Friday, November 30, 2012



Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre were fascinated by mushrooms growing on wood chips, and observing how the fungal mycelium strongly bonded the wood chips together. This inspired them to think of new ways of using mycelium as a resin. In 2007 they formulated a new process for binding together insulating particles, creating some remarkable materials that could replace Styrofoam™. Rather than just decreasing the environmental impact of conventional polystyrene foams, this invention created a whole new paradigm where composite materials are literally grown, harnessing the incredible efficiency of nature. Since the first offering as “EcoCradle Packaging”, Ecovative has supplied packaging solutions to a growing number of Fortune 500 companies.

Ecovative Design is now racing to increase production of these revolutionary materials. As people across the world want to eliminate environmentally damaging plastics and synthetics, today Ecovative has grown to 35 full time employees at their facility in Green Island, providing a radical solution to live sustainably on planet Earth.



Youth Organics (YO!) gives inner city teens the experience of hands-on gardening under the tutelage of experienced gardeners, educating them about where their food comes from, nutrition and healthy eating habits. The program assists participants and their families in establishing their own garden plots and helps neighbors with tools, seeds and technical advice.

The South End neighborhood in the City of Albany is chronically under-served by community organizations, and in particular services for young people. The Youth Organics (YO!) program enables youth to develop and foster deep connections with their neighborhood. The program helps energize neighborhood youth and their families to work in their community, build relationships, learn about locally grown vegetables and plants, and have a hand in creating a safe space. Leadership development among the teens is a key element and guides the future of the program.

Monday, November 19, 2012


During this time of gratitude and thanksgiving, we are delighted to announce all of our Local Environmental Heroes for 2012.

We extend our congratulations and heartfelt thanks to these undaunted, inspiring, forward-thinking individuals and organizations responsible for transforming our lives and environment. We salute their spirit of commitment, community and hope.

The winners are the following in the five categories of businesses, farm organizations, schools, advocacy organizations and legislators:


Whether new on the block or longstanding companies and stores, these cutting-edge businesses and non-profit organizations allow consumers to make enlightened choices about what they put in their homes, their bodies and their property. Their sustainable solutions benefit the entire community. We encourage our clients and neighbors to patronize these businesses and learn about these organizations.

Ecovative Design, Green Island
Green Conscience, Saratoga Springs
The Green Grocer, Clifton Park
Honest Weight Food Coop, Albany
The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, Albany
Youth Organics, Albany

Farm Organizations

These organizations work with the community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat, and rural character of our area, strengthening connections between people and the land. They promote environmentally-sound farming practices and work to keep family farmers on their farms. They have helped to save millions of acres of farmland.

Columbia Land Conservancy
American Farmland Trust, local chapter: Saratoga Springs


A few schools are actively trying to reduce their waste and carbon footprint while also investigating how science and math can improve their community. We applaud the efforts and successes of two schools, one in Schenectady and one in Schoharie, involved in school team-building, partnerships and problem-solving. We hope other schools will follow their fine example.

Steinmetz Career and Leadership Academy, Schenectady
          Science Teacher, Deborah Katz
          Social Worker, Ron Levine
Schoharie High School
          Teacher/Advisor, Amy Hausmann

Advocacy Organizations

We thank the individuals of these organizations and their indefatigable support of the environment. Working day and night for a variety of environmental causes, they lobby legislators, canvass the community, run rallies and conferences, and write press releases and reports that change minds and lives.

Capital District Against Fracking
Frack Action
Water Equality
The Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter

Legislators from the Albany Common Council

We celebrate these legislators for their unflagging support of environmental and social justice issues in the city of Albany. Four individuals co-sponsored a bill banning hydro-fracking in Albany and courageously fought to achieve a super majority against the practice.

Hon. Dominick Calsolaro, Ward 1
Hon. Barbara Smith, Ward 4
Hon. Leah Golby, Ward 10
Hon. Anton Konev, Ward 11