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White House Goes Green — Again!

When a new President takes up residence at the White House, it’s customary for there to be some revisions and upgrades. Presidents are typically allotted $100,000 to redecorate the residential portion of the White House as well as the Oval Office, an allotment that the Obama’s have gracefully and wise-fully have declined. Instead, they will be paying for the renovations themselves.

But the new trend with our Presidents is to try and make the 132-bedroom mansion just a little more earth friendly. Former President Clinton announced his “Greening of the White House” project on Earth Day, 1993. This project saved more than $1.4 million in it’s first six years, thank in part to improvement in lighting, heating, air conditioning, and many others. Former President Bush continued the trend while in office, having installed “three solar [panel] systems, including a thermal setup on the pool cabana that heats water for the pool and showers, and photovoltaic panels atop a maintenance shed that supplement the mansion’s electrical supply.” He was also big on the recycling of the office paper.

President Obama is carrying on the trend as well, wanting to set an example for Americans to show them how easy making small changes can be. While no major plans have been released yet, a few little projects have already taken off. For example, White House staff members are switching to greener cleaning products, and the First Lady has recently started working on an organic herb and vegetable garden on the South Lawn. While making the White House more “green” isn’t seen as a priority to some, especially given the economic climate in the country, Obama has made it clear in the past and in present times (recently allotting billions to the cause) the importance of renewable energy. It only makes sense that he would carry these principles into his residence/work place as well.

More information on Obamas renewable energy plans can be found here.


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