The ‘Great White Way’ is Not the Only Place Going ‘Green’ in NYC!
We’ve spoken about many things over the past few months – from ‘going green’ in your own home to the decisions being made for YOU and I in the realm of the political world in regards to how we take care of this world for the generation coming up behind. The Green Register has been our ‘green bible,’ so to speak, when it comes to the concerns of the environment and the world around us. And this week, we’re going to speak about a huge populace that is doing their very best to reduce their ‘carbon footprint.’
The largest city – and by far the best – in our little country is NYC! There, you have everything from the fast-paced life to the educational sites that can not be found anywhere else, and the people. The real people (and a few of the fake, I’ll give you that); but for the most part, people who want a better world. Not only does NYC offer some serious environmental organizations, but even the bright lights of Broadway have dove into the area of ‘going green’ – and are doing it well.
Just recently, the Tony Awards were broadcast around the globe. But while the stars and the talent were receiving their awards, behind the scenes there were some serous environmental achievements that the 66th Annual Tony Awards can also lay claim to.
In collaboration with the Broadway Green Alliance (www.broadwaygreen.com) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Tony’s took the time to reduce the environmental impact of its telecast and all events related to the evening of glamour.
What people need to be aware of is this amazing organization. The Broadway Green Alliance - which is an, “industry-wide initiative to educate, motivate and inspire the theater community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices in theater production and reduce Broadway’s environmental ‘footprint.’”
From recycling to using hybrid transportation to get the stars and presenters to the Red Carpet to the utilization of environmentally-friendly materials when it came to set design, construction efforts, etc. – The Alliance worked hard to make sure that the Tony’s was not only educational and entertaining – but supportive of the world at large.
When it came to the venue where the Tony’s were held – The Beacon Theater – they had already taken steps toward reducing any environmental impacts, including having an energy audit of the facility done a while back which resulted in the establishment of an enhanced energy efficiency plan. Efficient lighting was installed, the Red Carpet for this year’s awards ceremony was made from 100% recycled material, all paper used was recycled while all press materials were placed online and only printed press materials were made when necessary and upon request with 100% recycled content. Even down to the restrooms at the theatre, which were stocked with post-consumer recycled content, and the production office being filled with the same, as well as recycled paper, bottles, bottle caps and batteries – the Beacon made sure that the Tony ‘footprint’ was negligible.
We speak about this, as well as, Broadway Goes Green, which is another serious group of people doing serious work since 2008, in order to bring all segments of the theatre community – from venues to unions to producers – together, to find and establish better environmental practices for everyone. And they make sure to provide all different ‘departments’ to take on the huge responsibilities that ‘going green’ entails. (i.e., an Education and Outreach department headed up by GFour Productions, that deals with getting the ‘word out’ to audiences, as well as partnering with other members of the entertainment industry.)
There are many amazing organizations within this ‘green’ movement including, We Recycle! - one of the most popular BGA programs where clothing and other textiles are distributed worldwide to those in need; clothing that can’t be redistributed is recycled into rags or shredded into insulation material.
From Pre to Post-Production – the design stage to the LED lighting to utilizing local vendors as opposed to having products shipped across the country – the BGA not only can help patrons of the arts, but they truly offer businesses a great list of ideas that they can implement for themselves.
This is not a real shock, however, when speaking about New York City. In fact, this city is one that truly believes in trying to clean up our environment so that the next generation has it to enjoy.
Over half-a-million trees have been planted since 2005 with more going ‘up’ everyday. As ‘green’ believers already know, trees are the catalysts that clean pollutants from the air, cool down the streets and sidewalks, and boost property values. (MillionTreesNYC initiative)
In addition, more than 116 square miles (which translates to 75%) of New York’s side of the harbor meets pathogen standards for swimming, and more than 130 square miles (95%) is open for boating. This is the cleanest that New York Harbor has been in over a century.
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are below 13% now and, believe it or not, a New Yorker’s ‘carbon footprint’ is one-third of the average American. Buildings have had energy-efficiency retrofits to reduce emissions and are working toward a 30% reduction by 2030. New York is lit with energy-efficient bulbs – and even “The Great White Way” has seen almost forty Broadway theaters convert to LED and CFL bulbs on their marquees. You probably can’t even imagine this number – but with those theatres switching over, two million kilowatt hours of electricity a year is actually being saved.
Bridges and tunnels have been replacing the legendary ‘necklace lights’ on the Verrazano-Narrows, Robert F. Kennedy and Throgs Neck Bridges with efficient LED fixtures, and every day more of the Green Codes Task Force’s 111 recommendations are being passed into law.
What about transportation? More than 30% of NYC’s yellow cabs turned ‘green.’ There are almost 3,000 gasoline-electric hybrid cabs and 2,000 hybrid buses on the road, not to mention the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country in use by the police, fire, sanitation, transportation and parks departments.
Eating at a ‘green’ restaurant? Not a problem in this grand city. NYC has the highest concentration of Certified Green Restaurants with local delis, eateries, etc. meeting extremely high standards in using sustainable food and building materials, water and implementing energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling.
And speaking of recycling…over 30% of solid waste is recycled from NYC landfills annually. Public recycling receptacles are also being set up, with more on the way.
And the community gardens are not only helping the environment and growing food for neighborhoods that have limited access to fresh produce, but they are also making the city, itself, an even MORE beautiful sight to behold. (If that’s possible)
See that, everyone? No matter who you are or where you live you CAN make an effort to ‘go green.’ If the largest city in the world can make these changes, so can the smallest community. Get on Board! Look up these amazing organizations and find out what YOU can do in your own backyard!
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