Union Square Green Market

A Plant's-Eye View of the World

Michael Pollan has written more than a half dozen books on humans' essential relationship to plants. But my favorite remains, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World.

In The Botany of Desire,  Pollan looks at four epic tales—the Irish Potato Famine, Johnny Appleseed, the Dutch Tulip mania and the ongoing debate around marijuana. And he illustrates just how these particular plants thrive largely because of their successful domestication of us!

Our mutually beneficial relationship with these plants has helped them thrive sometimes at our own expense: our reliance on a monoculture of potatoes, for example, caused a mass famine and emigration from Ireland;  the planting of crab apples in America encouraged alcohol consumption among early settlers;  tulips leveled the 17th century Dutch economy;  and marijuana still sparks political debate.   Pollan is a thoughtful and accessible writer. His Food Rules - especially as illustrated by Maira Kalman - is another great read.

Easy Textile Recycling in NYC

New Yorkers trash an average of 46 pounds of textiles per person each year. That's 193,000 tons of clothes, shoes, linens that could be reused, reincarnated into low grade fiber products (like insulation) or  redistributed as second-hand clothing.


  • Clean and dry clothing
  • paired shoes
  • linens
  • handbags
  • belts
  • other reusable textiles
  • (no pillows or carpeting)


If you're a New Yorker, your annual Lunar New Year house cleaning will be all the easier with  Grow NYC's textile recycling program.   Your Marie-Kondo-inspired purge of outgrown and threadbare cloths no longer needs to be accompanied by the guilt of tossing them in to the curb in contractor bags! 

Just drop off on a Monday or Saturday Union Square Green Market from 8-4. This program has recycled 3 million pounds since inception.   See if there is a drop off closer to you.