Here are resources and link URLs that the Cool Cities Committee recommends that are relevant for both adults and young people to become more educated about reducing their carbon footprints. This information is meant to educate and promote individual actions.
Determining Your Carbon Footprint
Resources to help you determine your carbon footprint – try the surveys - they’re fun and educational for you and your children:
What You Can Do Every Day
Little things we can do at home, at work, at the store or in transit:
We often don’t consider what we eat to have major environmental impact…but it does! Below is a list of ways that you can be more environmentally conscientious in the way that you choose the foods you and your family eat.
Support your local farmer: Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community. Check out this article for more information on the benefits of growing food locally:
Here are some Farmers' Markets in our area, one of which is even open in the winter:
Goshen Winter Market
Alton Farmer's Market
Oak Grove Farm and Market
Find other Farmers' Markets in metro-East and St. Louis
Buy organic foods. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms.
All the major grocery stores (Shop 'n Save, Schnucks, Dierbergs, Aldi's) in the area as well as Green Earth Grocery (441 Buchanan) now carry organic and the selection and variety continue to increase.
Buy fresh foods instead of frozen or canned. Frozen and canned food use much more energy to produce and deliver (unless, of course, the "fresh" has been shipped in such as bananas from South America).
Here is an article on the benefits of local, seasonal food.
Know what's in season and don't buy things that are out of season...they will have been shipped or flown in.
Investigate Food Co-Ops/Community-support gardens.
Biver Farm, 7307 Pin Oak Rd., Edwardsville, IL, 62025, 618-656-9082
La Vista CSA farm, 4350 Levis Lane, Godfrey, IL, 62035, 618-467-2104
Cut down on meat consumption. One lb. of meat causes the emissions equivalent of roughly 16.5 lbs of CO2 and 2,464 gallons of water (due to water needed to produce hay for food).
Four Tips for Reducing Your Garden's Carbon Footprint:
Cultivating an Ecosystem Esthetic:
Your Lawn as a Carbon Sink:
In the last 20 years the Monarch Butterfly population has dropped by 90%. That is the equivalent of losing every living person in the U.S. except those living in Ohio and Florida!
Learn what you can do to help save the Monarchs:
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) represents excellence in green building design, construction, renovation, and operations and maintenance. This continuously-evolving standard provides a concise framework to measure sustainability in all commercial building types – office, retail, schools or healthcare – as well as tenant improvements and significant retrofits.
Solar Energy: Illinois has more sun power per square mile than Germany, the world’s leading producer of solar energy. Solar panels work in cold temperatures. Panels are actually a little more efficient when it’s cooler outside. They can work in snowy climates as well. You get the most solar power on a clear, sunny, day, but your panels won’t stop working when it’s cloudy. Solar panels protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover. For customers in Illinois, 100% financed solar is a better investment than the stock market. Here are some current references to help you become more informed:
There are many ways to reduce our carbon emissions by the judicious use of our means of transportation. Here are some alternative transportation resources:
Ridefinders-carpools for getting to work:
Madison County Transit-public transportation in Madison County:
MCT Bike Trails-opportunities for safe recreational cycling;
Games and activities for kids of all ages: