Skip to content

“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do
something about it.” – Governor Jay Inslee

Sustainable organizations strive to balance the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit to achieve
long-term success and viability. This means that organizations cannot be sustainable without protecting
the safety, health, and welfare of their most vital resource: workers. Sustainability is not just about what
is done, but how it gets done. It is a mindset that requires leadership; not settling for second best in any
aspect of operations; setting and achieving goals beyond regulatory compliance.

Organizations of all sizes across the country and around the world have embraced this mindset as a way
to showcase their values, measure impacts and outcomes, and increase their competitive advantage.
However, workplace safety and health is often underemphasized, or overlooked completely. Integrating
safety and health into sustainability provides an opportunity to better protect workers and achieve a
truly sustainable organization.

Simple Steps for Sustainable Living
• Reuse Products/Containers
• Use compostable to-go boxes or other reusable containers
• BYOB (bring your own bag!)
• Consider the lifespan of a product before buying
• Conserve Water
• Upcycle

Energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure are at the forefront of the sustainability movement in the
Midwest. Communities are retrofitting public buildings with energy-efficient lighting, heating, and
cooling systems, significantly reducing energy consumption. Moreover, awareness campaigns and
incentives encourage residents and businesses to adopt energy-efficient practices, leading to long-term
energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing Energy Consumption
• Utilize smart technology
• Lower your water heater temperature
• Unplug “energy vampires” (coffee pot, toaster, gaming consoles)
• Replace lightbulbs to LED Bulbs
• Do a home energy audit

Efficient waste management and recycling programs play a vital role in sustainability efforts. Local
communities are implementing comprehensive recycling initiatives, raising awareness about proper
waste disposal, and encouraging the reduction of single-use plastics. Community clean-up events and
recycling drives not only keep the environment clean but also foster a sense of pride and responsibility
among residents.

Waste Reduction + Recycling
• Recycle plastic bags + plastic film products
• Check out Beaver Creek’s Recycling Guide
• Utilize local recycling events + drop off sites
• Sign up to receive electronic bills + receipts

IT Sustainability
• Recycle electronics for free or at a reduced price (Eau Claire + Chippewa County) with First
Choice Recycling
• Turn off your computer at the end of the day
• Delete old files + junk emails

Local Sustainable Resources
• EC Refillery
• The Juggery (Chippewa Falls)
• Eco-Minded
• Green Fleet, LLC
• Second-hand thrift shops: Goodwill, Savers, Hope Gospel, Shine-On, Able light Thrift, The Attic,
That’s Adorable, Seven Suns Vintage, Plato’s Closet, Eau Claire Vintage
• Building Materials- Building Hope
• Furniture: ReStore- Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Hope Gospel, Savers, FB Marketplace
• Produce: Menomonie Market Co-Co, Farmer’s Market, Community Supported Agriculture
• Composting: Earthbound Environmental Solutions, DIY

Midwestern communities are increasingly investing in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar
power, to reduce their carbon footprint. Wind farms have become a common sight across the Midwest,
taking advantage of the region's vast flatlands and consistent winds. Solar energy initiatives, including
community solar projects, are also gaining momentum, allowing residents to benefit from clean,
renewable energy while lowering their electricity bills.

Local Solar Community Endeavors

One Wisconsin Non-Profit is helping move sustainability forward, one solar panel at a time. The
Couillard Solar Foundation, a 501c3 based in Deerfield, WI, has two major programs, Solar for Good and
Solar on Schools, which provides grants to local nonprofits and schools to put solar installations up.
Additionally, the foundation just launched a Solar Canopy which can be sold for Residential, Corporate,
or other outdoor use, to help them put money back into the organization to fund their projects. Locally
supporting initiatives have been the Solar for Good donation to Eau Claire North and Memorial to install

solar panels on their roofs, donation of 80kw array of ground mounted panels to Chippewa Valley
Technical College and a Solar for Good Grant to Stepping Stones in Menomonie. To learn more about
this organization and the great things they are doing, please visit their website:

Communities like Eau Claire are leading the way in sustainable practices, showcasing their dedication to
creating a cleaner, greener future for all. By harnessing renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency,
encouraging sustainable transportation, implementing effective waste management, developing green
spaces, and fostering education and community engagement, these communities are setting an inspiring
example for others to follow. As these initiatives continue to flourish, the Midwest is becoming a hub for
eco-conscious living, proving that a sustainable future is not just a possibility but a reality within reach.

Claire Lindstrom

Business Development and Continuing Education Specialist

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Scroll To Top