Thursday, September 17, 2009

Urban Dwelling

I think all of us city dwellers realize that taking the subway or riding a bike to get to our chosen destinations is better for the environment, even if it puts us at risk for a close encounter with a stranger we weren't necessarily prepared for. David Owen, a staff writer for The New Yorker makes the case more convincingly in his book, Green Metropolis.

"...Manhattan, Hong Kong and large, old European cities are inherently greener than less densely populated places because a higher percentage of their inhabitants walk, bike and use mass transit than drive; they share infrastructure and civic services more efficiently; they live in smaller spaces and use less energy to heat their homes (because those homes tend to share walls); and they’re less likely to accumulate a lot of large, energy-sucking appliances. People in cities use about half as much electricity as people who don’t, Owen reports, and the average New Yorker generates fewer greenhouse gases annually than 'residents of any other American city, and less than 30 percent of the national average.'"

Not bad, huh? This is good news on top of New Yorkers already feeling quite proud of themselves for countless other things. It's nice to know however, that the circumstances of an average New Yorker's day to day life are contributing to the greening of the world. Now, if we can only do something about the falafel trucks and their styrofoam containers...

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