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Take Action!

Johnson County encourages businesses and residents to take steps to reduce energy use, produce less waste and adopt other sustainable practices. The following list of resources can assist you in getting started. And remember, in many cases being “green” can be as good for the planet as it is for your pocketbook!

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U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report (CCSR) 28 June 2017 Fifth-Order Draft

This draft report by scientists from 13 different agencies is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated to be issued every four years. The report shows the U.S. is experiencing climate change effects. (Source: New York Times)

The report is also available at the Kansas City Open Data Catalog.

Looking for EPA Climate Change Information?

While climate change information was removed from the EPA website on January 19, 2017, the entire EPA site was captured as it was that day.

Official EPA snapshot of Climate Change info as of January 19, 2017: https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climatechange_.html

If you want to see the entire EPA website as it was on January, 19, 2017, visit these sites:

Overview: https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/snapshot-help.html

Snapshot site: https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/

Wondering about the role carbon dividends could play?: https://www.ted.com/talks/ted_halstead_a_climate_solution_where_all_sides_can_win


Making Sense of Food Label Claims

In January 2015, Kathy Mellen, Ph.D., lecturer in health nutrition at the University of Iowa, explained how to read between the lines on labeling of fresh and prepared food packages. Her informational handouts can help you make sense of terms such as "free-range," "organic" and more.
Food Label Claims
Meat and Poultry Labels
Organic Food Definition



Increase Energy Efficiency in Your Home or Business
Fact: A crack as small as 1/16th of an inch around a window frame can let in as much cold air as leaving the window open three inches!

  • Energy Star – Best practices and products for increasing energy efficiency.
  • MidAmerican Energy – Energy efficiency program for residential and commercial customers.
  • Alliant Energy -Energy efficiency program for residential and commercial customers.


Consider Alternative Energy for Your Home, Business or Vehicle
Did you know?: Iowa is one of the largest producers of wind energy in the U.S.



Build Smart with Green Building Practices
Consider this: In the United States, buildings account for 39% of total energy use, 12% of total water consumption and 68% of total electricity consumption. We can build better!

  • US EPA – The basics of green building practices and why it is important.
  • Green Home Guide – Information and advice for greening your residential home.
  • US Green Building Council – Information on green building practices, the LEED rating system, and professional certifications.


Reduce the Amount of Waste Entering the Landfill
Fact: According to the EPA, in 2010 Americans generated on average 4.43 pounds of waste per person per day – only 1.51 pounds of which was recycled or composted.

In addition, two guide books: Compost Guide and Curbside Recycling Guide


  • Republic Services – Information on local recycling drop off centers.
    ReStore – Purchase new and used building and housing materials, or donate your unwanted materials. Keep items out of the landfill and spend less on home improvement!

Iowa City Area Resale and Consignment Directory


Protect Our Soil and Waterways
Did you know?: A city block, with impervious paving and roofs, generates around nine times as much stormwater runoff as a woodland area of the same size.

  • Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District – Learn about services and programs for both rural and urban settings to conserve soil and improve water quality.
  • Rainscaping Iowa – A statewide educational campaign promoting sustainable stormwater management practices.
  • Living Lands and Waters – A Moline based non-profit that organizes river trash removal events, tree plantings and other watershed restoration activities on rivers throughout the Mid-west.


Preserve Land and History for Future Generations
Consider this: According to the American Farmland Trust, more than 41 million acres of rural land (i.e., crop, pasture, range, forest) were converted to developed uses between 1982 and 2007. This landmass is equal to the size of New Jersey and Illinois combined!

Johnson County Heritage Trust - A local non-profit organization committed to the preservation and enjoyment of natural areas in Johnson County.


Shop Local and Keep Our Economy Strong
Fact: According to the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, if every business in Johnson County redirected just 5% of their out-of-area spending, the change would result in approximately $95 million for our community.


Know of a resource that we should list? Contact the greenteam at co.johnson.ia.us. Thanks for your interest!