Most people may not know that the carpets in Alameda County’s General Services Agency’s office in downtown Oakland are partially made from shredded recycled plastic bottles. They also may not know that over 25 percent the power used at the Santa Rita jail comes from solar panels. These, along with other energy efficient and recycled materials projects, are part of Alameda County’s green purchasing policy. The idea is for the county to buy and use as many green products as possible in order to save water and energy and reduce waste.

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The Oakland Council members unanimously passed an Energy and Climate Action Plan late Tuesday night. The approval by the eight-member council now sends the city to preliminary planning to see how it can reduce greenhouse gasses to 36 percent below the 2005 level by 2020. Targets listed in the plan would meet international standards of…

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