Five Steps to reduce your impact and improve your community!
This evening, November 13, we joined with representatives from five other local organizations and other members of New Haven’s environmental community gathered at ArtSpace New Haven to celebrate the launch of the New Haven Healthy City/Healthy Climate Challenge. The Challenge is a collective effort of local organizations to respond to the challenge of climate change and to improve the health of the New Haven community. The cooperative group is inviting city residents to take a five-step pledge.
“The pledge is an invitation to take action that will have immediate positive impacts on our quality of life here in New Haven, and will help mobilize local and regional institutions to create more sustainable, efficient infrastructure,” said Chris Schweitzer of the New Haven/Leon Sister Cities Project, who first conceived of the project.
The pledge’s five steps are:
- Biking, walking, or using public transit to commute two days a month, rather than an automobile
- Choosing the 100% renewable option on electricity bills to cut emissions from power generation
- Eating meat-free two days a week to reduce emissions from agriculture
- Recycling glass, plastics, and paper, and composting food and yard waste
- Joining an environmental advocacy network or email list to get news, connect with others, and find opportunities to exert grassroots pressure on decision-makers (you can sign up for CFE’s list here)
The pledge components were chosen based on the activities that contribute most heavily to the average family’s carbon footprint. Each one also has more immediate, on-the-ground benefits, including improved personal health and cleaner local air quality; support for local transit services, renewable energy, and farming; and stronger connections to neighbors and policy-setting institutions.
The organizers hope that setting achievable goals like those in the pledge will inspire participants to think bigger and take additional steps to reduce their emissions. The Challenge website features ideas for these deeper cuts, as well as information to make it easy to succeed in the pledge.
The launch took place at ArtSpace New Haven, where the gallery is currently showing “Futurecast,” an art exhibit addressing the unprecedented weather patterns that are becoming a new reality for Americans.
More information can be found at www.healthyclimatechallenge.org.
The six Challenge member organizations are: