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Carbon Footprint Toolkit

What Can I Do in My Community?

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Many exciting initiatives related to addressing climate change and lowering greenhouse gas emissions are happening in cities and towns across the United States. The following are a few that are national in scope or show particular promise for impact.

Interfaith Power & Light (IPL)

There are IPL affiliates in several states and metro areas. Consider volunteering and help make your local affiliate stronger. If you don’t have one, help get one started!

Faith-based community organizing

Many cities and towns have an ecumenical or interfaith group that might have worked on housing, homelessness and hunger issues in the past but is now branching out to address job training and job creation through promoting energy conservation. This is a very promising trend. Some groups focus on weatherizing affordable and low-income housing or providing green job training through weatherizing congregations or members’ homes, etc. Read examples from the Sound Alliance in the Seattle area and Washington Interfaith Network in the Washington, D.C., area on washingtonpost.com and liunabuildsamerica.org.

Living City Block
This is an ambitious experiment that works on a small scale to demonstrate how dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are possible very quickly. This project was launched in Denver, Colo., but is now in various stages of replication and trial around the country. Some faith groups are involved particularly if they have a building in the area designated as a “Living City Block.”

Cool Cities Campaign
This is an ongoing effort by the Sierra Club to promote energy conservation and address climate change at the local level. Check out the map to see if your town or city is already involved. Learn more how to get things going in your municipality.

STAR Community Index
With a multitude of high-profile sponsoring organizations, this is a national program to create a voluntary sustainability roadmap for U.S. municipalities. Reducing carbon emissions and advancing social, economic and environmental justice is at the core, which makes it more comprehensive and inspiring than many other efforts. Ten cities are testing the framework now. Formal launch occurs in the fall 2012. Encourage your elected officials and city leaders to take this on!

Last Updated: 04/09/2014

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