Reduce your environmental footprint one strategy at a time.

Recycled Envelopes

Posted on | March 11, 2010 | No Comments

IMG_0792I received this lovely letter today made from an envelope recycled from a magazine page.

It was sent from a parent-friend I met at the Parents for Climate Protection event last Sunday.

We did an experiment to see if it would actually get delivered and it didn’t seem to have any problems along the way.  The letter writer did point out that the addition of tape and a stamp reduces the benefit to the planet but maybe we’ll try it with glue stick next time.

My son also made me an adorable card carrier, see below.  All this was moderated by the lovely instructors at Replayground, an organization that teaches children (an adults) to make useful things from recycled materials.IMG_0796

Neighborhood Energy Forum – Saturday March 20th

Posted on | March 4, 2010 | No Comments


Energy Efficiency and Affordability Where We Live!

All I can talk about lately is that 95% (or so) of buildings that will be standing in NYC in 2030 are already built!

That and the fact that 86% of NYC’s energy use comes from those buildings.

What this tells me that reducing energy consumption in our existing buildings needs to be a very high priority!

Sustainable Flatbush (a local organization I have great admiration for) is holding their first annual Neighborhood Energy Forum.  The Forum will bring together a variety of people in the chain of making energy efficiency and alternative energy happen here and now.   If you have the desire to start an energy efficiency project in your building–whether big or small–come learn about how you can do it!  Find out how to get funding from all kinds of programs, and meet the contractors, architects and engineers who can help you take the first steps.

There will be vendor tables, panel discussions (I’ll be moderating the panel about 1-4 family homes) and you can speak with representatives from Sustainable Flatbush, National Grid, Solar OneNYSERDA, and many other energy experts. Our elected officials will be on hand as well to let you know what they are doing to meet our energy efficiency goals.

Click here to register to attend the event. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Sustainable Flatbush directly.

If you are involved in the construction or energy efficiency industry and are interested in sponsoring the event, SF is offering a range of  sponsorship opportunities that can help your business or organization reach its core audience and increase its visibility.  (We are sponsoring the event  - Come visit Tom and me at our vendor table!) 

We look forward to seeing you there!

WHEN: Saturday, March 20th 9:30am – 2pm

WHERE: Brooklyn College Student Center, Campus Road and E. 27th Street, 5th floor

Obama Announces Details of “Cash for Caulkers” Today

Posted on | March 3, 2010 | No Comments

goldstarPresident Obama announced the details of the Homestar Program today.

Rebates would be sent directly to Homeowners.

There are 2 categories for rebates:  Silver Star and Gold Star.

Silver Star rebates would reimburse 50% up to $1,500 to make simple efficiency upgrades such as insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors.  The Homeowner can select a combination of upgrades up to $3,000 per home.

Gold Star rebates would be offered  up to $3,000 for whole-house energy audits with a subsequent retrofit designed to reduce energy consumption by 20%.

March 7th – Come to Parents for Climate Protection Event in Park Slope

Posted on | February 28, 2010 | No Comments

flyer 2010 color landscape kids and teens

Join Parents for Climate Protection and Beth Elohim Environmental Committee for our 4th Annual Family Gathering (free and open to the public) in support of climate protection. We have planned exciting activities for children, teens and grown-ups.

For young children: Tiffany Threadgould of RePlayGround will show kids how to turn scrap materials into fun and useful objects.

For teens: The Alliance for Climate Education will present a spirited multi-media presentation, including music, live narration, video and animation to educate and empower teens to take action on climate change.

For grown-ups, we have put together a panel discussion sure to enlighten and inspire, entitled:

After Copenhagen: The Science and Policy of Climate Change

This year’s expert panel features:

Gavin Schmidt, Ph.D., climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and co-founder of

Joshua Wolfe, photographer and founder of GHG, a leading photography agency focusing on climate change

Frank Zeman, Director of the Metropolitan Institute for Sustainability at the New York Institute for Technology


Sean Sweeney, Ph.D., Director of Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute, who will deliver a policy update. He has been an an observer at all UN Climate Gatherings, including the recent talks in Bali and Copenhagen.

Lauren Schuster, Environmental Campaign Director at 1Sky/NYPIRG, has agreed to be this year’s moderator.

Date: Sunday, March 7th, 2 p.m.; Location: Congregation Beth Elohim, 271 Garfield Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Kid Activities: Please make reservations for childcare by March 1st with Judy Schneier at or call 347.451.6498

For more information, please visit us on the web at, contact us at or call us at 347.451.6498

This event is presented by Parents for Climate Protection in conjunction with Beth Elohim Environmental Committee.

Co-sponsors: NYPIRG/1Sky, Brooklyn Food Coalition, New York League of Conservation Voters, The Alliance for Climate Education, The Green Team at P.S. 154, Brooklyn for Peace.

If you have additional questions, please call us at 347.451.6498. 

Click here for the flyer.

Have you been wanting to see The Greening of Southie?

Posted on | February 15, 2010 | No Comments

Green_BuildingIf you have always wanted to see the movie The Greening of Southie, now’s your chance.  I’m moderating a post-movie discussion on March 5th at the Park Slope United Methodist Church – 6th Ave and 8th Street at 8pm.   Come for the potluck dinner beforehand at 7!  I haven’t seen the movie yet either so it’ll be fun for everyone!


In the traditionally Irish-American working-class neighborhood of South Boston, MA, a new kind of building has taken shape. From wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dualflush toilets, the Macallen building is something different: a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design.

But Boston’s steel-toed union workers aren’t sure they like it. And when things on the building start to go wrong, the young developer has to keep the project from unraveling.

Building Boston’s first LEED Gold-certified building turns out to be harder than anyone thought. Yet among the I-beams and brickwork emerges a small cadre of unlikely environmentalists who come to connect their work with the future of their children. Created by the co-producers and stars of King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis.

You can download the flyer here.

Seeding the City

Posted on | January 12, 2010 | No Comments

IMG_1060-225x300We’re participating an a public art project called Seeding the City.

The project aims to install tiny green roof modules (about 4 square feet each) on a large number of city roofs and mark them with flags so they can be visually linked to one another. These links come from neighbor to neighbor referrals to increase the awareness about environmental issues in our community.

I love this project. If you live in NYC and want to participate, contact eve  AT  Tell them Ellen sent you.

More about bringing your bike to work.

Posted on | December 14, 2009 | No Comments

bikeAn article in The Brooklyn Paper has more in depth information about the actual process involved with being allowed to bring your bike up to your office.

Bicycles are required to be allowed in office buildings in NYC

Posted on | December 10, 2009 | No Comments

bikeThis week is green buildings policy week at the Toeprint Project!

Yesterday, the City Council passed the Greener Greater Buildings Plan including 4 new laws requiring Energy Audits and Retrocommissioning for buildings over 50,000 SF, Benchmarking, the creation of a NYC Energy Code and new requirement about lighting upgrades and submetering.

More about this in detail tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the day that the new law (local law 52 of 2009) goes into effect requiring commercial buildings to provide access to employees who request to bring their bikes into the building.

This is how it will work.

Starting tomorrow, a tenant can download a form from the DOB website  for use in requesting access for the number of bikes it would like to accommodate in its office space.

The Building Owner or Manager will either:

Implement and post a Bicycle Access Plan that allows the Tenant’s employees to bring bikes into the Tenant’s office space within 30 days of receipt of Tenant Request


Request an exception due to A) alternate bicycle parking facilities or B) safety concerns related to the building’s freight elevator(s) within 15 days of receipt of Tenant Request.

If the Building Owner or Manager submits an Exception Request, the Tenant or Subtenant should receive notification from the Building Owner or Manager within 30 days of the Tenant Request. Otherwise, a Bicycle Access Plan or a notice of its availability should be posted in the building’s lobby within 35 days of the Tenant Request.

Happy riding to work!

If you prefer your invitation to the Chelsea event in comic format…

Posted on | October 8, 2009 | No Comments

Check out the latest version of Green Queen!  Click here for a .pdf format.

Details are:
October 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
One Jackson Square 122 Greenwich Avenue, NYC
$10 at the door to cover costs.

Thanks to our sponsor, Susan Singer, SVP, The Corcoran Group, NYC’s first Eco-Broker.

Green Queen - Chapter 10
Green Queen – Chapter 10

Toeprint Project’s Residential Sustainability Teach-in is coming to CHELSEA on October 14th!

Posted on | September 25, 2009 | No Comments

Want to make your home more environmentally responsible?

Come to a Teach-In on October 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at One Jackson Square (122 Greenwich Avenue, NYC) about sustainable strategies you can implement in your home.

Our goal is to have New York City be a model in sustainability as well as making our homes healthier, more energy efficient, water-wise and environmentally responsible.

Topics will include:
Energy Conservation: How much energy do homes use and what are options for renewable energy?
Weatherization: Improve the health, safety and energy efficiency of your home.
Solar Hot Water: Make your own heat and hot water.
Solar Photovoltaic: Make your own electrical energy.
Green Roof: Build a meadow on your home.

We will discuss costs and benefits of each of these strategies including pricing, incentives, tax credits, rebates and return-on-investment as well as feasibility for different types of homes.

Ellen Honigstock, LEED AP, The real deal on sustainable retrofits for your home,
Jimmy Hatzis, ASK Construction, weatherization contractors extraordinaire,
Adam Heidt, HR Reps, solar hot water system expert.
Nicole Clock, Empower Clean Energy Systems, solar energy providers,
Beth Lieberman LEED AP, Alive Structures, green roof installer,

Thank you to our Host One Jackson Square, one of the first LEED certified, environmentally-friendly buildings in the neighborhood.

sponsored by:  Susan Singer, SVP, The Corcoran Group, NYC’s first Eco-Broker.

$10 at the door to cover costs.

Download a flyer here.

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Established in 1999, Ellen Honigstock Architect PC is a full-service architecture and energy auditing firm based in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Our solutions are environmentally conscious and the criteria we use are based on national standards developed to bring long-term saving, efficiency and well-being to our clients. Over 35 years combined experience building in New York City gives us an edge in meeting tough schedules and navigating the city's complicated requirements.

About Ellen:

As the Residential Green Building Advocate for the Urban Green Council since 2007, Ellen has been promoting sustainability in the residential marketplace in NYC.

In the position of Chair of the Homes Subcommittee the NYC Greening the Codes Task Force, Ellen has been heavily involved in recommending new green policy in NYC as related to updating building codes, rules and regulations.

Ellen teaches Building Science, Building Envelope, Water Conservation, Indoor Air Quality, Quantifying Energy and Green Building Plans at the 1,000 Green Supers program for The SEIU Local 32 BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund.

Registered Architect, NY, NJ, CT
LEED Accredited Professional
BPI Certifications:
Building Analyst
Energy Efficient Building Operator
Multi-Family Building Analyst

Ellen Honigstock, LEED AP
Ellen Honigstock Architect PC
45 Main Street #806
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(212) 228-1585


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