August 31, 2008

Overall sustainability of NYC

I apologize for the broadness of this question, but I was wondering about the overall sustainability of New York City. Does its population density compensate for the concentrated pollution? How does it compare in terms of energy consumption per capita to other cities? Rural areas?
– Janelle

Is my sink eco-friendly?

Dear Green Expert,
I am rehabbing a kitchen and found a sink I really like that is made of 80 percent granite and 20 percent acrylic and resin. The material is called Silgranit and manufactued by Blanco. Are these eco-friendly materials? The manufacturer’s website says very little on this issue so I’m dubious.
Thank you!
– Brenda

Funding a green roof


I am a New York City public high school teacher. We are investigating installing a green roof system on our school roof with the help of graduate students at CUNY. Do you know if any of the state or local utilities might help fund this effort? We are having some trouble raising the money for the project.

Thank you!

Jessie Jenkins

Health benefits of green building

I was wondering what some of the specific health concerns there are for buildings that are not created in the “green construction” fashion. What are some health benefits of green constructed buildings.
– Liz

Solar power usage in NYC

Can you direct me to any information on how individual buildings/co-ops/condos in NYC are using solar power? Does anyone have cells on their rooftops, etc? What is the feasibility of such an endeavor?
– Chris

August 30, 2008

Installing solar power in a brownstone

We own a brownstone in Clinton Hill and are interested in installing solar panels but have no idea how to go about it or choose a product or contractor to do this. Do you have any good resources or organizations?
– Lai-Wan

Local suppliers of reclaimed lumber

I’m seeking a small quantity of reclaimed lumber for a project. Anyone in the NYC metro area who supplies reclaimed wood? Thanks for your thoughts.
– Bob

Will insulating heating pipes improve efficiency?

Hi –

I have been trying to get an answer to this for a while but to no avail.

In NYC many brownstones are heated with single-pipe steam heating. Often the apts are too hot and people open windows to cool them down. If, instead of opening the window, I put insulation on the heating pipes, does the steam heater output less heat and consequently use less oil?


Eco-friendly casegoods


I am currently selecting furniture for a non-profit organization (I am with an Allsteel dealership) and was wondering if you might assist me in finding environmentally friendly casegoods and seating? Thank you in advance! Elisa Borgatti


Why green power?

Hello, have been considering switching to a green supplier of electricity for about a year or so, however the fact that it is slightly higher than what I’m paying for traditional electricity, is a major deterrent.

It was with great interest that I read Anne-Lise Breuning’s testimonial regarding her experience with switching, and wondered how satisfied she was with the switch some 2 years later. I would be interested to read an update or to be able to hear from other consumers who have made such a switch, before taking the plunge.

Although, I have to agree with her father who responded “Those bastards! Charging you more for green power, just goes straight in their pockets. They should be charging more for traditional power,” when she advised that she had made this switch. Why would anyone rationally switch given these circumstances? While altruistic motives might suffice for some, it certainly won’t encourage the masses to do so, which is what is required to really make a difference in the adverse effects of traditional energy consumption.

I therefore have to conclude that the utilities are less interested in improving the environment than they are in maintaining their exclusive ability to profit from whatever choices consumers ultimately make.