10 Ways I Would Green the White House

Colin Doyle, 2016 Presidential candidate, shares his plans for the White House if he is elected

The White House, as emblem for American leadership, could be far lighter in its negative impact on the Earth.  Making the changes below would be a clear message to the world of an environmentally-minded head who lives the change at home.

This is for activities at the White House building itself, not for the President’s travel or other work, and not for his policies, which would make exponentially more impact than greening the home/office.

  1. Add back on the rooftop solar panels Jimmy Carter installed. Ronald Reagan should never have removed them.
  2. Expand the organic garden Michelle Obama started. These first two items build on good moves made by previous Presidential families; the remaining 8 go beyond them.
  3. Convert the lawn to a food forest. Instead of putting intense resources into a monocrop of grass that’s only for looks, turn it into a multilayered perennial food system.
  4. Let the air temperature vary. Most offices (and homes) keep roughly the same indoor air temperature year-round. Change settings to let it get cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer, reducing electrical usage.
  5. Cut meat. Reduce it to a fraction of the usual American level. This simple step significantly reduces the food footprint of State Dinners and unofficial meals.
  6. More local & organic food. Direct White House chefs to make amazing meals with mostly organic ingredients from within 100 miles.
  7. No more bottled water. It’s a monetary racket and environmental catastrophe. Filtered tap water is just fine.
  8. Install solar hot water. This is more efficient for heating water than photovoltaics. A direct sun technology.
  9. Boost insulation. Windows are typically the worst culprit; be an example by using triple-paned. Ensure the walls, roof, and floor are tight and thickly insulated.
  10. Compost. Integrate a large-scale onsite composting system that returns nutrients into the annual garden, food forest, and (only occasional) ornamental plants.

Perhaps with these changes — and more — the White House will come to be called the Green House!