Green Needham Collaborative is asking residents to take the 10% Energy Challenge: cutting their home energy consumption by at least 10%. Not only will you save money, but you'll reduce your energy footprint - the measure of how much you contribute to the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Are you overwhelmed by information and don't know where to start? Green Needham has prepared an easy-to-use checklist which will give you plenty of ideas on how to cut your energy use. Simply read through the list, then check off actions on the "My Plan" section and calculate your energy savings. The online checklist is here or if you would like a paper version, e-mail us at email@example.com.
- Many suggestions are simple - just different ways of doing things that don't involve spending any money.
- Some have modest upfront costs that you'll recoup quickly through lower energy bills.
- Others may mean larger investments - such as replacing older boilers or furnaces, refrigerators or other appliances, or adding insulation.
But we can help you with the information you need to evaluate those decisions, and focus on those that will make the most difference to you.
Green Needham members would like to make presentations to school, civic, and religious groups highlighting specific ways to save energy - many based on their own experience. If you are a member of group interested in hearing about the 10% Challenge, even just an informal group of neighbors, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. By enlisting the support of these groups, we eventually hope to reach every household in town.
The campaign to cut household energy consumption is part of a three-pronged effort by the Green Needham Collaborative. Town government and schools have already committed themselves to the 10-percent challenge. Businesses will be asked to join in as well through the Sustainable Business Leaders program.
In order to cut my energy use by 10%, I need to know how much energy my household uses. How do I find out?
When we use energy from fossil fuels - such as gasoline, heating oil, electricity generated by burning coal, or natural gas - our personal energy use leads to CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. Calculating your yearly CO2 emissions (or carbon footprint) is a good way to estimate energy use, and to see how certain actions can reduce these emissions.
We will provide 2 options. One option is to use the yearly carbon emissions of the average American household (54,000 pounds) and try to cut 10% of that. For those who would like a more exact estimate, we will provide a link to a carbon calculator which uses information from your electric and heating bills and takes into account your air travel and car mileage.
I've already taken all the measures I can think of to reduce my energy use! Should I join the challenge?
Yes, definitely. The 10% Challenge includes many energy-saving ideas, plus has a More Ideas section, including information on carbon offsets. You will likely find some ideas you hadnít thought of.
I've heard about a prize drawing. Will I be eligible?
A prize drawing will take place on April 30, 2009, for all those who joined the challenge before that date. Prizes will be energy-saving products or services such as 2 hours of handyman service, a digital tire gauge, or a meter that measures how much electricity an individual appliance or electronic device uses.
Can my club, community organization, or place of worship participate?
Yes, participating organizations will be listed on the Green Needham website and will be given recognition (silver, gold, platinum) if a certain percentage of their members take the 10% Challenge by making an energy-reducing plan.