Green Carbondale

       (Please follow link to see how you can help)

The Sustainbility Commission Needs You  (read more)

The Sustainability Commission advises the City Council on recycling, green transportation, energy conservation, renewable energy and other environmental issues. Read more on the history and set up of the Commission.

Read the Commission’s archived minutes.

Current Members

Jane Cogie Aur Beck (Vice-Chair)
Scott Thorne Charlie Howe
Vacant Sorrel Kunath
Vacant Shaunak Talapatra (CCHS)
Tom Grant, ex-officio Loren Polley, Staff


Think Globally, Eat Locally

 Consuming locally grown food is healthy for you, supports our local economy, and the environment. Carbondale now has two Saturday farmers markets; Carbondale Community Farmers Market, Carbondales Farmers Market.

Green Organizations in Carbondale

Learn about the many organizations  that are striving to make Carbondale a greener and healthier place.

"Going green" means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations. Below are some organizations that can help:

Local Resources

Environmental Organizations

Beautify Southern IL Resources

Biolution's Local Resources

SIUC's Sustainability Resources

State Resources

Biolution's IL State Resources 

Illinois Mushrooms 

US Green Building Council IL Chapter

Regional Resources

Biolution's Regional Organizations

National Resources

AE – Environment & Sustainability

Biolution's National Resources

National Environmental Organizations

 Green Degrees and Careers

With environmental issues gaining traction in the social consciousness, green careers are constantly growing in both popularity and availability. In turn, colleges and universities are offering more degrees which lead to green jobs. This guide was developed to help prospective students understand what their sustainability education options are and what type of careers these programs lead to. The guide was developed in part by Nurit Katz, Sustainability Coordinator at UCLA, and provides an in-depth look at the typical green career path, top-paying green careers, and more. Access the guide to learn more. Other Available Resources Are: Going Green on Campus and Environmental Science Degrees and Careers Links.

Growing Up Green

Accredited Schools Online has just put together a brand new guide to Going Green at School. This school guide is filled with facts about the benefits of going green, tips on how to become and continue being green, and additional resources for students interested in further pursuing the ultimate objective of living a sustainable life. Access the guide to learn more.

Access the following web page for further resources on how Colleges and Their Students Are Boosting Sustainability.


Carbondale Bicycle Master Plan

There is a high desire and demand for bicycle usage in the City of Carbondale (a recent survey found 53% of Southern Illinois University alumni reported that they primarily walked or rode a bike while attending SIU).  The purpose of the Carbondale Bicycle Master Plan will be to create a master plan for citywide bicycle improvements with short, intermediate, and long term implementation strategies.  The Bicycle Master Plan will build upon the positive momentum of improving bicycling in Carbondale.

Key elements of the Bicycle Master Plan include:

  • Conduct an inventory of the existing bicycle network.
  • Identify connections between routes in the existing network.
  • Identify existing roadways that could accommodate bicycle facilities.
  • Recommend policy changes to assist in short and long term bicycle improvements.
  • Develop action items to move Carbondale toward being recognized as a ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’.
  • Public engagement including stakeholder meetings, public meetings, and outreach.

For more information, access the Bicycle Master Plan webpage.



  • Carbondale's Bike Path

  • Enjoy Hiking through Nature

  • Gardening is good for the Environment

  • Take advantage of Farmers Markets!

  • Be Involved in Water Conservation

Upcoming Events


Carbondale Community Farmers Market
Days Open:
April 2017 - November 2017
Saturdays - Westown Shopping Center or CCHS Parking Lot East

08:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Sustainability Commission
February 15, 2018 6:00 p.m. 

Curbside Recycling Program 
Carbondale's Chicken Ordinance 
Carbondale Comprehensive Plan

Brightfield's Solar Proposal  
   Green Earth letter of Support 
   EPA Response to Kopper Site 
   City Council Response to Questions  
   Brightfields Presentation  
   Brightfields Solar Presentation (Slideshow)

Brightfield's Correspondence

Koppers Plant 
   Human Health Risk Assessment Work Plan 

Parks and Greenspaces 
SIMPO Transportation Assessment 
Sustainable Purchasing and Living Guide

Feeling stuck inside this winter? So is the air inside your home.

Indoor air pollution is caused by a lack of ventilation and can lead to more frequent colds, respiratory problems, and other ailments. Here are tips to keep your home and your family healthy:

  Read More.........

  More Tips for Weathering the Winter

Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals. Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to your pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment. Antifreeze that leak from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways, roads, and runways can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away. Cold wood ashes can be mixed in your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.

Use electric snow removal products rather than gasoline-powered ones. While electric products consume energy, they do not emit greenhouse gases. As alternatives, use snow shovels, ice crackers, and brooms to clear snow from your sidewalk, porch, or driveway.

If you have a manual thermostat or no thermostat at all, one way to save energy and money this winter is to install a programmable thermostat. When installed and used with the four pre-programmed temperature settings for weekend and weekdays, you can save about $100 each year while staying comfortable. Before leaving for vacation, turn down your thermostat (or use a programmable one) so that you don't waste natural resources by generating unneeded heat. You can also buy outdoor and indoor lights with timers so that lights don't stay on all night.

Close the recycling loop. Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials. Most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and certain clothing and shoe manufacturers use recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products.

Winter storms often cause power outages. Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights. If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.

Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace. Roll newspaper sheets around a broom stick until your log is the desired size, then soak your log thoroughly in water. Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood. Always follow proper safety precautions when burning anything around your home.


Carbondale Convention and Tourism 
Beautify Southern Illinois - SIU Sustainability
Sierra Club's Green Cities
US EPA – Sustainability

(downloadable pdf)

Eco-Living Guide
How to Plant a Tree
Going Green: A Landlord's Guide for Fun & Profit 
Guide to Composting 
Dig, Plant, Grow 
40 Ways to Go Green


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