Five Ways Eau Claire Hopes to get Greener

One: Every ideal begins with a focused team who works to carry through their goals. Eau Claire’s ecological superheroes gather in the form of the Green Team. Established by the city manager after the April 14 Sustainability Initiative, its intent is to create internal improvements with the government. In addition to their functions in replacing less eco-friendly products with biodegradable, recycled, and less harmful supplies, they also help in the planning of the larger products that the city hopes to tackle. 

Two: Downtown Eau Claire is poised to garner a community garden and bike trail extension along Forest Street located near the Chippewa River, depending on the results of the July 22 meeting with the Waterways and Parks Commission. The plan has been in the making for the past year and fits nicely in with Eau Claire’s new green goals. Around 13 acres of lush ground tilled by the city could be available for gardening after the project breaks ground in late 2010 (hopefully).

Three: Among the more advantageous and beneficial plans that the Eau Claire environmental team is pursuing is the potential ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam citywide, or in certain circumstances beginning in 2010. This falls into their firm stance for recycling and is geared toward reducing the harmful effects of plastic bags and packing Styrofoam that cannot be recycled. The city would encourage the use of reusable cloth or canvas bags in place of plastic, which are already available throughout the city at local stores, and cardboard in place of Styrofoam. 

Four: Stimulus money might just trickle its way down to Eau Claire in the form of funding for alternative fuel buses. A total of eight city buses are approaching retirement in the near future, and the Eau Claire City Transit is crossing their fingers in the hopes that they will be able to replace the old Flyer Buses with electric-hybrids or alternative burning fuel buses. In the planning stages currently, this project could reach culmination in the next two years. 

Five: The city council pledges to reduce electricity usage and cost by 25 percent by the year 2025. They are working with the Wisconsin State Office of Energy Independence to conduct a Green Roof pilot project on new buildings being constructed. Beginning in 2012, the city will plan and coordinate efforts to create buildings with less heating, cooling and electricity costs through the utilization of these roofs.