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Everblue Energy

Chris Boggiano is a hero, a conservationist, and a local historian. After graduating from West Point, Chris was deployed to Iraq and served in the US Army for five years. Upon returning home, he decided to do his part to help fix the country’s energy dependence problems and started Everblue Energy. Sharing philosophies on efficiency and sustainability, Everblue Energy shows you all the little things you can do to make a big difference in preserving our natural resources.

Tell us about your blog: My friends always make fun of me because I’m the guy who has to write letters to anyone who writes a book or newspaper article to give them my two cents. A blog is kind of the same thing, only I don’t actually have to bother someone to give my opinion.

Also, it’s safe to say that I’m addicted to reading random articles buried deep in the newspaper that most folks don’t get to. Occasionally, I’ll email out those articles to friends, and I’m always amazed at how much people enjoy getting them from me. Sometimes I think they’re just being polite and really send those emails straight to their spam folder, but in case they’re not, I like the idea of having a blog so that I can share more of that kind of stuff without getting annoying.

What brought you to New York?

I’m actually from just across the river in Jersey City. I was born and raised there. From the street corner of my highschool downtown you could look one direction to see the twin towers and another to see the Statue of Liberty.

What do you love about living in New York?

The food. I was in the Army for five years and got to live in places like Germany, Kosovo, Iraq, Korea and Kentucky. Each place has its own local specialties that are awesome, but everything else is garbage (try eating pizza in the south). New York has all of the good stuff from everywhere else all in one spot.

What do you think makes a New Yorker?

The never quit spirit. I’ve worked with people from everywhere around the world, and hands down, pretty much every New Yorker that I know will never take “no” for an answer. I can’t say the same for everyone else.

What surprises you about New York or New Yorkers?

It’s a small world. There’s millions of people in a very small area, but we’re all on top of each other, so it’s inevitable that we cross paths so often.

When you leave New York, what do you miss the most?

The traffic! Ok, not really. When I leave I miss my family the most because they played such a large role in my life growing up. I’m something like 24th generation Italian-American. If there was an Italian on the Mayflower, he was probably a relative of mine. So, I’ve got a million cousins that live all over the NY area. It killed me not seeing them all of the time while I was living overseas with the Army.

Best tips, tricks or insider info. for Green living?

I think it’s safe to say that 99% of the population isn’t willing to give up their creature comforts to save the planet. I can’t really blame them. Beyond trying to tell people to at least do little things that will cumulatively make a big difference we are working to change the system and encourage people to think differently. When looking for an apartment, a house, or a building always tell your realtor that you would like more green options. That will get the message out to the building industry to build greener.

Chicago’s Take Five Pledge is something everyone can do to make a difference.

1. Change four of the most commonly used lights in a house to compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
2. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth.
3. Replace one car trip a month with biking or public transit.
4. Plant ONE tree.
5. Stop using plastic shopping bags.

None of these things require much effort, but if everyone did them it would add up. If everyone in NYC did just the first thing on the list it would be the equivalent of taking something like 160,000 cars off the road.

Best piece of local history that you secretly love?

The Dutch first visited the Hudson River in the early 1600’s. In the 1970’s, my father was a motorcycle cop in Jersey City. There was a bad storm and it washed away part of the Palisades to reveal an old Dutch catacomb that they had tunneled into the cliffs. Some kids discovered it, went inside, and found a bunch of Dutch bodies that had been buried in there that were encased in lead to prevent the spread of disease. The kids took one of the entombed bodies and carried it outside and broke it open (boys will be boys). Inside was a perfectly preserved, blond hair, blue eyed little girl.

Since it happened in Jersey City, no one really cared about it. The city dug a hole by some nearby railroad tracks and buried the body. They then filled in the entrance to the catacomb with cement. It’s still there, you just can’t get inside.

I love to walk from my house to that spot and hope that someday the powers that be will knock down the cement wall and go back inside and preserve what’s left in there. You can’t find history much older than that in the US. It’s been sitting there for 400 years, so at least it’s not going anywhere.

Best place to dine late night?

I’ve always loved Mike’s Papaya in Manhattan. They have $.25 hotdogs and my friends and I always find our way over there at the end of the night. After drinking, I’d happily pay $10 for the same thing and not care.

Best live music venue?

Liberty State Park in Jersey City. It’s right on the water overlooking Manhattan, Hudson Bay, and the Statue of Liberty. It really doesn’t get better than that.

Last cultural thing that you did (movie, museum, theatre, etc…)

I can’t even remember. I’m terrible with “culture” although I wish that I wasn’t. If I visit another city, I’ll go see all of their cultural attractions because I know that I might not be back for a while. In NY, I manage to tell myself “I’ll do that next weekend,” but never get around to it. I went to a Yankee game in the spring if that counts.

Best people watching?

Anywhere near the water. Folks like to go walking there so you can see lots of people that way.

Best ways to make old NYC apt. buildings energy efficient?

The average house and apartment building in the NY area is very old compared to the rest of the country. The good news is that old places there are generally smaller than modern places, which means they have less space to heat in the winter or cool in the summer.

However, old places are also terribly inefficient. Air sealing is the most cost effective way to fix the problem. By that, I mean filling in all of the little gaps and cracks around a house (around windows, doors, etc.) that let air leak to the outside. It’s cheap to do because it usually doesn’t require much more than a caulk gun, and just about anyone can do it. The best part is it’ll make a place way more comfortable because it’ll reduce drafts in the winter.

In a world of “enviro friendly” products, what is worth the money and what is clever marketing? How do we spot the difference?

I actually named our company Everblue because I was sick of seeing so much green marketing and wanted to try out a new color. Nowadays, they’re practically advertising gasoline as green, so it can be confusing to know what’s good and what’s garbage.
Generally, any gizmo that claims to cut your energy bill by 80% is a bunch of crap. The same holds true for any other product – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A good way to determine if something is legit is to ask whether it’s backed by an authority in the field such as Energy Star, which is a government sponsored energy efficiency program. Usually products have to undergo independent testing to get those certifications, so it’s more than someone just re-branding the same old stuff and calling it “green.”

www.everblueenergy.com

What are you doing to “green” up your world?

Tell us all about it!


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