David Owen argues here that New York is one of the eco-friendliest locations in the US. As a transplanted New Yorker, this sounds about right to me. Somehow my wife and I lived in a 650 square foot apartment for more than three years. Because we only shared one wall with the outside, much of our heat was shared with our neighbors. Our refrigerator was small. We went grocery shopping every day, only for what we needed. Waste was relatively minimal, as our trash bags had to be small enough to send down the chute. Plus, we didn’t drive, we didn’t have to water any lawns, we didn’t worry about destroying our natural surroundings.
Yet there is a somewhat strong argument against New York being the greenest city: ultimately, and there’s no hiding this, it is the belly of the consumer beast. Walk down any street and there are towering monoliths to money and consumerism. More than most towns — with the possible exception of Hollywood — New Yorkers control our popular culture. Don’t get me wrong, I ♥ NY. I just wanna go on record that, while it’s probably true that any given New Yorker is greener than the average Ameri-bear, it’s not true that New York is a shining bastion of eco-hope.