Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Greener than You Think Down Under

From Huffington Post

Jennifer Schwab, " I found the folks Down Under are ahead of us in a number of ways when it comes to going green. I stayed in the City Centre area of downtown, which is noticeably clean and tidy. Strange looking "Go Green" passenger-carrying bicycles with full canopies, kind of like the pedi-cabs in Central Park, periodically troll by. A natural gas powered fleet of city buses circulates regularly. Dual-flush toilets are very common in public places. Separate recycling containers are inconsistent but available. Apparently most residential neighborhoods are given three separate bins, for bottles and cans, compost, and regular trash. And unlike many U.S. downtowns, many building lights and signs are turned off at night to conserve power.

What's most impressive are the strict new rules - in an economy at least as compromised as ours - pertaining to energy efficient new construction. All homes must meet stringent energy efficiency standards to receive building permits; each home must also have a rainwater collection system which supplies the toilets. There seemed to be a high level of awareness and support for these policies, at least among the various citizens I encountered."

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