In one of its best examples of practicing what you preach, the city of Tallahassee this week rolled out its latest effort designed to conserve energy and reduce pollution.
It’s an idea worth noting and one that could easily be copied by others who find their business demands scattered throughout the downtown. In fact, a little competition between law offices, banks, lobbyists headquarters and hotels would help to bring more awareness to local efforts to save energy and reduce pollution.
Since not all city business is conducted at City Hall, employees often find themselves attending meetings out of the building or in affiliated government buildings such as the Renaissance Center on Macomb Street or the Gemini building on the opposite end of Adams Street from City Hall.
To help promote sustainable living, the city is now providing an electric vehicle that carries two and is making four bicycles available at City Hall for use by employees who have to travel to the other locations on city business. Bike racks have been installed at both the Renaissance Center and at the Gemini building.
In addition, the city of Tallahassee is providing three parking spaces at City Hall for employees who drive personal alternative-fuel vehicles.
These healthy-environment efforts are an extension of several measure taken by the City Commission to promote a green Tallahassee — measures that have brought national recognition to Tallahassee.
Other practices have involved the removal of trash cans next to each desk in favor of containers for recycling. City employees also are instructed to not leave city vehicles idling when out on assignments. Tallahassee police have installed in their patrol cars special batteries that allow them to keep air conditioning running as well as lights and sirens even when the engine is turned off.
Down the street from City Hall, Leon County also is exploring ways to make sure that vehicles are more energy efficient through its new green-fleet policy. So far, two trucks have been converted to use compressed natural gas, and a third one is being converted.
In addition to City Hall and the courthouse, Leon County School District has been leading efforts in sustainability through various recycling programs in classrooms, energy-efficient conversions in schools and by making available compressed natural gas stations for government and private business.
All of these efforts, combined with the innovative steps taken on our college campuses, will provide all of us with a healthier environment where we work and play.