Stacking Green Chips in the Silver State: The Sequel

Bright Lights, Green City?

It’s been almost three months since the announcement from the city of Las Vegas, surrounding cities and Southern Nevada businesses with their collective plan to start a new, non-profit organization called Green Chips. Cleverly titled, Green Chips is aimed at creating a more energy-efficient and “green” state of Nevada. Given the initial surprise, excitement and early skepticism that came with the concept of America’s “Sin City” turning eco-friendly, a follow-up is in order.

A Goodman for the Job

According to SierraClubGreenHome.com’s Abi Wright, the message that Green Chips wants to send to the rest of the country – even the world – is that environmental protection and conservation is of the utmost importance to it’s citizens and to the future survival of the planet.

Recently, Abi sat down with the mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, chairman of Green Chips, to ask him a few questions about the organization and where he sees Las Vegas headed as it pertains to a greener lifestyle for the city:

Can a town known for its bright lights, fast-action gaming, and party atmosphere be the next city to adopt green living?  The members of Green Chips hope not to necessarily change your impressions of Vegas as fun and entertaining, but possibly add another… Las Vegas, a city that cares about the environment, its future, and green living, also still a place where you can have a good time!

Green Chips plans to make Nevada a more sustainable environment by implementing and encouraging special programs, incentives, and funds aimed at educating, promoting and supporting the use of recycled products as well as building more energy-efficient homes and creating new green jobs.

“There are over 40 million people [living in or traveling to and from Las Vegas] concerned about climate change, local jobs, and energy concerns, and we want to promote to the world that Las Vegas will be one of the cities leading the way in the effort to go green”, says Tom Perrigo, who is Deputy Director for the City of Las Vegas, and also one of the founding members of Green Chips.

“One of our first year goals is to host a ‘Convene 4 Green’ conference in the spring to measure the city’s targets and then drive the programs that we would like to implement, accordingly,” he said.

With the support of some of Nevada’s biggest names in business, gaming, and  local government behind this project, Green Chips looks to be more than just rhetoric: it is an effort to change the entire landscape of the state in the next 10-25 years by strongly encouraging Nevada to rely on recycled and reusable energy through new laws, bonuses and incentives to businesses.

Direct from the “Missions and Goals statement” on their website (www.greenchips.org ), Green Chips plans to aggregate resources to provide low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses for qualifying energy efficiency, resource preservation, and carbon reduction projects.  After rebates and tax credits, Green Chips is seeking to make loans available to bridge the financial gap to ensure that renewable energy and conservation projects are affordable.

The tax and financial breaks are well needed with the current housing market coupled with the state’s struggling economy.  By purchasing more energy-efficient products (such as Energy Star-approved washers, refrigerators, etc.) and recycled (or recyclable) building products, both individuals and businesses will be able to take advantage of the incentives this organization is offering.

Other Reading and References

Stacking Green Chips in the Silver State

Green Watch Summer 2009

Home Free Nevada

NSP

Local leaders chip in to help green projects with nonprofit from Las Vegas Review Journal

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