Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Week: Alive Structures About Town

So you know how you've been meaning to meet the Alive Structures team and talk to us about how you're dying for an intensive native plant green roof at your 100,000 sf warehouse? Well, luckily for you, we're going to be at two awesome events this week!

This Saturday, Oct. 1st, we will be at The New New York: DIY Green Block Party, after 11am. The block party was a big success last year and has tons of crafts, activities and educational opportunities, including a couple of different green tours, yoga, and a compost bin raffle. You'll probably be too busy admiring our booth to do any of it though.

11th St and Wythe
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L train to Bedford Ave or G train to Nassau Ave.
11 am - 5 pm

Next Wednesday, Oct. 5th, we'll be in Union Square at New Green City. There will be a DIY tutorials, a rainwater capture exhibit, and a scavenger hunt among other sustainable, family friendly entertainment. Come say hi.
Union Square Park - South Plaza
4, 5, 6, N, R, Q, L to 14th St- Union Square
10am - 6pm

Monday, September 26, 2011

Green is still greener than white.

We really like this Greenpeace ad, which says, "Simply painting your roof white reflects the sun's rays, which helps cool down the environment. In the fight against global warming, one degree cooler in our cities equates to three degrees cooler at the poles, which means a better chance of survival for animals like the polar bear, whose home is melting at a rapid rate."

Run-on sentence aside, the message is cleverly delivered and so important. Man, juvenile charismatic megafauna gets us every time. But we're a green roof company and we have to say, green roofs are much better for the environment than white roofs. White roofs' benefits are that they're less expensive and easier to implement, so we think they should be used as a stop-gap on roofs whose grading is too steep for a green roof, or until a green roof can be installed. Anyway, we made our own version:

To contrast, check out the actual map of NYC green roofs here.

Green roofs cool the roof, the building underneath it and the surrounding area; protect the roof structure from the elements, thereby prolonging its life up to an additional 50%; create habitat for butterflies and bees (without whom our urban ecosystems would collapse); and most importantly, capture stormwater! New York City alone releases about 27 billion gallons of untreated sewage and wastewater into the harbor every year.

Not only does all that water contain tons of bacteria and pathogens, but it also contains tons of trash. Much of the plastic trash you see on the street every day, from bottle caps to plastic bags, gets washed into the sewer system during a storm. A lot of it will end up in the harbor, and some of it will be eaten by sea turtles and other marine life. You saw that photo series by Chris Jordan that made its way around the internet last year, right?

It's pretty sad.

Point being, consider a green roof if you haven't already. There are low-interest loans and tax abatements to help with the cost, or if you're a business or non-profit, we may be able to get you a green roof for free. Just ask us how.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bulbs for Spring!

Alive Structures is offering the following selection of native and unusual bulbs to be planted in the next month. Call or write to place an order and set up an appointment!

Eranthis hyemalis (order btwn. 25-100) $.62 each:
Commonly known as Winter Aconite, has a native range of Southern France
to Bulgaria. It blooms a buttercup yellow in part shade in March/ April. Attracts
honeybees when nectar is rare.

Allium cernuum (order btwn. 10-25) $2.10 each:
American Nodding Pink Onion has delicate pink blossoms hanging by tendrils.
Blooms in late summer. Best in full to partial sun.

Camassia quamash (order btwn. 15-50) $1.15 each:
A stunning violet color in early spring. Enjoyed as a delicacy by Native
Americans, for it’s starchy bulb. Likes a moist sunny spot if you have it, but can tolerate some drought as well.

Alive Structures will order and plant your bulbs for $200
Call us at 718-488-5927 or email your order at info [at]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Party New York Style

We were quietly enjoying Labor Day weekend at my mother's upstate home in Warwick, NY, which has an AMAZING rock garden, when....

New York Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis and the Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis became so loud, attracting attention from the neighboring hummingbirds, and in general causing quite a stir while most perennials had calmed down long ago.

These plants were totally intoxicated by the recent amounts of water and sun, and were intoxicating to behold. Such bright colors!! Especially together, really a party not to be missed.

You can also appreciate the other beautiful plants in the garden, the Yucca, the white Allium tuberosum, and the stark seedheads of Verbascum blattaria or Moth Mullein.