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There are many community events that offer a wide variety of resources that can be used as solutions to global warming.

The solutions to the problem of global warming and climate change range in magnitude from participating in curbside recycling as a individual household to the nations of the world coming together to sign an agreement to curb greenhouse gases.  It can be a daunting task for a single person to know where to start.  The simplest starting point is to start with what you can control. You have control of your decisions at home such as adjusting the thermostat, driving less, and getting a home energy audit to make a plan that help you prioritize measures that will give you the biggest bang for the buck.  It can help to begin assessing your carbon footprint using an online calculator.  Check out our resources page for links to several calculators that can be useful in your journey.  Public education is part of the Solution Group’s mission, and one representation of that can be seen in the community classes we have begun to teach.  In the fall of 2011, the group is hosting 4 classes through ICC’s Adult Community Programs;  see our Classes page for more details.

Here in central Illinois there are government entities that have begun to integrate sustainable practices into decisions and policies.  Using a draft created by members of the Global Warming Solutions Group, the County of Peoria created a sustainabillity committee to explore the plan.  After a year of meetings and research, the County of Peoria adopted a sustainability plan in August of 2011.  The city of Peoria also has a sustainability committee that has been working on a plan, but no official decisions have been made in that regard.  Several cities in central Illinois have joined the Cool Cities agreement from the Sierra Club in a promise to create and implement a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions below the levels of 1990.  Urbana, Springfield, Normal, and East Peoria all have signed the agreement.  East Peoria’s mayor Dave Mingus signed in April of 2008 and their progress can be followed on the East Peoria Green Team web site.

In the Peoria area, there are many businesses and organizations that are implementing sustainability and smart development into their practices.  The volunteer group Natural Resources and Your Development Task force has been hosting a sustainabillity bus tour the past several years to celebrate these types of projects in Illinois.  They have toured Chicago, Peoria, and will be visiting Bloomington-Normal in September of 2011.  The 2010 tour of the Peoria area featured projects that have achieved or will be achieving LEED certification including the Waste Management Transfer Facility, the Caterpillar Administration Building which serves at the company’s world headquarters.  You can review a summary of that tour on this web site on the Sustainability Tour of Peoria 2010 page.

There are also many community events that take place throughout the year in central Illinois that are great resources to going green and achieving sustainability both at home and at work.  Events include ICC’s Green Expo, the Earth Day Festival at Forest Park Nature Center, the Natural Resources and Your Development Task Force sustainability tours, and the Sun Foundation’s Clean Water Celebration at the Civic Center.

There are many other community groups that can also be a valuable resource.  Visit the “Environmental Groups” in the links section for an updated list.

To learn more about specific topics, visit the following dedicated pages on this web site:

Classes – Learn about what classes we are hosting in central Illinois

Resources – Full of links to local and national resources

Calculator  – Try your hand at our simplified carbon calculator to estimate your carbon footprint.

Recycling in Peoria – A feature page on recycling options in Peoria

Cool Cities – Learn more about how municipalities can create an action plan to cut greenhouse gases

Peoria County Sustainability Team – A feature page on the County’s efforts to integrate sustainable practices

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