NYC Wildflower Week

Green Youth Movement's Top 5 Tips for a Green Prom

Are there energy hogs in your house?


Organic and eco-certified flowers for Mother's Day

Happy-Go-Local: The Smart Mom's Guide to Living the Good (and Sustainable) Life!

nature conserve

friendship bag

NYC Wildflower Week
More Than 45 Events Across 5 Boroughs
May 1-May 9

NYC Wildflower Week is about to launch its third annual celebration of the native plant species of the 5 boroughs. This year New Yorkers are invited to get to know the nature near them with free events in all 5 boroughs, including guided botanical walks, garden and green roof tours, planting events, eco-salons, cooking classes, restaurant tastings, children's fairs and more.

Alexandra Conway, a spokesperson for NYC Wildflower Week, shared these important facts:

• Did you know that New York City has already lost more than 75 percent of its green space and over 40% of its native flora? For example, New York City used to have 30 species of terrestrial orchids spread across dozens of populations. But today, there are only six species with a scant 11 populations, most of which are declining.

• Since 1990, Staten Island has lost more than 30% of its indigenous flora. And ecologically Richmond County is a microcosm for the rest of the world – a store of biological diversity struggling against high human population densities. Most of these species cannot be grown or transplanted successfully. Habitat protection is the only hope for their future.

• New York City spends little on its green acres, only $41 per resident per year. By contrast, Seattle and Chicago annually spend much more per capita – $164 and $108 respectively.

There is an incredible list of events, sure to appeal to all interests, across Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens. For a complete list of events visit:



Green Youth Movement's
Top 5 Tips for a Green Prom:

1. Create a Car Pool: Drive to the dance with your favorite friends in tow - sans the gas-guzzling bus or limo. When we say car pool, we mean it!

2. Dress for Eco-Success: Why not have your dress serve a greater purpose? Check out dresses that use organic fabrics like bamboo and hemp, so the material is biodegradable. Once you're done with your digs, donate it to a less-fortunate teen via

3. "Green" your 'do: Ditch the energy-exhausting electric curlers and curling iron. Rag curls create soft, graceful curls that will last all night. Just remember: you'll want to do this the night before since you're counting on Mother Nature to set the curl.

4. Go Paperless: Instead of the prom invites, go the tree-saving approach by using a service like

5. Make Prom Matter: If you do any or all of the above, you'll save a bundle, so why not consider giving a portion of your prom proceeds to a charity or non-profit organization?

Source: Ally Maize, eco teen and founder of the Green Youth Movement



Are There Energy Hogs in Your House?
GE product managers offer some tips for taming
home energy consumption

The conveniences of modern life come with a price. Keeping frozen food frozen, our living environments cool, and our morning showers hot, all require energy. And lots of it. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the residential sector used more than 1.138 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2001. How do we consume energy at home? The DOE estimates that our energy consumption is spent on the following:

• Space heating: 31 %
• Space cooling: 12 %
• Water heating: 12 %
• Lighting: 11 %
• Consumer electronics: 9 %
• Appliances: 9 %
• Refrigeration: 8 %
• Other: 8 % [1]

To help the typical homeowner reduce the amount of energy used, product managers at GE Appliances & Lighting were asked for some simple ways homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint.

1. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label

Whether you need to replace a burned-out light bulb or a worn-out fridge, buy products that feature the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR is a program of the Environmental Protection Agency designed to give consumers information when shopping for energy-efficient products. To earn the ENERGY STAR label, the product must contribute significant energy savings that can be verified through testing. In 2009, GE listed 293 ENERGY STAR-qualified Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) products, an 8 percent increase from 2008. All total, 92 percent of GE CFLs are ENERGY STAR qualified, while 98 percent of total GE CFL sales were ENERGY STAR qualified. As for appliances, GE had 486 ENERGY STAR-qualified base models, an increase of 8.4 percent over 2008. ENERGY STAR-qualified products make up 38 percent of GE's 12 ENERGY STAR-qualified product lines and comprise more than 60 percent of GE appliance total dollar sales, an increase of 6.4 percent over the previous year.

2. Make the switch to lower-energy-consuming light sources

There are new light bulbs on the market or coming soon to market that offer substantial energy reduction savings over the classic filament bulb. At GE Lighting, an innovative new bulb is lighting the way for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills. The new 40-watt replacement GE Energy Smart® LED bulb, available later this year or 2011, is expected to consume just 9 watts, provide a 77 percent energy savings, and produce nearly the same light output as a 40-watt incandescent bulb ... while lasting 25 times as long.

"This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid's bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation," says John Strainic, global product general manager, GE Lighting. "It's an incredible advancement that's emblematic of the imagination and innovation that GE's applying to solve some of the world's biggest challenges."

3. Cutting waste in the ice box

According to 2004 University of Arizona study, households waste on average 14 percent of their food purchases. Fifteen percent of that total includes products still within their expiration date. The study estimates an average family of four tosses out $590 per year in meat, fruits, vegetables and grain products. [2] No matter how you slice it, that's money down the drain. Minimizing food waste was a driving force behind the development of the new GE Profile™ side-by-side refrigerators with the ClimateKeeper2™ dual evaporator system, says Jeff Cooksey, manager with GE Appliances Refrigerator products. "The ClimateKeeper2 system creates the ideal condition to maintain maximum freshness of fruits, vegetables, and other fresh foods longer, so food isn't wasted," Cooksey says. As an example, he says spinach salad is still crisp and tender after several days, and lemon slices stay bright and moist even five days later.

The ClimateKeeper2 system creates two separate climates to maintain food flavor and quality, a humid fresh-food compartment to retain the moisture in fresh produce, and a more arid freezer side to reduce the freezer's defrost cycles. On certain models, a single-evaporator ClimateKeeper system maintains even, accurate temperatures to protect a variety of foods.

4. Clean up energy waste when doing dishes

Paul Riley, a manager with GE - Appliances dishwasher products, points to SmartDispense as an example. The GE Profile™ Dishwasher with SmartDispense technology uses a combination of water condition and soil level to determine the correct amount of detergent to optimize wash performance. Cycles have been optimized for the best wash/dry performance with low energy usage. A reduced pump prime requires less water, while the smart fill/cavitation sensing selects the appropriate water fill amount. Think you save water and energy by doing dishes by hand? Think again. According to research, a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by running water and hand. By saving water, you're also saving the energy used to pump it, treat it, heat it in your home, and clean it up afterwards in your city's waste water facility. Up to 50 percent of a typical city's energy bill goes to supplying water and cleaning it after use.[3]

5. Cooking with less

Robert Posthauer, a manager with GE Cooking Products, recommends induction cooking as a way to reduce energy consumption in the kitchen. Induction technology saves precious minutes by bringing water to the boiling point faster than gas or electric cooktops. Posthauer points to the new GE Profile™ Free-Standing Range with Induction Cooking as an example of how induction technology works. "With induction cooking, the surface surrounding the burners does not get hot. Instead, a current is produced when an induction-compatible pan with a steel or magnetic bottom is placed on the cooktop," Posthauer explains. The current heats the pan and cooks the food inside. Less energy is wasted with induction cooking compared to gas or electric, because the technology transfers heat directly to the cookware and the food, rather than heating up the surface area of the cooktop.

6. Cleaning clothes with less water

Reducing waste at home doesn't have to be limited to energy consumption. There are also ways for homeowners to reduce the amount of water they use. Jim Skaggs, a manger with GE Clothes Care, says reducing the amount of water required to get clothes clean has been one of the key breakthroughs in washing machine technology. "Many of our washing machines have the PreciseFill auto-load sensing technology. With PreciseFill, the washer automatically adds the right amount of water for each load by sensing the load size during fill. This helps prevent using more water and energy than necessary. As a matter of fact, our testing shows that using PreciseFill can save nearly 60 percent in energy consumption and 51 percent in water usage versus standard top load models."

The new GE Profile™ SmartDispense™ Frontload Laundry Pair with steam technology uses as little as 10 gallons of water for a small load. The ENERGY STAR-qualified washer can save more than 5,800 gallons of water per year compared to a typical topload washer. Advanced water extraction and the dryer's moisture sensors help reduce drying time for added energy savings.

7. Swap out that old electric water heater

The electric water tank heater is one of the great conveniences of our time. It's also one of the home's most wasteful energy users. That's because the tank draws energy to heat water whether you're home or not.

After air heating and cooling, home water heating is the largest in residential energy consumption. Tomoko Villarin, a manager with water heater products for GE - Appliances & Lighting, says one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways homeowners can be energy efficient is to replace their electric tank hot water heaters with the new GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater from GE. "The new GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater from GE can cut residential water heater energy costs by more than half," she says. "This new ENERGY STAR-qualified electric heat pump water heater will reduce operating costs up to 62 percent, saving the typical homeowner as much as $320 annually versus a home using a traditional 50-gallon electric tank water heater." The GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater recently received a "Best of What's New" award from Popular Science magazine and was the first heat pump water heater to be ENERGY STAR qualified.

Making the switch to a heat pump water heater even more attractive, many states are offering significant rebates via the Department of Energy's "Cash for Appliances" program. For information about rebates and incentives in your state, visit:

1. U.S. Energy Information Administration, End Use Consumption of Energy, 2001,
2. Food Production, "Half of U.S. Food Goes to Waste",
3. Household Food Security in the United States, 2007 from the Economic Research Service/USDA



NY’s First Ecological Moving Company Now You Can Reduce, Renew & Recycle While You Relocate!

iMoveGREEN, the country’s only moving company in EPA's Green Power Partnership opened their doors last month for business. The sister endeavor to iStoreGreen launched successfully in 2008, iMoveGREEN employs eco-friendly systems, materials and programs that aim to avoid excesses, while efficiently and affordably executing relocations. A promising and progressive evolution of veteran moving company, Meyer’s Moving & Storage, iMoveGREEN repurposes the organization’s 25 year industry experience; converting it for the “conservational” era with intentions of hope and humanity.

So what makes a moving company green? Beyond offering its customers biodegradable packing materials and reusable plastic boxes for transport, the iMoveGREEN business facility is appropriately powered by 100% renewable wind energy; drastically decreasing company fossil fuel use. Proving further environmentally conscience, the corporation adheres to an eco-friendly cleaning code, by which company vehicles are washed solely with recycled water and entirely green washing supplies; keeping chemicals from infiltrating the air. All surveyors drive a hybrid Toyota Prius, and an advanced recycling initiative is underway for the renewal of discarded moving materials and office waste.

“It’s not just about being careful not to cause any additional damage to the environment,” explains iMoveGREEN owner and transportation company Chief, Jeffrey E. Sitt. “But putting action and education programs in place to give to the environment and reduce our carbon footprint, as we have already taken so much.”

One project Sitt refers to is the partnership he has created between Nature Conservancy and iMoveGREEN, by in which a percentage of proceeds from each move are allocated to the planting of trees in the Brazilian rainforest. Next are the “Green education” programs he has established to edify his employees; further offering them wholesale rates on the purchase of eco-friendly items like CFL and LED light bulbs, recycled paper towels, coffee mugs and green cleaning products.

Sitt’s desire to “inform” continues with the Green Starter Kit which is presented to each new customer; inclusive of a reusable tote, coffee mug, green-living brochure and housewarming plant. In efforts to ensure service is as good as it is green, the kit contains a client satisfaction survey, for which every one returned means an additional tree is planted in the Brazilian Rainforest. Such surveys and all additional marketing materials are printed on recycled paper using strictly soy ink.

iMoveGREEN is an EPA certified, fully-licensed and insured moving company specializing in domestic and international relocations, trade-show transport, office moves and more. More information can be found on the web at The home office of iMoveGREEN is 370 Concord Avenue, Bronx NY.



Organic and Eco-Certified Flowers for Mother's Day

One way to boost the green economy is through organic and eco-friendly gifts. It's a win all around: your loved ones get unique presents and you help a responsible business thrive.

If you're planning on sending flowers this Mother's Day, why not consider Organic Bouquet. This long-time member of the Green Business Network™ will donate 10% of your purchase price to Green America.

Organic Bouquet flowers are grown and harvested using practices that improve the quality of farm working conditions, minimize damage to ecosystems, and enhance environmental quality for future generations. When you order from their Web site, in addition to knowing that you're ordering eco-friendly, you can also see which bouquets come from farms that are Fair Trade Certified™ or certified by Veri-flora, the two industry standards for protecting workers.



The Smart Mom's Guide to Living the
Good (and Sustainable) Life!

By Linsly Donnelly

CSAs or farmers' markets? Upcycling or freecycling? Carpools or staycations? All of the above? They're all great choices--but how do you decide where your family's time and energy is best spent?

In Happy-Go-Local, author Linsly Donnelly shares countless ideas from her own experience in living locally to help you raise a happy and sustainable family. From community swaps to cooking co-ops, her approachable, step-by-step style will inspire you to make changes that bring your family, neighborhood, and town together--one compost pile at a time.

Chapters are dedicated to a variety of topics, including:

• Keeping Your Family’s Food and Drink Local, Sustainable, and Healthy

• Sustaining Your Beauty and Mama Earth

• Your Sustainable Home

• Sustainability at Work

• Family Play Time: Local Leisure

• Your Best Friend: Backyard, Sustainable Pet Care

Happy-Go-Local offers a how-to guide for the mom full of intention, but pressed for time. Featuring interviews and tips from professionals in the sustainable movement, this all-in-one guide takes the guesswork out of living locally--and is one item you won't want to recycle!

Linsly Donnelly is a businesswoman, yogini, and writer. In her most recent job of "Mom," Donnelly awoke to the importance of living locally and sustainability. She is the cofounder of a successful yoga studio and a happy-go-local mom to two children. She lives in Laguna Beach, CA.

Published: March 2010. 239 pages. $14.95; paperback.