What is the 350 Actions Challenge?
Somerville Climate Action is challenging residents and businesses across Somerville to take 350 meaningful actions which will help build a more resilient community in the face of rising energy costs and climate change. Through this initiative we hope to build a better future and make visible changes which inspire our neighbors, as well as all other cities and towns across Massachusetts.
The energy we use to power, heat and transport our lives comes primarily from sources that release carbon into the air. The more fossil fuel we burn, the more carbon is released, which causes heat to be trapped in our atmosphere. Science shows that the amount of carbon in our atmosphere that is considered a ‘safe’ limit is 350 parts per million (ppm). Right now we are at 389 ppm and climbing. If we are not able to quickly reduce carbon levels back to 350 ppm, then there is a high risk of reaching serious tipping points and causing irreversible damage to our planet. For more information go to 350.org
How to Participate:
Your action will be counted if it is something you’ve never done before and helps to make Somerville a cleaner, greener and healthier city. This beneficial action can be within the categories of energy, transportation, food, water, waste, green space and community. You can choose from the list of actions we've come up with or something that works for you. You will receive the assistance of a devoted group of volunteers who will offer guidance and encouragement as we strive to reach 350 Actions in Somerville.
• Install solar panels for hot water or electricity > Get in on the special offer by SunBug Solar
• Energy efficiency at home > Insulation, weatherize windows, seal air leaks
• Cool Roof > Plant a green roof or paint your roof white
• Replace energy intensive appliances > Energy Star rated effeciency
• Consume less energy at home > Replace lightbulbs and reduce “phantom loads”
• Join a local CSA > Community Supported Agriculture
• Plant a garden > Use raised beds, pots, planters
• Beekeeping > See what the buzz is all about!
• Volunteer at a local farm > Check out theMove
• Trade food and other items > Somerville Trading Post
• Get rid of car > Join a car sharing service
• Buy a bike or bike cart
• Switch your commute to carpool or public transportation
• Take the bus or train to weekend excursions
• Install water saving devices on toilet, sinks, showers and outdoor faucets
• Get a rainbarrel > Somerville offers a discount!
• Remove non-permeable surfaces around your home or business
• Choose permeable surface for renovations
• Pledge to drink from the tap and bring your own water bottle
• Remove asphalt/concrete and replace with green space
• Create an Urban Wildlife Habitat certified by the NWF
• Plant trees
• Replace fences with plants, trees and hedges
• Switch to organic gardening and cleaning
• Reduce waste at home or the office
• Re-use, fix and donate useful items
• Increase recycling efforts
• Participate in clean-up efforts
• Organize a block or house party to educate and work together on sustainable or community issues
• Volunteer at SCA endorsed events, including attending public meetings that deal with sustainable or community issues
• Join the Time Trade Circle
BUSINESS PARTICIPATION- MORE IDEAS:
• Add a bike rack and bicycle benefits for your customers and employees
• Get an Energy Audit
• Switch to greener take out products
• Join Save That Stuff
• Compost, recycle, reduce waste overall
• Encourage employees to use reusable materials like coffee cups or utensils
• Switch to bike delivery
• Use food, products and services from local businesses
• Join Sustainable Business Network (SBN)
BENEFITS OF JOINING THE 350 ACTIONS CHALLENGE:
• Inspire your friends, neighbors and the entire state to think 350 and build a more close knit, resilient community.
• A cleaner, greener city and decreased health risks
• Save money on energy intensive needs and lifestyles.
• Education about the challenges we face if we don't address the inherent risks of climate change and our reliance on fossil fuels.