SPRINGFIELD – April 22, 2009. On Earth Day, Governor Pat Quinn announced a new effort to make the Illinois Executive Mansion a greener place on the inside and the outside – by installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and using rain barrels. Governor Quinn also signed an executive order to reduce the environmental impact of state government operations.
“It is important to make the Land of Lincoln green for future generations,” said Governor Quinn. “The effort to make the people’s house more energy efficient sets an example for everyone to follow.”
LED bulbs are replacing incandescent light bulbs at the Executive Mansion to cut down on energy use. More than 350 LED bulbs are being donated to the mansion by The LED Way of Skokie and Polybrite International. So far, 122 LED bulbs have been installed. Each LED bulb can last up to 50,000 hours and uses 90% less electricity than a regular light bulb. According to an energy savings calculation by The LED Way, placing just 122 LED bulbs in the mansion will save more than $4,500 per year and nearly $60,000 over the lifetime of these bulbs.
Our state has especially close ties to the LED bulb, as it was created by an Illinoisan. Nick Holonyak, of Zeigler, Illinois, invented the energy saving bulb back in 1962. Holonyak is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Six rain barrels are being placed around the grounds of the mansion to capture rain water that will be used to water the gardens. Not only will using rain barrels help reduce the water bill at the mansion – the rain water is also better for plants than chlorinated water. One inch of rainfall on a typical residential roof can produce 625 gallons of water, which is enough to fill 11 rain barrels.
The rain barrels are green for a few other reasons: Illinois Correctional Industries is making them out of plastic barrels that were previously used for recycling, and they are delivering the rain barrels to the mansion in a biodiesel truck. Governor Quinn has long been an advocate for rain barrels and would like to make Illinois the rain barrel capital of the world.
Governor Quinn also signed an executive order to reduce the environmental impact of Illinois state government operations. The executive order directs state agencies to lead by example in waste prevention, energy efficiency and conservation, procurement, and water quality and conservation. By implementing these sustainability practices, agencies will not only benefit the quality of our air, land and water; they will also save Illinois taxpayers' money by reducing utility bills, waste disposal fees, and other operating costs.