4 Green Initiatives Taking the US by Storm
The Federal Government may have a spotty record when it comes to green initiatives, but that doesn’t stop municipalities from doing amazing things. Everywhere from huge cities like Atlanta, Georgia, to towns you’ve probably never heard of, like Franklin, New Hampshire (our home here at Stencils Online), are finding innovative ways to improve their environments. Here are some of the green initiatives that we’re most excited about today.
FRANKLIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE: LEDS AND SOLAR ENERGY
Okay, so we’re a little biased, but we could hardly be more excited about the green initiatives going on in our backyard. Franklin is currently striving to become a leader within New Hampshire and the wider New England area. In particular, the city is pushing hard on solar initiatives.
One result of this is that Franklin currently has the largest solar garden (a term for an array of panels) in the state and has been dubbed “ ground zero for New Hampshire solar revolution. ” This initiative is being carried out on a variety of public and private lands. It’s a great example of how local government can work with private businesses to develop local economies in an environmentally responsible way.
That’s not all. Franklin is also working to install energy efficient LEDs in all of its streetlights. The results are expected to save the municipality $31,000 a year in energy costs! It really goes to show the impact even small changes like this can have. But what about other bigger cities?
CHICAGO: GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE
What’s remarkable about this initiative in Chicago is that it builds on a vital existing program: LEED certification. This program allows buildings across the country to be certified as
environmentally friendly, allowing them to qualify for all sorts of tax incentives. But Chicago wanted to do more.
Within Chicago, the Green Permit Program is offering expedited building permits and reduced fees for LEED projects. The result is that no city in America has more LEED certified buildings than Chicago (295, to be exact). Chicago is showing the rest of the country just what’s possible when you put your mind towards a green building initiative.
ATLANTA: GREEN BELT
It began in 1999 as a local student’s master’s degree thesis, and since then, the Atlanta Green Belt has become a remarkable success story. What was originally a derelict railway track surrounding the city has been (and continues to be) transformed into a green corridor . It’s full of hiking and biking trails, art installations, and parks.
Eventually, there are plans to add streetcar or light rail lines to the corridor to make it even easier to use as a way to get around Atlanta. The results are more Atlantans getting out in nature, interacting with their neighbors, and enjoying cleaner air. It’s a great example of the kind of green initiative that can energize a community to come together.
KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON: WATER AND WASTE MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS
In this famously scenic Washington town, the community has stepped up to create their own green initiatives. The result is the Green Kirkland Partnership . This cooperative organization brings together local businesses, non-profits, community groups, and the city of Kirkland itself to perform a variety of eco-friendly projects.
Among these are a reforestation program involving the removal of invasive plant species, preventing water pollution, and better overall waste management.These projects really show what can be accomplished with efforts to bring all kinds of community groups together so each can contribute what they’re uniquely qualified to contribute.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Feeling inspired? You might be wondering what kinds of work can you do in your community. As you’ve probably noticed, partnership projects tend to work best. Getting as many public and private organizations on board as possible is a great step towards eventual success. So start by thinking about projects that could attract wide based support.
STORM DRAIN LABELS
One id ea is storm drain stenciling. That means labeling local storm drains to discourage resident s from dumping in them. You’ll just need to get local approval with your municipality or city, design the label, create a stencil, and paint it on local storm drains. You can find a handy guide here . The guide even contains an example liability waiver you’ll need if you’re organizing a community event around it. You can find great ideas for storm drain stencils here.
If you need any more help, you can reach out to us at Stencils Online. We’re a custom stencil designs manufacturer with an eye out for the environment: we have our own recycling program, partially use sustainable solar power and all led lights throughout our premises.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR AREA?
Do you have any interesting green initiatives going on in your area? Let us know about them in the comments. We’re always looking for new sources of inspiration and ideas for improving our community.