Brooklyn Brings On The Green
by John Baker
Oct 02, 2008 | 13882 views | 0 0 comments | 639 639 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s not easy being green, according to a famous frog, but Brooklyn is trying its best to make it a whole lot easier. “Green Brooklyn, Green City,” an event showcasing green businesses and nonprofits, was held at Borough Hall on September 18. The event, which was planned by the Center for the Urban Environment, is the largest of its kind in New York City.

The showcase was featured alongside Greenmarket, The Council on the Environment of New York City’s regular farmers’ market. The market, which runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays year-round and Thursdays seasonally, provided a lush backdrop for the environmentally conscious event. Crates of plump peaches, extravagantly colored heirloom tomatoes, and scores of apples shared the stage with booths hawking sustainable cleaning supplies and promoting collaborative dining projects.

The market surrounded the steps of Borough Hall and featured mostly smaller booths promoting businesses. These vendors showcased New York’s burgeoning green entrepreneurial movement. The city’s young best and brightest manned booths ranging from recycled glass-pane window businesses, to Ozocar, which promoted itself as “New York’s 1st eco-luxury private care service.” For those looking for a less ostentatious car-sharing program, Zipcar was out in full force, offering free insurance and free gas for new customers.

Further down the way, SBNYC (The Sustainable Business Network of New York City) attempted to link green businesses with consumers and potential business partners. The Green Edge collaborative, a social networking collective, preformed a similar function focusing on food. Their booth promoted two particularly intriguing concepts: an Eco-Eatery Tour that promised to lead members to restaurants and cafes with sustainable business practices, and Neighborhood Supper Clubs. These potlucks, which are currently being held in Fort Greene, Red Hook, and Crown Heights, as well as other Brooklyn neighborhoods, seek to connect likeminded Brooklyn citizens interested in “urban sustainability”.

Borough Hall itself featured green bigwigs such as the Department of Transportation and the EPA. The EPA had the most adorable exhibit of the day, which featured the cutest lil’ vampire in the whole wide world promoting the morally questionable practice of children “ticketing” their parents for activities that waste natural resources.

Transportation issues seemed particularly prominent inside the hall, with CommuterLink promoting public transportation just inside the doors, and Transportation Alternatives. The latter, an advocate for bicycling, walking, and public transportation, were heavily promoting their Parking Day NYC event, which took place the following day. Transportation Alternatives have also been instrumental in the fight to close Prospect Park to cars, as was featured in last week’s edition of this rag.

Although both the farmers’ market and the larger Green City event began to wind down in the early evening, The Center for the Urban Environment is making sure that Brooklyn won’t be toning down its focus on green issues. The Center has a full slate of events planned for the coming months, including neighborhood tours and workshops, all of which can be found at Thanks to the BCUE and all those participating in the event, residents can be assured the Brooklyn is getting greener by the year.

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