Every year on April 22, people from all over the globe celebrate Earth Day to demonstrate support for the earth and its environment - and, with every passing year, Sacramento County grows greener.
Since the first annual Earth Day in 1970, green technology has flourished; phrases such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘renewable energy’ are no longer foreign to us, and a recycling bin can be found almost anywhere there is a trash can. All of these efforts, big and small, boil down to one ultimate goal: to protect the world around us.
In addition to many energy efficiency measures, Sacramento County launched several new programs and services in 2013 to further the GREEN cause. In fact, the American Planning Association, California – Sacramento Valley Section awarded Sacramento County with the 2013 Planning Project Award for the environmentally conscious upgrades during work along Freedom Park Drive, where an estimated 4,000 recycled tires were used in the asphalt, and the design of the road itself eliminates 964 pounds of greenhouse gases annually.
Again in 2013, Sacramento County Department of General Services (DGS) partnered with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to complete a pilot project that included the installation of new LED lighting. The new lights can detect incoming natural sunlight, and dim accordingly. This pilot project resulted in a whopping 80 percent reduction in lighting electricity usage throughout the building.
Sacramento County’s green efforts go back decades with the creation of the Energy Program Manager position in the 1990s to reduce energy costs and have continued unabated since. Sacramento County’s Kiefer Landfill has one of the highest diversion rates in the state, which means more waste is recycled and less is left to rot. But, even rotting waste is beneficial: using generators powered by the methane emitted from the waste, hundreds of millions of kilowatt-hours of clean power have been produced for Sacramento County residents and businesses. Also, solar panels have been added to a number of sites where zero-emission electricity is produced, while saving money. Last year, Sacramento County was ranked 25th in the Top 100 Government Green Fleet Award due to the County’s natural gas powered airport shuttle busses, natural gas powered waste disposal trucks and hybrid cars in its fleet.
“In every project, we look for opportunities to be green, to both protect the environment and save precious tax dollars,” said Bradley J. Hudson, County Executive.
To find out more about Sacramento County’s efforts, or to learn how you can grow greener this Earth Day, visit the Green Sacramento County website.
Writer: Danielle Spang, Communication and Media Intern