On the Radio: Energy investments yield savings in Story County

This week’s radio segment highlights Story County’s money-saving shift to eco-friendly buildings (text in italics below).

But that’s not the county’s only green effort. In September 2010, it drafted a plan to encourage more local food consumption, creating a division inside its planning and zoning department to oversee it. The county also houses a large wind farm

Additionally, inside county lines, the city of Ames was named one of “9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of” by Mother Nature News. The city, home to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, adopted a comprehensive strategy to decrease its carbon footprint. The plan addresses infrastructure, energy use, transportation, waste, water use, and watershed protection.

For Story County, cutting pollution means saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Over the past decade, a switch to geothermal buildings has saved county taxpayers over $1 million. This has also decreased greenhouse gases by 4.2 million tons per year.

High-tech glass and sun shading devices, energy-efficient lighting, recycled building materials and point-of-use water heaters are just a few of the buildings’ energy-saving features.

And the county’s Go Green Team is planning to do even more.

It should be no surprise then, that the National Association of Counties recently named Story a Sustainable Community Center Partner.

So congratulations to the leaders of Story County – for saving taxpayers money and helping to make Iowa a healthier place to live.

To read more about Story County’s green efforts, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor, from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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