In the past decade American’s have seen a large decline in their economy which has had an effect on all forms of development, including environmental advancements.  Since there has been such strain on the government to create new jobs and provide stronger infrastructure, things like suburban sprawl, pollution and sustainable living have gone to the wayside of importance.  Although this is an obstacle that American’s have not had to deal with in over a century, there are ways to still keep what advancements we have made in environmental improvements and continue into the future.

In the economic state the United States is in, it is really crucial to come up with new and more cost efficient ways to develop the country in an environmental way. The first factor that needs to be addressed when starting a new movement is first gaining the public’s interest.  While many younger Americans realize the importance of environmental improvements there is a lack of interest an initiative.  The same goes for older Americans but many of these individuals have initiative but lack understanding and the importance of environmental advancements.  Introducing environmental law and policy to children in grade school may be a way to have them actively thinking about the environment on a daily basis.  Having more public figures doing environmental programs and campaigns will also attract the younger American’s attention.  For the older population it will be more difficult to cultivate a new value into their lives but having more campaigns and publicity will show them that there is a real change happening.  Gaining the public interest is probably the most difficult part for any change but it is greatly important and can be done for free in many circumstances.

To continue, another idea we need to introduce into the American lifestyle is that economic growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.  When we think of sustainability agriculture, renewable energy and greenery comes to mind.  These three ideas are industries that can add to the advancement to the environmental and economic state of the US.  One major concern of citizens is that we are taking up too much of the rural and farm land that we once held close to the American dream.  Having more farms in America will save these areas from development and will also create new jobs for those who are unemployed.  Wind and solar energy are also very good ways to protect the environment and employ more people.  With wind and solar farms we are creating renewable energy that does not pollute and can add to the economy.

In conjuncture with the environment, the housing development in America also needs to be more efficient and sustainable for the future generations.

“People look at three main things when they decide where to take a job. They want to live in an attractive environment. They want to work in an attractive environment. And they want an easy trip from the one environment to the other” (Smith 3).

This is an excerpt from an article called “Moving back to the inner cities” on movement of older and younger populations moving back to the cities from nj.com.  Cities are a main player when it comes to living in a more sustainable and environmental future.  Living in cities offer people the opportunity to use mass transit which will cut down on air pollution.  By building vertically we will also save large amounts of land and may even be able to convert once built land back to nature.  City living also offers a more affordable style of living that can allow a more walk-able lifestyle.

American’s are facing a new battle with finding economic and environmental stability.  Gaining public interest, capitalizing on our environmental strengths and building future cities we are well on our way to building a more sustainable country.  Realizing that economy and sustainability are not mutually excuse is a huge obstacle we are going to have to overcome.  As Americans we are often discouraged by failure, but we can overcome our losses and become an even stronger nation than ever before.

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