The sustainability movement is alive and well here in Brooklyn, and for good reason – being sustainable in Brooklyn is important for the health of our neighbors, city, and planet. 

As a Brooklynite, practicing sustainability is more accessible than you may think. We’ve curated the perfect list of green, eco-friendly activities, brands, restaurants, local organizations, and more to check out while the fall is starting to roll in.

What does it mean to be sustainable?

To be sustainable is to practice lifestyle changes that reduce your personal carbon footprint. Sustainable practices are all about using natural resources in responsible ways, to create harmony between us and our environment. Sustainability supports the health of ourselves and our planet, and are instrumental in the fight against climate change. 

You can practice sustainability in many ways, whether it’s switching to a plant-based diet, recycling or using solar power as an alternative energy source. Being sustainable in Brooklyn is much more accessible and affordable than you may think – delicious too!

1. Sustainable Activities

Brooklyn Grange Farm

Brooklyn Grange farm sunset park brooklyn sustainability

Sunset Park is a hub for industry, including one of the largest rooftop farms in the world, Brooklyn Grange Farm. This rooftop farm and intensive green roofing business strives to support communities that have limited access to fresh, locally grown produce.

They’ve made it their mission to spread sustainability by providing green roofing services to clients that range from private homes, to corporate buildings, to low income housing. You can find other Brooklyn Grange farms in Brooklyn Navy Yard, Long Island City, Staten Island, and even on top of the Javits Center. 

Check out their website for registration for tours, educational workshops and many other events!

850 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Instagram:@brooklyngrange

Facebook:@BrooklynGrange

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a landmark attraction for Brooklynites who have an interest in gardening and greenspaces. With a sprawling 52 acres of beautiful gardens, New Yorkers from all ages can enjoy and benefit from their educational programs, gardening displays, and resources on conservation.

The BBG has many perks available if you register for their membership program, including free admission, exclusive event access, and seasonal previews. Plus – stop by during the holidays to see their one-of-a-kind winter lightshow! 

Entrances: 

150 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

455 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Instagram:@brooklynbotanic

Facebook:@Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Twitter:@BrooklynBotanic

Brooklyn Bridge Park

You always get a perfect view of Brooklyn or Manhattan when driving on the Brooklyn Bridge. But imagine the views from your picnic table in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Located at the piers along the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park is beautiful and exciting, especially when you’re surrounded by so many activities and events by the waterfront! Park events and activities range from yoga, to volleyball, to kayaking! Feeling hungry? You can get a quick bite at Luke’s Lobster while enjoying the city view.


334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Twitter: @bbpnyc

Instagram:@brooklynbridgepark

Facebook:@brooklynbridgepark

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket

grand army plaza greenmarket brooklyn

If you’re a seasoned Brooklynite, you’re probably aware of the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket that’s held Saturdays year-round. As the second-largest GrowNYC Greenmarket in New York City, this farmer’s market is always buzzing with plenty of opportunities to support local farmers and artisans. In addition to produce, meats, breads, and other food items, this greenmarket also has a compost drop-off, clothing collection site, and other programming all year long.

Northwest Corner of Prospect Park, Prospect Park West & Flatbush Ave

Instagram:@grownyc

Facebook:@GrowNYC

Twitter:@GrowNYC

2. Sustainable Shops

Norman and Jules

Norman and Jules in Park Slope

This Park Slope staple is filled with eco-friendly toys and is run by a great Brooklyn-based couple. Finding sustainably-minded toy shops can be difficult given how much plastic is used in the industry, which makes this sustainable gem even more exciting.

Norman and Jules sell a variety of toys, from dolls to puzzles to pen pal kits, and caters to all ages, including babies. The store also sells furniture, mobiles, and needlework sets.

158 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 

Instagram: @normanandjules

Facebook: @normanandjules

Beacon’s Closet 

Beacon's Closet in Brooklyn

This second hand shop is notoriously picky when it comes to curating their collection, which means that every piece there has earned its place. With locations in Greenpoint, Park Slope, and Bushwick, Beacon’s Closet has become a locally sourced sustainable fashion staple.

Head over to one of their locations for a fun afternoon of shopping and great people watching. At Beacon’s Closet, you can buy, sell, and trade both vintage and modern clothing, so you have endless options!

Park Slope: 92 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Greenpoint: 74 Guernsey St Brooklyn, NY, 11222

Bushwick: 23 Bogart St Brooklyn, NY 11237

Instagram: @beaconscloset

Facebook: @Beaconscloset

Homecoming Plant Shop

Every room needs a plant, and this shop has the perfect one for you! With beautifully curated arrangements and a collection of flowers, succulents, and more, you’re sure to find what you need to brighten your home here. The shop also has beautiful fragrance oils, delicate salt bowls, terracotta mugs, and candles.

Every detail and product in the shop is so aesthetically pleasing, you’ll never want to leave! Homecoming now also hosts terrarium workshop classes, so they’re fully prepared to meet all of your plant needs.

92 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Instagram: @homecoming

Facebook: @homecomingbk

The Big Reuse

The Big Reuse is one of the biggest non-profit, second hand shops in Gowanus, Brooklyn.Their shop has everything from clothes, kitchen appliances, doors, books, and couches, as well as antiques like clocks and vinyl records.

To support their mission to be socially responsible and sustainable, they’ve also created a compost project to educate New Yorkers about the importance of composting in local communities.

1 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Instagram:@bigreuse

Facebook:@bigreuse

Twitter:@BigReuse

TikTok:@bigreuse

LinkedIn:@Big Reuse

Precycle

Precycle is a zero-waste grocery store in Williamsburg committed to eliminating packaging and food waste, and empowering customers with the knowledge of where their food originates. The store provides bulk foods, home goods, and local produce with zero packaging, and works directly with farmers and distributors.

Bring your reusable bags and containers to collect your items, or purchase them in-store.

50 Cypress Ave, Brooklyn, NY,  11237

Instagram: @precyclenyc

Facebook: @precyclenyc

3. Sustainable Food and Drink Spots

Habana Outpost

Aerial view of Habana Outpost with a Brooklyn Solar Canopy installed

We adore Habana Outpost for their phenomenal Mexican and Cuban food. Their outdoor eating area is always super high energy and fun, and their menu features all kinds of delicious items.

The Outpost is New York’s first eco-eatery, and happily welcomes everyone who walks through their doors. They boast a sustainably-minded mission statement available on their website which speaks to their urban environmentalism in tandem with their delicious food. They have also installed a Brooklyn SolarWorks canopy, so extra props to them!

757 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Instagram: @HabanaBrooklyn

Facebook: @HabanaOutpost

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn brewery

This craft brewery focuses on producing beer in the most sustainable way possible and can be visited at their Williamsburg headquarters. The Brewery boasts several sustainably-minded initiatives, including using all LED lights and keeping up a rigorous recycling program. They have a fun blog, as well as quite a bit of merch: T-shirts, tank tops, hats, baby onesies, and glassware. 

79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Instagram: @brooklynbrewery

Facebook: @brooklynbrewery

Twitter: @brooklynbrewery

Principles G.I. Coffee House

Principles G.I. Coffee House is a cafe whose coffee is as strong as their principles. This vegan coffee shop in Gowanus is queer-owned, and is dedicated to sustainability and social impact. This cafe is a safe space for marginalized folks in the community, and they have a pay-what-you-wish system for their basic menu. Plus, they source high quality coffee and delicious local baked goods.

Principles has vowed to eliminate coffee cup waste by 2023 by tracking their single-use cup usage and encouraging customers to bring their own containers. Bonus – this shop is powered by a solar canopy! 

139 9th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn 11215 

Instagram:@principlesbk

Emack & Bolios Fort Greene

Emack & Bolios is a renowned ice cream chain that has locations all over the world. They’re known for their spunky flavors and their history of being a hub for rock n’ rollers. They have plenty of plant-based flavors, like Cappuccino Fudge Swirl, Raspberry Chocolate Krispy Rice and Goa Mango!

Their Fort Greene location is a particular standout though, due to their commitment to sustainability. Not only do they use recycled furniture and compostable cups and straws, but their shop is powered by solar energy! 

741 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY

Instagram:@emackfortgreene

Facebook:@Emack & Bolio’s Fort Greene

L’imprimerie

L’imprimerie is an authentic French bakery in Bushwick that provides artisan pastries, breads, cheeses, wines, and coffee. We appreciate their commitment to sustainability, shown through their vegan offerings and use of rooftop solar.

1524 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Instagram:@limprimerie

4. Other Sustainable Businesses

Movers Not Shakers

The moving company Movers Not Shakers holds the title of “New York’s #1 Green Moving Company.” The company was founded about 16 years ago and has since aided in over 20,000 moves in NYC.

Their trucks use bio-diesel fuel, and they’ve invested in reusable bins instead of cardboard boxes in order to shrink their carbon footprint. Furthermore, all of their workers earn a real living wage, so they’re been able to build & maintain a strong, close knit team of happy movers!

131 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Instagram: @MoversNotShakers

Facebook: @MoversNotShakers

Whiteroom

Whiteroom salon in Brooklyn

This non-toxic hair salon sells beautiful products including exfoliators, moisturizers, and volumizing conditioners. Their commitment to being eco-friendly makes the salon all the more appealing, and we love their packaging.

Speaking of being appealing, their aesthetically pleasing store is filled with eye candy, and their curated selection of products, including cult classics like the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, Grown Alchemist facial cleansers and moisturizers, and Dr. Loretta Micro Peel Peptide Pads.

113 S 6th St Brooklyn, NY 11249

Instagram: @whiteroombrooklyn

Facebook: @whiteroombrooklyn

PH7 Nail Couture

PH7 Nail Couture is a female-owned, cruelty-free nail and waxing shop. All of their nail lacquers are 10-Free & non-toxic which means they are free from TPHP, dibutyl phthalate, toluene and other ingredients that could be found in standard nail products. 

They have multiple locations in Brooklyn where you and a friend can book various eco-friendly beauty services such as eyelash extensions, hydrafacials and more!

Fort Greene: 106 S Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Carroll Gardens: 374 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Williamsburg: 227 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Instagram:@ph7beauty

Youtube:[ pH7 ] Beauty

1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel

This sustainable luxury hotel offers beautiful views, comfortable rooms, and an eco-friendly experience. All 1 Hotels properties in the U.S. are certified carbon neutral and LEED certified – the Brooklyn Bridge location has offset over 19,000 tons of CO2 to date. This pet-friendly hotel offers farm-to-table food and beverages, sustainably-sourced bedding, and smart heating and cooling technology. 

Over half of the hotel is built from local reclaimed materials, and it’s on track to meet its zero waste goal within two years. It even has a rainwater reclamation system that irrigates Brooklyn Bridge Park! Whether you’re visiting from out of town or just looking for a staycation, 1 Brooklyn Bridge is the place to be.

60 Furman St, Brooklyn NY, 11201

Instagram: @1hotels 

Facebook: @1hotels

5. Upgrading to Clean Technology

As a homeowner in Brooklyn, there are a number of ways to make your home more sustainable.

Residential Solar

Solar energy is one of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your home. Eliminating fossil fuels from your home creates a safer environment for your family and the Earth. Not only is solar power good for the planet, but it’s good for your wallet too! 

There are countless advantages of solar energy. For us New Yorkers, going solar reduces your electric bills from Con Edison through a program called net metering. The excess energy your solar system produces gets sent back into the grid, and Con Ed compensates you for it with credits applied to your future bills. 

Not to mention, NYC has some of the best solar incentives in the country. The credits and rebates available at the federal, state, and local level can cover up to 70% of your solar installation costs.
When you go solar with Brooklyn SolarWorks, we’ll make sure you’ll get the most out of your home solar system. Get in touch with us to learn more!

solar panel tilt rack brooklyn nyc

Clean Heating and Cooling

What if we told you that you can stay warm in the winter while staying environmentally conscious? You don’t need to rely on fossil fuel combustion to stay warm this winter or stay cool in the summer. An air source heat pump is an electric heating and cooling system that uses air outside air to heat and cool your home. When paired with solar power, you can heat and cool your home completely clean! 

Plus, thanks to recent federal climate legislation, you may qualify for tax credits when you install heat pumps, electric water heaters and other clean energy tech in your home.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are becoming a mainstay in NYC transportation. Electric vehicles only create half the emissions of gas-powered vehicles, and you can create a “gas station” in your home by installing an EV charger. 

EVs are incredibly cost-effective, saving owners an average of $1,000 yearly on refueling costs and requiring less maintenance than gas-powered cars. The federal government will also be providing a $4,000 tax credit for middle and lower income folks to purchase used electric cars and $7,500 for new vehicles.

Start Reducing Your Carbon Footprint as a Brooklyn Resident Today!

There are plenty of ways to take action and practice sustainability as a Brooklyn resident. If you’re a homeowner, going solar is the single best way to make a measurable impact. Schedule a free consultation to learn about how solar energy can reduce your carbon footprint and your electric bills.

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