Topeka Goes for the Green
Photo by Anthony Bush, courtesy of the Topeka Capital-Journal
"It's cool to be a Cool City," said Topeka city manager Norton Bonaparte at a May 29 news conference on environmental initiatives at Topeka City Hall (above), where Paul Post, chair of the Sierra Club's Topeka Group, presented Bonaparte with an award for the city's energy conservation efforts. The city is conducting an energy audit of municipal buildings, and has already installed energy-efficient lighting and air filtration units; next it plans to overhaul its heating systems. Topeka became a Cool City last year when then-Mayor James McClinton signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to reduce global warming pollution locally. At the news conference, community activists encouraged Topekans to help their city earn points as America's "greenest city." Yahoo! and Global Green USA have launched a "Be a Better Planet" campaign to identify the country's most eco-friendly city, and citizens earn points for their city by sharing environmental tips or pledging to take actions like switching to energy-saving light bulbs or reusable shopping bags. The winning city will win either a fleet of 10 fuel-efficient hybrid taxis or an equivalent cash donation to a city greening project. Learn more about clean energy.