Ever since I was employed at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the only GREEN museum in the city (with bamboo floors, low sink faucets, solar panels and more) I have been ultra conscious of my carbon footprint. It is difficult and frustrating at times to take everything where someone else can make good use of it but there was no going back once I realized how wasteful I was and how easily convinced I was to buy something unnecessary. I can’t help but also be cautious of my family’s consumption of products and our responsibility to try and fix things and recycle them instead of throwing them on the sidewalk to end up in some landfill. Now we recycle our computers, our number five plastics get dropped off at Whole Foods, we reuse all of our grocery plastic bags every time we buy fruits and vegetable, sometimes we turn old clothes into rags so that we don’t have to use as many paper towels and we reuse water for plants and on and on. I give Diego bits of information on how this helps the planet, not too much to overwhelm him, just enough info to make him see how valuable our resources are and how we can appreciate the things we have.
This past year D and I visited the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and we learned so much about human’s impact on earth. We were asked to make a pledge that day. On video, I promised I would stop buying plastic water bottles and he promised that he would start using rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones for his toys. Little by little we make small changes that make us feel like we are helping our own lives and the planet.
This past weekend we found the perfect place to invest in a reusable coffee mug that I could use for our coffeebeaner excursions….
On Avenue A between 8th & 9th in the East Village is a café and “green” business that combined are like no other business in New York City. Sustainable NYC & Ciao for Now share this space and together they form a penny size café and a store of products and gift items that are local, organic, recycled, fair trade, re-purposed, and/or biodegradeable. We have never seen anything like it.
As you walk in you see products like clocks (powered by the iodine in water), purses made from old keyboards, glasses made out of old beer bottles, big crayons made from melted and broken ones, pencils made from paper, notebooks made out of bottle caps, and an amazing array of gifts that somehow will degrade easier and faster when placed among compost. On the right lie rock colored tables with aloe-like plants and a back drop set of walls that look like tall grass and trees full of leaves. Anyone who walks into this place will feel an instant awareness and great energy burst. Both Diego and I walked in and felt revived and we hadn’t even had our regular sugar fix yet. We felt even better after the Valrhona Hot Chocolate, the Ink! Coffee, and melt-in-your-mouth Polenta Muffins.
Owners of Ciao for Now, Kevin and Amy serve organic coffee from Colorado, offer over three different kinds of lemonades, a healthy variety of juices, soups, salads, wraps and over 30 different breaded treats. They use local vendors for their hormone free, organic chicken, grass fed beef, and free range turkey and use organic eggs, nitrate-free bacon, Hudson Valley Fresh milk and local and organic produce whenever seasonally possible. In addition to this they use quadruple filtered water for all of their cooking, baking and beverages, including cappuccinos and lattes. All of their food waste is composted and they use an electric ZAP car (Zero Air Pollution) for deliveries in the city. Oh yes, there’s more…their bathroom wins “The Coffeebeaners Bathroom Award” for being New York’s most multicultural restroom. It is filled with vibrant images of people, animals, and places from all around the world that resemble covers from National Geographic Magazine.
Ciao for Now and Sustainable NYC is located at 139 Avenue A near 9th Street. Take the L Train to 1st Avenue.
Service-Casual (new staff)
Service-Casual (new staff)