July 28, 2021

In Fighting Climate Change, What’s an Individual to Do?

Brooklyn Solar Works, which installed Mr. Ross’s array, said it had put in place just over 1,000 sets of solar panels in New York City. On average, federal, state and city incentives cover about 60 percent of the cost, which ranges from $28,000 to $40,000. For most homes, the remaining amount is paid off in electricity savings over about eight years, said T.R. Ludwig, the company’s founder.

He said most of his company’s systems offset about 10,000 pounds of carbon each year, and produce about 7,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, about a quarter of what a family of four would use in a year.

“The limiting factor is real estate is so constrained here,” he said. A suburban home usually has more roof space or a yard for a solar array.

Dr. Case said her experience buying carbon offsets for a plane trip had led her to research how to reduce her household’s carbon emissions. She consulted the website of a company called Wren, which asks a series of questions — how big is your house, how many cars do you have, how often to you order online — to determine how much carbon her household emitted.

“Right now, we don’t look so good,” Dr. Case said. “We have two cars. We live in a house. I got into the habit in the pandemic of ordering everything through Amazon.”

Still, even with an above-average rating for carbon emissions, she said, the offset costs only $35 a month.

Mr. Greenberg said some things mattered more than others. Using paper straws and LED light bulbs is not a huge way to reduce your carbon footprint. But steering clear of bottled water does help, since it takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce the world’s plastic water bottles each year.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/your-money/fight-climate-change.html

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