This Ensia article discusses relatively inexpensive ways cities can become more sustainable. Comprehensive plans are great, but small, low-budget changes can make a big difference, too.
Bold environmental goals are becoming a hallmark of city governance. Across the U.S., cities are unveiling clean energy plans, climate targets, sustainability road maps and other aspirational programs to guide themselves into a more environmentally friendly future. Making these kinds of plans, it seems, is relatively easy. Paying to achieve the goals they set, especially in resource-strapped communities, can be a major challenge, though.
But environmental goals don’t have to be expensive moon shots. Rather, there are many small steps cities can take to reduce their environmental impacts. Some can even help out a city’s bottom line. “There’s a lot of things that directly pay off,” says Cooper Martin, director of sustainability and solutions at the National League of Cities.