“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” - Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Aquinas College




Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center

The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center was developed in 1991 in response to the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The site features a database with state and federal laws and incentives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics.

Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy

Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is an ongoing project of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the North Carolina Solar Center. The organizationís mission is to accelerate the use of renewable energy sources and technologies in and through state and local government and community activities.


Olympia is working to become a community where biking and walking are safe and inviting, where water conservation measures are in place because of incentives, and where waste is managed as a resource. Many other sustainability programs are explained on the web site.


Seattle has many sustainable initiatives that have been implemented, such as a large number of green municipal buildings, the use of biodiesel blends in city vehicles (many of which are hybrids), a walkable and livable downtown area, zero net climate effect from electric utilities, and many other accomplishments. This is a great model city to learn from!

State of Washington

The State of Washington's Department of Ecology has a sustainability team that focuses on education, identifying and prioritizing opportunities to advance sustainability, implementing those opportunities, and developing metrics to measure the stateís progress. They are using core sustainability concepts, such as eliminating the entire concept of waste, preference for local economies, government incentives versus penalties, and the triple bottom line.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
Site by CMC/GrandNet