As a member of Common Ground’s Sustainability Committee, I recently attended a workshop and conversation at the University of Illinois hosted by The Institute for Sustainability, Energy & the Environment (iSEE). As a committee, we are very interested in exploring ways that Common Ground can extend efforts toward our 4th End: Our local food system is equitable, robust, and environmentally sound. We are part of the local food system and the more we can develop sustainable practices, not only by composting and recycling, but also by tracking energy usage and reducing its waste, the better stewards we will be of our earthly home, our food system, and our business.
The Community Conversation on Energy Conservation was attended by participants from iSEE, Illinois Sustainability Technology Center (ISTC), and Illinois Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) who discussed state-wide and campus outreach initiatives to business owners, community organizations, and households. It was noted that many programs, including the Energy Star Challenge and the Ameren Energy Efficiency Program, have become available to Illinois residents and are under-utilized. The attending community and business leaders were asked for feedback regarding the challenges and barriers faced that may be contributing to lower than expected participation in the available programs.
The conversation was a terrific opportunity to hear about programs that can support Common Ground’s efforts to continually increase our energy efficiency and to meet others who are working hard to develop effective, real-world approaches to our shared energy predicaments. For more information, see the links below: