Whether it’s making the switch to an electric vehicle or participating in a community garden, we all have a role to play in protecting our communities from the effects of climate change.

A study by the NYS Department of Environmental Protection found that transportation related emissions composed nearly half of Westchester County’s greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some sustainable ways you can get where you need to go:

  • Start a carpool with your coworkers: carpooling cuts down the number of vehicles on the road and helps you save on gas. For ridesharing opportunities, check out New York’s 511 Rideshare program. Additionally, Westchester County's Department of Transportation offers SMART Commute programs and services for county businesses and their employees. A SMART Commute program is good for business, the economy and the environment.
  • Take public transportation: Taking mass transit is one of the best ways to cut back on your carbon emissions. Recently, the County invested in converting the Beeline fleet to electric vehicles so taking the bus will be more sustainable than ever.
  • Purchase an electric car: Buying an electric vehicle can be a smart long term investment: saving on fuel costs and reducing your carbon footprint.

Eco-Friendly Homes
Making your house or apartment more sustainable can make a big impact by cutting your carbon emissions and your electric, heating, and water bills at the same time.

  • Use less water: There are a number of ways you can save on water usage. Among the best are to fix leaky faucets or pipes (a small leak can waste 20 gallons of water a day), use appliances such as washers or dishwashers only for full loads, and switch to a high efficiency showerhead.
  • Turn down the thermostat: Making more judicious use of heating at home can help bring down your energy use. Dress warmer indoors and use an extra warm blanket rather than cranking up the thermostat.
  • Insulate your home: Outfitting your home with the proper insulation can mean lower utility bills during winter and summer. The US Department of Energy explains the value of home insulation.

Sustainable Food
According to the USDA, agriculture alone accounts for over 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Environmentally conscious solutions to food can have a range of other benefits such as combating food insecurity and promoting a higher standard of nutrition.

  • Participate in a community garden project: Community gardens are a key tool in the fight for climate justice. Located throughout the County, these projects eliminate emissions associated with transporting food while creating a local resource that can provide access to healthy food for low-income residents. Find a community garden near you using Cornell University’s online map.
  • Bring a reusable bag when you go shopping: Single use plastic bags require large quantities of fossil fuels to manufacture and take centuries to biodegrade. Instead, bring a cloth bag to the market for you shopping trips.
  • Start composting: Approximately 133 billion tons of food are wasted every year in America. Westchester County is developing a small-scale composting and education facility, CompostEd, adjacent to the H-MRF, where residents can learn more about how to compost and its benefits.