Actually, It's Easy to Be Green

by Osman Parvez

A nice thing about living in Boulder is the range of efforts to promote environmental sustainability. At our neighborhood association meeting Monday night, we enjoyed a presentation by Yael Gichon, an education and outreach specialist from the City of Boulder, Environmental Affairs office.

Here are a few programs and websites that you should be aware of.

Climate Smart: a Boulder County effort to help individuals, families and businesses increase their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. ClimateSmart helps connect people and businesses to various programs designed by the city of Boulder's Office of Environmental Affairs, Boulder County and other participating municipalities. The primary strategies are reducing energy use through conservation and efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and reducing emissions from transportation. This group will be conducting a neighborhood sweep this coming weekend in Martin Acres, going door to door to offer energy efficiency kits. They're also offering a chance to sign up for a deeply discounted residential energy audit, through the Center for Resource Conservation (CRC) as described below.

Residential Energy Audit Program: A city subsidized two-part audit consisting of a pre-audit visit and a technical energy audit provided by a local energy audit professional. The audit includes the following
  • Blower door test: the auditor installs a blower door to evaluate and pinpoint areas that may be leaking heated or cooled air through gaps or cracks in your home.
  • Building Envelope/Shell: the home's exterior walls, windows, doors, attic, and basement or crawlspace are inspected to identify air leakage points.
  • Insulation assessment: the auditor checks insulation levels in attic, walls and crawlspace.
  • Heating, Cooling & Hot Water Assessment: the auditor inspects and tests the efficiency and settings of the furnace, boiler, air conditioning and hot water equipment, ducts and pipes.
  • Appliance check: the auditor evaluates the efficiency of lighting, refrigerator, clothes dryer, freezer, and other major appliances.
  • Recommendations & Follow-up. Within two weeks, the CRC will send a complete report that outlines the findings of the technical audit and recommends cost-effective energy efficiency investments for your home. At this time, you will be asked to complete a feedback form, which helps us identify ways to improve the program and track results.
Environmental Affairs: A City sponsored site for residents and businesses with information on programs, events, and news that can help reduce your impact on the environment.

Boulder Going Local: A social campaign to help build community self-sufficiency and strengthen the local economy through partnership, collaboration and engagement. Initiated by the founders of Boulder Valley Relocalization, in collaboration with Boulder Independent Business Alliance (BIBA), Boulder County Farmers' Markets, Downtown Boulder Inc., City of Boulder Office of Environmental Affairs, local citizens, local food growers, local government and many others.

Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker: A community journalism project to explore how well the nation’s first municipal carbon tax is working. Passed by Boulder voters in November 2006, this tax is on electricity consumption (utility bills) and goes to fund programs by the City of Boulder, Colorado to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

image: Looking Glass

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