Handy Tips for a Sustainable Holiday

November 15, 2018
Posted in Recycling | Tagged recycle

 

Green Your Holidays

Making a list of how to green your holidays? Here are some of our favorite tips and events to cure the post-holiday blues.

Pre-cycle

Whether you're hosting a gathering or just giving and receiving, clearing out excess can make for a more sustainable holiday season.  Find new homes for unwanted items through clothing collections, coat drives, Stop 'N' Swap® events, holiday toy drives, or DonateNYC reuse partners--you'll have more room to celebrate, and an easier time recycling and reusing your post-holiday waste.

Sending cards?

Try e-cards or look for greetings made with recycled content (the more post-consumer content, the better).

Giving gifts?

Show some style when shopping by bringing your own reusable bags. Choose minimally-packaged items made with recycled content and give items that will be treasured, not thrown out before the next holiday season. Consider giving experiences, homemade, and vintage gifts. Find new joy in old favorites that are broken or need refreshing with Fixers Collective. Get hundreds of toy-free gift ideas for a more meaningful holiday here and here. Remember to wrap it recyclable by using old newspaper, paper gift wrap, paper gift bags, or reusable bags and containers that keep on giving all year. 

Preparing a holiday meal?

Look for items in recyclable packaging and buy minimally- or non-packaged fresh produce, like that from Greenmarket. Get meal planning and food storage tips from Save the Food, and read a thorough overview of sustainable Thanksgiving meal planning.    Easily compost vegetable trimmings by using drop-offs at select Greenmarkets and other locations. Serve your masterpiece on reusable plates and offer guests reusable flatware, glassware, and napkins.  Prevent waste by making small changes such as using recyclable aluminum foil rather than plastic wrap for food storage.

Stuck with clean up duties?

Wrapping paper, gift boxes, cardboard, and other paper packaging can go out with other paper recycling (remove tape, ribbons, and other decorations).  Eggnog cartons, wine bottles, olive containers, cookie tins, and hard-to-open rigid plastic packaging are easy to recycle alongside the rest of your metal, glass, plastic, and cartons.  If your curbside recycling day falls on Christmas and New Year's Day, here's when to set out recycling, garbage, and organics (if participating).  Foam peanut packaging and plastic foam blocks are not recyclable, but alternative paper packaging can be included in your recycling pile.  Foam peanuts can be reused at select shipping centers and Manhattan Mailroom locations, and cornstarch peanuts can be composted.  For those so inclined, even corks can be recycled—find drop-sites here

Too many leftovers?

Save take-out containers to send guests home with another helping.  Check the shelf life of open and unopened food and get storage tips to make the most of food and create less waste at stilltasty.com.

Post-Holiday Recycling Events to Cure the Winter Blues

Recycle Your Tree.

If you're putting up a real tree for the holidays, plan to chip in at MulchFest!  Trees (cleaned of stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments) will be collected and recycled into mulch for NYC parks at designated sites from January 4-13. Bring your own bag to select sites on January 12 & 13, and take home mulch for your yard, garden or street tree. Find citywide drop-off sites and mulch pick-up locations here. If you miss MulchFest, the city will pick up trees (also stripped of ornaments, etc) curbside from Jan 2-12, barring any snow disruptions.

Recycle Unwanted Electronics.

Certain electronics are banned from disposal.  When upgrading or unloading electronics, many recycling options are available at no cost, including curbside pickup for homes in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens WestFind more recycling resources here and check in with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which runs the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse in Brooklyn and hosts "After the Holidays" e-waste collections in all five boroughs.

Loosen Your Drawers.

Clear out ill-fitting, outdated and otherwise unwanted clothing, shoes, and linens and bring them to one of GrowNYC's weekly collections for reusable clothing and other textiles.

Swap Your Stuff.

GrowNYC's Stop 'N' Swap® is the ultimate re-gifting party. Bring reusable items to share (portable items only) or simply bring a tote bag or two to take home things you can put to reuse. Unstuff your home at one of 4 swaps in December, or find winter swap dates and locations at GrowNYC.org/swap.

 

From all of us at GrowNYC, thank you for helping green our city by taking our "recycling challenge" at community events, volunteering as an Environmental Ambassador, dropping off clothing and food scraps at our Greenmarkets, attending our Stop 'N' Swaps, and more throughout 2018. We look forward to seeing you out at many of the great recycling events that will kick off a sustainable 2019. Happy Holidays!

For more tips on keeping your holidays green and merry, visit the NYC ZeroWaste page.

Host Your Own Community Swap!

November 9, 2018

Hosting a Swap is as Easy as D-I-Y with GrowNYC’s Guide to Community Reuse Events

We are pleased to announce the release of our new DIY Swap Guide!

Since 2007, GrowNYC has hosted 270 Stop ‘N’ Swap® community reuse events across all five boroughs. Our goal is to provide each of NYC’s 59 community districts an annual opportunity to find new homes for unwanted items that might otherwise end up in a landfill.  Still, the demand for reuse and desire to host and participate in community swaps extends beyond our program’s capacity. We created this guide to assist schools, community organizations, and passionate individuals interested in hosting their own swap events!

Whether you are looking to host a curated event for items such as clothes, books, or toys, or a big event where anything goes, the guide will help you identify an event location, map out your swap footprint, gather event materials, outline a training for your volunteers, and more.  We hope this guide will be a launching pad for more free reuse events across NYC.  

If you use our guide to host a swap, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to send us a note at recycle@grownyc.org or tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@GrowNYC). 

Need further incentive to try out some creative reuse ideas in your neighborhood? Citizens Committee is currently accepting applications for micro-grants of up to $3,000 to resident-led groups working on community projects in the NYC, including those related to waste diversion. For more information, visit their website here.

Happy swapping! 

Celebrating Our 250th Stop ‘N’ Swap®

September 21, 2018
Posted in Recycling | Tagged swap, Stop 'N' Swap, reduce, reuse, recycle

Stop 'N' Swap 250

At GrowNYC, there’s no stopping when it comes to swapping!  In an effort to reduce NYC’s waste and help more New Yorkers reuse perfectly good items, our zero waste programs funded by DSNY set out to provide an annual swap event for every community district in the five boroughs. 

This year we celebrate our 250th Stop ‘N’ Swap in NYC – all thanks to dedicated staff, our passionate volunteers, and diverse community partners, who make more than 50 swaps a year possible!

At Stop ‘N’ Swap, the public is invited to bring clean, portable, reusable items to share with those who can use them. No one is required to bring something to take something — you can simply show up with a bag and see what’s free for the taking. Clothing, books, housewares, electronics, and toys are just some of the offerings.  Recent memorable treasures include peanut butter and jelly pillowcases, pocket mouse, grass jelly, an amateur radio calendar, and plants potted just for fellow swappers (view photos).

Since 2008, more than 62,000 New Yorkers have attended a Stop ‘N’ Swap co-hosted by more than 135 different community partners and supported by over 1,200 volunteers.  In just 5 years, participants have kept more than half a million pounds of reusable items out of landfills. 

80% of products in the US are used once, then thrown away — find a Stop 'N' Swap near you and start reusing today!

2018 Compost Giveaway

June 26, 2018
Posted in Recycling



Springtime food scraps bring summer givebacks!  Thanks to you, GrowNYC has collected more than 11 million pounds of food scraps that have been transformed into compost to nourish NYC green spaces--including yours!  Check out our July giveback schedule and bring your own container to one of GrowNYC's food scrap drop-off locations to take all the compost you can use.  First come first served, while supplies last.

COMPOST GIVEAWAY SCHEDULE

Friday, July 6

-Corona Greenmarket

Wednesday, July 11

-Manhattan Compost On-the-Go (COTG) locations

Friday, July 13

-Bronx Compost On-the-Go (COTG) locations

-Fordham Plaza Greenmarket

Saturday, July 14

-Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket

-Inwood Greenmarket

-Staten Island Mall Greenmarket

-St. George Greenmarket

Sunday, July 15

-79th Street Greenmarket

-92nd Street Greenmarket

-Carroll Gardens Greenmarket

-Columbia Greenmarket

-Cortelyou Greenmarket

-Parkside Food Scrap Collection

-Tompkins Square Greenmarket

Tuesday, July 17

-Bowling Green Greenmarket

-Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket

-Ft. Washington Greenmarket

-La Familia Verde Farmer's Market

-Lenox Hill Fresh Food Box

-Poe Park Greenmarket

Wednesday, July 18

-57th Street Greenmarket

-Dag Hammarskjold Greenmarket

-Flushing Greenmarket

-Learn It, Grow It, Eat It Youthmarket

-New Settlement's 170 Farm Stand

-Project HOPE Fresh Food Box

-Tribeca Greenmarket

-Uptown Grand Central Fresh Food Box

Thursday, July 19

-175th Street Greenmarket

-Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket

-BronxWorks Food Scrap Collection

-Columbia Greenmarket

-Tucker Square Greenmarket

-We Stay / Nos Quedamos Food Scrap Collection

Friday, July 20

-97th Street Greenmarket

-Parkchester Greenmarket

Saturday, July 21

-57th Street Greenmarket

-82nd Street Greenmarket

-Halsey Community Garden Fresh Food Box

-Abingdon Square Greenmarket

-Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket

-Fort Greene Greenmarket

-McCarren Park Greenmarket

-Tribeca Greenmarket

-Tucker Square Greenmarket

Fighting Food and Clothing Waste - 15 Million Pounds and Counting!

December 15, 2017

15 Million Lbs 2017

(click photo to view slideshow)

As the curtain closes on 2017, we mark TWO milestones for GrowNYC’s zero waste programs.   We are thrilled to announce; thanks to YOU we have collected more than 10 million pounds of food scraps at our Greenmarkets!

There’s more! YOU have helped keep 5 million pounds of clothing and textiles from going to landfills by dropping them at collection sites hosted by GrowNYC. 

Thanks to your participation that’s 7,500 tons of material repurposed to build soil, create renewable energy, or live a second life as usable clothing, rags, or recycled fiber products!   

What started as 6 Greenmarkets in 2011 has grown to 42 food scrap drop-off locations at GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets, Youthmarkets, and Fresh Food Box sites throughout the City! Not to mention the 18 new Compost On-The-Go locations near mass transit in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx.  Hats off to you and your fellow dedicated New Yorkers who save, store, and transport their scraps each week. 

New Yorkers are equally dedicated to style, and demand for clothing collections continues.  What began as “Material Mondays” at Union Square Greenmarket is now a network of 27 markets accepting clothing each week through our partner, Wearable Collections.  Every shirt, suit, and pair of shoes collected helps chip away at the 193,000 tons of textile waste New Yorkers send to landfill each year – 5 MILLION POUNDS AND COUNTING!

Food scraps and textiles comprise nearly one-quarter of NYC’s residential discards.  Thanks to you, these efforts are one successful component of getting NYC to zero waste.     

Find a clothing collection or food scrap drop-off near you. 

--

GrowNYC’s zero waste programs are funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation.

GrowNYC Compost Giveaway

June 15, 2017

From June 17th - 24th, GrowNYC Compost Program Participants will receive free compost when they drop off food scraps at participating Greenmarkets and Fresh Food Box locations throughout NYC.

Please see below for the schedule of Compost Giveaway events and refer to the Compost Program Schedule for site-specific hours.

Compost will be available during food scrap drop-off hours at each site while supplies last. Please bring a container to fill with loose compost and take only what you need.

2017 Compost Giveaway Schedule

Saturday, June 17th

  • Bay Ridge Greenmarket
  • Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket
  • Inwood Greenmarket
  • St. George Greenmarket
  • Staten Island Mall Greenmarket

Sunday, June 18th

  • 79th Street Greenmarket
  • Columbia Greenmarket
  • Carroll Gardens Greenmarket
  • Cortelyou Greenmarket
  • Parkside Greenmarket
  • Tompkins Square Greenmarket

Tuesday, June 20th

  • Bowling Green Greenmarket
  • Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarket
  • Fort Washington Greenmarket
  • Lenox Hill Fresh Food Box
  • Poe Park Greenmarket

Wednesday, June 21st

  • BronxWorks Fresh Food Box
  • Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Greenmarket
  • Mount Sinai Greenmarket
  • Tribeca Greenmarket
  • Uptown Grand Central Fresh Food Box

Thursday, June 22nd

  • Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket
  • Columbia University Greenmarket
  • Tucker Square Greenmarket

Friday, June 23rd

  • 97th Street Greenmarket
  • Parkchester Greenmarket

Saturday, June 24th

  • 57th Street Greenmarket
  • 82nd Street Greenmarket
  • Abingdon Square Greenmarket
  • Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket
  • Fort Greene Greenmarket
  • McCarren Park Greenmarket
  • Tribeca Greenmarket
  • Tucker Square Greenmarket

This compost is courtesy of the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY), and is made out of residential food scraps and yard waste from New York City. For more information about getting compost from the DSNY, visit their website.

Volunteer Profile: Jonathan Kong

July 4, 2016
Posted in Community Gardens

Volunteers are a major source of strength for nonprofits and GrowNYC is fortunate to have the time, effort and talents of so many dedicated New Yorkers. Whether they are corporate groups giving back to the community by helping with a garden build for a neighborhood or school or a single individual who feels passionate about what GrowNYC does, we are extremely grateful.  Want to volunteer with GrowNYC?

Jonathan Kong started volunteering with GrowNYC in 2014, quickly establishing himself as a tireless worker and enthusiastic supporter of all things GrowNYC.  But in 2016, Jonathan has taken things to a new level: Creating and undertaking The Greenmarket Challenge: a quest to volunteer at all 54 Greenmarket farmers markets in 1 year.  

We spoke with Jonathan what inspires him, which Greenmarket is his favorite, and much more:
 

How long have you been volunteering with GrowNYC?

This is my third year.

What is it about GrowNYC that inspires you to work with us?

I really like the environment, working outdoors, getting to interact with the public, doing hands-on activities such as the cooking demos, and learning something new about myself everyday.

Favorite activity when volunteering?

Cooking demos are always fun to do because I get to see the actual ingredients I'm using and use them with the recipe. Outreach is great since I get to see the diversity of people who live in different neighborhoods.

How many different Greenmarket locations have you volunteered at?

So far about 30, but I plan to volunteer at all of them by the end of this year.

Do you have a favorite Greenmarket?

I like Union Square a lot because there's a lot of different activities going on down there and it's really easy to get to. I also have favorite markets for each region: Forest Hills for Queens, Columbia for Upper Manhattan, Tompkins for Lower Manhattan, Fort Greene for Brooklyn, and Parkchester for Bronx.

Favorite fruit and/or vegetable?

I tend to go for tropical fruits like mangos, pineapples and coconuts, but they don't sell them at the markets.

What would you tell someone who was considering volunteering with GrowNYC?

Volunteering with GrowNYC will help you improve your social skills, build confidence in yourself, and feel comfortable working with other people.                                                                                                                         

Environmental Ambassadors at NYCHA

February 12, 2016
Posted in Recycling | Tagged recycle, volunteer, NYCHA, recycling



Over the past year, an exciting thing has been happening: recycling is rolling out at NYCHA developments citywide.  As a partner in community engagement, GrowNYC has provided recycling education at workshops and events, aiming to change the way more than 400,000 New Yorkers take out the trash. 

This winter, GrowNYC is launching a new volunteer program for NYCHA residents who want to see this program succeed.  Through our Environmental Ambassadors program, we will train volunteers to educate neighbors about recycling at their developments.  After completing two, 2-hour workshops, Environmental Ambassadors conduct 12 hours of local outreach to encourage participation in the NYCHA Recycles! Program.  Volunteer benefits include field trips, gear, gift bags and a certificate of service signed by the DNSY commissioner and a NYCHA executive. 

Live at NYCHA and want to make a positive change where you live?  Learn more and register today!

GrowNYC's zero waste programs funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation. 

Have a More Sustainable Holiday

December 8, 2015

You've made a gift list and planned the menu, now here's your holiday recycling checklist:

  • Wrapping paper, gift boxes, cardboard and other paper packaging can go out with other paper recycling (remove tape, ribbons and other decorations). 
     
  • Eggnog cartons, wine bottles, olive containers, cookie tins and hard-to-open rigid plastic packaging are easy to recycle alongside the rest of your metal, glass, plastic and cartons
     
  • Block Styrofoam and foam peanut packaging are not recyclable, but alternative paper packaging can be included in your recycling pile.  Styrofoam peanuts can be reused, and cornstarch peanuts can be composted. 
     
  • For those so inclined, even corks can be recycled--find drop-sites here 

Visit our Holiday Tips page for post-holiday tree collections, electronics recycling events and community swap events. 

For more tips on keeping your holidays green and merry, visit the NYC ZeroWaste page.

Five Million Hi-Fives to Greenmarket Composters!

August 3, 2015
Posted in Recycling | Tagged recycle, compost, greenmarket

Spring, winter, summer or fall, New Yorkers are increasingly dedicated to building a collective compost pile, facilitated by Greenmarkets and community composters throughout the city.  In partnership with the NYC Department of Sanitation, GrowNYC has diverted more than 5 million pounds of residential food scraps from disposal.  Material dropped off at Greenmarkets is distributed to a network of local compost sites, such as Earth Matter on Governor’s Island, where chickens get the first “peck” of the scraps, and Red Hook Farm, where unwanted scraps are transformed to nurture a new crop of Brooklyn-grown vegetables.   Whether your haul is large or small, we thank YOU for your contributions to this effort!  Learn more about food scrap collections at Greenmarket.    

           

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