The Big Green Apple

June 9, 2015 by Rebecca Bartley

With the hustle of New York City, you may not think of it as a place that is known for being environmentally friendly, but the city that never sleeps also composts, supports local farmers, and has been turning its transportation green.

Greening up offices 

Composting

For better or worse, the office has become a second home for many of us living in the city. But just because we work 10 floors up, doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about the earth. Many offices have now started composting programs and local food programs, in addition to the already ubiquitous recycling programs.

My office has swapped regular disposable flatware for Vegware, which is made from plants and therefore can go right into the composting bin along with other plant-based lunch scraps. 

CSAs

We also have joined Local Roots NYC to have our office as a designated delivery site. Local Roots NYC is a CSA or Community Sponsored Agriculture program. Employees of our office, and many others, buy seasonal shares of fruit, veggies, meats and cheeses among many other categories. Local farms supply the shares of what is in season that week. Local Roots coordinates, educates and delivers these goods right to our office. Have your office sign up here: http://localrootsnyc.org/join-our-csa/

Local Green Eating

Union Square Greenmarket

If local, organic food sources inspire you, then ditch the grocery store and head to Union Square. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday the square brings in local farmers who have everything from meats, fruit, veggies and cheese to yarn, honey and soap. It’s also just a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. My favorite local treat is the Maple Syrup Cotton Candy!

List of Vendors here: http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan-union-square-m 

Farm-to-table restaurants

Hipster culture has inspired more than just beards and flannel. It has made sustainable food sources and local seasonal eating hip again. (Although, green eating never goes out of style.) Chelsea Market is host to one of the many farm-to-table digs in the city, Green Table. The menu is a list of what is in season from local farms including their own in Washington County, New York.  You can drool over their menu here: http://www.cleaverco.com/green-table

Green Transportation

Citi Bikes

For the experienced bike rider who knows how to navigate the city, City Bikes have been popping up all over town. Plus with more and more bike lanes the city is becoming more cyclist-friendly. Some argue it’s the fastest way to get around town. Just be sure to grab a helmet!

TD Five Boro Bike Tour

If biking is your thing, or you just want to tour the city check out the Five Boro Bike Tour. The annual May event boasts 40 Miles, 5 Boros, 1 Day, 0 Cars and proceeds go to charitable organizations to teach bike education. Less cars and more bikes sounds good to me! Start planning for next year’s day here: http://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/

Green Initiatives

Putting the green culture into practice is the agenda behind the #OneNYC campaign which promises 50% less emissions by 2050 than in 2005. The third vision of this campaign is to make NYC a world leader in sustainability.  To do that not only are emissions on the chopping block, but so is landfill waste.  View various initiatives, the city plans to send zero waste to landfills, increase air quality, and grow open green space for communities by 2030.  Learn more about the initiatives here: http://www1.nyc.gov/html/onenyc/visions/sustainability.html

New Yorkers have a tough rep, but this time we’re taking it out on pollution and waste. We are turning our act around and embracing change in order to become a cleaner and greener place for all those who live and work here.