Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced his city's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.
The plan is framed primarily by goals and an intention to lead by example, according to the Chicago Tribune, rather than new regulations that would require businesses and families to make changes.
That means Chicago will continue to encourage the installation of green roofs, for instance, and invest more in public transportation -- both worthy endeavors. Whether or not voluntary guidelines will be sufficient to meet the Mayor's goal (emissions have been rising despite years of talk about the issue, the Tribune points out) remains to be seen.
Daley is also asking all city residents to take the $800 Savings Challenge, which consists of 13 steps individuals can take to reduce their personal contribution to the global warming problem. The steps aren't specific to Chicago, so anyone, living anywhere can take the challenge to reduce his or her impact. (Note that because utility rates vary, the cost savings may differ in different parts of the country.)
Here's a look at the 13-point challenge:
The list is so easy critics will say the mayor should have used his power to demand more. But it's also a reminder -- yet another -- that the changes individuals make do matter, when multiplied across a large population.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.