Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Less Waste in a Bad Economy?

After recent glowing reviews from the New York Times to Cleveland, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette appears to be picking up the happy Pittsburgh glow.

Latest breaking news? We ranked 14th least wasteful city. Of course, this ranking is out of 25 cities, which puts us (barely) in the bottom half of cities, or 12th most wasteful city. To put that into perspective, Detroit comes in at number 13.

Clearly, we'll never beat New York City in terms of public transportation usage, but there are a few things we should improve on to crack the top ten.

1) More library usage. We have a great resource in the Carnegie libraries and some of them rival Barnes & Noble for atmosphere, yet somehow Pittsburgh ranked 18th in library usage. Save some money, and visit your local library the next time you want something to read or watch. If you do this, and you realize, you're saving oodles of cash while feeling better about the environment, take Brian O'Neill's advice and give a little back to your library.

2) Less driving. We ranked 25th out of 25 in terms of driving instead of walking when you're going less than 2 miles. Spring has arrived, so get out of your car and put your walking shoes on. If you start walking more, you might even find you look better in a bathing suit this summer.

3) More energy efficient light bulbs. As a city, we came in at a fairly respectable number 15 in this category, but it's a joke to switch over to LED street lights, while we don't even change the lights in our home. Manufacturers are practically giving these bulbs away now. With their new styles and wattage options, there's no excuse for you to not have energy efficient light bulbs in every room of your house. Here in Peru, every light bulb is energy efficient. They're not doing it to save the environment. They're doing it save money. So stop whining about your electric bill and change your bulbs. I literally cut my electric bill in half last year when I switched out most of my bulbs.

Kudos to the Post-Gazette for a positive headline. Try it again the next time unemployment rates re-surface. At 6.5% for February, Allegheny County is well under the state unemployment rate (7.5%) and the national rate (8.1%). The 7-county region falls in at 6.9%. Yet the latest headline for the Post-Gazette regarding unemployment? "Local jobless rate increases at fastest pace since '80s"

In summary, don't get too happy about our environmental progress, and keep those jobless rates in perspective.


shadow said...

LED street lights appeared on the Hot Metal Bridge Sunday morning.

Jermaine said...

Are all the bridges in the immediate downtown area lit at night?