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Why the Greenprint?

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The natural world is a closed system that cannot "take, make or waste" any form of matter. Globally, we have to live with everything that is made, changed, or wasted. We must live without resources if they become depleted and cannot be naturally regenerated, such as the oil that is extracted to make fossil fuels for cars and furnaces. We also must live with the new substances and conditions that are created by the way natural resources are used, such as the greenhouse gases that change the chemical makeup of the air we breathe when fossil fuels are burned.

If the properties of air, water, atmosphere, and natural resources are altered through endless taking, making and wasting, people from around the world will be one step closer to “altering the planet’s resources to the point where it can no longer provide the environment and conditions necessary to sustain life in any form.

At the dawn of the 21st century, people from all around the world, including the United States, are beginning to experience some of the impacts on daily life from unsustainable practices. For example, scientists from many countries are measuring the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that result from burning fossil fuels to heat homes, run factories, generate electricity, and travel by gas-powered vehicles. Their research indicates strong links between these atmospheric changes and a host of increasing conditions that interfere with the planet's ability to sustain life as we know it, such as:

  • Rising levels of air pollution across urban, suburban and even rural areas
  • Breaks or "holes" in the atmospheric ozone layer that protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays
  • Rapidly melting glaciers at both poles that are diminishing the habitats of several animal species, and forcing some human communities to find higher ground
  • Worldwide ocean temperature changes that are affecting entire species of marine life
  • Rising sea levels that are gradually beginning to inundate coastal and tidal communities across the world, causing higher tides, stronger storm surges, eroding beaches, and increasing amounts of salt in freshwater marshes

United States Department of Energy logo The Clearwater Greenprint is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Think Green logo

What's New

Draft of Clearwater Greenprint Available to Download

Steps to Sustainable Living


Greenprint Upcoming Events

None scheduled at this time.


City Council Information

Presentation and Background Materials from 11/29/10 City Council Worksession

Resolution 11-5 and Supporting Items from 12/14/12 Public Hearing