There are many ways to define green living and the reasons for people wanting to live a more green lifestyle can vary greatly. For some, it’s about saving the Earth and for others, it’s about saving some cash. Obviously, it can be both.
In the past, I have mentioned how cool I think the “Walk Score” application can be when choosing a place to live. Basically, Walk Score ranks a property and gives it a “score” based on walk-ability. Like most applications, there will be limitations to the accuracy of an outcome based on the data provided. While Walk Score provides a great way to gauge the “walk-ability” of a neighborhood, there have recently been new advances to bring the value of public transportation into a larger part of the equation. By introducing Transit Score and Commute Reports, many of the neighborhoods along transportation lines show people some of the benefits of living nearby. Currently, the neighborhoods along the METRO line here in the Valley are not included. For now, it looks like these super-cool rankings are limited to a handful of cities but the numbers are growing. Google Transit is a welcome addition around here, and I am hopeful that our local data feeds can soon be used by Walk Score to enhance their service locally.
“When deciding where to live and work, not only do you want to know what amenities and services are nearby, you also want to understand your transportation options. How easily can you walk, bike or take the bus? How long will it take to get from point A to point B? And how much will it cost?” – Walk Score
The type of data that Walk Score provides can be great when looking at the overall affordability of a home in a given area. Location and lifestyle, along with overall monthly expenses, can be key points in a smart person’s decision making process when choosing a “green” home. As far as home features are concerned, there is more than solar, low flow water fixtures, and high efficiency appliances. I believe that location can be a green feature, as well. Reducing the dependency on a car to get to restaurants, shops, entertainment, school, work, etc. can make a significant impact on the environment and on your wallet.
If you are curious as to what the Walk Score might be in your Valley neighborhood, try this nifty little search tool on for size…