Blog Archives

Is Green Building Ethical?

Most people would agree that green building is a desirable thing. But sometimes it isn’t so clear. Ethics, even with something as virtuous as green building, can get murky fast. Join us this Tuesday May 13, 2014 for a USGBC

Posted in All Posts, Education, Ethics Tagged with: , ,


Most of us have probably come to recognize that plastic is an extremely difficult item to cut out of our lives. From tupperware to composite lumber, plastic has become so engrained in the modern way of life, most people do

Posted in Build It Forward, Eco Brooklyn, Energy, Ethics, Green, Health, Recycled, salvage

InsideClimate News – Brooklyn

Eco Brooklyn would like to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of a fellow green advocate located in Brooklyn. InsideClimate News is a rising nonprofit news website that focuses chiefly on environmental issues. Their objectives include providing scientific and objective investigations and news

Posted in Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Ethics, Green, Health, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Review, Review - Books, Review - Websites, Sustainability

The Real Cost of Cheap Stuff

Bangladesh Building Collapse Kills at Least 70 Texas Fertilizer Explosion Kills at Least 16 Boston Bombing Kills 3 All three of these events happened this week. Most people see the third as very different from the first two. I don’t. To me

Posted in All Posts, Ethics, Finance, Green, Politics Tagged with:


In 2012 Eco Brooklyn Inc. made a conscious choice to NOT grow. As a for profit corporation this may seem a bad business choice. But ironically we see this as thinking BIG. Peoples’ obsession with growth is such a massive

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Ethics, Finance Tagged with:

How to become a green builder (aka aware human)

As a New York green builder I get a lot of interns eager to learn about building a better world. They are young, eager and often impatient. After six months on a job site they think they should become manager.

Posted in All Posts, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Ethics, Philosophy Tagged with: ,

Building for Children

Eco Brooklyn recently completed a number of jobs in a building where there were children living. We renovated  three children’s bedrooms, two bathrooms where they bathe, and two play areas. Doing this increased our focus on using non-toxic materials and

Posted in All Posts, clay, Design, Education, Ethics, Health, Politics, salvage, triple bottom line Tagged with: ,

Leave Your Surroundings Cleaner Than When You Arrived

When I first started mentoring interns one of the first things I told them was that they always had to leave their work area cleaner than when they came to it. Over time this metaphor became the most powerful thing

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, City Planning, Education, Ethics, Gowanus Canal, Sustainability Tagged with: , ,

Fun Built with Salvaged Material

The growth in sustainable and green living has given rise to a movement of eco-tourism in a variety of forms across the country.  Specifically the use of salvaged materials is making a breakthrough in the realm of practical and/ or

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, DIY, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Ethics, Philosophy, Politics, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abundance, The Book and it’s myopic viewpoint

I recently heard about a book called “Abundance” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, so I checked out Diamandis’ TED Talk available below. He has some good points, namely that technology will continue to create abundance for humans…..but his view

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Ethics, Philosophy, Politics, Sustainability, Technology, water

I Am A Weed

ny green garden

How does the nature we find in and around our city reflect who we are? There are two approaches, generally speaking, one can take when dealing with habitat conservation in urban areas. The first and most common is an attempt to

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Ethics, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Living Building Challenge- Winner of the 2012 Buckminster-Fuller Challenge

Green building and eco-sensitive design is currently at the forefront of our modern ethos.   What this means for the green builders, contractors and architects of NY, and the world, is a period of dramatic change and challenge is ahead if

Posted in Build It Forward, City Planning, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Ethics, Finance, Gray Water, Green, House, LEED, Passive House, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Projects, Real Estate, Recycled, Solar, Sustainability, Technology, triple bottom line, water Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Food and Green Building

In my early twenties I was a vegan for ethical reasons. It only lasted a year because I did not know how to eat a good vegan diet. But ever since then I have been a vegetarian who eats meat….Yes

Posted in All Posts, Education, Ethics, Health, Politics

Recap of Panel Discussion on Green Design as (Un)usual

NYC sustainable design

On June 7th, Van Alen Books hosted a panel discussion on architect David Bergman’s book Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide. Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-chief of Metropolitan Magazine, moderated the panel, which was made up of architect and professor David Bergman, Terreform

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Design, Education, Energy, Ethics, Green, Review, Review - Books, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Wal-Mart Lies to NY Green Contractor

Eco Brooklyn does not want Wal-Mart in New York because we feel Walmart’s business model is not conducive to the small neighborhood shopping experience that makes New York and Brooklyn so special. We posted our opinion in this blog post on our

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Ethics Tagged with:

Benefit Corporations law signed and active in New York State!

Finally, a way to pursue the “triple bottom line” (people, planet and profits) with legal backing! It is called the Benefit Corporation (as opposed to a normal C or S Corporation for example). Signed into NY legislation by Governor Cuomo the

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, City Planning, Education, Ethics, Health, Politics, Press, Resource Links Tagged with: , , , ,

“Same River: We are all downstream”

Here is a MUST SEE event. It is an inspiring creative synergy of art spread over several evenings to raise momentum against the  very serious threat of hydrofracking. The Irondale Arts Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn is putting it on and it starts in

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Education, Ethics, Press Tagged with: , , ,

“The Atomic States of America”

Eco Brooklyn obsesses over energy.  Our projects are built to minimize heat loss and optimize gain, while providing individual homeowners ways to generate their own energy through solar panels.  We want to minimize homes’ reliance on energy generated through fossil

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Ethics, Technology Tagged with: ,

New York Contractor Builds Passive House out of Salvaged Materials

Here is a short video we threw together of the Passive House renovation in Harlem. The video mostly discusses the budgeting of the project. Now that the construction is for the most part done I think that our initial budget

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Ethics, Finance, Green, Passive House, Recycled, Salvaged, Sustainability, Technology, triple bottom line Tagged with:

The Cost of Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint.  CO2 emissions.  Low carbon.  Carbon neutral. More and more, businesses eagerly attach themselves to buzzwords like these in order to present an environmentally-friendly face to today’s green-conscious market. I learned a new one the other day: “carbon offset.”

Posted in All Posts, Ethics Tagged with: ,

Building For the Climate Apocalypse

First 2000, and now 2012: Years in which people think the world might possibly end. The world probably won’t end with a bang, but might just crumble beneath the accumulated consequences of our actions. Meanwhile, American politicians’ opinions of science,

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Energy, Ethics, Politics Tagged with: , , , ,

Chemicals in Our Society

As a New York green contractor we are especially sensitive to the effect chemicals have on humans. New York city has many environmental stressors. You have noise, lots of people, lots of cars and a million other things in the environment

Posted in All Posts, Ethics Tagged with:

The Weather Underground Movie

Since the Occupy Wall Street events this fall I have immersed myself in information that questions existing paradigms and searches for solutions to current problems. I’ve always done this, and as a green builder I do it on a daily basis, but the recent

Posted in All Posts, Ethics, Philosophy, Politics, Review, Review - Movies Tagged with: ,

Greenwashing At Its Best

I heard somewhere that the building industry is more honest than other industries when it comes to greenwashing. Building only lies 96% of the time as opposed to the average of 98%. I don’t know if that is true but

Posted in All Posts, Ethics Tagged with:

Postponing the Debate: Tentative progress in Durban

We’re Brooklyn-based green builders dedicated to turning our local neighborhood green, but we’re always following the latest developments in global standards for more sustainable living. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met in Durban over the past

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Ethics, Green, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Breaking news: NY City Council enacts proposals from Urban Green Task Force

As New York green contractors we follow the latest developments in NY building codes very closely.  Yesterday, the New York City Council enacted three proposals from the Urban Green Task Force.  The new codes, effective July 1, 2012, mandate more

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Ethics, Green, Green Roof, House, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Mayor Bloomberg, Green Mayor but Tone Deaf

I have tolerated Mayor Bloomberg because he has done some good things for New York’s ecology. He isn’t the mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark. Now that is a city worth looking at in terms of ecology and social planning. But Bloomberg could have

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, City Planning, Ethics, Politics

Doing good when the game is rigged

When I was 25 I paid a lot of money to have my fortune read from a palm leaf. Turns out a wise man way back when in the depths of Eastern India scratched down on palm leaves the destiny

Posted in All Posts, Ethics Tagged with:

College Sustainability Initiatives

As a New York Green Contractor, here at EcoBrooklyn we focus mainly on one aspect of reaching sustainability, and that is by green building.  But of course, this is just one way to approach sustainability. Colleges for instance, are trending

Posted in City Planning, Ethics Tagged with: ,

Elmo Joins the Revolution

I attended last Saturday’s Occupy Wall Street march to Times Square because as a New York green contractor I feel alligned with many of the issues brought up in the Occupy Wall street movement. There was a big crowd and

Posted in All Posts, Ethics, Finance Tagged with: