Although Sue Sturgis ("9 ways YOU can achieve energy independence," July 5) rightly mentions "driving cleaner" as one way to reduce energy consumption, she doesn't quite make the connection between energy consumption and what's causing us to have to drive everywhere for everything in the first place: low-density, single-use development patterns on the suburban fringe. You might call it "sprawl." What good is living in a Mainstream GreenHome if it's on a cul-de-sac located miles from work, shopping, school and entertainment, along roads too dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists?
What you gain in the house is lost in driving longer distances on the road. Rather, moving to a home in a place with walkable streets and mixed uses nearby might even allow some to give up their cars entirely, relying instead on walking, cycling and (gasp!) mass transit (not mentioned at all in the article). Unfortunately, it's illegal in most jurisdictions to build anything but sprawl. Hence the GreenHome on the cul-de-sac.
Robert J. Kogan