It IS easy being green
Two U.S. municipalities offer some great examples of the relatively small and affordable steps that can be taken to both find cost savings and significantly reduce environmental impacts.
As reported in Governing Magazine, Viking Terrace Apartments, a 60-unit affordable housing complex in Worthington, MN, has made a number green improvements that have reduced environmental impacts and lowered costs for both owners and tenants. Improvements have include low-flow plumbing fixtures, carpets made from recycled materials, and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems. To top it off, Viking residents have had their electricity bills cut by 1/3 and water bills drop, as well.
Meanwhile, on the west coast, Richland, WA has realized $150,000 in cost savings since replacing traditional incandesant traffic lights with LED lights in 2002. City engineers also state that the LED traffic lights are cheaper and easier to maintain as they need less frequent replacement. Check out the news report here (warning, local news!).
So, there you have it. Two examples of some easy steps developers and municipalities can take. If you have a minute, ask your Mayor why you don’t have LED lights yet or your apartment manager about getting low-flow toilets. Hell, send them a link to this post!