GreeNYC’s mission is to encourage New York City residents to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives. GreeNYC supports PlaNYC by urging individuals and households to take actions that help meet the City’s sustainability goals.
GreeNYC’s campaigns seek to present a compelling case for behavioral change at the individual level using simple, action oriented messages. Look for Birdie, GreeNYC’s mascot, to find out ways that you can make your lifestyle more sustainable and help us reach our PlaNYC goals.
Here are some GreeNYC tips:
Fully Load Dishwasher
Save water and energy by running a full dishwasher and choosing the air-dry setting. You can also open the door after the final rinse, and allow the dishes to air dry.
Switch to CFLs
Switching from traditional lightbulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) is the most cost-effective way to reduce your energy use. CFLs will last 10 times as long and save you up to 25% on your monthly electricity bill.Learn more
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Cold water cleans clothes while saving about 90% of energy used in a traditional washer and keeping clothes brighter. For additional savings, only wash full loads of laundry.Learn more
Buy Energy Star
ENERGY STAR® appliances use 10-50% less energy and water than traditional appliances. Check out energystar.gov to find refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances that meet ENERGY STAR® standards.
Sign Up for Green Power
If 10% of New Yorkers purchased pollution-free electricity, it would prevent three billion pounds of CO2 every year from reaching the atmosphere. It’s easy! Sign up for green power at PowerYourWay.com
Use Power Strips
75% of the electricity used to power a home’s electronics is consumed while electronics are plugged in, but turned off. Power strips stop the electricity drain and save up to $200 on your annual electricity bill.
Drink Tap Water
NYC tap water is pure, clean, refreshing, and calorie-free. It’s better for the environment and your wallet than plastic water bottles. Learn more about NYC water here
Many cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that can damage the environment, irritate eyes and skin, and cause chronic health problems. Green cleaning products clean just as effectively without these risks.
Use Non-Toxic Paint
Paint with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints for a healthier home, family, and environment. Typical paint contains up to 300 known toxins, including metals, solvents, and fungicides. Learn more
Plant a Tree
Planting a tree is an easy and cost-effective way to improve NYC’s air quality, increase property value, encourage neighborhood revitalization, and cool streets, sidewalks, and homes.
Learn more at MillionTreesNYC.org
Do an Energy Audit
A typical home can find hundreds of dollars in annual energy savings by doing a simple home audit. Locate the areas where you can easily improve your home’s energy efficiency to save money.Learn more
Stop Junk Mail
The 80 billion pieces of junk mail Americans receive annually create over 4 million tons of paper waste.
Learn how to stop the flow to your home
Use Natural Light
Take advantage of natural light when possible; this allows you to keep lights turned off and avoid unnecessary energy use. Turn off lights when you leave a room, install motion detector sensors, and replace lightbulbs with energy efficient T5 or T8 bulbs.
Think Before You Print
Paper accounts for 72% of the waste stream. When possible, go paperless – save, transfer, and reference files electronically. To learn more about reducing paper waste,
If you must use paper, make sure to copy and print on both sides. Stock your office with recycled and chlorine-free paper. Re-purpose used sheets into scrap paper or shred it to serve as packing material.
Shut Down Your Computer
Shut down your computer and monitor at the end of the day, when you are out to lunch or away from your desk to reduce your annual computer-related energy consumption by up to 80%. For short periods of time, reduce energy use by activating the sleep mode.
Turn Off Electronics
Turn off printers, copiers, and other office electronics at the end of the work day. Even when not in use, electronics drain immense amounts of energy. Plug them into power strips and have the last person to leave at night turn off the strips. This simple step saves energy and money.
Take the train, bus, or subway instead of renting a car for business travel. Encourage your office to invest in videoconferencing and other technological solutions that can reduce employee travel.
Talk to Your Office Manager
Don’t be a stranger. Talk to your office manager about ways your office can be greener by providing recycling bins, using refillable printer cartridges, purchasing green office supplies, and other actions.
Green the Office
Bring in plants. They absorb indoor pollution, increase the flow of oxygen and brighten the workspace.
Read about recommendations
On the Go:
Ride Your Bike
It’s good for you and the environment! NYC has over 620 miles of bike lanes… Use them!
Learn more about cycling in NYC
Use Public Transportation
Choose to travel by bus or train. MTA riders keep 700,000 cars out of the city’s central business district and 400 million pounds of pollution out of the air. Visit MTA.info, the NYC Department of Transportation, or Hopstop to find the fastest ways around the city.
Turn It Off
Idling for longer than 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting your engine and curbside idling is illegal – even if you’re sitting in your car, you can get a ticket for idling your engine. Turn off your engine to save gas and money.
Long Distances Travel
Air travel accounts for 9% of human-induced climate change. Take a train or coach bus and avoid long airport lines, and know that your trip is saving up to 70% more energy and producing 85% less air pollution than a plane.
Choose travel agencies that specialize in eco-tourism to minimize your eco-footprint and to ensure that your trip is protecting indigenous cultures and safely promoting local economies.
Rental car companies across the nation have responded to consumers’ preference for more fuel-efficient cars by stocking their fleets with hybrids.
Get a Tune-Up
Tune-ups make your car more fuel efficient while improving how well it runs. Keep your tires at the right pressure and rotate them regularly. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by 3.3% while reducing carbon emissions.
Choose a Hybrid Car
Hybrid vehicles are highly efficient (smaller engines, advanced aerodynamics, and lighter-weight materials), emit less greenhouse gases, and save you money at the fuel pump
Use Reusable Bottles
Replace your one-time use cup habit with a stylish and sustainable reusable bottle or mug. You will save money and our planet’s precious natural resources.Learn more
Buy It Used
Everything from furniture to cars can be bought in good shape second-hand. You’ll save money and reduce waste. You can also contribute by donating your unwanted items. Check out the NYC Stuff Exchange
Every day, the average New Yorker discards nearly four and a half pounds of waste, which equals over 3/4 of a ton of waste per year! Reduce this number by following the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and visit NYCWasteLe$$.
Use Reusable Bags
Carry a reusable bag with you when you go shopping and help eliminate the 100 million pounds of disposable bags Americans use annually. Get the facts
Use Online Banking
Enroll in a paperless banking program. It’s safe, convenient, and can help the US keep 1 billion pounds of paper out of the waste stream. Learn more
Buy Things That Last
A more expensive toaster that lasts 10 years ends up cheaper than a cheap one that breaks after a few years. You can do your part to keep items out of landfills.
On average, produce travels 1,500 miles before you buy it. The closer your food, the fresher, tastier, and more nutritious it is. Greenmarkets across the city and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are convenient and delicious ways to buy local.Learn more
Why eat chemicals when you can eat real food? Organic food contains far fewer chemicals than conventional food. It’s better for your health, and it reduces water pollution and dependence on oil.
Get a Library Card
Save money and trees by borrowing books from the library. They have the latest best sellers, all the classics, and also movies, music, and magazines. Visit a New York Public Library – they’re some of the best in the nation.
To learn more please visit GreeNYC’s website.