Saturday, August 05, 2006

Municipalities should talk about their green programs

When we make presentations on green community to the Cities, Villages, and Towns, the most common response is that we are already doing some of these things. It is great that they are doing it, but why keep it quiet? Community involvement brings better results and enhancement of the program to all areas of government service.

The first step is to talk to all department leaders and find out what activities are currently going on and how we can increase participation. The best way to leverage the efforts is to have an interactive working role between departments. For example if the highway department has yard waste composting operation, then the solid waste collection group could look for food waste recycling at the same location and then promote the use of compost product by the residents.

Preparing a combined sustainable green program for the community will include all of the activities covering all aspects and then promote it to the residents to get their feedback.
Slowly the level of participation builds and benefits increase.

In the end, the community will feel good about doing something to help the environment and conserve resources.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Green Roofs to keep buildings cool

We set new records in Rochester as the temperature in Rochester NY exceeded 100 F and energy demand peaked causing high energy costs for everyone. Fortunately, Green roofs on many large flat buildings, warehouses could have saved all those folks over 20% in energy and given them a roof top garden for employees to enjoy.

When it rains igreen roofs would reduce the runoff and flooding problems. It treats the stormwater and makes it reusable for non potable uses. The life of roofs get extended by 25 years. So what prevents us all to use more green roofs? The technology is new and the cost is slightly higher.

Considering all the benefits, long term low rate financing can make it possible to afford them just like car leasing versus buying. Low cost 10 - 15 year financing can give a big boost to this effort and save a lot of resources in the Country. Government green bonds with tax free and low interest rates should be made available as loan in every state to conserve power and help the environment. Our leaders should invest in such programs and support sustainability.