January 7, 2021
It’s been a GreenHomeNYC tradition to kick off our year of programming with our Green Catwalk, a dynamic event in which our speakers showcase exciting developments in our sustainable world through a series of rapid-fire presentations.
This year’s presenters will share programs and projects that are redefining waste as a resource, moving us towards a more efficient, circular economy. Join us as we explore the many ways to “re” to decrease the size of both our carbon and our landfill footprints. The circular economy spurs economic development worldwide by redesigning, reducing, reusing, repurposing, recovering, refurbishing, regenerating, and recycling biological and technical materials to meet the growing resource needs of our consumptive society.
November 5, 2020
Join Sandra Goldmark, Barnard professor and author of Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet, for a quarantine-tour of her home.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“We know that as humans, we need stuff; we are deeply entangled with it. And we know that stuff can be a good thing, or at least that some stuff is better than other stuff. The caveat is that, as with food, there can be too much of a good thing. The surfeit of unhealthy stuff calories in our lives doesn’t only create clutter, or pollution. It helps to deﬁne who we are, as individuals and as a society: our stuff tells a story. As a result of a variety of inﬂuences, both external and internal, our shared story has become one of excess and of being overwhelmed, or heedlessly consuming and exploiting; but we are beginning to ﬁnd ways out of all the mess and toward a simpler narrative, a healthier “stuff culture” that tells a story of balance and joy.
By learning to see our stuff not as passive, voiceless objects but as an active, contributing part of the story, we can consciously use our stuff to change the meaning of the tales we live. In our homes, we each design a real-life theatre set around ourselves, and we act out our lives on our little stage every day. We may be living a narrative of clutter or hoarding but want to shift to one of tidiness and joy. Or we may have an apartment that looks perfectly good, but where the practices of making our clothes and furniture are toxic to people and the planet alike. By learning how our stuff can shape our world, onstage and off, we can begin to design and live a better story, individually and collectively.”
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EST
You can find more information and register here
September 28, 2020
By Kirstie Dabbs
New York City’s latest OneNYC 2050 strategy
outlines an ambitious sustainability agenda that includes goals to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. New Yorkers who track city- and state-wide environmental goals and regulations are likely aware of the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency in achieving this climate strategy, but those actions alone won’t fulfill New York’s ambitions. A circular economy must also be adopted in order to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste, while also conserving resources. Although the OneNYC strategy does make note of this shift, many New Yorkers remain unfamiliar with even the concept of the circular economy, let alone its principles, practices and potential impact.
June 17, 2020
By Tamanna Mohapatra
This documentary is in the same vein as the other popular “The Story Of…” series
that first came to the public’s attention from founder Annie Leonard in 2007. I remember being very influenced by ‘The Story of Stuff’.” This movie is no different. The opening scene is a bit jarring yet somehow familiar…islands of dirty plastic with people swarming through it. The folks handling the heaps of plastic seem somewhat resigned to this fate.
What is the Story of Plastic? Where does it come from? Why is it so ubiquitous? What, if anything, can we do about it? These are some of the questions this documentary explores in some urgent depth. (more…)
September 12, 2019
Forums Recap: Recycling Today, How It Works and What You Can Do To Improve It
By Pamela Berns
If you’re a New Yorker who actively recycles, you probably know that when it comes to recycling in New York City, tissues count as garbage, not paper, ice cream containers can’t be recycled, and film plastics, such as grocery and freezer bags, shouldn’t share a bin with rigid plastics. You’re no doubt aware that you should donate hard cover books and old vinyl records not only so others can enjoy them as much as you did, but because they’re not recyclable in NYC’s recycling program. And you certainly know that New Yorkers recycle not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the law.
How’d you do? If you missed our August Monthly Forum, read on to learn what you need to know to fulfill your Zero Waste pledge
in New York City. (more…)
September 4, 2019
By Jonathan Oriondo
On August 15th, GreenHomeNYC hosted a tour of the East River Compost Yard in Manhattan, where participants learned what it takes to compost on a community-wide scale. Lia Lucero, the outreach coordinator for NYC Compost Project, personally guided us throughout the site.
At first glance it was not obvious that this facility’s main goal was community education. Right on the river, in the middle of a park, this place was huge! There were piles of compost at various stages of the digestion process. Most of the facility was outdoors with a small administrative building towards the road, and it was all surrounded by a formidable fence. It was very impressive—even the smell. (more…)
April 17, 2018
by Tamanna Mohapatra
If you’re an eco-minded entrepreneur looking for the next great “green” idea, you may take some inspiration from a trio of local small businesses that hold sustainable values at their core. Starting a business, green or otherwise, has rewards and challenges. Fortunately, there are resources
available through New York State, and inspiration from these local business owners that can help in the pursuit of a green dream.
Saint Seneca: Supporting Independent Artisans
With a name inspired by the intersection of the two streets on which it’s located in Ridgewood, Queens, Saint Seneca
is a lovely curio store that sells local artisan goods. Ridgewood local Yuka Anziano founded the business in the summer of 2015, with money inherited from her father. It was a gamble to open an artsy, though reasonably priced, home and lifestyle store amidst the dollar stores and local deli, but it’s a risk that has paid off.
Anziano called on a talented pool of friends in the area to design the logo, hand paint the sign, and build the displays, opening the store in just four months. She believes that supporting small makers and designers is better for the community and believes that operating in New York provides a huge advantage. “There is endless talent here,” she said. “Even within my own neighborhood of Ridgewood, I have makers just a few blocks away. I have lived here for over a decade and it has become quite the creative hot-bed.”
November 27, 2017
by Claire Brown
During GreenHomeNYC’s October Forum, eight women of green led us on a tour of their green building career paths. Through the Pecha Kucha style of presentation, the speakers used timed-slides to guide us through their search for their dream careers in engineering, sustainable design, new construction, and more. In addition to sharing their stories, the speakers offered advice to those seeking green careers. The forum was co-hosted by GreenHomeNYC and the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Women in Energy program
at Columbia University.
Lucie Dupas, Entersolar
Dupas had engineering built into her genetic blueprint, with both of her parents working as IT engineers. She finished her formal education in engineering by completing a Master’s program in France, and was proud that the program was comprised of roughly 42% women. Surrounded by so many women in her field, she felt that being a female engineer was “the normal thing to do.” In search of her dream internship, Dupas moved to New York City and joined a renewable energy consulting startup at the NYU Poly Acre Incubator where she built her first photovoltaic system. The internship ultimately led to a full-time job at Sollega
, a solar equipment manufacturer where she did “all the things that you think an engineer does”. According to Dupas, “I did a 3-D design of a racking part and tested it in a laboratory and I trained some 200 pound electricians.” Next she worked at Bright Power
, where she helped bring solar power to affordable housing and managed the installation of several solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. She is now the Engineering Director at the nationwide solar installer Entersolar
where she works on commercial projects with a specific focus on solar PV technology. Lucie is an avid proponent of training programs. “You know how you think you know something, but then you go through a certification program and you realize there’s so much that you don’t really know. And having the certification on your resume is so useful to show yourself as an expert in the industry.”
August 31, 2017
by Lisa Bonanate
One of the challenges facing recycling efforts is that only certain waste can be recycled while the rest is thrown away, generating massive amounts of garbage in landfills. Figuring out what can be recycled and where to dispose of it may cause well-intentioned consumers and businesses to throw their hands up in despair. But an innovative company called TerraCycle
is out to change that.
Specializing in recycling the unrecyclable, the Trenton-based company collects and repurposes the type of hard to recycle, post-consumer waste that typically winds up in landfills – cigarette butts, coffee capsules, food wrappers, light bulbs – you name it. Collected waste is then reused, upcycled or recycled into sustainable consumer products and industrial applications.
May 24, 2017
by Sunitha Sarveswaran
Most people look at strawberry tops or carrot peels and throw them away, without realizing the myriad of other uses these scraps could provide. According to the EPA, the most preferred use for food and organics is human consumption. The least preferred uses are landfill and incineration. The GreenHomeNYC April Forum on Sustainable Food Systems featured a panel of five experts who spoke about the different strategies communities, businesses, and building owners can employ in order to limit or eliminate their organic waste footprint.
Communities can make a difference
According to the New York City Department of Sanitation
, more than a third of all waste generated by New York City residents is organic waste. Michael Hurwitz, the Director of the GreenMarket Program and GrowNYC
, spoke about how consumers can make a large impact on the organic waste footprint of New York City. Greenmarket was founded in 1976 with two main goals: to keep local farms viable and to ensure New Yorkers have unlimited access to fresh, local produce. Hurwitz discussed how one third of all food grown goes unharvested due to the cosmetic preferences of vendors. GreenMarket takes this unwanted produce and sells it at their local markets. Greenmarket’s passion is educating consumers on how to prepare food so that every part is used and scraps are not wasted. Greenmarket provides recipes, canning presentations and workshops to help consumers minimize their food waste and stretch their dollar.