Sustainable eTools for Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, this month’s highlighted eTools focus on a variety of different sustainability practices and resources. With a need to address greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, energy efficiency and sustainable practices become important considerations for everyone. The tools below can support sustainability in a number of ways – from improved air and water quality, to protecting wildlife habitats and more.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, and their use can be supported by making recharging stations more convenient and accessible. Electric vehicles help to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and promote energy efficiency.

Green Roofs support stormwater management by replacing one of their roof surfaces with vegetation, which helps reduce peak runoff volumes, runoff rates, and pollutants. They can also help improve a building’s insulation, and protect the underlying roof surface from damage.

Green Development Codes and ordinances can be adopted by municipalities to promote energy efficient construction and building techniques, encourage sustainable or green land developments, and encourage environmentally-sustainable stormwater management practices.

Water Conservation is the practice of reducing unnecessary water use and protecting future water supplies in order to continue to supply fresh, clean water to residents, businesses, agriculture, and wildlife.

Energy Audits allow municipalities to analyze energy usage, identify ways to reduce energy consumption, and identify areas where energy can be better utilized.

The Planning Commission’s eTools cover a wide array of planning topics ranging from natural resources to economic development. The tools are easy to read, providing a quick overview of each topic, a brief explanation of how it works, and considerations for addressing the topic or regulating use. An alphabetical listing of eTools is available in our Municipal Corner.