With spring blooming in NYC, the Human Impacts Institute Crew is invading the streets and reaching out to local businesses to explore greening opportunities for their stores. This month, HII is promoting the free energy assessment offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in collaboration with El Puente. Founded in 1982, El Puente is a community initiative dedicated to harnessing the energy and efforts of the diverse peoples of Brooklyn.
The free energy assessments are available to small businesses and not-for-profits with an average electric demand of 100 kW or less. According to NYSERDA, “assessments help identify economically viable improvements that yield substantial annual energy savings. This program will provide energy assessments to small businesses and other facilities to help them make informed electrical energy decisions and implement energy-efficiency strategies”. For more information about the free energy assessment, click here.
Beyond promoting NYSERDA free energy assessment, HII is undertaking the EcoPreneurs program to educate and engage business in sustainable practices. EcoPreneurs covers a 12-step program with 12 different initiatives, each focusing on a different, simple practice that can be implemented into small businesses to reduce environmental impacts, as follows:
12-Steps Program for a Green Business:
1. Energy $aving with NYSERDA: Get your Free Energy Consumption Assessment from NYSERDA and save $$!
2. Cracks Kill… Your Energy Bill: Identify cracks or air leaks and cover leaks with caulk, and install a solar film on your windows
3. $hock Your Energy Bill!: Once you receive your NYSERDA Energy Audit Report, we help save $$ on your energy bills with some easy retrofits, and will provide resources to help you reduce your energy consumptionIdentify cracks or air leaks and cover leaks with caulk, and install a solar film on your windows
4. Bike NYC: Decrease your impact on the environment in the neighborhood by encouraging your employees and customers to bike the streets (through small discount to people who arrive on bikes, providing biking rulebooks, requesting a free bike rack from the city of New York, etc.)
5. Green Trees = Good Business: NYC Million Trees Program is looking to plant one million trees in the city! Help keeping the environment of your business beautiful and green by adopting a tree in front of your business
6. Be Hip, Don’t Drip!: Start conserving water with an easy to install Water Conservation Kit, and reach out to new customers by becoming a member of TapIt
7. Don’t Be Trashy, Recycle!: Let us help you educate your staff and customers and set up clearly marked recycling bins in your business
8. Some Like it Hot: Why let money walk out of your door? Take our pledge to keep you door closed during the winter while using heat and during the summer when the A/C is on
9. Stop Bagging the Planet: Let us help you find ways to cut out the plastic and start using to-go items that really go away (by using biodegradable and green packing options, implementing an “ask before you bag” policy, or creating incentives for customers to bring their own re-usable bags or containers)
10. Clean Green: Why make the planet dirty while you clean? We can set you up with a real clean and green way to clean!
11. Keeping it Local: A big part of your impact is where you get your products! We can help you consolidate your suppliers and find ones who work green to cut down your impact!
12. Giving Back To the Community: Now that you have greened up your business, you are saving $$ and feeling great, let’s give back! We can help you identify a local community service or charity organization to take action with!
Ready to make a difference in your community?
Do you work at or own a business in NYC and would like to improve your energy performance and go green?!
Become part of EcoPreneurs to curb your business’ addiction to unsustainable practices, and contact us now- firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 917-727-9761.
By Agathe Laure, Environmental Services Volunteer, Human Impacts Institute