News & Politics

Battle of the Aggressively Green Times Square Billboards!


Coca-Cola proudly announces its 30-odd Times Square signs will be wind-powered for New Year’s Eve and presumably thereafter. “We are proud to lead this renewable energy movement on the Great White Way,” says a spokesman. Changes to the main billboard alone “will be the equivalent of taking 75 cars off roads or converting 38 houses to clean energy for a year.”

But wait! Ricoh announces “Times Square’s First Eco-Board Powered Solely by Wind and Solar Energy.” This marvel will “lessen the amount of carbon emissions by 18 tons per year and will save enough electricity to light six average-sized homes for a year” (though “inclement weather and lengthy processes and inspections” may prevent all eco-functions from being fully operational on New Year’s Eve).

Oh yeah? says Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment. Well, the New Year’s Eve ball his company drops at midnight has since last year been powered with L.E.D. lights, which “consume a fraction of the power of an incandescent bulb” per the New York Times, and “consume about the same amount of energy per hour as it takes to operate two conventional home ovens.”

If you want a piece of this green action, visit Duracell’s Power Lodge between 45th and 46th streets and mount stationary bikes to pedal juice to the “2009” sign. Maybe next year we’ll do something about the three tons of confetti the celebration dumps onto the street.


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