Many states are making efforts to make their prisons more sustainable. In some cases, such as the Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Washington State, inmates participate in a green work program, growing organic produce, composting, participating in ecological research, and beekeeping. Many prisons have begun to go green as well, retrofitting their facilities with renewable energy fixtures such as wind turbines and biomass boilers. As an added benefit, renewable energy in prisons keeps energy costs down, which means less comes out of taxes to support prisons.
Yes, actually! I work at an on-campus garden that’s affiliated with the local food bank. They employ a third-party contractor who helps to set up organic and sustainable gardens at various institutions, including prisons. These operations help educate prisoners on important environmental issues. In California, 16 new green retrofitting projects for the state’s prisons were announced in 2009. Other states are also implementing sustainable designs and projects in prisons.
However, it’s interesting to note just how resource-consuming prisons are…locking up millions of people every year is a very intensive tradition. Unfortunately, that’s for another conversation…
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