Sarah RavitsIt’s easy to “go green”: to purchase and use items that are practical and functional for the home. For furniture, plants, artwork and what you make for dinner—there are plenty of eco-friendly and environmentally aware agencies and services available in this city, and more sprout up each year, making it easier for New Orleanians
to support their environment.
One such resource is the Green Project, a nonprofit that promotes and encourages environmental sustainability in the local area. According to its Web site, the project “recycle[s] building materials and paint, deconstructs homes and salvages usable materials…” Another good way of looking at this is “one man’s loss is another’s gain.” Next month, the Green Project will host a Juried Furniture Exhibition and Auction featuring furniture creations made from salvaged materials.
Then there’s the newly formed EcoUrban, a sustainable landscaping business established by Demetria Christo and Travis Cleaver, with an overall mission to restore
eco-function to urban areas. “Landscaping is an obvious outlet to enhance the health and sustainability of New Orleans,” says co-founder Travis Cleaver, who believes the city needs to focus on the synergistic relationship of sustainable architecture and landscape design. “We like to use Southeast Louisiana native species.” says Christo.
The company also generates gourmet soil with used coffee grounds from Cool Brew production for Parkway Partners. “This is a great mutually beneficial sustainable business arrangement that keeps one of the richest organic materials out of a landfill,” Christo explains. “We also purchase biodiesel from New Orleans Biofuel Initiative to power our Bobcat, and our company truck will be run on biodiesel.” Solar panels provide the power to the office trailer for heating, cooling and power tool needs.
There are a variety of markets in the city that cater to the local arts. If you’re looking decorate your home, the Bywater Art Market happens on the third Saturday of every month. The art market sells crafts by artists within the city and outlying area, plus it boasts affordable prices and originality. Live music and food are also a big draw.
In terms of what you put in your refrigerator, the Crescent City Farmers Market places a great emphasis on promoting ecologically sound economic development for individuals and businesses within the area as well. With its sale of local produce and agriculture, the market tells their customer that staying local isn’t just supportive of the economy, it’s also better for the environment as it reduces the carbon footprint of the consumer. There are other local green markets throughout New Orleans, such as the Gretna Farmers Market, that you can check out as well.
Global Green, a national organization, has initiatives to “green” schools in New Orleans as well as build the first Green Affordable Housing Project in the Ninth Ward, through its design competition with actor Brad Pitt. The organization’s mission is to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. The group’s Carondelet Street headquarters is full of useful information, including hand-outs, that can help you learn more about how to make a home more energy-efficient, renovation tips and other “green” information. There is a staff to help with questions, and there are seminars on various “green” subjects throughout the year.
Since the hurricane, New Orleans had lacked residential curbside recycling services, but that’s changed with Phoenix Recycling, an organization that offers a fee-based service to recycle household waste that includes plastic, glass, cans, newsprint, mixed paper and cardboard. Currently, Phoenix Recycling picks up recycled goods every other week and offers discounts to members of neighborhood organizations.
There are also periodic parish recycle days, and be sure to check out Recycle New Orleans’ list of places of where to leave your recyclables. It’s on the Internet (www.recycle.tulane.edu/NO_recycling_guide.pdf), and even though it is from November 2006, the list is still good to have.
These are just a few examples of how organizations in the city are rallying together for high quality and sustainable living. From architecture to art, the city’s rebuilding itself and it’s important for residents to support eco-friendly and sustainable living as we move forward. Go green!
Local eco-friendly organizations.
Alliance for Affordable Energy
Bywater Art Market
Markey Park (Royal St. at Piety)
Crescent City Farmer’s Market
Tues.: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 200 Broadway;
Sat.: 8 a.m. to noon, 700 Magazine St./at Girod St.
For more green markets in the region, check Web site,
e-mail: Traviscleaver@gmail.com or
841 Carondelet St.
The Green Project
2831 Marais St.
Gretna Farmers Market
Sat: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Old Train Depot,
300 Huey P. Long Ave. Gretna
Make It Right
New Orleans Biofuel Initiative
Recycle New Orleans