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Go green and save green, climate group urges

Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for your pocketbook, too.

That was the message conveyed by Michael Allegretti, director of government relations for the Climate Group, at the April meeting of the Bay Ridge Community Council (BRCC).

Allegretti −− a Bay Ridge native son −− told BRCC members, gathered in the community room at Shore Hill, 9000 Shore Road, that he had been dubious of climate change until a couple of years back.

But the strange weather, as well as the analysis of an overwhelming percentage of scientists, changed his perspective, Allegretti said.

“It was 87 degrees on April 28,” Allegretti pointed out. “It’s 60 degrees after a snowstorm in December. It’s 40 degrees on a random day in April. They called it global warming. It should have been called global weirding. Things are just changing.”

And, he stressed, “There’s a reason you should actually care. It’s not just about the climate, it’s about your wallet.”

The self−described “local guy whose family owns an oil company” told the group that they could save hundreds of dollars each year without turning their lives inside out.

“If you do things that don’t dramatically change your life, you can save money,” he assured them.

Changing five light bulbs in your home from standard ones to compact fluorescents will “save an average of $49.97 a year,” Allegretti said.

Using the energy−saving mode on your computer on a regular basis will “save an average of $60 a year,” he added.

According to Allegretti, you can also save money by running your clothes washer only on cold ($80 a year), installing a programmable thermostat ($80 a year), switching to paperless banking ($90 a year, on such things as checks and stamps), not idling your car for five minutes a day ($100 a year on gas), adjusting your thermostat so it’s two degrees higher in summer and two degrees lower in winter ($98 a year), changing air conditioner filters once a year ($100 a year), and letting the dishes in your dishwasher air−dry ($40 a year).

Do these things “if you care about the planet, if you care about green industry in New York,” Allegretti urged. “But, if you just care about yourself, do some of these things.”

For further information on the issue of climate change, log onto theclimategroup.org.

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