Greening the Suburbs
Fifty-five percent of Americans live in suburbs. That is not going to change in the near future. For that reason, suburbs in the United States are fertile places to reduce our carbon foot print and perhaps improve the quality of life at the same time.
Suburban lot sizes typically range from one-quarter acre (10,890 sq. ft.) to one acre (43,560 sq. ft.). Houses plus driveways usually cover 2,500 to 6,000 square feet, leaving 8,400 to 38,560 sq. ft. of land per lot. This land usually produces carpet grass, often with high uses of chemicals and fuel.
The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People by Amy Stross is but one of a plethora of books and websites about growing part of our own food on our suburban lots.
Rainwater catchment systems In the past several decades water has generally been available and rather inexpensive. As Earth's climate becomes hotter that will change. The southwestern United States has been in drought conditions for more than 20 years, with no end in sight. The Colorado River's flow is greatly diminished and communities it serves are running out of water.
We have relied on large scale projects including dams, canals, and pipelines to make water available. However, most of the sites for dams have been developed and it is likely that we will not be able to afford such massive public works projects in the future.
Rainwater collection can help us decrease use of surface and groundwater.