Location efficiency graphChart: EPA

Here’s one to piss off the yuppies: Driving your hybrid car from your Energy Star home to the food co-op is not as green as hopping on the subway from your apartment. A new EPA study says that moving from a car-oriented to a transit-oriented community has the biggest impact on your energy usage — more than green buildings or green cars.

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Of course, doing something is better than nothing. Not everyone can move to multi-family building in a transit-oriented city, which the study found is the greenest way to go (besides, of course, moving to a multi-family building that is also built to green standards in a transit-oriented city whose buses are electric). If you’re not cut out to be an apartment-dweller, or if your job chains you to your suburb, or if you just can’t bear to be without your lawn, energy-efficient buildings and cars will still reduce your impact. But maybe not as much as lobbying for light rail.

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Study: Transit outperforms green buildings,” New Urban Network
EPA: Energy Efficiency is About Location, Location, Location,” Streetsblog Capitol Hill
A green home is a car-lite home,” Mother Nature Network