Here’s what we know about climate change
As New Yorkers, we know that the effect of garbage in the streets and highways within our cities and towns is unfortunately obvious. Litter and contaminants in our air and waterways cause pollution that is hazardous on both a local and international level, which eventually leads to a global issue like climate change.
Let’s start with air quality. This is one of the biggest threats that New Yorkers are facing due to air pollution. Exposure to air pollutants can lead to serious health issues which include lung disease, asthma, and more.
Did you know that Ozone is a colorless unstable toxic gas produced by chemical reactions between natural and man-made emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight? The combination of the emissions can lead to health conditions and depletion of the ozone layer. When the ozone layer breaks down, harmful radiation from the sun is passed through to the earth. Ozone layer depletion is a correlation linked to climate change.
The waterways in New York are also a worrying source of pollution. For example, New York Harbor studies found that every year nearly 20 billion gallons of untreated raw sewage is overflowing before reaching New York’s sewage treatment plants. Also, pollution that is in the ocean is ending up on our shorelines in all five boroughs. Plastic is one of the biggest issues because of the time it takes to break down. Water pollution is not only unsanitary it is also damaging to the environment and ocean life
Consistent change and working together to aid in the battle of climate change is required on global, national, and state levels. The United State of America has a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030. New York State’s plan is to convert fleet vehicles into electric and swap out power plants for greener options, which are already underway.
How you can help the fight
As a New Yorker, you can help fight climate change by doing your part to live a sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few eco-simple tips to try:
- Rethink your transit options. For example, consider mass transit and take the subway or bus instead of an uber, or driving alone. Yet, even better, travel by walking or take your bike when possible. If there’s no other option than to take your car consider carpooling with a friend who has an electric vehicle.
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle…. Be sure to look into your local recycling guidelines for more information.
- Get involved. Sign up to help tidy up your local parks and waterways and keep our recreational areas clean and healthy.
- Try a plant based diet and buy food from a bulk store or farmer’s market to cut down on packaging waste and improve your health at the same time.
- Reduce your energy use at home and work by switching off appliances when they are not in use or try turning down your thermostat or air conditioner by a few degrees.
- If anything of this seems too time consuming, a quick win in reducing your carbon footprint is to sign up with an energy supplier who can provide 100% renewable electricity vs what you’re receiving from your local utilities such as ConEdison, Orange and Rockland Utilities, National Grid, NYSEG or RGE.
We can’t undo what climate change has already done to our planet but we can commit to making small changes now for the investment of future generations! We at ABEST are advocates of sustainability and have been serving New York State residents with 100% renewable electricity since 2012. Our focus has been to educate and help New Yorkers do their part by offering a renewable option to reduce their carbon footprint.