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Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Greenhouse Grows in Brooklyn

50% of produce grown is discarded before it’s ever eaten. That’s $165 billion dollars worth of wasted food each year.

Today, Brooklyn-born Gotham Greens has set out to change that, making a tangible difference in the most unconventional – yet extraordinarily innovative – of ways. Since 2010, Gotham has been transforming unused urban rooftop space into blooming communities of pesticide-free produce. And this is just the beginning.


By tapping into the city’s most underutilized resource, Gotham Greens is revolutionizing the way we think about urban farming. To date, three New York rooftops are home to the nation’s most technologically sophisticated rooftop greenhouses.


Their flagship greenhouse sits atop a Greenpoint, Brooklyn Whole Foods, boasting over 15,000 square feet, and growing over 100 tons of leafy greens annually. The produce is harvested before breakfast, and is downstairs ready for purchase by lunch. “Farm-fresh” has officially taken on a new meaning.


Passionate growers with fervor for sustainable agriculture, the greens team purveys the freshest produce in the most viable way. Climate-controlled greenhouses allow for harvesting 365 days a year. And the kicker? Their produce never travels more than 7 miles. 

GreenBox users Two Boots and Emily Pizza are taking advantage of this remarkable resource, adorning their pizzas with Gotham’s basil, arugula, and “rooftop reds” (their juicy medley of cherry, grape and cocktail tomatoes).


Gotham sums up their philosophy in the most perfect way: “We see green fields where others see rooftops. Most of all, we know that the crunch of fresh, local sustainably grown food, sets off a chain reaction of good things in the world.”

The mission behind Gotham Greens is so close to our hearts, in fact, that we’ve practically forgotten that they beat us out for the top spot in the 2009 Green Business Competition (we took second place!). It was a well-deserved win ☺. 


Like all of the best ideas, Gotham Greens was born in the Big Apple. And while we’re just waiting on the day when all of the nation’s cities catch up, we will revel in the fact that the basil on our pie was harvested this afternoon, and New Yorkers are the only ones who can say so. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In the Pages of the WSJ by Morning, "Escaping the Cube" by Day, and Swimming with Sharks by Night

Friday, January 30th was truly a historic day for GreenBox - one we will forever celebrate as the day our "transformers of pizza boxes" took the national stage, being raved about on multiple news outlets, blogs, twitter feeds, and around water coolers across the country.

With waves of unbelievable excitement, we'd been anxiously anticipating this night for months and were practically shouting it from the rooftops. The GreenBox team would face the judges of ABC's "Shark Tank" - with 9+ million viewers in tow. It felt like the job interview of a lifetime.


Could it get much better? Apparently, yes - and we've got a hit in Friday morning's Wall Street Journal to prove it. There's nothing quite like seeing your company in print over morning coffee & one heck of a New York bagel. We're still pinching ourselves.


Then just around lunchtime, we switched on CNBC's hit daytime show "Power Lunch," and the sight of Jennifer Wright-Laracy's smiling face had us all beaming with pride. Our very own president & co-founder had "escaped the cube" of finance in 2009, marking the beginning of GreenBox, helping to launch the company we all work for (and love) today. If you missed it, check out the segment - it's one of our favorites. 


Fast-forward to 9:14pm. With our confidence running high amongst family and friends, we watched Jen and Ned stumble a little bit out of the box, calmly dust themselves off and proceed to knock it out of the park. We think GreenBox user Last Dragon Pizza said it best: 


The GreenBox was a hit, with two "Shark bites" to prove it! And with an offer from "Mr. Wonderful," Kevin O'Leary, too good to refuse, we swam out of the tank a Nemo-style success... knowing there's no limit to how far the GreenBox will go as it changes the world - "one pizza box at a time."




We spent the rest of the night celebrating with friends, family... and pizza. Always pizza. 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Like A Virgil

One square, two square, three square, four. At Virgil’s Plate, there’s always more, more, more.

When it comes to pepperoni, bacon, and a whole lotta roasted veggies, you’ve got yourself some big decisions to make. Pizza problems? Virgil’s “select-a-slice” has you covered. It’s where you top by the square, and there’s no need to compare. ☺


Cheesy rhymes aside, where else can you grab a 12-cut pizza, topped 12 different ways? Virgil’s owner, Gary Fleming, calls it “Peaceful Pizza” - and amongst the kicking and screaming over sausage or extra cheese here at GreenBox, we’d love to get our hands on one. 


But Virgil’s is so much more than Erie’s #1 referee. Known around town for their rich & buttery house-baked dough and perfectly seasoned sauce, they’ve stolen the hearts of locals and visitors alike. There are no freezers or fryers to be had within Virgil’s walls, as the place prides itself on simply fresh and flavorful ingredients from start to finish. (And when we say “finish,” we mean you best be taking home a bag full of their homemade pepperoni balls. They’re not to be missed.)


A fan favorite has to be their “Happy Wife” – a crispy crust topped with fresh spinach, sausage, tomatoes, red onions and ricotta cheese. Happy wife, happy life!

Not only are they the official inventors of what we deem the “perfect pizza,” Virgil’s has love for the Earth, too. There are no plastic bags or Styrofoam allowed, and bottled water has been officially kicked to the curb. Aside from making delicious pie, it’s Virgil’s goal to operate as eco-friendly as possible. The GreenBox seemed like the perfect fit – and their customers agree. We’re delighted. 

As Gary told our team, “Like you, we’re doing something different within an industry that’s been largely the same.” Could we ever ask for more?


Friday, December 19, 2014

We're Keepin' It Real - Are You?

It’s that time of year again. Twinkling white lights line the doorways, gifts are being wrapped in a hurry, and the fresh smell of pine fills the air. And of course, the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without one thing: a Christmas tree.


But as Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious, people are having a hard time choosing between buying a fake tree or cutting down a real one. And while many consumers think they’re “going green” by getting this year’s tree at a big box retailer, they might want to think again. According to National Geographic, your plastic tree isn’t all that environmentally friendly after all. In fact, it's a real strain on Mother Earth.

Rick Dungey, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, sets the record straight: "An artificial tree is never going to decompose. It’s always going to end up in a landfill. It’s always going to be an environmental burden."


Think about it: your newly purchased tree isn’t manufactured in your backyard. In fact, most are typically shipped all the way from China… a long trip that results in a ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Some might argue that a fake tree is better because it lasts longer. But most people reuse theirs only 4 or 5 years in a row, until it goes to the dump where it sits for centuries on end. On the other hand, your pine-needled tree will biodegrade—helping to prevent erosion and building up shorelines in the process.

So, instead of putting up a fake tree this year (one that is packaged in a cardboard box, remember), keep it real and help reduce your carbon footprint. We don’t need to make drastic changes to help improve the environment, which is the exact concept behind Ecovention, LLC’s GreenBox: a product that re-invents the typical pizza box. Just 50 million of these in circulation would save 280,250 trees, 1,041 acres of land, 85,750,000 gallons of water, and 50,225,000 kilowatts of energy. That's a pretty big deal.

Remember: it’s our planet, and our responsibility.