New York State Eco Friendliness Stats
The state of New York is an incredibly diverse landscape both culturally and ecologically. From the east, you have the most densely populated city in the United States. As you start to move west, you hit one of the largest State Parks in the entire country. Moving further still, you run into some of the most productive farmland in the northeast, stretching on to the east side of the state. Throughout the entire state, agricultural issues, water rights issues, and general sustainability concerns abound.
New York State recycles more than 18 million tons of material every single year. This includes more than simply bottles and cans, and also covers things like construction debris. In fact, the vast majority of raw materials sent for recycling are construction debris. This material accounts for roughly 60% of the total recycled materials in the state. Over the past 20 years, recycling has taken hold throughout the state. Recycling rates are up 50% around the state since the mid-80's, and they keep trending upward. By far, the city that recycles the most is New York City. In addition a large number of companies and businesses with offices in New York strive to reduce waste and promote eco friendly working practices to improve the environment.
In the past 50 years, New York State has nearly doubled its use of natural gas in residential areas. Much of this has been pushed by the renewed interest in hydraulic fracturing, with New York getting most of its natural gas from Pennsylvanian fracturing fields. New Yorkers are also shifting toward more biomass reliance for heating, using twice as much wood to heat their homes as they did 50 years ago. On the other hand, the use of coal in New York for residential energy is less than .05% of what it was 50 years ago. New York has consistently shown distaste for coal-fired electricity, with much of its energy being produced through the use of hydroelectric dams, nuclear plants, and natural gas plants.
New York State’s greenhouse gas emissions account for roughly 4% of the emissions in the entire United States. The largest contributor to these emissions was carbon dioxide, with an amount equivalent to 285 million tons being emitted throughout an average year. The largest contributor to these emissions is fuel combustion, and specifically fuel used for transportation.
In areas outside of New York City, forestry is a major component of the economy. Much of the forested land in New York is owned by private individuals who quickly turn it over for a quick profit on the trees that adorn their land. There has been a push to create greater regulations of these sales in order to secure the sustainability of these forests for future generations. The issue is that only 22% of private landowners consult a forester when they sell off their timber. Since they lack any professional understanding of forestry, poor overall decisions regarding forest health are often made in the pursuit of profits. Barely 5% of the original forests of New York still stand, however there are still enormous tracts of land.
This leads to Adirondack State Park. This park is the most remote wilderness that can be found in the state of New York. It is the largest State Park in the lower 48 United States, and it is the largest National Monument in the entire country. It is comprised of 6,100,000 acres of wooded mountains, and there are many towns scattered throughout the land. The park contains over 3000 lakes and over 30,000 miles of rivers, as well as a diverse range of plants and animals that are protected within the park's boundaries. The largest industry in the area is not tourism, but rather the timber industry. There are 40 sawmills currently in operation within the park.