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White House Goes Green — Again!

April 1, 2009

When a new President takes up residence at the White House, it’s customary for there to be some revisions and upgrades. Presidents are typically allotted $100,000 to redecorate the residential portion of the White House as well as the Oval Office, an allotment that the Obama’s have gracefully and wise-fully have declined. Instead, they will be paying for the renovations themselves. [Smart move, given the economy and all!]

But the new trend with our Presidents is to try and make the 132-bedroom mansion just a little more earth friendly. Former President Clinton announced his “Greening of the White House” project on Earth Day, 1993. This project saved more than $1.4 million in it’s first six years, thank in part to improvement in lighting, heating, air conditioning, and many others. Former President Bush continued the trend while in office, having installed “three solar [panel] systems, including a thermal setup on the pool cabana that heats water for the pool and showers, and photovoltaic panels atop a maintenance shed that supplement the mansion’s electrical supply.” He was also big on the recycling of the office paper.

President Obama is carrying on the trend as well, wanting to set an example for Americans to show them how easy making small changes can be. While no major plans have been released yet, a few little projects have already taken off. For example, White House staff members are switching to greener cleaning products, and the First Lady has recently started working on an organic herb and vegetable garden on the South Lawn [which she is apparently getting some crap for. Agricultural workers are urging her to use pesticides. Umm … doesn’t that defeat the point of an ORGANIC garden?]. While making the White House more “green” isn’t seen as a priority to some, especially given the economic climate in the country, Obama has made it clear in the past and in present times (recently allotting billions to the cause) the importance of renewable energy. It only makes sense that he would carry these principles into his residence/work place as well. Personally, I’m all for the “greening up” of the White House and it’s property. It’s a smart move, and one that I fully support!

More information on Obama’s renewable energy plans can be found here.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 3:59 pm

    I loved seeing the photos of Michele and the kids digging up the lawn for the garden.
    And who are these pesticide pushers? Manufacturers of the stuff?
    Do they not know what “organic” means?
    Come on, people!

  2. April 1, 2009 6:35 pm

    That is awesome. Thanks for posting.

  3. April 1, 2009 6:45 pm

    I just came back from teaching 2nd graders to conserve water – they GET it!
    Going green=more green in people’s pockets!! It’s not just about “doing the right thing” – making a lot of these changes means real, concrete financial savings! I think the more we can frame these ideas that way, the easier it is for people to get on board.

  4. FOW permalink
    April 4, 2009 6:42 am

    We live overseas and recyling is a way of life for us. We have 3 different garbage cans with dividers in each…which makes us really have 6 separate bins. After moving here and looking up how much money this country makes recyling we need to jump on the bandwagon in America. China made over a billion dollars last year alone from buying garbage from America and recylcling it! It’s nice to know they’re having the which bin does this go in discussion at the White House!

  5. April 4, 2009 1:24 pm

    FOW- I agree, Americans need to get on the bandwagon. Sadly most of the people I know dont recycle. They see it as a hassle. Why do the work to sort, when you can just toss it all out and its picked up on the curb? When I started recycling at our house, it took a while for the hubby to get used to it. But now Im happy to say we have much more recycling each week than we do trash 🙂

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