Pledge to Do Your Part

I pledge to do my part and make Dubuque a more sustainable community.  

See the suggested actions and resources listed under each Sustainability Principle. Click on the “Take the Pledge” link here or at the bottom of the page to add your name to the growing number of people working for sustainability, and/or to share your ideas with us for individual and community sustainability actions.  

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Smart Energy Use
  • Reduce phantom energy use; unplug or turn off appliances and devices when not in use.
  • Schedule an energy audit and implement three of the recommendations. Audits are available through various sources: Alliant, Black Hills, Iowa Green Corps. Check the Green and Save website for information on Return On Investment of installing various sustainable features.
  • Purchase renewable energy sources from my utility, such as Alliant Energy's Second Nature program, or install renewable energy systems.
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 Resource Management
  • Reduce my use of single-use plastic bags by using reusable cloth bags. Add "Bring my own bag" to the top of my shopping list as a reminder.
  • Remove my name from catalog and junk mail lists.
  • Before purchasing a new item, ask myself “Do I really NEED this?” Utilize organizations like Freecycle, Earth911, and the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency's recycle-reuse guide to recycle, buy used or trade items. The EPA offers the "Individual Waste Reduction Model" tool to help estimate the energy benefits of recycling rather than land-filling a selection of products. The Responsible Purchasing Network has a webpage with links to a variety of calculators to figure cost-benefit analysis of various purchasing options.
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 Regional Economy
  • Visit local museums and sporting and cultural events. See Dubuque's Convention and Visitor's Bureau website for information.
  • Give preference to purchasing from locally-owned businesses. Check the Chamber of Commerce and the Buyer Supplier websites for listings.
  • Support environmentally sustainable and socially responsible businesses and products. Check out the Petal Project business certification listings.
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 Community Design
  • Discuss with others a vision for our community.
  • Participate in my neighborhood association. (Contact Dubuque's Neighborhood Development Specialist to locate your association or for more information.)
  • Incorporate a rain garden, rain barrel, or permeable pavers on my property to reduce stormwater runoff. Check the Sustainable Dubuque website for information on rain gardens and barrels.
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Clean Water
  • Pull weeds by hand, mulch, and reduce use of chemicals to avoid polluting runoff.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucets.
  • Install a rain barrel.
  • For more information and resources, visit the EPA's WaterSense website.
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Reasonable Mobility
  • Share a ride to work or school once each week.
  • Send my child to school in a Walking School Bus or Bicycle Train. Invite families who live nearby to participate.
  • Make an improvement to my home or business to make it more accessible for all. Contact Proudly Accessible Dubuque for more information.
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Healthy Air
  • Turn off my car when idling for more than 30 seconds.
  • Rake my leaves and avoid15 minutes of using the leaf blower.
  • Combine errands to reduce vehicle miles traveled. Ride the Jule to complete them. Check the route schedules on the Jule website.
  • Use the EPA's online Household Emissions Calculator to determine my current household emissions and then check the EPA's What You Can Do section for actions to reduce emissions at home, work, on the road and at school.
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Native Plants and Animals
  • Take a hike to learn about the native species in my neighborhood and community. Visit Iowa's Department of Natural Resources website to learn about Iowa's native wildlife.
  • Learn the names and calls of the birds in my yard.
  • Utilize native plants, shrubs and trees to provide a habitat that support wildlife. Visit the Plant Iowa Natives website for native plant information.
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Community Knowledge
  • Learn about my community through Dubuque’s Green Map and visit sites new to me. Add a new site I know about.
  • Volunteer for a cause I’m passionate about every month.
  • Learn about a culture different than my own; start with my neighbor or co-worker. Visit the Diverse Dubuque website for other ideas and tips.
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Healthy Local Food
  • Read labels and search out locally-produced foods. The Dubuque Farmer's Market is a great place to start - all year round! Try the Buy Fresh Buy Local directory.
  • Cook with a new seasonal produce item once a month.
  • Eat lower on the food chain by eating one vegetarian meal per week. The Sustainable Table website offers loads of information on healthy eating, including various recipes. The Food website offers thousands of vegetarian recipes to choose from.
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Green Buildings
  • Use blinds, fans, and windows to control room temperature and natural light.
  • Purchase or make my own safer, non-toxic cleaning products.
  • Explore no-VOC paint, recycled-content carpeting and other sustainable renovation materials.
  • For basic information on green buildings, visit the EPA's website.
Orange Community Health_Safety.jpg   Community Health & Safety
  • Visit one of Dubuque's many trails with your family and friends.
  • Join .  Establish or join a social network for your neighborhood to share information, build connections, and look out for each other.
  • Prepare your family for emergency situations by developing an emergency kit and evacuation and shelter-in-place plans.  For tips, visit the Red Cross.

Take the Pledge and/or Suggest a Sustainable Action