January 12, 2011
Greening Greenfield Energy Committee is a citizen group working with the town government to develop a firm commitment to sustainable living practices for the future of Greenfield. This month, The Greenfield Recorder is dedicating a full page to celebrate the over 900 households that have signed up! During this campaign, Greening Greenfield has featured a monthly “Green Hero”. The heroes presented how they made easy changes in their lives that contribute to energy savings in their homes and lifestyles.
“This month we celebrate all 900!” says Becca King, co-chair of the campaign, “because every single change each of us makes creates a larger change when we add them all up together”.
The 10% Challenge Campaign began in April 2009 as an effort to encourage local residents to make energy saving…and money saving…choices in our daily lives. The campaign began as a response to former Mayor Forgey’s commitment of Greenfield to the long-term goal of reducing energy use by 80% by 2050.
“Our initial goal was to reach 800 households, 10% of the total households in town by the end of 2010, and ask them to commit to sustainable lifestyle changes to save energy,” said Susan Worgaftik, co-chair of the campaign. “The dual goals of saving energy and saving money are linked.”
Those who signed the challenge discovered that they became more aware of their dependency on fossil fuels. They drive at 55 mph, use bikes more often, carpool or walk to do their errands. They have had home energy audits from Mass Save, insulated attics and cellars, replaced hot water heaters, built “insider” storm windows, and other weatherization efforts. Greenfield citizens have also learned to raise worms, compost their food, create gardens and grow their own food in backyards. They have installed compact fluorescent light bulbs, energy strips, and have learned about how to prevent “phantom loads” which refer to energy usage even when appliances and electronics are turned off. Schools, businesses, farmers and faith communities have all joined the effort.
Greening Greenfield members have enjoyed meeting their neighbors in their yards over a 10% Challenge lawn sign, and while tabling at grocery stores, the post office and town events where they have encouraged people to try new ways to save energy.
By reaching the 10% Challenge goal, Greening Greenfield celebrates the beginning of a movement in Greenfield that is gaining momentum and promises to continue. “Be on the lookout for a new town-wide goal which will build on this achievement,” said Nancy Hazard, member of the 10% Challenge committee, “We have just begun to prove what a community working together can do.”
The 10% Challenge is a campaign created by the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee, which works with the town and uses ‘greening’ as the inspirational and economic engine to build a sustainable Greenfield so current and future generations can enjoy life in this beautiful, abundant valley. For more information go to www.GreeningGreenfield.org or call 773-7004.
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