Pennsylvania Green Communities: Living La Vida Green

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Communities, at their most basic, are groups of people with a shared interest or experience. Pennsylvania green communities form when citizens, committed to reducing their impact on the environment, gather together and develop plans for doing it.

These plans can take many different forms. Some of them turn out to be mix-use green affordable housing developments, like the one at Petersburg Commons in Ducannon. Four of the fourteen units are set aside for elderly people, and the owners will save at least 50% on their heating costs. The savings are built right into the design, but if you don't have that advantage, here are some other ways to save on heating and electricity costs:

Whatever form they take, Pennsylvania green communities are locally driven. Developing your green community means taking into account your current position by creating a profile. This document will show the present needs and assets already in your local environment.

Next, draw up a resident vision. This vision shows what you want the neighborhood to look like over the next decade or so. Union County is an example of one local Pennsylvania green communities taking this step. Their vision covers everything from protecting their wildlife to developing more comprehensive recreation options for all of their citizens.

Pennsylvania green communities are also organized based on a principle called smart growth. Smart growth means that you use, preserve, and strengthen the assets you already have. It also involves making multiple housing and public transit choices widely available. The ultimate goals are sustainability, interconnectedness, and access.

Bringing together your own Pennsylvania green communities takes time and hard work. It has to be a gathering of like-minded people engaged in a process that will take awhile to see benefits. The end result creates community based "third spaces" as well as homes and businesses.

Thinking about green living used to be something you did if you had time, space, and money. But no one can afford to ignore it anymore. We need to find new ways to live, work, and play. Fortunately, technology has given us a lot of options.

Pennsylvania green communities bring the best of sustainable living to every citizen. Going green no longer means tearing things down and replacing them with something "better". Now, a community's essentials become the base of an upgraded mix that promotes better living. Green living is a group thing.


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Pennsylvania Green Communities: Living La Vida Green

This article was published on 2012/01/05
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