Progressive Cities Promote Green Living for Residents

The "go green" mantra is trumpeted throughout the nation's cities and towns as they try to deal with climate change on a local level. Big cities, like New York, and smaller ones, like Greensburg, Kan., have made strides toward making their communities more eco-friendly. Check out how the following cities are helping residents become more green about their thinking.

New York City

Amid the city's steel and concrete oasis lies a neighborhood at the southernmost tip of Manhattan — the most unlikely place for green living. Battery Park City, which is built on landfill from the original World Trade Center site, didn't even exist 30 years ago.


Residences and office buildings in this area have embraced the green lifestyle.

"Literally everything ... in the building is green except maybe the front door," said Riverhouse developer Chris Daley. Riverhouse is a green condominium apartment tower that uses recycled wood flooring and recycled water from its basement.

On top of the building, several thousand panels move with the sun's changing rays, which helps Riverhouse use 20 percent less energy than a typical New York City building.

Battery Park City is just one example of the environmental movement that's growing in New York. Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a major initiative that has sparked the construction of high-tech green office towers and has put hybrid taxi cabs on the city's streets.

Levittown, N.Y.

Just 25 miles east of the Big Apple, on New York's Long Island, sits Levittown, one of the country's first suburbs. Built in the 1940s, the town has a rich past and is now making history with its own green initiative.

"We want people in suburbs to think about going green and how doable it is," said Nassau County executive Tom Souzzi. "If it's doable in Levittown, its doable anywhere."

Souzzi has gathered a group of corporate sponsors and non-profit organizations to make going green affordable.

"By saving the environment, you're also going to save some money to help pay for saving the environment. So, we want to make it as easy for them as possible," Souzzi said.

With the help of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, all of the town's 17,000 homes will get a knock on the door and learn how to affordably make their home more eco-friendly.

Homeowner Chris Fusco has already outfitted his home with a new biofuel boiler, which he hopes will pay for itself.

"I hope to save as much as $1,000 next year," he said.

Greensburg, Kan.

Following a deadly tornado last May, Greensburg, Kan., was literally left in ruins and its 1,500 residents were forced to rebuild from scratch.

Nearly a year later, the town is rebuilding itself on a green foundation.

"Green is perceived as 'quote, unquote,' a liberal movement, you know, and to me, it's not liberal, conservative, red state, blue state. It's green. It's dollars. It's economics," said Greensburg Mayor John Janssen.

No other city in the country has ever attempted such an ambitious plan.

"I'd like to see us rebuild our town to show it wasn't our time, and it's a time for good things to happen environmentally," Janssen said.

New Green Products

For more information about the green products featured on today's "Good Morning America," check out the following links:

Learn more about turning your old jeans into insulation for a home by clicking here.

Go to to find pens made of recycled CDs.

Click here to search for shirts made out of 100 percent bamboo.