How much CO2 do we spew into the atmosphere? The folks at Carbon Visuals tell us that in 2010 in people New York City generated about 54 metric tons, mostly from buildings. Their new short video gives us a sense of what that looks like.
Actually, NYC residents have one of the smallest per capita carbon footprints in the country. Creating a dense walkable city with smart growth reduces energy consumption, emissions and global climate change. According to David Owen in Green Metropolis, the average NYC resident uses one-third the energy of the average American. Each year, a typical suburban household uses 440 BTUs, while an urban household uses 320. This reduction not only helps with the environment, but by spending less on energy it puts more money back into the economy.
Thanks to many efforts, there’s some good news in NYC: “Emissions in 2010 were 12% less than 2005 emissions,” says Carbon Visuals. “The City of New York is on track to reduce emissions by 30% by 2017 – an ambitious target.”
I don’t think the rest of the country is working quite so hard.