Green Communities Offer An Eco Friendly Lifestyle
Green communities aren’t new. For centuries, humans led simple, almost Spartan lives that left a much smaller mark on the environment. Modern life, while more comfortable, has also stretched the planet’s resources.
Green communities aim to reverse some of that impact. The concept is simple: living and working in ways that produce less pollution and ease the strain modern life has put on the environment. Like the terms “smart growth” and “sustainable growth,” green communities have become a buzzword of the early 21st Century.
Green communities don’t seek a return to harsher, albeit more environmentally friendly times. Proponents of green communities don’t advocate the elimination of travel or electricity – only working on ways to still have those modern conveniences while sustaining our resources.
Green communities vary in size
Green communities can be as large as cities or neighborhoods, or as small as single homes. They adopt environmentally-friendly methods for everything from home construction to job creation.
Green communities are designed with an eye to using recycled materials. They have aggressive recycling programs. They put an emphasis on community gardens, where food is grown organically. They promote extensive green spaces, both because the trees produce oxygen and reduce the impacts of smog and pollution and because they are pleasing to the eye. Wide scale use of solar energy is encouraged, as is sustainable development, job growth, even tourism. What good is creating an economy, the thinking goes, if the environment cannot easily support it?
Here are some other highpoints of green communities:
- Transportation: Green communities are designed with walking or riding bicycles in mind. There is less sprawl; homes are build closer to each other. Sidewalks and bike paths are a must. The greater population density makes mass transit more feasible.
- Land use: Because homes are built closer to each other, there is more land available for green space. The green space is used for parks or community gardens. Because there is less sprawl, there is less need for automobiles, which helps cut pollution. Government incentives help old vacant buildings gain new life.
- Trash: Recycling takes on new significance in green communities. Everything that can be reused is reused. Composting is encouraged, as food waste is turned into fertilizer.
The benefits of green communities are too numerous to quantify, experts say. Some of the solar or construction technology might cost a bit more than conventional methods, they admit, but that can be offset by the reduced energy costs homeowners in green communities pay. Other benefits are a reduction of pollution and the satisfaction of living in greater harmony with the environment.
Green communities are an eco friendly concept that’s here for the long run, experts say.