Can Local Stores Have An Impact on Global Warming?

A revival of small, neighborhood retailers could be an important strategy for countering climate change, enticing people to run errands without driving their cars.
August 22, 2009, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"So far, the public debate about cars and climate change has been dominated by fuel economy. But driving has been growing at such a rapid pace-total miles driven in the U.S. rose 60 percent between 1987 and 2007-that even a big advance in fuel economy is likely to be wiped out by ever more miles on the road...

"This is where local stores come in. Academics who study travel behavior say that the presence of neighborhood businesses is a major factor in how much we drive. Dozens of studies have found that people who live near small stores walk more for errands and, when they do drive, their trips are shorter. And that's not all: a more surprising research finding is that small retailers influence how likely people are to take public transit to work."

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Published on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 in Grist Magazine
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