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!


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5 responses to “It IS easy being green”

  1. jimsey says :

    I’m Kermit the Frog, and I approved this message.

  2. Humberto says :

    Covey’s got some work to do!

  3. KimJanne says :

    There’s much more afoot in Minnesota. Viking Terrace is one of eight green demonstration affordable housing projects selected by Minnesota Green Communities. The program is working to ensure all of the affordable housing in Minnesota meets the the Green Communities Criteria.

    As a result of Minnesota Green Communities (a collaboration of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the Family Housing Fund, and Enterprise), some broader policies have been enacted.

    The state of Minnesota now requires all new construction affordable multifamily housing that has state funding to meet the Green Communities Criteria.

  4. Ben says :


    Very cool, thanks for the further information. Looks like MN is ahead of the game on this one…hopefully other states will follow suit.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. More good municipal planning news from Minnesota « Ben Co. - December 18, 2007

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