The Green Matters e-newsletter is designed to give you a glimpse of important sustainability initiatives happening around the metro Atlanta region and beyond. Whether it's the latest research, new educational offerings, environmental stewardship efforts or potential funding opportunities, this e-newsletter will help you stay abreast of what's happening in this important subject area.
How 1 Million Trees Can Change a City
Jen Kinney, Next City
A year after I moved away from Brooklyn, my former roommate sent a picture of our changing neighborhood. Not of the swank coffee shop that replaced the corner bodega, nor any of the dark bars creeping into Bushwick. Mallika sent a picture of a spindly young elm: a street tree the city had just planted at the base of our stoop. She was thrilled.
The little elm was just one in a row of saplings stretching down the block, and the block just one of thousands in the city to receive new street trees in the last eight years through
A collaboration between New York City’s parks department and conservation nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP), the initiative just succeeded in planting 1 million new trees in the city this decade. The final tree was planted last month, two years ahead of schedule. While cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Denver have all set the same goal, New York is the first to meet it.
Five local governments in the 10-county region were recently recognized for their leadership in implementing policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta. One county and four cities obtained certification in the agency’s six-year-old Green Communities program. The following communities received certification points for their programs and policies to reduce their environmental impact:
City of Atlanta – Recertified, upgraded to Gold
City of Norcross – Recertified Gold
City of Peachtree Corners – Certified Bronze
Rockdale County – Certified Bronze
City of Woodstock – Recertified, upgraded to Gold
Rockdale and Peachtree Corners became certified for the first time in 2015.
Smart Home Landscaping Can Increase Energy Efficiency
Plant trees due west of windows
– The two most important places to plant trees are due west and east of the home. However, planting trees due west of the home should be the prioritized location.
Avoid planting trees due south of your home
– Contrary to intuition, the least energy efficient place for a tree is to the south of a house. In summer when the sun is high at midday, the shadow of a tree falls directly under the tree and entirely misses a home to its north.
– Any trees on the southwest or southeast sides of the home should be pruned as they grow to remove their lower branches to allow more winter sun through; however, lower branches on trees northwest of the home are desirable to create the most shade in late afternoon.
Plant trees near paved areas and air conditioning units
– An air conditioner runs more efficiently if it is in a cooler environment. Plant trees near paved areas around the house or grow vines on a trellis over or near patios to create cooler areas around your house.