East Peoria Green

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by rjohnson

East Peoria Green is an organization that began in late 2007. In the beginning it was a group of mostly city department heads, councilman Dan Decker, and one East Peoria citizen activist. We were lead by East Peoria Facilities Manager Robert Cole. Robert wrote our mission statement as being “Create an environmental stewardship policy which is intended to create long term environmental benefits through sustainable practices and policies.”

During our 5 years of existence we have worked on many city issues. One of the first situations we looked at was the possible use of solar chargers on police cars. The chargers would save police car batteries and allow police cars to stop idling continuously and still be able to run all the computers, electronics, and cameras they need.

Another issue was the conversion of city lighting equipment to new high efficiency CFL’s, T-8’s, and Induction units, with on/off motion detectors. These lighting upgrades have saved the city 10’s of thousands of dollars in the few years they have been in place.

As time passed our membership has expanded and changed. We still have Mr. Cole and Mr. Decker on our team. We have added Tom Brimberry, the city manager, and Barb Liechner, an aide in the planning and development dept. We have lost the department heads but have added about 15 citizen activists representing many parts of the community with diverse skills and passions. Our group now boasts an LEED certified architect, Don, a master gardener, Ginger, a library representative, Sue, a recycling guru, Lori, a communication director, Deb, an EPCHS teacher, Martin, and others.
We are a team of East Peoria residents who want to help people reduce, reuse, and recycle, and there by save energy and money. Two years ago we were urging our city’s architect to build the new city hall as energy efficient as possible. We encouraged the city to pass a NO IDLING policy to cut down on wasted money from city vehicles and resident vehicles as well as the extra pollutants that idling puts into the air.

At this time EP GREEN is doing a table at the East Peoria Farmers Market , while we are there we talk to people about the environmental challenges in Central Illinois. We ask East Peorians to stop idling their vehicles in places like parking lots, in lines while doing banking from the car or picking up prescriptions, or dropping off and picking up their children at school. If you are going to be stopped for longer than 10 seconds you should turn off your engine and restart it when you are ready to move. It takes just 10 seconds of gasoline to restart your engine.

We have added an environmental website with facts, tips, events, and contacts on all things Green in Central Illinois and our state. It was started because of the generosity of Web Tech Services who still keep it up dated and running. Our web address is www.eastpeoriagreen.com

We are always informing our citizens about the city’s great curbside recycling program and trying to add more East Peorians to the number of recyclers in our town. You can get your free recycling bins at Public Works , 698-4716. Did you know that the city is now making money from all of the materials we recycle? We are still trying to find a way to start to recycle glass, one of the first things that East Peoria Residents ask us to do. At this time we are looking at having a drop off location on one Saturday a month, like we did years and years ago. We are making a little money to use in our GREEN efforts by asking for a donation of $1 for 4 four gallon plastic buckets, or $1 for 2 buckets that have nylon handles.

This is the short list of what we are working on to make our city more sustainable. We are always looking for new members to join our team. As I have shown you may have specific skills, or not, to become a new EP GREEN member. Come join us and let our EP GREEN team and the city benefit from your environmental knowledge and enthusiasm. You can reach me through my e-mail, jestpr@aol.com or go to our website for contact information

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