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Mets contribute to energy-saving initiative

Mets contribute to energy-saving initiative

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NEW YORK -- After beating the Tigers on Tuesday night, a few members of the Mets spent Wednesday afternoon celebrating by painting the town white.

Red might be a more vivid color, but the white coating being applied to rooftops across New York City is part of a project being put on by NYC Service that helps keep buildings' temperature down, reducing the amount of energy needed to keep them cool, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Continuing their Teammates in the Community Week, the Mets sent Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Jonathon Niese and Ryota Igarashi to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to team up with volunteers and get the job done.

"This is actually a pretty sweet idea," Davis said. "I don't know the science behind it, but if it really does help, I don't know why everyone wouldn't paint their roofs white."

NYC chief service officer Diahann Billings-Burford was once again on hand to oversee the project, as NYC Service hopes to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent while coating 1 million square feet of rooftop in 2010.

As with the garden revitalization project the Mets helped with in Harlem on Tuesday, Billings-Burford said the Mets' willingness to simply help out goes a long way in getting these projects done.

"Quite honestly, they have leveraged that everyone cares about the Mets, and everyone cares what they do," Billings-Burford said. "We've seen an uptick on our website even since [Tuesday] because the Mets have been helping."

Billings-Burford has been responsible for matching up the team with important community programs that need to be done by the end of the fiscal calendar.

"They were really open to have coaches and players come to events that were really important to us, and not just make events for the sake of making events," she said. "They're really invested in working and volunteering."

Manager Jerry Manuel said that he considers being asked to do volunteer work an honor because people receive the team so well whenever they reach out to the community.

Bay shared a similar sentiment, expressing a responsibility he feels to the city that he now calls home.

"Playing for the Mets and having the city behind us, the city is a big part of who we are and what we do," Bay said. "You want to give back a little bit."

Billings-Burford said anyone who wants to help coat the rooftops of public buildings and not-for-profit organizations can log on to NYC.org/service, where they can also find instructions on how to coat their own roof.

Kyle Maistri is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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