Applying the Heat in St. Pete
St. Petersburg, Florida, resident Darden Rice is a national field coordinator for the Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaign, working to get cities and towns across the nation to clamp down on their global warming emissions and energy use. On Earth Day, an interview with Rice ran in the St. Petersburg Times and on local TV news, giving her a chance to focus on her home turf. Asked about the most important green step the city could take, Rice replied that the mayor should sign on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, as the mayors of neighboring Tampa and Sarasota recently did. She also urged adoption of a green civic fleet, green building standards, and curbside recycling. When asked whether recycling would cost the city more, Rice replied that the local landfill was filling up much faster than anticipated, and "we can't burn our way to a cleaner St. Petersburg." There are also intangible costs to consider, she pointed out. "The fact that St. Petersburg doesn't have easy recycling and curbside recycling is embarrassing. It's a dent in our image as a city."