Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and other major natural disasters have been occurring at an alarming rate. Much of the blame can be placed on man-made climate change, in the form of global warming. The current presidential administration pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is a United Nations effort to combat greenhouse gas emissions. America is the second-largest contributor to climate change, and the withdrawal has revoked the country’s promise to alleviate its share of greenhouse gasses.
Although the effects of the damage cannot be reversed, it is possible to do more on an individual basis to reduce the chances of more damage from occurring. Living “green” in your New York City home is not difficult; many modern properties are being built with attention to environmentally friendly details, many in an attempt to reach LEED certification. Short of living in a green building, a NYC resident still has numerous options for making their home environmentally friendly.
- Change your lights, change your life – replacing traditional lightbulbs with LED bulbs can reduce energy costs, as well as reducing waste. LED bulbs last an average of 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, and use 75 percent less energy. Plus, LED bulbs are less harsh on the eyes.
- Go solar – although you might not be able to install solar panels on the roof of your NYC apartment, asking the leasing agent or building owner to invest in solar panels for a building energy co-op could be a solution to high energy costs, as well as reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
- Be a(n Energy) Star – Whenever possible, opt for EPA-rated Energy Star appliances. Every Energy Star-labeled product meets the government’s definitions for energy efficiency, meaning you save money, as well as saving the planet.
- Take a cold shower – or, at least wash your clothes in cold water. The heat it takes to make the water hot takes a toll on the environment, too. In fact, washing two loads of laundry a week in cold water can help you reduce your personal carbon dioxide emissions by 550 pounds annually. While you’re at it, reduce the amount of laundry you dry in the clothes dryer by hanging wet clothes on a shower rod.
- Change your temperature – Turning the thermostat in your New York City home down 3 degrees in colder months, or up 3 in the summer, can cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,000 pounds annually. Plus, it will have the added bonus of saving money on your electric bill.
- Natural light – Utilize as much of the natural light in your city apartment as possible during the day. Arrange seating close to windows, so it’s not necessary to turn on lights during daylight hours.
- Unplug – When you leave the house, unplug as many appliances and electronics as you can. While they stay plugged in, items not in use are sucking up energy, and adding to carbon emissions. It is possible to save up to $200 or more per year on your electric bill, just by unplugging items like computers, televisions, printers, or even toasters when they’re not being used.
If you want to do even more, but you’re just not sure where to start, contact your utility company for a home energy audit. They will assess the amount of energy you currently use, and help you find ways to consume less. They might suggest easy fixes like wrapping windows with insulated plastic during cold months, changing furnace or air conditioning filters every three months, or other suggestions specific to a modern New York apartment.
The Modern Agent has access to the most comprehensive list of green homes in New York City. Contact Mukul today at firstname.lastname@example.org to find the right fit for you.