All of us hear daily about the impacts of human activity on the environment. We hear in the news about the oceans becoming filled with plastic and adverse affects of our activities on coral reefs and other part of the parts of the environment. In spite of this, our government and business leaders continue to do the opposite of what is needed. The car companies have promoted and built gas guzzling SUVs that has resulted in no appreciable gas mileage gains since the gas crisis of the 1970s. Ford even announced that they’re going to stop building most of theircars and focus on trucks and SUVs because cars are just not profitable.
I’m very disappointed in what has happened in my neighborhood recently. They recently completed a 7 million dollar road widening project at a major intersection in my community. In spite of spending so much money, there are no or inadequate sidewalks and crosswalks. This has created a very pedestrian unfriendly environment making it very difficult to access the community parks and businesses unless we get in our Suburbans and drive there.They also have made it very difficult to use their yard waste recycling center. Yard waste recycling and composting is a very positive activity and should be promoted. They have have spent thousands of dollars to staff policeman at the site and they put up a power gate to block entry. They further require a fee for licensing to simply drop off your grass or leaves. This is unconscionable and very difficult to comprehend why they are doing this. Even worse, our local recycling center has come out with a statement that “When in doubt, throw it out”. This again put up a barrier to responsible recycling activities. The community was simply unwilling to spend the resources to have an adequate recycling center to sort recycled goods.
Sustainable communities are communities that promote sustainable healthy living for all residents. This concept has been promoted in parts of the country but is totally neglected in some communities.
Advantages of sustainable or eco-friendly communities include positive environmental and social benefits. It could also have great health benefits to the residents who live in an environment that reinforces and promotesthe health of themselves as well as all the plants and animals around them. With a growing population, this is more important then ever.