SEEDS will officially launch a program to challenge our community to save electricity and heating fuel, on Saturday, October 24th at 1 PM at the Manchester Public library in Manchester Township, Wayne County. October 24 is world-wide “350 Day,” to help bring awareness of rising carbon levels in the earth’s atmosphere. A level above 350 parts per million of carbon risks irreversible run-away climate change. We are now at 390 ppm so we must reduce to get back to the magic “350.”
SEEDS is calling for a surge in reduction of kilowatt usage and carbon output through conservation, efficiency, or by installing renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power. Anyone who does so should report their actions to SEEDS to have them tallied on the website and on big thermometers placed around the county over the next year in an effort to reach a goal of 350 “greening credits.” Prizes will be awarded for big and unusual saving suggestions; group competitions are encouraged.
“We’re hoping people, will look at their household electric and heating bills, with their families and maybe even make a contest out of it,” says Michele Sands, SEEDS chair. “You can turn off the coffee pot, hang your clothes on folding dryers, only have one TV or Radio on at a time, cover drafty windows with plastic. Then when your next bill comes, reward yourselves for how much you are saving for yourselves and the planet. And, let SEEDS know and we’ll reward you, too.”
“Now is also a very good time to install solar photovoltaic panels as the price for panels has dropped, and there are a number of financial incentives to do this,” she says. “There are also tax rebates for exchanging your old refrigerator or freezer for a highly efficient one. And if you start saving energy now, you’ll be ready to really protect your pocketbook when the electric caps come off in January.”
Specific financial benefits of solar installations will be presented at a SEEDS forum on October 20th at the Park Street Complex in Honesdale from 7 to 9 PM. All are welcome.
Other ideas include changing light bulbs, upgrading the insulation in home or business or installing solar thermal panels for heating water--an economical way to save money by using the sun.
“The launching of this initiative is just a start,” says Katharine Dodge, assistant chair of SEEDS, who is in charge of the 350 project. “We hope this will lead to more comprehensive actions that will help our community maintain its resiliency with compassion and dignity, capable of withstanding changes that will inevitably come with peak oil and climate change.”
The October 24th event at Manchester Library will also feature a film called “In Transition: From Oil Dependence to Local Resilience.” It presents a practical vision for creating community sustainability in a period of energy, economic, and environmental changes. All are welcome. There will be refreshments and a free-will offering. The library is located approximately two miles south of the center of Equinunk, or about 20 north of Honesdale.
“350 Day” actions will help convince world leaders of the importance of cutting carbon levels as they meet at the climate change conference in Copenhagen in November. Anyone wishing more information may visit 350.org, or may contact SEEDS at (570) 224-0052 or by e-mail at SEEDSGroup@gmail.com.