By using positive messaging via targeted media to support New Yorkers’ in reducing their personal waste, GreeNYC has made a meaningful dent in the amount of paper and plastic wasted in the city.

GreeNYC is New York City’s branding campaign to reduce waste and encourage more sustainable habits by all New Yorkers. Informed and measured by robust consumer behavior and environmental impact data, the campaign uses positive messaging and resident engagement to drive environmental behavior change. GreeNYC programs have reached more than three billion New Yorkers through marketing campaigns, and half of all New York City residents report familiarity with the program. The city has even created a GreeNYC mascot, “Birdie,” to get residents on board with conservation and environmental awareness.

GreeNYC’s 2014 “Stop Junk Mail” initiative, and the 2015 B.Y.O. (Bring Your Own) initiative to promote reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and plastic bags, are examples of recent schemes targeting a high-impact area – in these cases, solid waste, using tailored marketing techniques for messaging and media planning. Stop Junk Mail has so far achieved a 1.75 million kg reduction in solid waste, and the B.Y.O. initiative has already avoided the use of 157 million disposable plastic bags.

140,000 tons of CO2 expected to be reduced through GreeNYC’s Stop Junk Mail and B.Y.O. initiatives

The challenge

New York City’s sanitation department annually collects about 10 billion single-use bags, 315,000 tons of paper for recycling, and about 800 million water bottles discarded by city residents. Similarly, New Yorkers receive an estimated 2 billion pieces of unwanted mail each year. The city’s GreeNYC campaign gets residents involved in behavior changing initiatives in order to stop this unnecessary waste and promote civic engagement.


Economic GreeNYC has many campaigns dedicated to promoting energy efficiency at home. As New Yorkers reduce their energy use from lighting, appliances, and heating and cooling, they also reduce their energy bills.

Environmental The campaign’s next initiative will be to promote home weatherization – including insulation, air duct sealing, and ventilation – in order to lower household energy use.

Social The community engagement elements of GreeNYC increase residents’ involvement and interest in civic activities.

About New York City

The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2016 population of 8,537,673 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known, and the city received a record 61 million tourists in 2016, hosting three of the world’s ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013.

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