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What makes a city 'green' ?


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In your mind, what makes a city green? Is it the farmer's market? Is it the mass transit system? How about the recycling program offered?

I'm proud that my city has a great recycling program, something other cities really need to work on. I'm envious of San Francisco's program that, from what I hear, recycles 70% of waste. How does your city fare or is it something else that brings the 'green' out?

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Has to be a combo of many things, some of which you've listed. Also, power companies - for example, where I live, we are not subject to the tyranny of PG&E for electric power. I don't know what PG&E does, but my current power provider is committed to a certain percentage of power being generated by green sources, like wind turbines. And we have lower pricing than PG&E, and it seems like fewer power outages for whatever reason...??

Anyway, yes - recycling programs of course, I'd also throw in there attempts to reclaim land and turn it into open space, parks, etc. One might also consider schemes for redeveloping landscaping to fit the conditions of the area like the use of drought tolerant plants, reclaiming of waste water for watering them lawns, etc. What incentives does your town offer, if any, for doing solar conversions, or green home improvements?

We could probably make a pretty big list of what places could/should do to move towards greenness.

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What incentives does your town offer, if any, for doing solar conversions, or green home improvements?

I'm unsure if you were asking me or just throwing that out there, but my city doesn't do anything (that I'm aware of) in regards to incentives for renewable energy conversions or efficiency improvements. My city runs the electricity in most areas (including where I live) and does offer to buy back any excess energy produced, but that's the extent of it.

North Carolina as a whole does (I believe they still do this) offer tax rebates on things like adding solar panels to your home. This is in addition to the federal tax incentives offered.

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I think there are different shades of green... certainly several west coast locales come to mind as being at the forefront, but steps forward to being a more responsible city goes a long way.

My city has a great recycling program, curbside for most products with centers for hazardous household waste. They even provide postage paid envelope/bags to recycle cell phones, ink-jet cartridges, and rechargable batteries. The city also is pursing energy savings at all city owned properties by upgrading to more energy efficient lighting, adopting efficient design standards in new buildings, putting hybrid/more efficient vehicles in the city fleet, and replacing 20 aging diesel buses with new hybrid diesel/electric buses which get 2X better fuel efficiency.

I also think you have to look at green space provided and put aside as well as how we treat urban watersheds...

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