While many of you are enjoying the last precious days of your summer vacation and area children prepare for the upcoming school year, here at Clean Currents we're busy gearing up for the next round of the Green Neighborhood Challenge (GNEC), which officially begins on October 1st.
Armed with a new and improved program structure, new website, new promotional materials, new video, and a new staff member to lead the program, we are more excited than ever to help build more sustainable communities in the Mid-Atlantic through our hallmark community engagement program!
Earn Green for Going Green!
Through the Green Neighborhood Challenge, communities and non-profit organizations can earn money to fund their environmental initiatives. For every household that signs up for Clean Currents wind power or solar power, Clean Currents makes a donation back to that community group or non-profit.
Clean Currents provides all participating GNEC groups with promotional materials and works closely with each group's leader to spread the word about making the switch to clean energy and living more sustainably. You can learn more about GNEC HERE.
New and Improved GNEC
We have a new and improved program structure for GNEC this year, which will demand less overall work from our community leaders and allow the Clean Currents team to give more individual attention and support to each participating group! Each participating group will choose a 60-day period within the year to run their GNEC campaign. This 60 day period could be at a time when a group is particularly active, has other activities planned through which they can promote clean energy, or it could lead up to a time when a group is hoping to have enough money raised to start a green project in their community.
Clean Currents staff will work closely with each group leader during their 60 day campaign to support their efforts with one-on-one meetings, promotional materials, a presentation in their community, and support in designing a community workshop on environmental stewardship.
Groups will now receive a $30 donation per residential wind power enrollment if they meet the goal of 15 enrollments over the 60 day period. Additionally, groups will not have to wait for their donations, since they will be awarded directly after the culmination of their 60 day campaign. Clean Currents will honor all wind power enrollments outside of the 60 days with a $15 donation that will be awarded around Earth Day 2013. Also new this year, we will be awarding a $200 donation to participating groups for every home that goes solar through our new Solar PPA or Solar Thermal programs. To learn more about the new structure for the GNEC program, visit our WEBSITE.
Educate, Activate, Inspire!
We are going to kick off this year’s Green Neighborhood Challenge with a training workshop for community leaders, where they will become their neighborhood expert on clean energy and learn new and innovative ways to engage their communities in becoming more sustainable.
When: Saturday, September 8th from 2pm – 5pm
Where: The Old Parish House at 4711 Knox Road College Park, MD 20740 (walking distance from the College Park metro station)
If you are interested in getting your neighborhood, school, faith-based community, or non-profit involved, RSVP HERE or contact Emily Conrad at email@example.com.
Seasoned Champions and New Players
In the past, a diverse number of groups led by enthusiastic and dedicated individuals have made large strides in their communities’ greening efforts through GNEC.
Since the beginning of the GNEC program in 2009, Greener in Greenbelt has taken the overall Gold Medal with 344 total wind power enrollments, earning their community nearly $4000 in donations! Thanks to the dedication of Greener in Greenbelt's leaders (Lore Rosenthal, Michael Hartman, John Lippert and Jane Young, and Luisa Robles), the group has been able to consistently encourage its community members to switch to wind power at home and adopt more sustainable lifestyle choices. Greener in Greenbelt's leaders are also helping Greenbelt become an EPA Green Power Community, which requires at least 3% of the power their community uses to be from green energy sources. The community has allocated their donations to support the Chesapeake Education, Arts and Research Society (CHEARS), which hosts green living festivals, plants suburban permaculture gardens, and provides a forum for environmental education through research, literature, and the arts. An effective tactic that Greener in Greenbelt used was including information about the GNEC program and the benefits of signing up for wind power at home in welcome letters that were sent out to new residents of the neighborhood.
But this year, Greener in Greenbelt was challenged for its Gold Medal by the Friends of Fillmore, who directed the money they raised towards environmentally friendly arts supplies for children in low-income communities.
We are looking forward to supporting new participating groups in this year’s GNEC, especially from the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, along with an increased representation from Prince Georges’ and Howard counties!