I must take issue with several items in Tom Last’s “Go Greener During the Summertime:” article.
Except at very low speeds, cars are more efficient with the air conditioner on, and the windows closed. This is because the aerodynamic drag caused by the open windows uses more energy than the air conditioner.
While the problems of plastic straws are well known, Mr. Last’s suggestion to employ reusable straws hardly seems like a safe solution. How does one clean a reusable straw? Attach it to a straw cleaning machine that shoots high pressure water through it and then sterilizes it with high temperature steam? Hardly practical, I think.
The item on grass lawns is another questionable item. In areas such as the southwest, with limited water supplies, grass lawns are certainly a problem. But in New York City, they are not for two reasons. First, grass grows in our area with minimal watering. Second, the New York City water supply system is designed to supply 2.2 billion gallons per day with a two-year storage capacity. Today the system only delivers 1.1 gallons per day due to a variety of conservation efforts. Thus, the system has more than ample capacity. Long Island, which relies on ground water, is another matter.