Today, Speaker Pelosi and Members of Congress announced next steps for the Green the Capitol initiative:
Eighteen months ago, the House Democratic Leadership launched our Green the Capitol initiative, our commitment to reducing the Capitol's carbon footprint and make our operations more energy efficient.
Today, on Earth Day–which is a time to recommit ourselves to protecting our planet and our future–we can announce that the House has reduced its carbon emissions by 72 percent–a remarkable achievement for the Congress.
The Capitol, which serves as a beacon of freedom, is also now a shining example of sustainability. We hope other large institutions will learn lessons on greening from our experience.
Our next step in reducing carbon emissions is to help Members' reduce their personal offices' carbon footprints and energy use. I thank my colleagues who have committed to this effort and also Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard for overseeing the Green the Capitol initiative.
The Green the Capitol initiative is just one way in that Congress is honoring the tradition of Earth Day and helping protect our planet.
We banned plastic and stryrofoam from the food service
The Office Supply Store saved 66,000 sheets of paper per year by switching to electronic receipts
Reusable moving crated replaced the need for 3,400 cardboard boxes used during office moves
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs replaced 10,000 incandescent bulbs across the House campus, reducing all House electricity consumption by over 1,100,000 kWh
2,000 Smart Strip power outlets for computers, printers and copiers were installed in Member offices – Smart Strips have the potential to reduce energy consumption by up to 70 percent
84 Tier 2 Energy Star energy-efficient vending machines were installed which will reduce energy consumption by over 200,000 kWh and save over $25,000 in energy costs per year
Switching to the use of compostable water bottles kept 100,000 plastic water bottles from area landfills
Approximately 250 individual computer servers for freshman Members of Congress were consolidated in a central data center decreasing energy consumption by 45 percent
Over 800 tons of waste from House cafeterias that once went to the landfill is now converted into compost that can be used in landscaping and stream restoration