Greenfield

COOLER COMMUNITIES LAUNCHED BY Greenfield High School ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB and Greening Greenfield

OPEN FOR PLEDGES FRIDAY, JUNE 11 through JUNE 25

GREENFIELD, MA – Cooler Communities is launching in Greenfield, on June 11, and residents are invited to get involved, make pledges, and take action! This fun, interactive web site was created by the Greenfield High School’s Environmental Science Club to engage everyone in building resilience and beauty in our community. Their efforts were supported by ener-g-save and Greening Greenfield.

“Our Club is proud to present a Cooler Communities event, in spite of the relatively tough COVID year,” said Jacob Frank, chair of the GHS Environmental Science Club. “We strive to implement sustainable practices into the everyday actions of all Greenfield residents and Massachusetts as a whole, whether they be children or adults.”

On the web site people are invited to explore actions they could take, and make commitments. The actions fall into several categories: actions that have to do with making our homes greener, building habitat around our homes, behavioral changes, and a fun invitation to become a playwright and write a play around the theme of climate change.

Climate change has been talked about for decades, but with the recent commitment of our government to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, now is the time to look at what we need to do to achieve that goal, and what we can do right now.

The first set of actions on the website have to do with stopping using fossil fuels, the major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Residents will find information about how they can weatherize their home, and change the heating system, in most cases at no additional cost, to a heat pump run by electricity made from wind, solar and hydro, instead of using oil and gas. There is also information about how to install solar on your home.

The next set of actions have to do with supporting our greenspaces, because nature is the only thing that can take carbon dioxide, the major source of greenhouse gas emissions, out of the atmosphere. Additionally, scientists have found that trees and shrubs and flowers native to our area are used more often by our pollinators, that play a critical role in our ecosystem, feeding birds, creating our food and more. People will find several actions to choose from, such as signing up to plant a tree with the Greenfield Tree Committee and learn about how being a lazy gardener can be a good thing for butterflies, bees and birds.

Finally, residents will find several behavioral changes that can reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time improving our health. These include such things as exploring what it is like to eat vegan or vegetarian for a week, walking and biking instead of using a car, and caring for indoor plants that improve air quality in our homes.

This year, because of COVID, the event is being held remotely, and the club has partnered with the Greenfield Public School Film Festival, which begins the same day at 6 pm. The club and their community partner, Greening Greenfield hope to hold an in-person fair next year. The club requests that people make pledges in the next two weeks. You can find the Club’s Cooler Communities web site at: https://community.massenergize.org/GreenfieldMA