Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston has enacted a sweeping ad campaign calling to “Greenovate Boston” in order to increase awareness of a variety of sustainability efforts that the average resident can partake in. The ad campaign itself is the result of roughly $1 million of donated ad space spanning across the entire city, including the Boston Public Library, Fenway Park, and several routes along the T (Boston’s public subway system). The campaign will also transform some of Boston’s iconic landmarks, such as the Zakim Bridge and the Prudential Tower, which will be lit up in green to support the city’s new green campaign.

The various advertisements going up suggest several ways in which residents can reduce their impact on the environment. Some encourage the use of public transportation, such as the subway or bus services, while others promoting recycling and other greener methods of waste disposal. One ad in particular claims that 90% of the city is within five minutes of a public transit station or hub. Clearly, the message is to leave the car in the garage and get out there and ride the rails or roads with your fellow Bostonians. Which is actually a great idea if you, like me, have ever tried navigating the windy and sometimes nonsensical roads of Boston.

The new push for sustainability practices is not without its goals. The city has adopted long-term goals for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced by both commercial and residential activities. The current outline for sustainability includes a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, with the ultimate goal of 80% reduction by 2050 based on 2005 emission levels.

Increasing awareness of more sustainable living styles is just one facet of the overall plan to curb emissions within Boston. The city has started ramping up recycling efforts to help divert waste from nearby landfills, while also increasing efficiency in various disposal services such as dumpster rentals and curbside trash pickup. Efficient disposal services allow more trash to be picked up using fewer resources, such as fuel and man-hours, meaning fewer emissions being produced.

This new campaign is just the tip of the iceberg for Boston’s drive towards sustainability. With many more programs and outreach campaigns planned to encourage more recycling, reusing, and energy conservation.