Mar 23, 2009

Be the First Green Advocate on Your Co-Op Board?

Own a co-op? Then you probably won't be happy to know (or remember) that residential buildings are a major offender when it comes to releases of carbon dioxide emissions. But as you also know too well, doing something about it will require enthusiasm, or at least buy-in, from other owners. For inspiration and advice, check out Mireya Navarro's article, "It's Not Easy Turning Co-Op Boards Green," in the March 26, 2009 issue of the New York Times.

One of the most interesting factoids was that you don't need to go all out with solar panels to have an effect on the bottom line -- the greatest bang for the buck comes from simple conservation measures like insulating pipes and weather-stripping doors.

Another interesting suggestion comes up in the article "Start Greening Your Building," from The Cooperator: The Co-Op and Condo Monthly: installing a device that measures every owner's individual energy usage -- that can certainly wake up some people who weren't too concerned about energy costs when they were spread among all owners.

And for more information for New York City residents, check out the website of Green Home NYC, a volunteer-run organization whose mission is to facilitate the adoption of sustainable building methods and materials by owners of small residential and commercial buildings in New York City.