If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, MySpace or any other social network, you’ve seen them: memes, those strange hybrids of straw polls and unbidden confessions. “Top 10 Albums,” “10 Things You Should Know About Me,” and so on….
At UNFCCC events in Bali and Poznán, I learned how other countries are making quicker progress tackling sustainability at all levels. So, here’s a first meme on a relevant topic: what kind of action I want to see from the Obama Administration as soon as possible (tomorrow would be nice).
1. Smarter Weatherization: Require weatherization service contractors receiving ARRA funds to train staff on home energy efficiency. Boots on the ground should provide comprehensive efficiency tips to homeowners after they seal the cracks and add insulation.
2. Pay it forward: Accelerate use of smart meters and power management, but don’t pretend that information alone will reduce consumption. Budget for behavior change plans to make it popular to conserve.
3. Come together, save energy: Encourage utilities to work with industry to provide businesses and consumers with rebates for purchasing energy efficient equipment.
4. Reinvigorate recycling: Feds should prioritize byproduct synergy among manufacturers, restore U.S. recycling infrastructure with market development, and maximize federal recycled content procurement standards.
Save Water and Related Energy Use
5. A hand on the tap: Rapidly expand EPA WaterSense® product certification and consumer branding.
6. Less thirsty lawns: De-couple federal funding for state and local water infrastructure with increased demand. Reward utilities for reducing water waste from outdoor irrigation.
7. Create a Water Prize: Just like the “better battery idea,” offer cash incentives for the best breakthrough water-saving technology for agriculture and manufacturing.
8. The future is now, at least a little: Create a task force for climate adaptation, to help U.S. cities plan and budget for extreme weather, coastal erosion, climate migrations, etc.
9. Don’t buy, share: Boost bicycle and car-sharing programs in every major metropolitan city.
10. Squash greenwashing: FTC should stop stalling on revisions to green marketing standards. Put them out. Enforce them.
Some may believe climate change will be solved with passage of a cap-and-trade bill. It won’t. That said, respond to this meme or list yours in the comments – from the policy initiatives you’ve dreamt up, heard whispers about or seen on a random Web site.
Kevin Tuerff is CEO of Green Canary Sustainability Consulting and cofounder of EnviroMedia Social Marketing.