September 12, 2019

Talking Trash

Forums Recap: Recycling Today, How It Works and What You Can Do To Improve It   By Pamela Berns   If you’re a New Yorker who actively recycles, you probably know that when it comes to recycling in New York City, tissues count as garbage, not paper, ice cream containers can’t be recycled, and film plastics, such as grocery and freezer bags, shouldn’t share a bin with rigid plastics. You’re no doubt aware that you should donate hard cover books and old vinyl records not only so others can enjoy them as much as you did, but because they’re not recyclable in NYC’s recycling program. And you certainly know that New Yorkers recycle not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the law.   How’d you do?  If you missed our August Monthly Forum, read on to learn what you need to know to fulfill your Zero Waste pledge in New York City. (more…)

May 13, 2011

Resources for Greening Houses of Worship

GreenHomeNYC got a request recently from Brooklynite Adrienne Teleki to help her find information and resources about greening houses of worship. The board and Partners in Practice Advisory Board sent some ideas her way, and Adrienne very kindly summarized them to share with you, our blog readers. Read her note after the jump! (more…)

June 3, 2009

Grants for energy efficiency retrofits in NY?

I am looking to buy a house but before I do I want to make it as green as I possibly can. I want to put in a geothermal system, a cistern to catch rainwater, energy efficient windows, tankless water heater, composting toilets and other environmental saving features. I know there is money for solar by my question is, are there any grants to help me off set the cost of what I want to do?, as I know this will be very expensive. Thank you, Sherba Thanks for your email to GreenHomeNYC’s Ask an Expert! There are a number of incentive programs for improving the energy and environmental performance of your home. Whether and for which programs you may be eligible for depend on the type of home (1-4 family or multifamily building), the measures you’re looking to fund, and on your household income. Some of these programs can be combined. (more…)

February 6, 2009

Sources for IEQ-friendly Carpets?

I am building a holistic medical clinic on Long Island and am interested in putting in green/environmental commercial carpets in my treatment room areas. I was wondering if you had any referrals as to where I can purchase these carpets. I am having a hard time finding any companies in New York that sell them. – Pina Thanks Pina. One question that you might ask is “do I really need carpet?”. Carpets trap dust and can help promote persistence of allergens in a room, so many green builders & standards recommend that you use a sustainable, non-vinyl floor covering with a low-VOC adhesive & finish instead of putting down carpet. (more…)

January 31, 2009

Gowanus Environmental Risks? A Cheatsheet for asking questions about exposure.

I’m considering moving to the section of Gowanus, Brooklyn that abuts Park slope — East of 4th Avenue and South of, say, 12 street. But I’ve heard a lot about environmental issues in Gowanus, not just related to the Canal itself, and I’d like to get an informed opinion about the risks involved in living in this area. If this is not your area of expertise, could you point me in the direction of someone who is an expert. Thanks for your help. -Bob Bob, Thanks for getting in touch with us, and also for your patience in awaiting a response. You ask a good question, and one that is not just for the Gowanus area, but pertains to any industrial urban area (e.g. Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Hunts Point, LIC, etc.) (more…)

January 28, 2009

Low-down on Low-flow Showerheads

GreenHomeNYC founder Aaron Yowell requested tips on low-flow showerheads and we thought we’d share the responses. A showerhead’s water flow is measured in gallons per minute (gpm). A standard showerhead is 5 – 8 gpm, which means a 5 minute shower uses 40 gallons of water. According to NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection, an efficient gpm is at or below 2.5 across various water pressures. Although US EPA’s WaterSense program (a label akin to Energy Star) hasn’t estblished a standard for showerheads, some green standards (including LEED) require 2 gpm to be considered “low-flow”, and Enterprise Green Communities (a green standard for affordable housing) encourages showerheads of 1.7 gpm. (more…)

December 15, 2008

Greening-up a brownstone

I own a brownstone in Brooklyn and want to have an energy audit and a review of ways to make the building greener in general. Can you offer any recommendations of programs, companies, consultants that do this? Does the city have any incentives or programs to help? -Kippy Kippy, The short answer is yes — there are programs, consultants, etc to help you evaluate green renovations for your brownstone. (more…)

Sustainable business resources

I work at a large, well-known internet company and would like to approach the powers that be with a proposal to implement sustainable business practices that will save them money. Where can I go to find information to back up and support such a proposal? Also, do you know of a place in New York City where I can obtain training on conducting energy audits? -Michelle Hello Michelle, We focus mostly on residential green building, but that’s no excuse! Helpful resources regarding sustainable business practices include the Green Grid web site and EnergyStar resources. (more…)

December 14, 2008

Retrofitting Existing Affordable Housing

Here are three questions from a student at Rutgers who was working on a paper about the costs, benefits, and barriers of retrofitting affordable housing to improve energy efficiency: Are the tenants of green affordable homes seeing true savings? Are they increasing awareness about other environmental issues to communities that normally wouldn’t? How are policies creating incentives for developers to build green when the savings goes mostly to the tenants? These are good questions and ones that are difficult to get definitive (or in my case, short) answers. (more…)

August 31, 2008

Custom green patio door

Where in the NYC region can we buy an FSC-certified, custom wood entryway? We love wood and want something dramatic and functional, but *green*. In priority order: Certified reclaimed lumber, Certified newly cut lumber. Recycled glass would be nice. We’d like a BIG patio door too – same stipulations and decent R-value (U factor) too. Thanks in advance. – Mitch & Jan I would say that the greenest wood products are recycled or salvaged and you can find some products like that at Build It Green in Queens. If you want something new though, you can find local vendors of FSC certified wood from a guide the Rainforest Alliance put together. Hope this helps, and good luck on your project.