Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
According to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, when asked why he signed on to the Mayors Climate Protecton Agreement, Mayor James Brainard answered: “The answer is pretty simple. I signed the agreement to help establish goals for improved air quality, energy independence and carbon reduction.”
How has your city moved forward to reduce emissions?
“The City of Carmel has built over 50 roundabouts, which reduce gasoline usage by roughly 24,000 gallons of gasoline per roundabout per year. We are implementing a ‘smart code,’ which increases pedestrian connectivity throughout the city with better planning; we have added tens of miles of bike and pedestrian paths; we have increased density to cut down on automobile trips; we have a no-idling policy for city vehicles; we have a requirement that all city vehicles must be hybrids or use alternative fuel; we have replaced incandescent street lights with LEDs; we have created a walkable city center through public-private partnerships that help cut down on car trips; and we have developed a street tree program, which spends approximately $25 per person per year on street trees. Mixed-use development initiatives, especially, cut down on long car trips from commercial to residential zones.”
Which initiative in your city has had the greatest impact on reducing GHG emissions?
“Residents burn an estimated 470,000 fewer gallons of gas when using a roundabout versus waiting at a 4-way stop or traffic light. At $2.50 per gallon of gas, drivers save approximately $1,750,000 per year. Recent studies indicate roundabout interchanges significantly reduce toxic automobile emissions, creating a positive impact on the environment. Analysis performed at the 96th and Keystone intersection in Carmel, using traffic analysis and Environmental Protection Agency software, has indicated that replacing the existing signal at the intersection with a new roundabout interchange will reduce annual carbon monoxide emissions by 42 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by 29 percent, and hydrocarbon emissions by 71 percent. Additionally, studies cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that annual carbon dioxide emissions are typically reduced by 37 percent when a traffic signal is replaced by a roundabout.”
Glen Ellyn has at least one roundabout. Do you know where it is?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
According to Alixe Lischett of Cabernet & Co., sustainable practices are being explored widely within the wine industry. She explained many are not yet classified and marketed as “sustainable” because they may want to use chemicals in a bad year to save the crops from ruin, but this is a very rare occurrence. Good examples of sustainable wines found at Cabernet & Co. include selections from Como Sur, Chile (organic); the Glunz Family Winery (local, and in returnable bottles); Ceago Winery (biodynamic); and Ridge Vineyards (integrated pest management). Also found at Cabernet & Co. is an interesting wine is from Basel Cellars “The Earth Series Volume One,” a red wine blend that is made using biodynamic practices that may soon be certified sustainable.
Fetzer Vineyards (uses solar power and other good practices, but finds it necessary to use plastic corks) can be found at Trader Joe’s.
Wines from Frey Vineyards (organic, biodynamic, and promises to be 100% solar powered in a few years) and Parducci (solar and wind power, and “carbon neutral”) can be found at Whole Foods.
Also look for Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley (solar power, geothermal cooling, organic practices); Rodney Strong, Sonoma County (“world’s largest” solar array used at a winery); and Shafer Vineyards, Napa Valley (solar power, shifting to organic wines).
So why does this matter to the wine lover? According to Dr. Dominique Bachelet, The Nature Conservancy's climate change scientist “…by the end of this century rising temperatures across the U.S. could reduce the areas suitable for premium wine production by up to 81 percent.” – Treehugger.com
Monday, December 7, 2009
LOCATION CHANGE - This program will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church 393 N. Main St. (across from Giesche Shoes) Glen Ellyn. Along with his expedition partner Tyler Fish, John Huston is one of the first Americans to ski unsupported and unassisted to the North Pole. The expedition has been called "the hardest trek on the planet." John will talk about his inspiring and challenging journey and show stunning photos and video from his 55 day journey to the North Pole. Free.
Something to ponder in the meantime: Denmark has reduced its carbon emissions 13 percent while its economy grew 45 percent. Why can't we do that in Glen Ellyn? http://www.eesi.org/112009_denmark
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Introducing the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement to guests.
So we have been introduced to the Glen Ellyn Board of Trustees. Now what? A discussion of Village procedures and strategies.
The Chamber of Commerce has endorsed us. Who else shall we approach in the near term?
Educational program next year? Think big.
Create a video about people (e.g. building managers) who doing good things with building efficiency?
Future meeting locations and times.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
On Thursday, October 29, we hold our regular monthly public meeting, 7:30 p.m., at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center. This will likely be the last meeting of its kind this year due to the upcoming holidays. It will be an important planning meeting, but the public is invited to learn about Cool Cities - so feel free to come and invite anyone that you think might be interested.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
It takes leaders in business to show the way for energy conservation.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Join us this Thursday, at 7 pm, at the Glen Ellyn Public Library for discussion about opportunities to obtain federal funding, how to use an intern to conduct an inventory, and other new developments. We will have an update on our dialog with the Village. We seek new participants and public endorsements as the momentum builds.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Glen Ellyn Cool Cities Coalition is a group of people involved in various local civic and environmental advocacy groups meeting to discuss ways to reduce Glen Ellyn’s impact on the environment. While people talk about “going green” we are looking for ways to really do it. The biggest item on our agenda is to ask the Village of Glen Ellyn to join more than 900 other communities by signing the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement.
The goal of this agreement is to “enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol -- 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012.” That seems like a lofty goal, but we think Glen Ellyn can do it. The Village has already taken steps since 1990 to reduce carbon dioxide missions, ranging to improved lighting, building heating and ventilation improvements, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles. Don’t forget, in the long run this will save tax dollars and allow the Village to provide vital services more efficiently. And we will be part of a national movement to address climate change on a local level.
We meet regularly on the last Thursday of the month at 7 pm.
Next public meeting: Thursday June 25 at 7 pm, at the Village Civic Center.