Fossil Free Your Life Neighborhood Events by 350 Boulder County
Join this fun neighborhood event spotlighting ways you can #FossilFreeYourLife along with neighbors, local businesses and nonprofits!
It is clear that many people in the Boulder community are concerned about climate change, would like to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, and support increasing community resilience, local economic vitality and neighborhood connectedness. The project that we are proposing would provide an opportunity to do all of the above.
In Sept. of 2015 we organized a "Fossil Free Your Life Garden Party" in Boulder at our director's home, which has many fossil free features to spotlight like a net zero energy solar PV system, plug-in car, high energy efficiency, fossil free home heating, edible gardens, greenhouse and more. We coordinated with area businesses and nonprofits who set up learning stations to shed light on the many ways that we can all begin to transition off fossil fuels in our everyday lives - through energy efficiency, renewables, transportation choices, growing more of our own food, reducing consumption and waste, and more - and to learn how the fossil free features can save money, reduce emissions and improve quality of life. The event was hugely successful.
Research shows that one of the most effective ways to create positive behavioral change is social pressure. Fun, social neighborhood events that spotlight positive examples of our peers making changes in their homes and lives that help to create a more sustainable world have many benefits. These events have the potential to build stronger neighborhood cohesion, create a safer, healthier, more socially thriving and economically vital community, and to help meet our City's climate and resilience goals. They promote the multitude of green businesses and nonprofits doing great work in our community, bring neighbors together, and provide a fun opportunity for busy people to learn about the plethora of opportunities to reduce fossil fuel costs and emissions.
We propose to expand on these efforts and collaboratively organize more "Fossil Free Your Life" neighborhood events.
What actions do you propose?
We are coordinating with the City of Boulder, area businesses, nonprofits and neighborhood groups to organize at least 4 "Fossil Free Your Life" events in 2016. Once the showcase homes or neighborhoods are identified in the four areas of our city, we will work with the homeowners, their neighborhood groups (where they exist), and our broad network of over 2,000 local 350 members, local businesses and nonprofits to plan, organize, publicize and conduct these events. We will recruit 350 members living in the various neighborhoods plus other 350 Boulder team volunteers to assist the homeowners and us with event planning, outreach and coordination. We will invite additional local businesses and nonprofits to attend, sponsor and publicize the events, which are good marketing opportunities.
Who will take these actions?
350 Boulder team members, in collaboration with City of Boulder (confirmed), area businesses (many confirmed), nonprofits and neighborhood groups (in discussion). The City of Boulder has already committed $8000 in funding to support staff time and expenses to coordinate and supply the events. We will reach out to previous partners, as well as new partners - both businesses and nonprofits who are working to help people transition off fossil fuels and live more sustainably to get them more involved. We are already looking at one net zero-energy neighborhood and will engage more.
What are the key challenges?
Key challenges will include identifying the best sites, engaging with the homeowners to ensure that everyone is comfortable hosting such an event in their homes with people they don't know attending. We will work closely with the homeowners (and neighborhood organizations) to ensure that concerns are adequately addressed.
What are the key benefits?
This project helps to support several areas of the City's Sustainability Framework, including:
*Safe, Healthy and Socially Thriving Community - Fun, community events bring diverse neighbors together building inclusivity and community engagement; reduces emissions thereby benefiting community health and safety.
*Livable Community - Homes that use less energy save money and provide more affordable housing options while promoting a safe, clean attractive place to live; edible gardens can also save on food costs and provide healthy food.
*Accessible and Connected Community - Promoting low-fossil fuel transportation options, such as biking, bus riding, carshare, and solar-powered plug-in electric vehicles meet this goal.
*Environmentally Sustainable Community - Through "Fossil Free Your Life" neighborhood events, this project strongly promotes environmental sustainability with primary goals including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel dependence by providing fun opportunities to learn about affordable fossil free alternatives. These events could help catalyze a more community-wide rapid transition off fossil fuels in our homes, vehicles and consumption patterns that could help meet our City's Climate and Resilience goals.
*Economically Vital Community - By partnering with and featuring local green businesses and nonprofits, these events can help market and drive additional business toward them, increasing their earnings and hiring potential while keeping energy and food dollars in the local economy.
*Good Governance - Support for this project provides a great opportunity for the city to model stewardship, to support, develop, and enhance relationships with community partners, and to take action to meet city climate, sustainability, and resilience goals.
In addition, this project aligns with City Council initiatives promoting Climate Action, Sustainability, Resilience, and Local Food.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Value of volunteer or in-kind contributions (volunteer time calculated at $20/hour): 10 volunteers * 20 hours of volunteer time * $20/hour = $4,000
Total value of the project:
Simple excel spreadsheet of budget
Fossil Free Your Life Events Budget
Executive Director (80 hrs total): $1,920
Program Coordinator (12 hrs/wk, 6mos): $4,536
Organizational Overhead (web, CRM supplies, etc.): $544
Event Expenses (food, copies, advertisement): $1,000
4 events in 2016 in Boulder.
8 events in 2017 statewide.
16 events in 2018 statewide (and perhaps beyond).