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Some communities (and businesses with them) are recognizing it is possible, and even advantageous, to support a thriving economy while preserving the quality of the environment in our communities.
Mark Roseland

Our Programs: Sustainability


An economic approach that understands its impacts and takes steps to minimize negative effects where possible,


or an economy that barrels ahead with little regard for long-term costs.

Economics Can = Sustainability

  • There’s no question that much of the world’s economy is built on unsustainable practices, whether it’s a heavy reliance on fossil fuels, a throwaway culture that produces tremendous waste, or the consumerism that drives America’s GNP, in particular. More and more, however, nations and communities are realizing that these practices are not only unhealthy for the planet, they’re not economically sustainable either.

  • Individual communities might not be able to change the world’s economic policies, but at the local level they can adopt approaches that preserve local resources, save taxpayers money, and allow for the kind of just and healthy economies that define livable communities.

  • CHG encourages communities to create a sustainability report card that evaluates economic matters such as transportation, housing, land use, taxation, small business, zoning, recycling, and the general development picture. Dozens of such audits exist to help communities measure current economic policies.

  • Municipalities can begin with their own operations. Government agencies are adopting "green" practices that reduce utility costs, cut down on commuting, save paper and other resources, and preserve open space and greenbelts. Other communities operate programs that help residents conduct their own utility analyses – and where waste is found the town might, for example, weatherize windows, subsidize low-flow toilets, or make available zero-interest loans for improvements.