New York City: A Surprising Leader Of Green Living

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:21

The average Vermonter uses 545 gallons of gas per year.

The average Manhattanite? 

A mere 90 gallons.

Green living isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City. The Big Apple is becoming a surprising leader in green initiatives and sustainability practices.   

NYC ranked third in sustainability practices and policies of American and Canadian cities according to a 2011 survey sponsored by Siemens Corp. The survey weighed factors such as carbon monoxide emissions per capita, water use, recycling, and number of LEED-certified buildings. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration earned a perfect score in the category of “environmental governance”. 

What makes the city that never sleeps a leader in green living? 

Here are 7 reasons why:

  1. Population Density: NYC is 3 times more dense than the average metropolis with 27,000 people per square mile. High population density reduces energy and water use, decreases ownerships of wasteful appliances, and increases occupation of energy-efficient apartment buildings. 
  2. Energy-Efficient Buildings: Energy Star Leader buildings reduce energy use by 10% and perform in the top 25% compared to similar buildings. NYC went from 90 Energy Star buildings in 2009, to ranking 4th with 325 buildings in 2013 (USA Today).
  3. Public Transportation: The daily use of the city’s public transit system far exceeds the average of other large cities. Less use of private car transportation earned the city top-ranking in per capita air pollution emissions. 82% of Manhattanites travel to work by public transit, on foot, or by bike. 
  4. Responsible Energy and Water Use: Under Bloomberg, privately owned buildings must public report their energy and water use.
  5. Shared Energy Bill Savings: Owners and renters will share energy bill savings.
  6. Reduced Low-Grade Oil Use: 86% of city soot comes from buildings using low-grade heating fuel. Building owners will be mandated to phase out low-grade oil. 
  7. Great Green Places: Central Park isn’t the only place to get your daily dose of green in NYC. Check out this list of NYC’s Secret Gardens and Parks.

How is NYC keeping green in 2014?

Check out GreeNYC: a PlaNYC program dedicated to educating New Yorkers how to attain and maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

How green is your city?

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Subscribe to my ezine Holistic Realty Newsan integrative news source for holistic living.

Read more about NYC here:

Wall Street Journal

Environment 360

HuffPost Green

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