Monday, November 30, 2015

Eat, Drink & Be Green

During the holiday season, Americans produce 25% more trash. That equates to 5 million additional tons of garbage in our (snow-covered) landfills. Now, that doesn’t seem very festive.  

It's official: white Christmases are so yesterday. This year, we're goin' green - and we think Santa would be proud. Check out some "out of the box" ways to keep your holiday season eco-friendly. Literally though, lay off the unrecyclable gift boxes. They’re horrible for the environment. 

1. Green Giftin’

Why spend 45 solid minutes lovingly wrapping a gift (or is that just us...) when someone is just going to tear it apart? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Instead of buying wrapping paper that’s sure to beeline its way to the trash on Christmas morning, take advantage of what you already have at home. Old newspapers or magazines work like a charm and look cool, too. Better yet? Buy a gift that doesn’t need wrapping, like concert tickets or a yoga class package. Those are the best kinds, anyway.

Now, onto Christmas cards. You know, the ones that get piled up and tossed on January 1st (again, maybe just us...). Regardless, among a sea of endless texts and e-vites, a holiday greeting card is gold. So, we won’t fight you on it. But, instead of running to Hallmark, check out Give-A-Tree. For every card purchased, a tree is planted. So shop your holiday heart out. 

2. Green Blingin’

To real or not to real? That is the question. We’ve laid it out for the blogosphere once before, but it’s worth repeating: a fake Christmas tree is, in every sense, an environmental burden. From its “made in China” sticker (hello, greenhouse gases!) to the PVC and lead emitted from your imposter pine, there’s never a better time to go green. Plus, that carcinogen-filled candle just doesn’t do the scent justice. We know, we know. Bah humbug.

3. Green Feastin’

Are we the only ones that park ourselves in the kitchen at family get togethers? Cause grandma’s freshly baked cookies are what the holidays are about. Oh, and love. And hope. And all those nice things. But, according to the National Resource Defense Council, 40% of your feast will go to waste. So, instead of tossing those leftovers in the trash, donate the extras to your local food pantry. Here’s a handy locator tool to find a food bank in your area. Or, just drop them off at our house. We’d love to have you.

Dreamin' of a green Christmas, this year and always.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Greener & Cleaner

Today, 80% of consumers consider themselves environmentally concerned. And, in a nation where restaurants use 7 times more energy than any other commercial building, they darn well should be.

According to the National Restaurant Association, “environmental sustainability” will be a hot trend in 2016, with eateries taking action to reduce their carbon footprints. And, after switching to the GreenBox (of course ☺), there are all sorts of ways - big and small - to go green.

These are just a few of our favorites.

1. Local Lovin’
Love thy neighbor, source locally! When you purchase from a farmer’s market or other local vendor, you’re investing back into the community - and saving big on fuel, too. 

Here in NYC, pizzerias have it made. Thanks to Gotham Greens, a 15,000 square foot greenhouse sits atop Brooklyn’s Whole Foods, where over 100 tons of leafy greens are harvested annually. GreenBox users Two Boots and Emily both take advantage of this urban rooftop garden, layering their artisan pies with fresh basil, arugula and “rooftop red” tomatoes 365 days per year.

2. Durable D├ęcor
Why have regular chairs when you can rock recycled ones? Yes, that’s a thing - and we’re all about it. At Manhattan’s Pizza by Certe, the countertops are crafted from recycled bottles and the architectural millwork has been sourced from wheat. Even their walls, ceiling panels and cabinets are made from reclaimed materials. Certe’s “vertical garden” is a showstopper, growing fresh basil during the warmer months. We know, we know. These guys bring Certified 3-Star Green Restaurant to a whole new level. And we love ‘em for it.

3. Earthy Equipment
When it comes to sustainability, small changes add up. According to Pizza Today, a restaurant can cut 10% of its total electric bill just by switching to LED light bulbs. If you’re hoping to preserve water, incorporating flow-restricted faucets is the way to go, saving up to 73,000 gallons of water per year.

But, if you’re lookin’ to go green all the way, Neapolitan Express is the fleet to beat. The first mobile restaurant powered entirely by natural energy, their planet-friendly practices drew the attention of former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg. Their brick and mortar location - the very first pizzeria on Wall Street - just wouldn’t be complete without a solar-paneled roof & community garden.

In a world of conscious consumers, how will you make a difference?