ibnlive » Tech

Jun 19, 2007 at 11:53am IST

NY tracks it carbon footprint

New York: New York City has been described as an asphalt jungle. In its crowds, people try not to step on each other's toes. But do New Yorkers know what their carbon footprint is?

They can learn from their mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who has announced the Greener Greater New York Plan to reduce carbon footprint.

"By 2030, we will shrink our city's carbon footprint by 30 per cent," said Bloomberg. A carbon footprint measures how much polluting gases an individual lifestyle produces.

The calculation starts with finding out how much energy you use. It includes what kind of energy are you using at home: oil, gas or electricity.

When it comes to transportation, your car determines your carbon footprint. How much mileage does it give? Also, whether you use the subway, airplane or the bus.

You might say Bill Ohl has bigfooted his whole apartment into a near carbon free zone. To cut the power the public school teacher put everything from the TV to the cell phone charger on power strips turning them on only when needed.

There's a bag in the toilet to cut water flow. And all the lightbulbs were changed to compact fluorescents...slashing utility rates.

And to get rid of energy usage he can't avoid in his apartment, Ohl buys what are known as Carbon Offsets from this man's company. 'Native Energy' and other firms build farms that turn cow manure into carbon free electricity and windmills that offset the power emitting greenhouse gases in Manhattan.