Clearwater is planning for the future. We're doing what we can to ensure the sustainability of our home and to maintain the quality of life that our residents enjoy. The city offers gas services, is increasing our recycling program, is encouraging builders to implement green building initiatives. And that's not all.
See what city initiatives are currently being implemented within the City of Clearwater to ensure the sustainability and livability of our fine city's future.
What City Employees Are Doing to Promote Sustainability
Not only are we trying to change attitudes and how people think about the environment, but we also are trying to do it ourselves. Personal responsibility is a big component of our community-wide goals, and all employees have been encouraged to help implement some simple energy management solutions. Here are some things we are encouraging our staff to do in daily work routines to be kinder to the environment:
- Conserve electricity. We are shutting down computers, clocks, desktop lights and lamps when not in use and when leaving work for the day.
- Recycle. We are placing used mixed paper, plastics, cardboard, and ink cartridges in the appropriate recycling bins while at work. Blue bins are available in most City of Clearwater buildings.
- Carpool, walk, or bike to work. We are encouraged to explore other methods of transportation as a way to get to work. This will help lower the greenhouse gas emissions that are given off by cars, thus polluting the air. We also are conducting a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and are partnering with Bay Area Commuter Services to promote commuting to and from work.
- Don't idle vehicles. Whether employees drive a public works truck or police car in their line of work, they are turning off engines to save gasoline if they plan to idle in one spot for a considerable amount of time.
- Bottled water. We are encouraged to try keeping a gallon of bottled water at our desks, if we must drink bottled water.
- Unplug charger units. We are unplugging cell phone or other types of chargers at our work stations when they are not in use. These items pull electricity while plugged in (whether attached to the item or not), and they just as easily can be plugged in when not in use.
- Encourage developers to build green. The city's Planning and Development Department encourages developers and builders to implement "green building" strategies and to consider pursuing LEED certification in their buildings when going through the design and plans review/approval process.
See what other actions employees are taking to think green.
The City of Clearwater has established a Green Team committee that is comprised of staff-level employee representatives from each department. The Green Team meets quarterly and discusses what the city is doing to think green. The group was established in March 2009 and strives to meet four goals:
- Share department information
- Create regular communications to inform employees on how to help the environment
- Create a uniform presentation to take out to the community on how to reduce environmental effects
- Promote the city's green message
For more information about the city's Green Team, please call (727) 562-4708.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
In January 2008, the City of Clearwater, in partnership with the University of South Florida, began conducting its first ever greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The inventory measures greenhouse gases emitted from city operations for the baseline year 2000, interim year 2007, and the entire City of Clearwater for the baseline year 2007. (Lack of available data prevented a 2000 inventory.) The inventory converts electricity usage from buildings, streetlights, traffic signals, water/sewage treatment, motor vehicle emissions, mileage driven by employee commuting, and emissions related to solid waste into carbon dioxide equivalents (eCO2). In other words, the City of Clearwater is determining its carbon footprint from government operations and the city as a whole.
The greenhouse gas inventory results are now available online. The inventory will be used to identify reduction targets as well as appropriate initiatives to lessen the city's carbon footprint.
Commuting To and From Work
City government can do its part, but we need the commitment of all our residents, visitors, and employees to be truly successful. The City of Clearwater recently asked its employees to complete a commuting survey, in efforts to find out how far employees drive to and from work.
The preliminary results indicate that about half of city employees reside within the city limits or in an adjacent city. The average commute time for a city employee is 20 miles. Approximately 41% of employees commute 10 or less miles each day and about 80% commute 30 miles or less each day. The information from the commuter survey will be used to determine the carbon footprint from employee commuting, as part of the greenhouse gas inventory. In addition, the information will be used to identify additional measures to lesson the carbon footprint from commuting (e.g., assist with the further promotion of carpooling or provide incentives for public transportation).
Employees are already encouraged to carpool. The city partners with the Bay Area Commuter Services. If you are looking for someone to carpool with, use this program to find a carpool partner.
For more information on carpooling, call BACS at (800) 998-RIDE (7433) or visit www.TampaBayRideShare.org.