April 22, 2008

Sierra Club Highlights Local Green Champions to Show How we Can Quickly Build a Clean Energy Economy


April 22, 2008 Ferndale, MI – The Sierra Club celebrated Earth Day today by highlighting several local examples of Green leadership at a press conference at the Woodward Avenue Brewers, a Ferndale business that has changed a number of its practices to become more environmentally friendly. The press conference kicked off a week long volunteer effort to give out 1,000 energy-saving compact florescent light bulbs and energy savings tips around Oakland County.

“This Earth Day, we want to show people what their neighbors, local businesses and governments are already achieving in moving towards a Clean Energy economy - and persuade them this is not a pie-in-the-sky, generation-from-now possibility, but these are changes and opportunities that could and should be seized now,” said Tiffany Hartung, Oakland County Sierra Club Organizer.

One local example the Sierra Club pointed to was the city of Ferndale itself. As a Cool City, the City of Ferndale has been taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Since taking the Cool Cities pledge, Ferndale has formed an Environmental Impact Committee to oversee and give input on environmental policies that the city passes. The city has adopted energy-efficiency policies such as switching over to energy efficient street lighting, requiring Energy Star purchases and requiring green building standards for new buildings. The city also adopted a policy to purchase hybrid vehicles for the city's fleet, and approved policies for transit and land-use improvements that will make alternative transit more of a reality. The city recently added new bike lanes to several of its roads.

One of the speakers was Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey, “The people of Ferndale join the Sierra Club in a clarion call to protect and preserve the environment of our planet and stop the wastefulness and destruction that grows more serious every day.”

“Ferndale is taking some big steps to reduce its contribution to climate change and we wanted to share their examples with its neighboring communities here in the Detroit Metro area,” continued Hartung.
The event was held at the Woodward Avenue Brewers in Ferndale. Organizers say they chose the venue because the brew pub has implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices, such as changing out the lights to more energy efficient CFLs, reusing building material in the construction of the building and it’s sister businesses, using reusable condiment containers and having it’s spent brewery grains picked up to be used as feed for a local bison farm.

“This Earth Day, we can make this switch. We can move beyond oil, coal and the other polluting fuels of the past and instead move into a clean energy economy that creates opportunities and
jobs immediately,” said Hartung. “American ingenuity and innovation can lead the way when it comes to clean energy technologies and fighting global warming. If we can have one industrial revolution – why can’t there be another?”