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Old 07-07-2017, 04:58 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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What helps the environment more: living in the city or in a rural setting?
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:34 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I don't think that can be answered in general. It depends. I have 1/3 acre in a woodsy area, and several old-growth trees that help contribute to cleaning the air. the low density in our neighborhood means that a lot of native vegetation has been left. On the other hand, we all have 2-3 cars, and need them to get to work or shopping because the nearest store is over a mile away, and we have steep hills. In a high densite city there is a high concentration of people, vehicles, and businesses. That allows people to walk many places for products and services, rather than having to drive, but the environment is mostly concrete and asphalt. There is also going to be industrial property in a city, with trucks, possibly ships spewing out pollution that is not found in a more rural setting.
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:36 PM
 
Location: DC
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Urban residential has a lower per capita carbon footprint.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:12 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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A naive reader here would be led to believe that "carbon" is the only problem facing the environment. I'm beginning to think that way down deep, you guys are really very shallow.

Try forgetting "carbon footprint" and start thinking in terms of "Mankind's Footprint?"
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
What helps the environment more: living in the city or in a rural setting?
Well, if you're in the city, you have pretty much separated yourself from the natural environment.

We also have a large wooded lot, we don't need a/c. We cut our own firewood for heat in the winter. We garden. We plant new trees and plants. We work very close to home so we only fill up our gas tanks about once every 4-6 weeks. When caring for our little piece of the planet, we get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Our area is also home to birds, squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, owls, foxes, deer, snakes, bats, raccoons, to name a few. So I think we're helping the environment more. And it's helping us live healthy lives.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:54 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
What helps the environment more: living in the city or in a rural setting?

I'm taking your question quite literally. You haven't provided enough information to give an adequate answer.

There are too many things to factor in, such as what's the population of the city in question vs the population of an equivalent sized area in the country - what part of the continent is the city and the country area in - what is the overall annual climate and weather like in each place - how many trees and other vegetation is there in each place - how much water is there in each place and where does it come from? , etc.

But I will say that I think it's not the differences between living in the city or living in the country that helps the environment. It is trees that are the main things that help the environment in either location. The more trees, the better for all living things in any location.


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Old 07-08-2017, 03:45 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
We also have a large wooded lot, ....
Good for you, Kara. You're on the right track. If everybody simplified things and just took care of their own little kingdom, the additive effect would be significant.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:03 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
There are too many things to factor in...

Your conclusion about trees is obvious because you live in BC -- mainly Northern Arboreal Forest Biome where trees are the defining vegetation. A more general rule is that one should protect/restore the native plants for their location. Planting an oak tree in the desert outside Phoenix wouldn't provide food or habitat for anything there, and its demand for water would be a negative, for example.

You're right about the complexity of my original question. I ask it because I got to thinking about my own situation. I lived in Chicago & suburbs. I paid attention to providing food, shelter & water for the natural flora & fauna and tried to be frugal in my use of resources. Then I retired to WI onto 40 ac of fallow pasture (practically natural grassland) and oak/hickory climax forest.

But, given that loss of habitat is the main environmental problem, aren't we helping Mother Nature more by concentrating ourselves in densely populated areas, leaving more natural habitat untouched?
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post

But, given that loss of habitat is the main environmental problem, aren't we helping Mother Nature more by concentrating ourselves in densely populated areas, leaving more natural habitat untouched?
That thought has to be balanced by the truth that humans, like animals, are also part of Mother Nature.

Think about factory farming, and how horrible we think it is to remove a chicken or cow from their natural habitat and keep them locked up, inside, fake lights, controlled temperatures. I don't think our optimal habitat is concrete cities, with poor air, congestion, traffic, limited trees and plants.

I think in many areas you can balance it, like where we are, so the natural habitats of animals and people can co-exist.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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I think this is a complicated question.

We live in a rural setting.

We produce most of our own food, which allows us to eat and yet to basically boycott factory farming and the whole processed food industry. I think the best method of fighting environmental contamination by synthetic herbicides and pesticides is to boycott that industry. Grow your own food, and what you do need to purchase, carefully select local sourced sustainable food.

We have been heating our home with firewood. We are in the process now of shifting to Active Solar thermal heat. So we will be consuming even less firewood to heat our home. Way up North s you move to even colder climates it may be harder to heat a home without consuming petroleum fuels. But down here in Maine it is easy to heat without consuming petroleum fuels.

Our home does not require A/C so we consume nothing for that.

We are on Solar Power for our home. Which burdens the power grid less than the alternative would.

My car is a hybrid plug-in that we recharge from our solar panels. Consuming less petroleum is good for the environment. Solar powered cars are great. I am not sure if they are feasible everywhere, but here in Southern Maine solar power is great

People need to become more aware of how much they pollute and try to consume less.

Can you do this while living urban? I guess, maybe? I am not so sure.

Our photovoltaic array is huge. Urban home parcels are small, that becomes a limiting factor is using solar power for electric production. Now with our solar thermal array the same holds true, you need elbow room to setup such an array.

I guess that some people have been able to produce food in urban cities, it is very few though.
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