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Chemical vs. Natural Swimming Pools

Natural swimming pools or living spas are much more common throughout Europe, but are increasingly becoming more popular in the United States. Now that the spring weather is beginning to surface, it’s time for Eco Brooklyn to open up our Natural Pool for the swimming season. We use it as a showcase pool for clients [...]

How Can We Clean Up the Gowanus?

Before New York City as we know it today existed, the Gowanus was a tidal wetlands and stream ecosystem. In the 1860s, the area was dredged to become the Gowanus Canal, a major route for oil refineries, tanneries, chemical plants, manufactured-gas plants and other heavy industries who settled along the canal’s banks. These factories dumped [...]

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 is so incredibly human centered I am skeptical. It reminds me of when humans thought [...]

Natural Mosquito Repellent

Brooklyn’s beautiful summer days coax us outdoors to converse and lounge in our parks, backyards, and porches. In the heat of the summer, water features are a welcome cooling sight and draw the abundance of people looking to maximize their free time. However, these same water features are also home to pesky mosquitoes, diminishing the [...]

Riverside Park: Flushing Away the Porter Potties, Adding Composting Toilets

In 1875, Fredrick Law Olmsted designed Riverside Park, in 1935 Robert Moses built a highway right thought, but somehow the park has prevailed and it now going to be home to one of the greenest structures in the city – a composting toilet.

Riverside Park is home to the cities only clay tennis courts, this [...]

Bioswale Basics

Do you ever think about where all that water goes when it rains?

In a natural system, most rainwater gets absorbed in the ground where it falls. It gradually flows, or percolates, through the soil until it reaches the water table (the point in which an underground area is saturated with water.) As the water [...]

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 not already begun. A change in the way we think about new buildings and construction, [...]

Natural Pools

We at EcoBrooklyn engage in a number of exciting green building projects and experiments throughout the year, but with the hot months ahead at the top of our list is the natural pool for the show house and with its completion so close we can almost feel the cool, energetic, life infused water on our [...]

Honeybees Drinking Water

I built a natural pond and stream in my Brooklyn front yard, inspired by the images from the book Mannahatta of New York in the 1600′s. On my roof I have a bee hive. My friends from the roof come to the border of the pond to drink off a patch of moss. Check the [...]

Review: Anthony Archer-Wills, Water Garden Designer

NY Sustainable construction

Anthony Archer-Wills is a world class water garden designer who has built over 2,000 ponds, water gardens, waterfalls, and streams across the globe.

He has several books out, among them The Water Gardener and Designing Water gardens: A Unique Approach.

Gennaro Brooks-Church, Eco Brooklyn’s Director, had the opportunity to take a course with him [...]

Fracking Song

Check out this song about fracking. As a New York green contractor we do a lot of eco kitchens because people want cabinets without formaldehyde, a cancer causing chemical. Fracking releases formaldehyde into the water, as well as Benzene, both very toxic and cancerous chemicals. We understand these chemicals and have made a conscious effort [...]

Bus Roots on Bus Routes

Interactive designer Marco Castro has recently developed an innovative idea about how to efficiently increase green space in overcrowded urban settings through an interesting new reinterpretation of the term “green vehicle”. The “Bus Roots” project is working to establish rooftop gardens atop buses in New York City and around the country so as to counteract [...]

Gardening, Done Vertically

The folks from GardenUp just stopped by the EcoBrooklyn Green Show House to tell us more about their great new products for gardening. They’ve created a simple vertical system based on hydroponic technology that is great for small spaces, easy-to-use and highly efficient – perfect for city living.

An example of one of GardenUp’s towers [...]

Sub-Irrigation Planting – the most sustainable urban gardening method?

Being a New York green contractor we consider urban farming to be an important consideration for every project. Given every building has walls and a roof it is always worth asking wither they are well suited for vertical or roof farming.

Sub-Irrigation Planting Systems (SIPs) are a perfectly sustainable answer to urban farming, according to [...]

Dual flush toilets in American homes

New York green contractors and homeowners are applying a modern innovation to an age-old technology.

The body creates two types of waste, so the logical approach is a toilet capable of two types of flush: a gentle gurgle for liquid waste and a more generous gush for solid waste, resulting in water conservation through more [...]

Newsflash: Oysters Occupy the Gowanus

We are now accepting checks to buy oysters.

Here’s the deal: around the corner from lies the heavily polluted Gowanus Canal. The industrial landscape of this former tidal creek is surreal in its bleakness – but to us it offers the exciting possibility of a rock bottom wasteland that has nowhere to go but up.

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Eco Brooklyn’s Eco Garden

Eco Brooklyn’s show house is now home to a beautiful new landscape which has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Nestled among many homes in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY this garden provides a home for a wide variety of shrubs and perennials that have invited in a number of [...]

NYC Sprays Toxic Chemicals over City

This NYC government web page lists the times, zip codes and dates that helicopters will spray pesticides over the city. They call it the “Aerial Larviciding Schedule”, and define Aerial Larviciding as:

Dropping natural bacterial granules by helicopter to marshes and other large natural areas to kill mosquito larvae before they grow into adult mosquitoes. [...]

New York Rain Garden

Here are some great links on rain gardens. Rain gardens are a great way to add character to a garden while reducing the water that runs off the property (that is a good thing). Eco Brooklyn is a rain garden installer but anyone with some time and interest in gardening can do it.

New York [...]

Water Gardens Ponds and Fountains Book

The book “Complete Guide to Water Gardens Ponds and Fountains” gives you everything you need to know to build and run a small to medium sized water feature in your yard.

The book lays out every detail in clearly worded and well organized sections with plenty of supportive photographs and images.

It is focused on [...]

NY Native Trees, Holistic Green Building and Water

As part of our service in the green renovation of a brownstone Eco Brooklyn looks at the brownstone plot in its entirety. This means we don’t just gut and renovate the interior. We also look at how the interior effects the exterior. As a NY green contractor we look at the whole system, from the [...]

Plastiki

The boat Plastiki is a boat built entirely out of salvaged plastic. I presume it is a play on the original boat called Kon-Tiki that THOR HEYERDAHL built out of reeds.

You have to check out their site. Check out the pictures and the vids. They are on such a high that it is really [...]

Brooklyn Rainwater Capture Design

We are designing a rainwater capture system on a Brooklyn brownstone. The system will feed the toilets and showers with cold water. The overflow will go to feed the garden. Below are the drawings.

This will eliminate any rainwater going down the municipal drain.

As Brooklyn green builders one of our main focus is to [...]

High Efficiency Toilets (HET)

High Efficiency Toilets (HET) are the only kind of toilet anyone should be buying for their Brooklyn green brownstone renovation. If you have an old toilet I think this is a worthwhile and justifyable new purchace. You can get one starting at $125.

There are a couple ways they could be HET – dual flush, [...]

Rain Barrel Design

We design rain water capture systems for Brooklyn and NY homes. The rain water can be used to water gardens, flush toilets, for showers, and even for drinking water.

Capturing rain water has large benefits. Here in NY state we tend to be nonchalant about water. We have access to plentiful and clean water.

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