Last night, the Charleston Green Committee delivered its first set of recommendations to the city. This act is symbolic and encouraging, and it demonstrates a shift in thinking towards a more sustainable future. Yes, I find it shocking that it requires a volunteer committee to get the city moving on what could very well be the defining issue of the 21st century, but if that’s what it takes them I’m happy.

Most of the recommendations are great – some are big, and some are small. I really like that all buildings designed after 2008 will require LEED certification. I am a little surprised that the first two recommendations involve “requiring” city staff to recycle various items – are there actually people that still don’t recycle? Read all 12 recommendations after the jump…

  1. Require that all City staff recycle paper, plastic (plastics #1 and #2), aluminum and tin
    via Charleston County Curb Side Pick-up or the City Parks Department;
  2. Require that all City staff recycle printer cartridges;
  3. Require that all City staff use recycled copier paper for routine use;
  4. Request that the Department of Public Service study the ability to pick up recyclable
    materials such as aluminum, tin, plastics, cardboard, and newspaper from the downtown business
    merchants as a pilot program that may be used to design an effective City-wide program
    including mandatory recycling where the program is offered;
  5. Create a partnership with local stores to develop a plan to responsibly decrease the
    amount of plastic bag waste;
  6. Identify and clearly advertise the CARTA route on which all City events are located;
  7. Promote the City’s policy of providing CARTA passes to employees who choose a
    CARTA pass in lieu of a parking garage pass to new and current employees;
  8. In partnership with individual businesses and institutions and groups such as the
    Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce initiate a “lights out in buildings at night” campaign;
  9. Ensure that all City owned construction, beginning with those buildings whose planning
    begins in 2009, meets LEED certification;
  10. Work with City Council to develop and pass a resolution supporting the Federal Energy
    Block Grant Program;
  11. Enforce the City’s current idling ordinance, which prohibits idling for more than 5
    minutes;
  12. Create an eco hospitality program that welcomes visitors to help Charleston be a
    sustainable city by helping with some small acts such as indicating when new towels are needed or turning lights out when leaving a hotel room.


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