Some Suburbs Making Greener Efforts

<p>Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will increasingly be the heavy responsibility of suburban communities. Some are taking steps to accept that responsibility.</p>
February 11, 2008, 2pm PST | Nate Berg
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"If the United States is ever to reduce its carbon emissions, suburbanites - that is, roughly half of all Americans, said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution - are going to have to play a big role. And lately, they are trying."

"Since 2005, the mayors of hundreds of suburban communities across America have pledged to meet or even beat the emissions goals set by the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty to reduce greenhouse emissions."

"In November, Levittown, N.Y., the model postwar suburb, declared its intentions to cut carbon emissions by 10 percent this year. And a few suburban pioneers are choosing solar heating for their pools, clotheslines for their backyard, or hybrid cars for their commute."

"But the problem with suburbs, many environmentalists say, is not an issue of light bulbs. In the end, the very things that make suburban life attractive - the lush lawns, spacious houses and three-car garages - also disproportionally contribute to global warming. Suburban life, these environmentalists argue, is simply not sustainable."

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Published on Sunday, February 10, 2008 in The New York Times
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