Local municipalities can be at the front line sof helping us change our habits. Since the city or town you live in provides you with alot of the services that you need they are the first group that should be able to step in and help.
Towns can create an environmental council made of people who live in the town. They can work with the town officals to create new programs that will make it easier for their residents to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle. People who live in the town know what the people need and what they are capable of.
Some of the things that the town environmental council can do is:
- light bulb trade in
- publicize hazardous waste drop offs
- compost bins sold at discounted prices (I recently purchases a compost bin at a reduced price from exactly the kind of group I am describing in a town)
- recycling bins in public places
- giving out recycling bins to ensure compliance with town ordinances
The town could create a local commuter shuttle within the town. Shuttles from a residential area to the business district would increase local sales to the local merchants and keep more people off the roads (this could also help the elderly get around without having to drive). Towns can even take this a step further an coordinate with neighboring towns to have a more reaching effect.
Tax credits for decreased energy or water consumption. Even just a little financial savings can motivate people to conserve.
Community gardens could be set up in green spaces so that people can learn how to garden or for those in urban areas grow vegetables that they otherwise would have had to buy. Community gardens also improve the look of the area which increases property value so there are plenty of other benefits.
As people in the town get to know each other from alot of these activities they will be more environmentally concious and who knows maybe people will realize they have a neighbor that works near them and they can car pool to work together!!!