Environmental Issues in New York City

Environmental Issues in New York City

New York City has a population of 8.5 million people. With a population like that, you tend to have bigger issues. Crime, murder, you name it, you got it. Some things people don’t tend to think about though are environmental issues and let me tell you, New York City has got them. Here are 5 environmental issues going on in New York City right now.

  • Air pollution and emissions. Poor air quality is due to air pollution and emissions and boy, does New York City have a big problem with both. The New York City region ranks #14 out of 25 on the 2015 American Lung Association’s list for year round particle pollution and #15 on the list for short-term particle pollution.

What are some things you can do? Well, you can walk or ride a bike. Vehicles are a huge contributor to emissions in the air. Other options would be to take the many hybrid cars and buses New York City has accumulated over the years. If you must drive, please don’t leave your car idling.

  • Soil and Land Use. Though New York City is working hard to clean up vacant land and soil to make it useable again, there are many former industrial sites that that are still full of chemicals and other contaminants. Many chemicals can remain in the soil for years; causing serious side effects for anyone who lives, shops, or works near them.
    • Water Supply. As with anywhere else in the world the supply of water is an issue. Though New York City is provided with water through the watershed the amount of water that is consumed on a daily basis continues to go up. There is also the issue of New York’s sewer system overflowing and contaminating their waterways. Though this seems to have been taken care of, it is still a worry for many New Yorkers.
  • According to Travel & Leisure New York City is the #1 dirtiest city in America. New York City alone produces more than 12,000 tons of solid waste and all of that waste has to go somewhere.

To do your part and reduce the amount of waste you produce there are a couple of things you can do. 1.) Recycle. Good ol’ recycling. 2.) Buy less stuff and buy less stuff that comes in a package. Instead of buying a bottle of water, get a reusable water bottle and take it with you everywhere!

  • ‘Food Deserts’. Low-income neighborhoods that have no supermarkets or food deserts as they are called are a real problem in New York City. These neighborhoods have no grocery store and the only things that come close are bodegas or little delis. In these “deserts” studies show that they are associated with high levels of obesity and malnutrition. Many people say, “Well just build a grocery store” but according to research just building a grocery store is not the solution. These are neighborhoods where poverty hits hard. New York City is currently trying to figure out a solution for this problem as it seems to be rising.
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