How green is our city? The answer to this question much depends on who you ask, and how much the person you ask cares to make our city a cooler and greener one.

GreenTreeI had an opportunity this afternoon to talk about many of these environment related issues in a forum at the University of Maryland, and I thought I should share with you all more on the same issues.

First of all, let’s get to the core issues – a greener city is not only good for the overall health and well being of the residents living in our neighborhood, but improving our houses to the better and greener standards also helps serve to raise the property values of our houses.

Let’s start talking about the more inexpensive ones first – the ones that should be no brainers to everyone.

To make our environment cleaner and free of pollution, more biking and public transportation can be something we should all encourage others to use. I personally bike to the Metro every day and there I catch the Metro train to go to work. Riding Metro not only makes me feel good in making my neighborhood a greener one (though it’s very small effort, I must admit), but I also find my ride on the Metro is a very productive one – I can get a lot of work done with my laptop during my ride.

The City can probably also introduce bike sharing program, something that many other cities are slowly adopting. There should also be awareness and recognition program in the community, to encourage others to bike, walk and use more public transportation.

Making our streets more biker friendly is another goal we should all be looking into. Fortunately, other than the Route 1 and the Rhode Island Ave., all of our streets in our district are owned by the City. Thus it should be a lot easier to make these streets more biker friendly. Rhode Island Ave. already has bike lanes on both sides, though I understand those lanes should be improved.

Most houses in our city are fairly old – the average age of our houses is about 40 to 45 years. Because of the fact that they were built a long time ago, most houses don’t use energy efficient heating and cooling systems, the windows, doors and the walls are also not energy efficient. In many houses, there may also issues with the lead standard.

Making our aging houses and businesses more energy standard can be a little harder and a lengthy one, but this is something we can always start with the right and creative incentive programs and with the right community based financial assistance. Additionally, maintaining the exterior of these buildings contributes to energy efficiency. Consider utilizing services such as a pressure washing service to clean building exteriors, which not only enhances aesthetics but can also aid in preserving the structure and potentially improving energy efficiency in the long run.

The bottom line is, everybody wins when we make our houses more energy efficient and greener one. Even from strictly economic point of view, our utility bill will bound to go down in the long run, if we all appreciate the value of adopting such greener approach.

Having a green society is not a slogan of an agenda driven group, as many thinks, unfortunately – it should be the collective goal of all citizens looking to make our community a better and a healthier one.