Greenfield Survey Shows Green Results: 84% Say they have Changed Behavior
May 18, 2010 – Eighty-four percent of members of the Greenfield 10% Challenge say they have changed their behavior since taking the Challenge, according to an e-survey sent out recently by the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee.
With more than 500 households signed onto the “save money=save energy” campaign, the 10% Challenge sampled its membership to see how things were going.
People responding noted that they have become more conscious of the how they make lifestyle choices and most had made significant changes. In this spirit, one Greenfield respondent said “This is an extremely important and valuable campaign. My sign helps me be more conscientious everyday.”
Many people reported that they now routinely use reusable water bottles, set their thermostats below 68 degrees, turn off lights when they leave a room, dry clothes on a clothesline, drive fewer miles and slower, schedule errands in bundles, and pay attention to recycling. They also reported that they have replaced their light bulbs with compact fluorescents that use one quarter of the energy a conventional light bulb uses.
One person reported putting out a trash bag “once every three months” because they use the Freecycle website to share excess goods and compost their food scraps. Many others reported making major investments in their homes with the help of the rebates offered by Mass Save energy audits. Greenfield families have replaced appliances and heating systems, insulated their homes, and upgraded their windows.
For some, the Challenge has resulted in major life changes. One person wrote “Because of the Challenge, I have reevaluated my lifestyle choices as far as food and energy consumption. Even at work, I put on a sweater rather than turn up the heat. Even though my boss says “Be comfortable, turn up the heat”. I’ve gone to all organic foods, locally grown and very little meat, maybe once a week or less. I schedule shopping and errands for days that I work and am already in town. I've done all of these things to some degree for most of my life, but have really made a concerted effort to step it up. I am very concerned about the pollution and poisons in our environment. My motto, and I tell it to everyone, is “Just do something!”
As the 10% Challenge moves toward its goal of 800 households committed to reducing their energy use, and the “save money=save energy” lawn signs show up all over town, the campaign is having an impact even greater than the organizers expected. “We are building a movement of change in attitude and behaviors in relation to how we live using the earth’s resources” says Becca King, co-chair of the 10% challenge. “Our hope is that we can see concrete results, both in financial savings and in energy savings that send the message to our town, state and federal representatives that we believe sustainability is the key issue of our time. Our policies and decisions, personal and collective, need to reflect that value.”
The survey, which was made possible by a grant from the Chorus Foundation and secured by the Center for Ecological Technology, is the first step in understanding how we can all save money and save energy. “It was great to learn not only what motivates people to take the 10% Challenge, but also to find out what they are doing and learning, and how much money they are saving!” said Susan Worgaftik, co-creator of the 10% Challenge, and member of the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC). “We want to hear from more people. We will send out the survey, one more time in hopes of getting even more stories.”
The citizens group, Greening Greenfield Energy Committee, is the creator of the Greenfield 10% Challenge. They are thrilled that Greenfield recently applied to become the first community to be designated as a Green Community by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and they hope to see energy efficiency at the core of every step in the planning process for the town's future. Greening Greenfield Energy Committee is working with the Town of Greenfield, and together they are using ‘greening’ as the economic and inspirational engine to build a sustainable Greenfield so that current and future generations can enjoy life in this beautiful abundant valley. For more information go to www.GreeningGreenfield.org or call 773-7004.
FOR RELEASE: May 19, 2010
CONTACTS: Greening Greenfield Energy Committee members & Co-creators of the Greenfield 10% Challenge:
Susan Worgaftik …413 577-2956
Becca King … 413-773-7004