A few weeks ago, I attended a small business breakfast at the Wix Lounge and had the pleasure of meeting the cofounders of the small business that was being featured on that beautiful morning: Our Name Is Farm (ONIF). ONIF was created by Liz Vaknin and Shelley Golan in 2013 fueled by their love for sustainable living in food. They were kind enough to provide a delicious breakfast made with local ingredients and share their productivity tips since they spend a lot of their time on the road traveling from one farm to the next.
ONIF is a digital media and event production company dedicated to support and promote local farmers and artisanal producers. Their goal? Create engaging, educational content that informs socially, culturally and economically on the future of sustainable food systems.
After the event, I interviewed Liz and Shelley to dig a little deeper. We had an engaging conversation about food, New York living and of course sustainability.
Sustainability, a definition according to ONIF: “To everyone it means something different. To us it means that the food production and growing process is transparent, done in a way that is humane if you are raising animals and without antibiotics. Sustainable also means: local when possible.” – Liz
In the light of this definition, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to ask them for tips on how to live sustainably in a hectic and fast-paced city like New York.
5 SUSTAINABLE LIVING TIPS FOR CITY PEOPLE FROM ONIF
1. VISIT YOUR GREEN MARKETS & FOOD COOPS
“When produce is in season, it is cheaper than what you would get at the supermarket. There are green markets all over the city (New York), even on weekends you can try to find the closest one to you.”
2. THINK BEYOND THE FOOD
“Living sustainably also means finding people in the city who are manufacturing basic things like candles or wool yarn if you crochet and buy from them.”
3. PLAN OUT YOUR WEEKS WELL
“When you plan your weeks well, you will avoid wasting a lot of food. Food wastage is a huge problem, so plan when to go to the grocery store. Going to the grocery store 4 times a week is not sustainable when managing your time. Preparing an itemized list so you can get in and out is important.”
4. BE HAPPY
“Do things that make you happy once a day like eating chocolate or having a latte from Starbucks. Give yourself a little bit because this city (New York) stresses you out, it’s a struggle, it’s a concrete jungle and you are literally struggling to survive. Learn to live a little in your daily life and not just focus on the grind too much. When you do that you are living more sustainably because you’re adding years to your life that would normally be taken away by stress.”
“Finding restaurants that support local foods is so important because they do a lot to get that food on the table. Yes, your food might be a little bit more expensive but know that they are paying an arm and a leg to get it through the door. Just taking the time to source it is incredible so anything you can do to support that, even if it means going out to eat only once instead of twice a week. You will also appreciate it more and get more nutritious food in your body instead of going to a junkie restaurant that is only going to give you food from only God knows where.”
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What makes you happy?
Photos courtesy of Our Name Is Farm.