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Going Green on Grand Street

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A few weeks ago, we told you about the new car sharing program Connect by Hertz has established at the Seward Park Co-op on Grand Street. But it turns out that’s just one of the green initiatives the cooperative has launched in recent weeks. Preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, Seward Park has invested in new technology, implemented an extensive recycling program  and put a major focus on energy conservation.

With more than 1700 apartments, 400 parking space and 50 commercial properties spread across 13 acres the co-op has a sizable carbon footprint. Grand Street might not necessarily be thought of as the epicenter of the green economy, but many residents seem to have embraced the initiatives. Recently the Co-op signed a contract with a company called MyBuilding,org, which designed a slick new web site that’s expected to reduce paper consumption by 75,000 pieces every year. In recognition of the fact that many shareholders are seniors who aren’t all accustomed to doing things online, computer training sessions are being held.

In front of an electric car, Seward Park's Tumminia (center), with Comverge officials Michael Frederickson and Jay Roemer.

With the help of a company called Power Concepts, Seward Park has begun a comprehensive energy audit.  Another firm, Comverge (photo), has already helped them with many other energy conservation programs, including the installation of steam traps, the distribution of CFL light bulbs to residents and the replacement of hundreds of fluorecent bulbs. Seward Park President Michael Tumminia said, “we are aggressively looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption as well as other possible more cost effective energy sources.”

The Co-op has been working with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s “Go-Green” initiative. Recently, they held an information session about all of the new programs. Councilmember Margaret Chin spoke with residents, pledging to support the Co-op’s green program. Seward Park is also working with the LES Ecology Center and organizations in the neighborhood such as the Educational Alliance to coordinate conservation efforts. Given the size of the apartment complex, Tumminia said, “we have a responsibility to our community and our city to become greener.”

Part of Seward park’s new web site is accessible by the general public. You can see it here.

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