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Local Nonprofit Seeks To Make New York The Green City

Union Square Green Festival

A festival in Union Square Park Wednesday encouraged New Yorkers to be more eco-friendly. (Credit: CBS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A local nonprofit the Big Apple to become Green City, and hosted a green fair in Union Square Wednesday to encourage New Yorkers to become more eco-friendly.

As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reports, more than 140 interactive exhibits about all things eco-friendly turned Union Square Park from a farmers market into a green fair.

“I’m learning so many new things here by walking through every booth,” said Manhattan resident Sipla Kaza.

The free one-day event was sponsored by the nonprofit GrowNYC. The goal is to create a single destination where New Yorkers can learn everything they want to know about going green.

“Whether it’s shopping at a farmers market to support regional agriculture, or learn how to recycle better to reduce waste and overall cost, we’re here to help New Yorkers make those small changes that will make a big change over time,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director at GrowNYC.

Visitors were impressed by the effort.

“It may not put a huge dent or make a noticeable difference right now, but the more people who come on board the better the place will be in the future,” said Manhattan resident Steven McClure.

Exhibitors also staged a cook-off to spotlight the benefits of buying locally-produced food. They found clever ways to reinforce basics about concepts such as conservation and recycling.

They also unveiled new products, including an egg that assesses air quality, and a free online service that will save money and trees by eliminating unwanted mail.

“Here I have this junk that we’re hauling down to the basement every single day, and sorting and it’s a terrible waste,” said Manhattan resident Gala Narezo.

Catalog Choice has the solution for that.

“We’ve built a service that allows you to go right back to thousands and thousands of mailers, and tell them, ‘Please don’t send me your mail anymore and please don’t rent or trade my name,’” said Chuck Teller of Catalog Service.

Every product and service at the event was designed to help New Yorkers turn the Big Apple green, one step at a time.

For more information on the effort, click here.