Image from National Geographic
OneNYC states, “New York City will be the most sustainable big city in the world and a global leader in the fight against Climate Change.” This is just one of the major goals as a part of @mayordeblasio's initiative for "A More Just City", all of which are listed here:
- New York City will continue to be the world's most dynamic urban economy, where families, businesses, and neighborhoods thrive.
- New York City will have an inclusive, equitable economy that offers well-paying jobs and opportunities for all New Yorkers to live with dignity and security.
- New York City will be the most sustainable big city in the world and a global leader in the fight against climate change.
- Our neighborhoods, economy, and public services will be ready to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change and other 21st century threats.
I haven’t checked on the progress of these goals since the programs launch a few years back, but given that it's Earth Month, I thought it was probably a good time to check. I'm particularly interested in the sustainability goal...and am hoping you are too ;)
Below are the six sub-initiatives to support de Blasio's third goal: ‘New York City to be the most sustainable big city in the world and global leader in the fight against climate change’:
1. NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions will be 80% lower by 2050 than in 2005; this is a 43 million metric ton reduction
- Nine million metric tons from power production
- Seven million metric tons from personal and commercial vehicles
- Two million metric tons from the disposal of solid waste
- Decrease energy used in buildings 30% by 2025
2. Zero Waste: New York City will send zero waste to landfills by 2030. One third of NYC’s waste collected is organics. It is a valuable resource if handled properly, otherwise it can emit greenhouse gas
- One million New Yorkers currently receive curbside organics pick-up service, which has amounted to the pick up of 60,000 tons of organic waste. There are 88 drop-off sites across NYC and curbside pickup will continue to increase.
- Every New Yorker will have the opportunity to recycle and reduce waste, including at New York City Housing Authority housing. Recycling bins were installed at each NYCHA development, giving an additional 400,000 access to recycle.
- Improve freight movement and the hauling of commercial waste
- Accelerate conversions of residual heating oil boilers in buildings
- Reduce emissions from mobile sources
- Expand access to open space, mass transit, biking and walking to decrease the effects of poor air quality
- NYC will clean and revitalize 750 tax lots by end of 2019, having met 75% of this goal has enabled construction of +27 million sq feet of new building space previously toxic and vacant.
- A goal to remedy 100 coastal flood plain lots, 80% of which is complete. This will vastly diminish risks of erosion and pollutant releases during future storms.
- Expanding green infrastructure and smart design for storm water management by using rain gardens, green streets, and porous pavements to reduce flooding and sewer overflow.
- Continuing to expand its Bluebelt program, optimizing natural drainage corridors like streams and ponds to control and filter storm water.
- Greening the City’s streets, parks and open spaces. In 2016 NYC planted 19,045 street trees, 4,452 landscaped park trees and 49,428 trees in natural areas.
- Creative partnerships with communities to assign local stewards who will care for and advocate for their parks and City’s natural resources.
The city has some lofty goals. I'm thinking that I could start a new tradition to create yearly Earth Day goals. I'm a list maker. I love making daily lists and I love making annual goals at the end of each calendar year. When I write things down I find I'm much more likely to achieve them.
So with that....my 1st annual Earth Day Goals will be:
- Be vigilant about carrying my water bottle around...and while I'm at it: hydrate more!
- Buy a to-go coffee cup for when I order a latte to go, or the in-house coffee shop is using paper cups...and while I'm at it: support local cafes that do use real mugs!
- Garden, but start small...and don't give up.