaud

January 21, 2004

Sustainable Wood & Wood Alternatives – January 21, 2004

Tim Keating is co-founder and Executive Director of Rainforest Relief, a New York-based organization that works through education and direct-action campaigns to reduce the demand for wood products and materials. Tim has been an environmental activist since the age of 15. Stubby Warmbold is the owner of CitiLog, a company that uses a combination of salvaging/urban logging, horse logging methods and FSC Chain of Custody wood to produce products such as flooring, molding, timber framing, historical restorations, furniture and lumber.

March 1, 2017

Monthly Forum Recap: Everyday People and Sustainability

by Theresa Baker   If you’re trying to make more sustainable choices in your daily life, the GreenHomeNYC February Forum offered plenty of options.  The evening featured four speakers who spoke passionately about ways that “everyday people” in New York City can improve their quality of life, save energy and live more sustainably.   Simple Steps for Everyone Carmel Pratt, a Sustainability Consultant for Steven Winter Associates, spoke on the top ten ways to save energy in your apartment or home.  Pratt pointed out a stunning statistic – the average American uses 140-170 gallons of water per day through choices they make in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. By simply not running water when washing dishes, limiting shower time, and using cold water instead of hot when doing laundry, residents can significantly reduce this usage. (more…)

February 9, 2017

February Forum: Everyday People & Sustainability

Now more than ever, there is a strong sense of activism being cultivated by people in the face of a changing political and social landscape. Everyday people are eager to take action and do what they can to make a difference and advocate for the causes they believe in. However, it’s not always clear what we as everyday people can do for these missions.   Particularly in our community, the question is often asked: What can I do as an NYC resident to make energy and sustainability improvements in my apartment, building or neighborhood?   This month’s GreenHomeNYC forum will concentrate on what you can do as a sustainability-minded individual to help pioneer a sustainable future, and what some individuals, communities, and the city as a whole are already doing to help.   Date: Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 Time: 6:30-8:00pm Place: Fujitsu General America: 1450 Broadway, 42nd Floor New York, NY   Click here to register!    (more…)

March 5, 2009

Campaign for sustainable wood in NJ on NPR

We just heard from Rainforest Relief Executive Director Tim Keating that an episode of NPT’s Marketplace aired a segment last night about Rainforest Relief’s 2-year campaign in Wildwood, New Jersey, to use sustainably-logged, domestic black locust lumber instead of ipê logged (mostly illegally) from the Amazon rainforests of Brazil and Peru, for a 4-block renovation of the seaside town’s boardwalk. According to Tim: We finally convinced Wildwood to go with black locust, only to be stymied by delivery of wood that didn’t meeting the town’s specifications. Ultimately, with the flick of a pen, the 3-person commission voted to allow a change order and use ipê for this renovation – a project that comprised 42,000 board feet of decking. We are sad and frustrated that things turned out this way – but we persevere, in Wildwood and across the country. Listen to the NPR segment online — the story begins about 13 minutes into the March 4 show. More by Tim Keating on

April 23, 2008

April 2008: Green Materials Catwalk

The Green Building Forum is held on the third Wednesday of each month (except December) @6:30 PM and features presentations by green building practitioners followed by discussion. The events are always free and open to the general public, but space is limited. Wednesday, April 16, 2008 Presentation 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Location: Pratt Manhattan, 144 W 14th St, Rm. 213 The April forum featured 10 local green building experts presenting his/her favorite green material or technology. Presenters: Gita Nandan,Thread Collective, GreenHomeNYC Board Member Ryan Merkin, Steven Winter Assoc., GreenHomeNYC Volunteer Tim Keating, Director Rainforest Relief / Owner Earthbilt Wendy Meguro, Atelier Ten Debra Krueger, Bettencourt Green Building Supplies David Bergman Catherine Barton, Green Depot Andy McNamara, Bright Power Neil Chambers Chris Benedict Click here for full presenter bios. Session PowerPoint

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