Statement of Hypothesis
'Here's the deal:' in accumulating an "attraction" force, green amenities can be as important as the music scene, the odds of meeting other creative people, plenty of affordable housing, job potential, or just a chance to see whole human beings (in many US suburbs, strangers are generally only seen from the shoulders up — in a car or behind a cubie wall).
Want to know how to get a return on the discounted tuition offer? Free money is a good start; but you won't get much value back unless your graduates stay happy while they're under contract: in a sustainable mood to innovate and develop.
Here, then, is a starter-list of value-back tips, written for those concerned Governors and state legislators who might be looking in on TreeHugger land. Regular readers, please comment with suggested additions or revisions.
#1 Drop the 'SUV Capital Of The Heartland' attitude. If you can do that, we promise not to romanticize plug-in hybrids so much.
# 2 Get serious about sidewalks, running trails, and bicycling in general: work with local walk/bike clubs to develop safety programs, park and lock facilities, driver education, corporate incentives, and so on. When the budget crunch comes (as it always does) stand up for the walkers and runners.
# 3 Get public transit into the budget and keep it there. If confused, see Item #1.
# 4 Talk with your state agriculture agencies and extension staffs about organic and locally grown food. Get promotion of these into their budgets and programs —fast.
# 5 Metaphorically speaking, when running for office, don't pose for a photo op at the grand opening of a coal-fired generator. Do, however, pose with renewable energy project openings. Tell the nuclear people you'll come to their shoot if they first get the spent cooling rods out of their ponds — on their own dime.
# 6 Enforce Clean Air, Clean Water, and Solid Waste Management Regulations
# 7 Grab the Green Building ball and run with it. For further information, take a trip to Green Chicago.
#8 Research, experiment, and invest in renewable energy as if the future depended on it.
# 9 Spend a day talking to college seniors to learn what they care about.
Fair disclosure: the author is from Wisconsin. The title is meant in good fun hey.