Benefits of the Program

Depending on the community, participants in the Green Living Program achieve the following average resource savings per year:

  • 41%-51% less garbage sent into the waste stream
  • 25%-34% less water used
  • 9%-17% less energy used
  • 8% reduction in vehicle miles traveled
  • 16%-20% less fuel used for transportation
  • 15% fewer CO2 emissions
  • $227-$389 saved through more efficient use of resources

• Direct financial savings.

Substantial financial savings are possible by serving more people, over longer periods of time, delaying the need for new landfills, roads and utilities to be built and operated.

• Enhance community environmental quality.

Communities will be cleaner, safer, and provide higher quality places to live through reduced air and water pollution, fewer problems with toxic and hazardous substances and less traffic congestion.

• Promote existing environmental programs.

The Green Living Program can contribute to increasing participation and awareness in environmental programs communities have already substantially invested in.

• Build community and social capital at the neighborhood level.

People meet their neighbors and begin acting as a community, often for the first time, strengthening the fabric of the community. Neighborhood relationships are reinforced and enhance the capacity of citizens to take responsibility for helping themselves and one another.

• Educate individuals within the community.

Expanding environmental literacy and building a citizenry that is environmentally motivated.

• Increase local government revenues.

As Mayor Donald Fraser of Minneapolis observed, "The Green Living Program demonstrates success... (It) can help change behavior so that the buses and trains are full of paying passengers."

• Local economic growth

Builds consumer demand for environmentally sustainable products and services so that it is economically profitable for businesses to meet this demand. This leads to growth in employment, business revenues, personal earnings and tax revenues.  

• Improve the relationship between local government and its citizens.

By building active working partnerships with citizens to recycle, ride share, and conserve resources, the Green Living Program can be a powerful force to strengthen the relationship between local government and the community.

• Start a process to catalyze citizen participation in creating a sustainable community.

Progress toward the interdependent goals of prosperity, social equity, environmental protection, governmental efficiency and a higher quality of life can be sustained for generations to come.