From creatively-flavored kale chips to organic and recycled fashions, the first ever New York City Green Festival featured some of the best trends in eco living this weekend. Inhabitat talked with tons of eco-conscious vendors, listened to amazing speakers, and tasted many delicious green treats. In case you missed it, here are some of the best eco-finds from the festival, fit for everyone from the indoor gardener to your four-legged friends.
Clean water made simple with charcoal. It sounds kinda crazy, but according to Kishu makers, it’s a Japanese tradition. You simply put one hunk of this charcoal into a glass or pitcher and it will purify the water from lead, mercury, chlorine, cadmium, and copper. The company sustainably harvests the charcoal from holm oak trees and fires it in a kiln oven. A single piece lasts up to six months and can be composted when you are done with it.
For the Snactivist: SnackTAXI and Earth Swag
Two companies featured alternatives to plastic bags and they both had bright colors and help reduce waste. These products are especially handy for anyone who packs lunch on a daily basis. Erin Kelly-Dill started snackTAXI in 2003, when her 3 kids started school and she was packing more than 500 lunches a year. Dr. Sara O’Connor started Earth Swag out of a desire to keep plastic away from her family’s food.
Grow more food with less space. The Phytopod is made with earth-friendly, recycled, or re-used materials and allows you to grow tons of your favorite veggies, fruits, herbs or flowers in a small space. Originally from Oakland, Calif. the company is now based in the Bronx. They work with individuals and schools to help increase access to homegrown food.
Recycled plastic bottles, textile scraps and even discarded x-ray slides are creating the latest trends in t-shirt fashion right here in NYC. Playback Founder Adam Siskind was inspired to create this eco-apparel line after watching An Inconvenient Truth. Not only do are the clothes made from recycled materials, but the colors come from the original product—so a bright green t-shirt comes from a Mountain Dew bottle, not a chemical dye.
When Gwen, the owner of Simply Chickie, starting making these clothes in 2004, she said she had to educate people about the importance of organic cotton. These days, people get it. Working with certified organic cotton supports farmers that grow it without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Gwen’s daughter, Elizabeth, inspires the designs, and she uses Japanese paper and print to create art for the textiles.
Kale chips seem to be all the rage these days, and the world is ready for crunchy snack foods with more nutrients. The most interesting flavor of kale chips from Kale Krunch was the Spirulina, Orange Creamsicle variety. Kaia foods has managed to combine a superfood with a childhood favorite that was definitely a crowd pleaser. These chips are raw, certified-organic, gluten-free, vegan and dehydrated (not baked or fried).
For the Eco-Celebration: Susty Party
Who says environmentally friendly products can’t be fun? The days of plastic party plates are history. Susty Party, a Brooklyn-born online store, supplies eco-friendly party supplies from starch plates made of tapioca, potato starch and grass fiber to organic cotton, re-usable party crowns handmade by moms.
P.L.A.Y. makes eco-friendly pet beds and other products with the planet in mind. These beds are made from sustainable materials while still being soft and cuddly for your favorite pal. They also use bottles that turn into soft Planet Fill polyfiber. With designs by San Francisco artists, these beds will complement your home décor.