The environment is a hot topic these days. Global warming is not only making front-page news, but it is also making the sweat drip off my face on my way to the grocery store (three blocks away, mind you). As a resident of the model and celebrity-ridden neighborhood of SoHo, the sweaty face look does nothing for my street cred. Perhaps this is why my ears perk up at cocktail parties when the environment is mentioned.
Al Gore brought global warming to the forefront of his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. While the movie scared many Americans (including myself) into thinking that the end of the earth is near, there are strides being made by “big business” in the direction of being more friendly towards the environment.
ConEdison Power Company, which powers New York City and the surrounding area, is going “green.” This means that electricity is generated from renewable resources like the wind, sun, water, or biomass. Basically, they are giving you a choice between using your regular power supply (which is dependent on fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal), or “green power.” It is slightly more expensive, but it is one step you can take to make the earth a little cleaner. (Go to Power Your Way to learn more about green power through ConEdison.)
What can you do on an everyday basis? Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, a contributor to the Oprah Show, lists three easy ways. First, drive an energy-efficient car. Since many residents of NYC take public transportation, they are already on the right track to helping the environment. Oppenheimer says that it is also important to buy energy-efficient appliances, with the blue Energy Star label. Last, use energy-saving light bulbs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that if every American household replaced 5 of their current light bulbs, it would save as much energy as if we took 8 million cars off the roads. It’s the little things that can make a big difference.