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Good ideas from good people; GreenGov Challenge rounds final turn with nearly 6,000 sustainability suggestions

Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, encourages federal and military personnel to visit and submit clean energy ideas before the GreenGov Challenge comes to a close this Saturday, October 31st.

Cross-posted from the Department of Transportation's Fast Lane blog.

This is the final week of the GreenGov Challenge, and I urge everyone to view some of the remarkable sustainability ideas submitted thus far by government and military employees.

And for those readers who are government or military employees, I urge you to share your suggestions. Though nearly 6,000 have been submitted thus far, that good idea in your mind right now could rewrite the way the Federal government reduces energy use, conserves water, reduces waste, and supports clean technology.


Not ready to submit an idea of your own? Sign-in to review current submissions and vote for your favorites.

Not familiar with the GreenGov Challenge? It's a simple, powerful idea born from President Obama's October 5 Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

The President's point was clear: "As the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. economy, the Federal government can and should lead by example."

Now, we're asking you to show us ways we can take up the President's charge to:

"Create innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies."

Look, the Federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services. On that scale, even the smallest change can make a huge positive impact.

I know firsthand that Federal workers make a difference; I see it every day at DOT. But I also know they are ready to step it up by stepping forward.

So, I congratulate the thousands who have shared their suggestions so far and the tens of thousands who have already voted for their favorites. But the GreenGov Challenge doesn't end until October 31, and I look forward to seeing thousands more suggestions and tens of thousands more votes this week.

The Federal leadership President Obama called for starts with your participation. In this final week of the GreenGov Challenge, please step forward, share your ideas, and help us lead on sustainability.

 Ray LaHood is Secretary of the Department of Transportation.