As many of us know from reading BRO on a regular basis, Buffalo is turning a corner and becoming a city where new development is a constant news item. But, being in a world of declining resources and a changing climate, a crucial component of new development must be one that embraces green and sustainable building practices like rooftop gardens and energy efficient structures.
WNY Sustainable Energy Association is a group that is making efforts for this to be a reality in Buffalo. Joan Bozer, one of the directors, says their goal is, “to make Buffalo a showcase for cutting edge renewable energy technologies such as solar power, as we were a hundred years ago when we were nationally recognized leaders in innovations and inventions for clean renewable hydro power from Niagara Falls at the Pan American Exposition in 1901.”
“We started our informal group over fifteen years ago to raise public consciousness about the need to transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy technologies – mainly solar, wind and geothermal,” she said.
Bozer laid out a list of 13 reasons why Buffalo should really start getting serious about embracing green technology:
- Improve our national image
- Help reduce high utility bills for our citizens and businesses, making our region more globally competitive
- Help clean up our air (second dirtiest after New York City)..
- Help combat global warming/climate change, acid rain and smog
- Contribute to state and national goals to reduce dependence on foreign power sources
- Help improve public health crises in region – asthma, upper respiratory diseases, etc.
- Create an environment for the development of new forward-looking jobs and businesses
- Stimulate programs to provide a skilled work force for the manufacturing and installation of solar and other renewable energy technologies,
- Attract the attention of new energy-related developing businesses with our skilled workforce
- Inspire hope in young people for the future of our region
- Help reverse the brain drain from our area
- Tap into vast creative resources of colleges and universities in our region
- Raise public consciousness about energy conservation
You may have remembered a recent project WNYSEA undertook. Back in 2005, they partnered with UB School of Architecture and the Herschell Carrousel Museum to put a solar-powered carrousel on the waterfront which is accessible to the light rail and bicycle paths.
In addition to that, this group has hosted many events to educate the public along with different organizations about green and sustainable buildings.
When the time comes in the future that many of the unsustainable “goodies” we take for granted become a luxury, we’ll be in much better shape if we start redesigning our city to function on drastically less resources.