According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are several municipal-level actions that can save money, save energy, clean the air, reduce congestion, curb sprawl, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have identified the following:
Make building energy improvements. Replace motors in city operations with more efficient models. Buy ENERGY STAR® equipment for municipal offices. Change traffic lights to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures. Use renewable energy systems to improve air quality. Purchase green power to improve air quality. Redesign communities to encourage walking, biking, and mass transit.
Provide incentives for mass transit or carpooling. Foster telecommuting and similar trip reduction programs. Convert fleets to run on alternative fuels. Put police on bicycles.
Initiate "Pay As You Throw" waste disposal programs Implement curbside recycling. Recycle office paper and reduce landfill costs. Buy products made from recycled materials. Establish composting programs. Capture methane from landfills. Integrate Smart Growth in planning.
Plant trees to keep buildings and streets cooler to improve air quality, lower air-conditioning loads, and save money.
• Use highly reflective surfacing and roofing materials.
Different approaches are used in different cities, usually determined by individual city government policies and budgets. Some are also easier to implement sooner than others. For example, when new equipment is needed, the energy-efficient models can be immediately purchased and used. Older, inefficient models, however, may continue to be used for several years until they either need to be replaced or an agency can afford to replace them. Planting trees, recycling materials, and purchasing
recycled products are relatively easy solutions that can be done immediately without much planning. Redesigning communities and converting fleets to use alternative fuels are more difficult tasks and take more effort to accomplish, often requiring government policies and budgets to be adjusted. With careful planning, however, all of these actions can be accomplished in order to reduce the impacts of global warming. Source: EPA
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