You wouldn’t associate green living with the metropolitan lifestyle, would you? Sure there are instances where homeowners have gone that extra mile to make their dwellings eco-friendly and sustainable. However, this is more an exception that a rule. But in quite a few cities across the United States, the citizens have come together to make their cities more sustainable for present and future generations.
Here’s a little something to put a smile on your dial:
- Reno, Nevada. Known for its gambling and the moniker of “the biggest little city in the world,” Reno is an environmentally friendly town. The most impactful of all her efforts is the infrastructure that harnesses both wind and sunlight; abundant natural resources in the area. In terms of wind energy, the installation of 9 turbines across the city’s rooftops help turn wind into consumable energy. This along with the city’s solar power initiatives make Reno a beacon for sustainability in the nation.
- Williamsburg, Virginia. Williamsburgers have taken a different route to help keep their city green. One of its landmark undertakings is the Williamsburg Heritage Tree Program. Owners across the city are encouraged to preserve trees if they are rare, of remarkable size, if they carry an inherent historical significance, or if they are used as a vehicle to commemorate an individual. By humanizing the foliage of the region, the Public Works department has ensured that trees don’t get the chop. The city has also set aside 32% of its public area as no-build zones to help develop parks.
- Atlanta, Georgia. Transportation is the focus of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability. A fairly nascent establishment, having been created as recently as 2008, the Office has made huge strides. The highlight of its efforts is The Atlanta BeltLine Project; a major redevelopment around the 22-mile railroad in the city including the construction of parks, trails, and a variety of transit infrastructures. Citizens are rewarded for participating in efforts such as “Walk Day” and “Give Your Car the Day Off.”
- Seattle, Washington. Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment has always been a pioneer. Through a variety of programs and policies, “The Emerald City” has led the way in eco-friendly practices. This includes the Green Building Law, which requires all new buildings to be LEED silver rating certified or higher. Also, City Light, the city’s energy harnessing program – which brought about the first zero-emission power utility in the nation.
While all this was done through public programs run and funded by the government, we as citizens shouldn’t neglect our duties either. By doing simple things like taking all our scrap metal to recycling centers, or making sure our businesses or companies adopt eco-friendly initiatives, we can all do our bit and make sure that our futures are much greener, and much brighter.
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