Eco-Conscious Businesses in New York State

New York State is a bastion for green technology and Eco-conscious businesses. This is driven by a number of factors, not least of which is the diversity of industries that have a toe-hold in the state. New York is home to everything from industrial manufacturing firms, to family farms, and everything in between. This diversity attracts a broad range of personalities, with each personality bringing its own unique perspective on the role of business in regard to the environment and the local community. As such, there are a wealth of Eco-conscious businesses with offices in New York State, each with its own unique take on sustainability and environmental stewardship.

One such business can be found in western New York, in the city of Rochester. Green Living Technologies International is a Rochester-based company that has expanded worldwide to fill a unique slot left open by other companies. They are currently the only company in the world that specializes in "vertical gardens". These are gardens that save a lot of space by literally growing up the side of a wall. They require much less water to grow than other gardens since water poured from the top will filter down to the bottom levels with the help of no force other than gravity. These walls save on water and energy, all while producing some impressive yields. Green Living Technologies tries to focus everything it does on how to "live with" green technologies, and not on showy "green for the sake of green" gimmicks. They strive to show that green technology can not only help people lead more responsible lives, but that it can also make life more convenient at the same time.

Over the past decade, the amount of organic farms operating throughout the state of New York has tripled. Among this new crop of booming organic farms is Grindstone Farm, a true-blue, small, organic farm in the central New York area, near Williamsville. This farm is so popular around the area that a documentary was made about the history of the farm and the types of services it provides. There are some major issues in New York's agricultural climate that make organic farms around here a little more extraordinary. Large factory-farming operations abound in New York, and these farms generally grow large amounts of Monsanto seeds. These seeds germinate into plants that have been genetically altered to produce toxic proteins to help in pest control, which have also been linked to various forms of cancers and kidney failure in lab experiments. In the case of genetically altered wind-pollinators like corn, this can lead to an almost unstoppable level of genetic drift that can completely devastate organic agriculture. Since current organic certifications state that organic food cannot contain any genetically engineered traits, these farmers are under the constant threat of losing their certification and their livelihoods. This extra level of work that these farmers have to do makes their job much more difficult, and therefore makes their success in this region even more significant. Grindstone Farm produces over 170 varieties of organic vegetables for a very diverse clientele around central New York.

In Buffalo, there is another form of business that is looking to bridge the gap between the farmer and the consumer. Urban Roots is a store that specializes in providing classes, equipment, and support for anyone that is interested in "backyard farming" or "urban homesteading". Their classes range from beginners courses to more technical seminars, and they have a great selection of tools to choose from. The ethos of Urban Roots and stores like it is centered around the idea that sometimes buying good food is too expensive. When people grow their own food, the savings are immense-- and people would be surprised at just how much food they can make in a very small space.