Creating an Action Plan for your organization
Thank you for your interest in joining Partners for Clean Air! Now it is time to sign the pledge and set up your organization's Action Plan. Please follow the four steps below to get started.
STEP 1: Choose leaders from your organization to help lead this initiative.
To ensure the success of your program, it's important to identify employees who will be involved with Illinois Partners for Clean Air initiatives. If you have a large organization, we recommend selecting leaders from several different departments. This promotes communication on all levels of your organization and will allow for a variety of perspectives to be heard.
STEP 2: Sign up for Illinois EnviroFlash.
Your assigned contacts and/or group leaders will need to sign up for a free subscription to Illinois EnviroFlash. This is an online tool that sends air quality forecasts directly to email or other mobile devices. By signing up, leaders will know when air quality levels are forecast to be unhealthy and when Air Pollution Action Days are declared. Armed with this information, they will be able to alert personnel accordingly.
STEP 3: Look at suggested actions, discuss strategies and develop an Action Plan.
Look over the list of green activities suggested below. Start developing a list of activities that would be both applicable and beneficial to your organization. (NOTE: The "Tips for encouraging your organization to go green" section on our website includes a more comprehensive list of actions. Feel free to come up with additional actions that are not included in our materials.) Establish a system for communicating these initiatives to all of your coworkers.
STEP 4: Put your Action Plan in writing.
Building your Action Plan
Any activities NOT implemented regularly should be considered as Actions to take on Air Pollution Action Days
- Use teleconferencing or videoconferencing instead of driving to meeting.
- Give incentives/recognition to employees who take public transportation, bike or walk to work; provide preferred parking for hybrid, carpool, Zipcar® and I-GO™ vehicles.
- Encourage use of public transportation by subsidizing and/or selling employee transit passes or single tickets/cards at the office.
- Offer preferred parking and/or provide secure and convenient bike storage.
- Display transit maps and schedules of nearby routes for your employees; for more information, visit RTA's website.
- Put a carpool matching map in the office or educate employees about PACE's Rideshare™ system.
- Offer flex-time or reduced work week to lessen traffic congestion.
- Turn off lights and shut down electronics when not in use.
- Install motion sensitive lights in rooms or storage areas that are infrequently used.
- Use ENERGY STAR-rated electronics, office equipment, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and appliances.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs.
- Use ENERGY STAR-rated LED lighting in recessed fixtures, task lighting, portable desk lamps, and outdoors.
- Adjust thermostats 2° warmer in the summer and 2° cooler in the winter; use programmable thermostats to turn down heat/air conditioning when the building is vacant.
- Implement a policy encouraging employees to power down workplace computers, printers, photocopiers, and other office electronics in the evening and over the weekend.
- Encourage employees to bring their lunch in reusable containers/bags and reusable bottles.
- Encourage employees to share rides at lunch instead of taking separate trips if they must go out for lunch.
- Implement a recycling program that incorporates paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and metal.
- Provide reusable plates, cups and cutlery.
- Replace old vehicles with more fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles.
- Schedule deliveries together to eliminate multiple trips.
- Create a no-idle zone for vehicles waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Some areas currently have restrictions on diesel vehicle idling. Please check your area for any local ordinances. The city of Chicago recently enacted such an ordinance.
- Plant low-maintenance, native landscaping to reduce the need for pesticides and watering.
- Mow grass to a minimum height of 2.5 inches to prevent weeds, discourage insect attacks, and reduce watering.
- Institute integrated pest management; for more information, visit the University of Illinois' website.
- Postpone landscaping when air quality is elevated.
- Select non-toxic cleaning products that do not require special handling or ventilation; look for products that do not require warning labels.
- Use water-based or bio-based solvents.
- Cover solvent tanks when not in use to reduce evaporation.
- Use low-VOC paints, stains and sealers.
- Implement money-saving pollution prevention actions such as waste separation, solvent recycling, or the use of high efficiency motors.
For a more comprehensive list of suggested "green" activities, see our Tips for encouraging your organization to go green section.