Small as it may seem, the city of Hailey's new voluntary "green" building code for residences and remodel projects is another important step forward for the city's aggressive, environment-friendly policies as well as an emerging model for other communities.
The code will be voluntary for a year, during which time results reported by architects and builders will be studied. The regulation could become mandatory by 2012.
Although Hailey has set something of a pace for obtaining federal and state grants for "green" activities, Blaine County and other communities are also searching for ways to show the "green."
Four-day workweeks by governments have major environmental consequences. Public employees reduce use of government vehicles as well as their own to some extent, and closed offices don't require energy-produced lighting and heating.
Yet, one of the little-recognized virtues of small contributions to energy savings and reduction of carbon emissions is how each small step creates more public awareness of "green" programs, thus encouraging expanded acceptance and personal conservation practices.
In time, this does more to debunk the skeptics' notion that global warming is a "hoax" and energy conservation merely, as Vice President Cheney mockingly said at the time, a "sign of personal virtue" rather than meaningful social policy.
Eventually, public acceptance of "green" policies will lead to widened consumer demands for solar and geothermal energy, purchases of hybrid, fuel-saving autos, use of buses and bicycles and household energy-saving practices.
Small measures add up to big changes.