Archive for the ‘green building’ Category

upcoming program explores adaptive reuse

October 20, 2008

The Municipal Art Society of New York City (MASNYC) presents…

A Second (and Green) Career for Industrial Buildings

New York City was once the nation’s power house for manufacturing, and many of the buildings and factories that fueled that industry remain. Preserving these buildings and using them to foster green-collar industries or adapting them to new housing, cultural, and retail uses is the most sustainable action New York could take.

This program will explore two approaches to preserving industrial buildings: keeping them for manufacturing uses (which also means retaining good-paying jobs) or adapting these buildings to new uses.

Panelists include Andrew Kimball, president & chief operating officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, home to traditional maritime uses and new green jobs, Robert Powers, preservation consultant on the tax-certified rehabilitation of the Austin-Nichols Warehouse, Norma Barbacci of the World Monuments Fund, with news of imaginative projects from Latin America, and Lisa Kersavage, MAS director of advocacy and policy. Moderated by Mary Habstritt, president of the Society for Industrial Archaeology.

Recycling New York’s Industrial Past: Inspiration From Home and Abroad
Wednesday, October 22, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Reception to follow.
$15, $12 MAS members/students. Purchase tickets online or call 212-935-2075.

For details of upcoming MAS programs, visit, and for a downloadable version of our fall program calendar in PDF form, click here.

this weekend in bklyn…

October 1, 2008

If you’re in Brooklyn this weekend be sure to take advantage of one of these cool eco happenings:

Clean out your closet!

Collecther Clothing Swap
Dig in your closet for some tired old duds (12 of them, to be precise) and bring them to the swap. You’ll get 100 fake bucks to bid on some “new” get-ups. $15 gets you in on all the action.
When: Saturday 10/4 @ 6pm
Where: Franklin btwn Lafayette and Clinton, Bed-Stuy

My So Called Swap
What: One lady’s old sweater is another lady’s treasure. Bring some clothes your willing to part with and mix with fellow swappers while swooning over Jordan Catalano as “My So Called Life” plays in the background. Drink specials, cupcakes, and Tarot readings are also in store.
When: Sunday 10/5 from 4-8pm
Where: K&M Bar, 225 North 8th at Roebling, W’burg, 718-388-3088

Bring out your read!

The Great American Book Drive
What: Dust off those old books you never read and bring them to the drive to support some worthy organizations, like Better World Books.
When: Saturday 10/4 from 10am – 3pm
Where: Brooklyn Central Library, Grand Army Plaza

It’s open, come on in!

NYC Green Buildings Open House
What: GreenhomeNYC’s annual guided tour of green buildings all over NYC. Learn about sustainable building features like energy saving and indoor air quality while touring unique residences and businesses via bus, bike, or your own two feet.
When: Saturday 10/4, times vary
Where: Locations vary, check here for tour details

[Image: Greenbelt]

[via Brooklyn Based]

green brooklyn event recap part 1: exhibitors

September 18, 2008

Some of the exhibitors (and some innocent bystanders) at Green Brooklyn 2008

Held at Brooklyn Borough Hall and in Cadman Plaza fittingly among the greenmarket, Green Brooklyn 2008 was packed with great exhibitors and informative sustainability events — all free to the public. Here’s a recap of some of the things I saw (part 1):


Blacksmith Institute

This non-profit group helps communities in developing nations overcome pollution and its effects. Jen, a representative of the Institute, told me about their list of the top 10 worst polluted places in the world, which is continually being reassessed. According to their site:

The World Heath Organization, in conjunction with the World Bank, estimates that 20 percent of deaths in the developing world are directly attributed to environmental factors from pollution.

Here’s their list of the top 10 worse polluted places:

You can support the Blacksmith Institute by donating here.

Brooklyn-based vegan skin care line CeleBritAy is the creation of Liz Santiago, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with. She had some products on hand to sample, sell, and smell — and the scents were naturally delicious. Sesame oil- and cocoa butter- or almond-based body creams are enhanced with bergamot, raspberry, lavendar, rose/peppermint, or arabian musk (or unscented if you prefer). They contain only natural emollients and essential oils — no petroleum, synthetic fragrance, or chemical stabilizers. You can treat yourself to these creams or her other bath and spa products at

GreenHome NYC
According to their site, GreenHome NYC’s mission is “to facilitate the adoption of sustainable building methods and materials by owners of small residential and commercial buildings in New York City.” They had a wide array of products for green building and renovation on hand for participants to look at, including recycled denim insulation, PaperStone, and sorghum plywood. GreenHome holds a green building forum on the third Wednesday of each month. Learn more here.

Wearable Collections
386 million pounds of textiles end up in the NYC waste stream every year, reports Wearable Collections on their site. And they seem to have a sensible solution: clothing recycling pick up at residential buildings throughout the city. So far, they’ve kept 350,000 pounds of textiles out of landfills. You can request a bin for your building here.

Sims Metal Management
Sims is the world’s largest recycling company with recycling operations all over the globe, and several facilities in the NY Metro area. They’re opening a new metal recycling facility in an industrial part of Sunset Park, Brooklyn at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. A representative from Sims told me that this waterfront location would reduce truck traffic by limiting the distance needed for Department of Sanitation trucks to travel from collection to drop-off. It also allows for easier access to carrier barges. Read their environmental policy statement here.

Eat Well Guide
With this non-profit program, you can find Good Food near you — food that’s local, sustainable, and organic. There are thousands of listings of farms, markets, restaurants, and other good food producers.

The Eat Well Guide was developed by Sustainable Table to educate consumers about the problems of factory farming and to provide them with access to sustainable food options. Watch The Meatrix and learn the truth about where food comes from.

Kiwi Magazine
This family-oriented publication provides parents with information on how to raise children in the healthiest way possible. Their magazine shows parents how to practice a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in light of their busy schedules. I was happy to learn they have a free online version of their magazine.

I spoke with Stephanie of Garbage of Eden Designs at the RePlayGround table about her cool plastic bag jewelry. She’s got great earrings and bangles for sale on Etsy — 10% of their sale goes to various non-profit organizations (including Added Value Farm). You can read an interview with her at Indie Fixx.

Read about my earlier post about RePlayGround here.

Exhibitors I missed:

  • Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
    I’d love to visit their farm in Pocantico Hills, about 30 miles north of NYC. Their restaurant in the city, Blue Hill, has incredible farm-fresh food and at the farm they have tours, a farmer’s market, and a restaurant. I think Autumn would be a great time to visit (harvest, fall foliage, &c.)
  • Added Value Farm
    This Red Hook, Brooklyn-based farm has a harvest festival coming up on Saturday, October 18 — and with food from local restaurants, live music and performances, a pumpkin patch, and farm tours, I plan on being there

Exhibitor I meant to give a piece of my mind:
Bettencourt Green Building Supplies — when we were renovating our kitchen last year, they didn’t show up for an appointment we made and didn’t answer my numerous calls when I tried to reschedule. (Grrr! Okay, enough griping.)

TNT-free demo

July 15, 2008

In Japan, they’re implementing this pollution-saving way to demolition buildings. It’s called daruma-otoshi, based on a video game of a similar concept. What they do is take the building apart from the bottom up instead of just blowing the whole thing up, which would scatter debris all over the place. It also saves about 20% of the time of just blowing the building up, as the clean up is more methodical and less laborious.

[Gizmodo via Kajima via Pink Tentacle]