Acting locally on smarter energy use

Cast your mind back a little more than three years to that proud day when Lexington won recognition for having the biggest carbon footprint among 100 U.S. cities. Our sprawling community, addiction to cheap, dirty electricity and inefficient homes all helped us gain the bottom spot.

As it turns out, the city had already begun sorting out how it could reduce energy use and thinking about how to put the rest of Lexington on an energy diet, as well.

So, shortly after the carbon-footprint report by the Brookings Institution, the city formed a volunteer group to chart a new course for Lexington.

Now that group, called Empower Lexington, has developed a draft report to present to the community and will hold a forum Wednesday night to get feedback and input.

The draft plan focuses on five areas: transportation; waste; commercial, industrial and institutional; residential; and natural resources and agriculture. To get to the essence of the suggestions for each area, scroll through and look at the numbered recommendations.

Too often we read reports such as the carbon footprint ratings and think, "Gee, it would be great if someone did something about that." This is an opportunity for citizens to get involved in helping Lexington become a cleaner, more efficient community.