Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A. Fine Company Becomes NYC's First Green Broker



A. Fine Company, Inc. is proud to announce our intention to be deemed New York City's first "green" real estate broker. While we have always been conscious of our carbon footprint, we have closely examined our day to day practices to further reduce our impact on the environment. Here are some issues that have and will be addressed.
Fax machine- what a culprit! We have asked every company and landlord that faxes us to stop faxing and email instead or give us a website where we can access listings. If the internet is not an option we have asked those companies not to fax us and we'll call them when we need them. We only order recycled paper. Further, we now take all old and useless faxes and reuse the other side of the paper. I'd estimate that we have reduced our paper consumption by more than 80%. We also return toner cartridges to staples for recycling.
Computers- The last person to leave the office is responsible for making sure that all computers are turned off. This not only helps reduce energy consumption, but is also good for the computers and makes them last longer. We also pledge that any computer or other e-waste will only be disposed of at special e-waste collection areas set up periodically at Union Square.
Heat, Lights- Fortunately our office in Union Square is blessed with 3 exposures and tons of natural light from 8 large windows. Since the office is is a relatively small loft our use of office lights is rare and usually limited to evenings and very overcast days. During the winter our heaters our always turned off unless absolutely necessary. Usually during afternoon hours, our wall of South facing windows heat the entire office. Our windows are old and inefficient, but the landlord should have all of our windows replaced with double pane energy efficient windows by summer. Of course, during summer months, we will make the most of those windows, our shades, and never run the energy efficient ac overnight.
Office Waste/Composting- OK, I'll admit it is only an experiment, but in addition to the usual office recycling, we are going to give composting a try! We do have a roof deck, so we are putting the compost can out there, and all I can say is, wish me luck. I hope it works, but I will tell you that if we are swarmed by horseflies, this plan will be scrapped.
Gardening- With the roof deck, we are in a rare position to actually garden, use the compost, and as they say the best produce is local. I have some experience with this and had a bumper crop of peppers last year and some decent tomatoes. Produce gardening does several good things. First, you are growing something that eats up pollutants, adds oxygen to the air, and helps reduce city heating. By growing some of your own produce, you reduce the amount that must be trucked to you, thereby saving fuel and reducing pollution.
Canvas Bags- As pictured above, we have a load of canvas bags that we have given out in the past to both promote our company and reduce the public reliance on wasteful paper and plastic that fill our landfills. If anyone would like one of these canvas bags for free, email us with an address and we'll get one out to you while supplies last.
At A. Fine Company, we are not only committed to providing our clients with exceptional service and expertise, we are also devoted to the environment that we all call home.

4 comments:

  1. Why dont you throw out your fax machine and just get an internet fax service. This way, people can fax you, and you simply access the faxes via a website and you have them in electronic form. That way you are green and your clients can still fax you if they want.

    of course, you will have to throw out that fax machine.

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  2. On gardening in NYC. you are what you eat and so is your produce. Is the produce grown on your roof safe to eat?

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  3. That's a great idea on the fax, I'll look into it!

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  4. Fruits and vegetables from urban garden should be just fine to eat assuming that you plant your food in good soil that is not exposed to something toxic (ex: contaminated soil) and you use good water (tap is fine). All food should be thoroughly washed before eating.
    In order to grow satisfactory veggies, your spot should get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Also, make sure the pot is big enough- for a good tomato for instance think 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide and don't forget a cage once it's grown to about 18 or so inches.
    Here is a website for some urban gardening tips: http://www.urbangardeninghelp.com/plant.htm

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