by Joe Sciacca LTLS Consultant
The office of Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn is leading an initiative called "Green Solutions" which is aimed at encouraging state agencies, municipalities, universities and all public bodies in Illinois to adopt green principles in their operations. The Green Solutions website has links to a wide range of events, model, case studies and resources for organizations of all types.
Sustainable Government Symposium
Featured on the Green Solutions website is information about the Sustainable Government Symposium on December 12, 2009 in Springfield.
Sustainable Schools Initiatives
Also featured is the Green Cleaning Schools Act, a state law that requires the use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in all Illinois public and non-public schools with 50 or more students. To assist schools in implementing the Act, the Green Governments Coordinating Council has issued "Guidelines and Specifications for the Green Cleaning Schools Act (105 ILSC 140)". A list of qualified cleaning supplies is also provided. While originally developed for schools, this list may be used by any library that wants to assure they are only using environmentally responsible cleaners in the library.
The Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact is a model document that a school can use to declare it's intention to voluntarily adopt specific sustainable practices. For example, the school can commit to "conserve energy and lower carbon emissions by shutting off lights and computers when not in use..." The Compact is designed to be signed by a school official and the Lieutenant Governor.
Sustainable Municipalities and Local Governments
Advice and resources are available for municipalities and local governments in the Greening Main Street Guide which has ideas and suggestions for community projects to help revitalize cities and villages by building more environmentally friendly communities.
Sustainable Colleges and Universities
Colleges and universities are a key component of state initiatives for sustainability. The Illinois Sustainable University Compact outlines 12 environmental goals for public and private colleges and universities to adopt on their campuses. The Compact includes objectives such as purchasing renewable energy, implementing green building practices, developing sustainable transportation options, improving water conservation, and incorporating sustainable dining practices. Nearly 50 Illinois academic institutions have signed the Compact, including LTLS members Eastern Illinois University and Lakeland College.
Libraries are fortunate to have a wide range of information and model programs and resources available to help guide them in becoming more green and setting a positive example for their communities.