Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

August Artist in Residence Erika Kapin

Erika Kapin believes that music and art have the power to cause joy,
inspiration, healing and insight. She uses both music and visual art as ways to bring more of these elements into the world. Raised in Washington state,Erika began her formal training in photography at Bellevue Community
College in 1999. Moving to NYC in 2005, by 2008 she began an association
with the Chair and the Maiden gallery where her photographs have been
featured the group shows “Preview” and “ArtLive”(2008/2009) as well as in
her solo exhibitions “One and the Same” and “Stolen Moments.”Additionally, Erika’s photography has appeared on several album releases including Jane Ira Bloom’s WingWalker, Tony Malaby’s Tamarindo Live, and Aaron Shragge/Akim Funk Buddah’s Shaku-Box. An interview with Kapin and selected images from her “One and the Same” collection were featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Fine Arts Magazine. Work from the “Stolen Moments” collection is featured in the May 2010 issue of the Camera Obscura blog. Erika is the photographer for The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Plastic Portraits is a project that seeks to explore our relationship with plastics. People in this world interact with plastics on a daily basis. From single-use, disposable items, to medical and technological equipment that many of us find essential to our lives, plastic is so integrated that we often use and interact with it without being aware of it.

By photographing different people with the plastics they use daily, this project opens the door to thoughtfulness and discussion around the plastics of our lives. It raises awareness of the ubiquitous presence plastic has in our world and hopefully will spark individuals to make more thoughtful, informed decisions regarding their own plastic consumption.

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Thursday, August 16th, 2012

S.O.S. – Save Our Sharks!

Shark Week

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably know it’s Shark Week! Television channels and different media outlets are abuzz with shark facts and information. These are beautiful creatures and though they might be scary their numbers are dwindling. This is why the Huffington Post has you covered with 5 Ways to Save our Finned Friends.

One foundation, Shark Savers, has dedicated itself to raising awareness about the diminishing numbers of sharks and educating divers and people alike about the true nature of these majestic creatures of the deep. In this video they interviewed many divers who have seen first hand the ever changing aquatic landscape and they are on a mission to bring back the sharks. Learn more about what you can do in your area to save this endangered species here.

And don’t forget the wise words of 30 Rock‘s Tracy Jordan and “live every week like it’s shark week.”

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Thursday, June 7th, 2012

“Re-cycle” with WeBike

Whether you’re working on a laptop, taking conference calls, or just finding it hard to watch all of those TV shows you’ve queued up, it’s often easy to find yourself sitting for multiple hours a day. WeBike has found a way to convert physical activity into useful electric energy. This bicycle-desk requires you to pedal in order to power your workstation laptops, cellphones, and other devices.

Designed by Belgian company WeWatt, the bike instantly tracks how much power has been generated through physical activity with an LED strip that lights up as you pedal. WeBikes are even partially made of recycled materials like leather and cedar. Doesn’t get much more sustainable than that!

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Friday, April 20th, 2012

Tips for Being Green Everyday

Earth Week is a great reminder of the little (and big) changes that make a HUGE impact! We want to end the week by giving you some tips on how to stay green everyday…

- try riding your bike or walking to work/places you need to go

- start recycling and composting, and challenge others to do the same

- take colder, shorter showers

- drink filtered water rather than buying water bottles

- reduce, reuse, recycle

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Celebrate Earth Week!

We hope your having a wonderful Earth Week! All over the world people are making strives to treat Mother Nature right by reducing waste, eating locally, using less water, and being conscious of their carbon footprint (see the Earth Week Challenge from Huffington Post!)
All weekend long NYC is celebrating Earth Week with events all over. There will be a participatory art exhibit at the High Line, exhibits and performances at Times Square and Grand Central , a Green Festival in the Javits Center, and a Spring Planting event with MillionTrees. With so many great things to see and do, we hope you have a great Earth Week!

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Count That Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint has historically been defined as “the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.” So when you go to a store and buy an orange that was transported from Florida, you’re carbon footprint is going to grow. There are many sites that help you calculate your carbon footprint as well as ways to help offset your carbon footprint!

One great (and deliciously, fresh) way to offset your carbon footprints is to visit local farmer’s markets! These farmers are in the area and grow beautiful delicious fruits and vegetables. You can also grow your own vegetables and herbs. Here are some beautiful, yet small, gardens in apartments in NYC to help inspire you.

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Wonders of Composting

When people think of “green” today, most think of the environment and what impacts, whether it be positive or negative, are being made on it. Being “green” is no longer a trend. It’s a way of living.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, home composting can divert about 700 pounds of waste per household back into the soil every year. Most of what you throw in the garbage ends up in one of two places: landfills, where it takes ages to break down, or incinerators, which can cause air pollution. However, there’s an easy way to help eliminate up to 24% waste each year: composting.  It may seem overwhelming or intimidating at first but keep reading, we’re going to show you how simple it can be.

There are some products to create a compost in your own home! You can use the compost to fertilize a beautiful garden (for free!) Or there are so many compost sites within the city. Find out more about where your local composting sites are located and what happens to your compost by visiting

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Friday, January 6th, 2012

Want To Grow Your Dinner At Your Kitchen Table?

This beautiful creation, dubbed Plantable, comes from the brains of Jamie Elliott and Liam Healy making it possible to grow delicious things such as  tomatoes, sweet peas, herbs, or decorative vines in your kitchen table . They specialize in human relationships. In this case, how we interact with, and even shape our environments.  Get yours at JAILmake now!

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Friday, November 11th, 2011

A New Take on Reusable

Finally, a solution to one of life’s bigger conumdrums. Have you ever bailed on a run because there was just no way to carry your stuff? Well, now you can bail on that excuse. This Auto-seal Kangeroo water bottle has a compartment for keys, cards, cash, everything except the kitchen sink, really. Talk about a game changer!

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Sustainable Paper with a Twist

Here at Birch we make it a point to maintain a sustainable way of life, which is why we are a fan of Twisted Limb Paperworks.  As a sustainable fine paper and invitation company from Bloomington, Indiana they’ve become environmental savvy pioneers with their new, eco-friendly beer greeting cards.  Made from paper and dispensed barley from the local brewery, Twisted Limb offers a style of paper all its own. The best part? You can match the paper to certain beer colors, helping you hand-pick and deliver cards that have meaning with your friends.  Get yours now, they’re sure to be favorites amongst local breweries and beer aficionados alike!

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