• Our Mission:

    Addressing global and local environmental challenges in the Dubuque area with grassroots advocacy, collaborative actions, and science-based resources

    which support transparency,

    accountability and inclusive citizen empowerment.










  • Green Drinks.

    Come meet new like-minded friends and discuss local issues while enjoying a beverage.

    Here in Dubuque we meet on the FIRST WEDNESDAY of every month

    @ The Smokestack

    62 E 7th St, Dubuque, IA 52001

    6:30 - 8:00pm


    "Green Drinks" is an international movement. There are over 600 cities worldwide organizing this official meetup. For more information, check out the official Green Drinks website.

  • About Green Dubuque.

    Since 2007, Green Dubuque has provided grassroots support for local sustainability in the Dubuque region, leading initiatives on climate action, zero waste, complete streets, local food systems, energy, air and water quality, among others.


    We are a volunteer organization that approaches every issue with detailed information and a scientific perspective. We strive to fully understand the issues and their best available options—best for our health, best for our livelihoods, and best for our children.

    Vision: a healthy, prosperous, resilient and inclusive Dubuque that is part of a healthy, prosperous, resilient and inclusive world.

  • Focus Areas

    Goals: Engage and educate the local community about important green issues &

    Influence green-focused policy at local, state and national levels of government

    in the following focus areas...

    1. Climate

    Climate Change

    Green Dubuque has a strong history of work on climate issues, especially related to the 50% by 2030 initiative. The most recent report in 2013 called the “Dubuque Community Climate Action & Resiliency Plan” outlines a variety of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by targeting five sectors.

    2. Zero Waste

    Sustainable Materials Management

    Managing materials from “cradle to grave” goes far beyond typical recycling efforts. Utilizing a “Zero Waste” framework can help divert a significant amount of “wasted” materials from the landfill into beneficial use.

    3. Complete Streets

    Transportation and Mobility

    In 2011, the City of Dubuque adopted a Complete Streets Policy, in part due to studies and advocacy by Green Dubuque Founders. The City has implemented a “Complete Streets” approach in some specific locations. However, continued citizen engagement will be required to ensure this policy becomes common practice.

    4. Local Foods

    Sustainable Food Systems

    A values and purchasing shift to local food benefiting the local economy and community health is slow. More people and institutions in Dubuque must support and choose local food venues and opportunities for improved food security and wellness. The buy fresh local message tackles only one link in a sustainable food system.

    5. Energy

    Alternative Energy

    Sorting through strategies like energy production, methane capture and conversion to energy, resource recovery, energy efficiency and solar energy takes expertise. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan begins to address the changing landscape of energy. It is the goal of Green Dubuque to further inform local policy-makers and the general public about “no-regret” energy solutions.

    6. Air Quality

    Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality

    Work needs to be done to ensure community engagement for healthy outdoor air quality in the Dubuque area. In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air. The issue of radon is particularly dangerous as Dubuque has some of the highest concentrations of radon in the country.

    7. Water Quality

    Mississippi River, Catfish Creek, Bee Branch and more

    The City of Dubuque has gained recognition for its Bee Branch Watershed Restoration Project and Green Alleys program among others. Even so, there remain many water quality challenges to address in the Dubuque area. Citizen engagement with science-based support related to both urban and agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals is critical to continuing to improve water quality in and around Dubuque.

  • Some of our projects:

    50% by 2030

    50% by 2030 is a community driven effort to unite Dubuque in support of 50% local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction by 2030 (from 2003 levels). These reductions will be achieved not through GHG regulation, but through so-called “no regret solutions” that are in our community’s interest regardless of climate impact. In other words, the 50% by 2030 target will be reached via actions whose primary benefits are to Dubuque’s health, economic prosperity, and quality of life–but that reduce our GHG emissions, too.


    Click here for feasibility report.

    Click here for strategy report.

    Dubuque Eats Well

    Dubuque Eats Well is
    a network of community members and organizations transforming the local food system in the Greater Dubuque area through education, planning, implementing, monitoring, and sustaining healthy, community-based food systems.


    THE IMPACT: Click here to learn more about the economic impact of local foods in Iowa

    GET INVOLVED:  Local Foods Resources - Dubuque County

    DAR3N: Dubuque Area Recycling Network

    The Dubuque Area Recycling Network (DAR3N) is an initiative of Green Dubuque to train and empower community volunteers to lead education campaigns on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Goals are to divert currently landfilled materials to beneficial use and reduce single-use materials, especially those with less beneficial reuse value. DAR3N works from a Zero Waste framework on efforts such as: recovering food to feed needy people, reusables and repairables, building and construction materials, food scraps for animal feeding or composting, common recyclables and plastic bag reduction.



  • About the Team.

    We're a group of volunteers who are collaborating to make Dubuque a stronger, more resilient place to live and work by how we address environmental challenges.


    Meet some of the folks behind Green Dubuque.

    Paul Schultz

    Board President

    Zero Waste, Air, Climate, Water, Local Food

    paul@ greendubuque.org

    Raki Giannakouros

    Co-Founder &

    Past President

    Complete Streets, Energy, Air, Water



    Carrie Lohrmann


    Climate, Water, Complete Streets



    Carolyn Scherf

    Corresponding Secretary

    Local Foods,

    Social Equity

    carolyn.scherf @gmail.com

    Sister Michelle Balek

    Board Member At Large

    Social Equity,

    Zero Waste


    Rev. Lindsay James


    Social Equity

    Hendrica Regez

    Board Member At Large

    Climate, Local Foods

    Jason Schatz
    Co-Founder &



    Eric Coffman



  • Follow us on social media

  • Green Updates

    Signup here to receive our e-mails.

  • Donate

    Make a charitable donation to Green Dubuque via PayPal ($10 increments)

    Charitable donations to Green Dubuque Inc., a recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, are used to further our mission and support operations, projects and outreach. Thank you for your generosity.
    Coming soon
  • Donate via Dwolla

    Donate to Green Dubuque in any amount via Dwolla
    Click the button below or search for "Green Dubuque" at www.Dwolla.com
    (our Dwolla ID is 812-752-5750)
    There is no processing fee for amounts > $10 and a $0.25 processing fee for amounts < $10.
    Be sure to include your e-mail address or name/address if you would like a receipt.

  • Our Guiding Principles:


    Green, for all, forever! An informed community where all people are respected, valued, engaged, and treated fairly. This often-overlooked aspect of sustainability encompasses inclusion, diversity, and environmental justice by promoting equal access to community resources and opportunities: Improved public transportation, green jobs, and local food options which connect all income levels and backgrounds. Inclusive planning promotes social and cultural vibrancy.


    Our community needs to include diverse voices from the start, including those of community leaders and representatives who directly experience problems rooted in or related to the environment. Green Dubuque seeks to address collective social impact which entails listening to diverse perspectives, transparent communications, establishing common goals, sharing knowledge, valuing the unique contributions of all partners, and building creative consensus to move forward.


    Green Dubuque believes in the ability of every person to be a catalyst for change in creating a sustainable world. To this end, Green Dubuque seeks to: build awareness of the important role each of us plays in creating a healthy community; help community members transition from ideas to actions; and promote new voices from across our diverse community to contribute to sustainability and resiliency.


    In approaching issues and creating better alternatives, Green Dubuque recognizes the value of all forms of capital, including natural capital (services the environment provides); built capital (goods and services); social capital (friends, family, and community); and human capital (our health, values, and experiences). Our goal is to understand the complex linkages between natural, human, and economic systems; and, to use actionable data in a triple bottom line approach to help develop effective policies and Results Based Accountability (RBA) for a healthy, resilient, more equitable community and world.

    Science-Based Practice

    Green Dubuque utilizes a data driven approach to advocacy, using the latest science from multiple disciplines, case studies from other communities, and original analysis to inform our work. Our team combines years of professional experience in renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, pollution prevention, materials management, complete streets planning, water resources, ecology, climatology, human health, and urban systems management.

  • In the Press



  • Other organizations you should know about.

  • Current Air Quality:

    (Note: nearest air quality monitor to Dubuque is in Potosi, WI)

  • Dubuque Area Recycling Network

    A Project of Green Dubuque

  • About DAR3N

    History and Vision


    Recycling and other sustainable practices were a fairly new concept in the early 1990’s, but interest and need for recycling services was swelling rapidly—especially in the Tri-State area where there was limited infrastructure for environmentally sound development.


    The Dubuque Area Recycling Network (DARN) stepped up to both inform a policy direction and to help provide recycling opportunities for the average citizen.


    Four local groups, The Audubon Society, Boy Scout Troop 11, Sierra Society at Hempstead High School and the Dubuque Area Congregations United, collaborated and provided the physical labor necessary to establish a weekly drop off newspaper recycling venue in a semi-trailer on JFK. This small step toward more efficient recycling practices was the bridge needed to advance the launch the first curbside recycling program in Iowa's largest cities.


    As Dubuque moved forward with curbside recycling, DARN volunteering seemed unnecessary for the last 25 years. Dubuque has become a leader in many innovative and best management practices related to sustainability. The community vision was to improve quality of life related to economic prosperity, environmental integrity, and social/cultural vibrancy - our triple bottom line,

    However, current economic challenges facing the Dubuque landfill could undermine commitments to help divert valuable materials to beneficial use.


    Our community again has a need for greater citizen engagement to help us continue to become a smarter community and use our resources wisely.

    Vision 2017

    Expansion in cost effective beneficial use diversion programs is an economic necessity and an environmental imperative. The United States is in the grip of financial challenges. Composting, recycling, repair and reuse is one way to expand job creation in local communities.


    "If we are going to take beneficial use diversion from landfilling seriously, we have to start thinking about organic/compostable materials." 

    Max Milinkovich, CEO Full Circle Organics.


    Wasting resources is not sound economics. Over a million dollars of marketable materials and items are buried in the Dubuque landfill every year. This is not sustainable. We need to collaborate to find better ways to divert these materials for economic development and green jobs.


    The new DAR3N is a Green Dubuque project that helps to balance policy objectives with cost-effective measurable targets and timelines. It seeks to speak with a more inclusive voice from supporting businesses, institutions and residents, and to help empower one another to use materials more responsibly from cradle to grave.


    DAR3N will work from a zero waste framework with the belief that the existence of wasting is a systemic problem that can be solved, not a normality. We will help improve citizen convenience to recycle and compost wherever they live, work and play by collaborating with local organizations and businesses with a focus on innovation and actionable data analytics.


    Material targets being considered are:

    • Organic materials, such as food scraps by diverting them to composting or anaerobic digestion;
    • Recyclables by helping to improve the disposal habits of businesses, institutions and residents;
    • Reusable items by improving diversion options for items with marketable value for repair or reuse;
    • Used building materials by helping establish a not for profit enterprise like a ReStore; and,
    • Polluting and hazardous materials by reducing their use in favor of safer materials.

    “The Dubuque Community has the infrastructure in place to meet a progressive Dubuque Metropolitan Solid Waste Agency’s strategic diversion goal of 2% per capita tonnage per year from Dubuque County landfilling, but it will take a broad reaching community effort to achieve this.”

    Scott Dittmer of Dittmer Recycling.


    Among DAR3N’s measurable results being considered are to:

    1. Increase progressive diversion of residential, institutional, and commercial food through Food Rescue to feed hungry people and food residuals through composting by 500 tons per year.

    2. Establish a trained group of twenty young and old volunteers to promote engagement on the “Path to Zero Waste” through community innovative events and social media.
    3. Recognize and increase the number of identified businesses and institutions engaged in significant improved beneficial diversion of their discards by fifty businesses each year.

    4. Develop a partnership campaign to reduce thin plastic checkout bag wasting and pollution by 5% per year.


    “We need to have community engagement to help all of us “Walk the Talk” – to help set goals and be accountable for them.” 

    Sister Michelle Balek, Member of the Dubuque Franciscans


    “If you are not for zero waste, how much waste are you for?”

  • Donate

    Make a charitable donation to Green Dubuque via PayPal ($10 increments)

    Charitable donations to Green Dubuque Inc., a recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, are used to further our mission and support operations, projects and outreach. Thank you for your generosity.
    Coming soon
  • Donate via Dwolla

    Donate to Green Dubuque in any amount via Dwolla

    Click the button below or search for "Green Dubuque" at www.Dwolla.com

    (our Dwolla ID is 812-752-5750)

    There is no processing fee for amounts > $10 and a $0.25 processing fee for amounts < $10.

    Be sure to include your e-mail address or name/address if you would like a receipt.