We are living in exciting times and witnessing local and global changes that the majority of people are helping to inspire. Though we can approve of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and be undecided as to what will become of the OWS (Occupy Wall Street ) movement, we can look locally and be impressed by how our government, businesses, and residents are rising to the call to be Sustainable. The City of Naples and the Collier County governments have moved forward with Energy assessments and have committed to energy reduction throughout all of its Depts. The City of Naples has also approved and has hired a contractor to implement an energy reduction program for its citizens. “NPower is an outreach campaign for the City of Naples and is designed to help boost our economy and better our environment” (http://npowernaples.com/) Soon announcing a Green Business Program which we hope will be well received and participated in.
The Collier County Energy Task Force, established by Collier Commissioner Jim Coletta, is currently preparing a report with recommendations for the county’s lawmakers and will present its findings in November or December, 2011 for a company to help finance its PACE program. “PACE is an acronym for Property Assessed Clean Energy and the concept allows local governments – counties and cities – to create a pool of funds from which property owners can borrow to make energy efficient improvements. The initial loans taken out by property owners are repaid over 20 years through assessments added on to annual property tax bills. Typical loans run in the $3,000 to $5,000 range and annual repayments over the 20 years are very low and quickly recouped by property owners through savings in energy costs” (http://pacecollier.com/)
Both of the Committees that have helped brainstorm the City and County ideas are made up mostly of concerned citizens that want to help reduce energy, save money, and show that we care about lowering our carbon footprint. Other recent news in Collier county reveals that the Naples Philharmonic has committed to be a Sustainable business through recycling and energy reduction and the NCH Healthcare Systems president Allen Weiss announced that the Hospital has hired a third party to create a Waste Reduction program throughout all of its properties to start Nov 1st. (http://www.nchmd.org/default.aspx?id=519&link=navmenu&rid=272) In his article in today’s Straight Talk Dr. Weiss states, “Under this new program, our actual progress will be measured and shared on a proprietary web portal home screen, which has a quick snapshot of our system’s waste along with a comparison to others in healthcare. We pride ourselves on being a learning organization, so we can benchmark and share best practices as we all learn from each other “We appreciate all of the businesses that have already made such commitments and look forward to the leadership that they have shown in this all important commitment to our community and the globe, may all of us be inspired to follow your paths. I am proud to be part of our community and assist in the efforts we are striving toward. I also look toward being a productive worker and citizen as an honored participant for the work ahead to keep this all important environmental and socially just movement alive.