People have begun to pick their teams and sign up for the student-led, Green Sneakers/Future Homeowners Community Carbon Challenge. At the launching event, high school student interns, Keira Haining and Kristina Alex, both of Rockport, announced prize incentives and demonstrated how the My Energy Plan website guides users through a selection of actions that would bring down their energy use and thereby reduce their carbon footprint.

The three-month competition is sponsored by the Green Sneakers Project, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Camden Public Library and the University of New Hampshire’s My Energy Plan website.

During the summer high school students of the Green Sneakers Future Homeowners group and Green Sneakers Midcoast Coordinator Nancy Glassman met at the Camden library, to make their plans, and approached community leaders about getting involved in their Carbon Challenge. There was immediate support for their efforts. Dan Bookham, executive director of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, is pledging to reduce his carbon footprint, as head of the Mt. Battie team. Stuart Smith, and The Lord Camden Inn, are leading the Bald Rock team, with their efforts. Everyone is invited to sign up for either team, make their pledge choices and join the fun.

 

Student interns approached businesses, who rallied to provide valuable prizes for participants:

Evergreen Home Performance, of Rockland, will give a six-pack of 13 watt CFLs and a free one-hour, home energy consultation to all participants.

Sunrise Guide and Evergreen as co-sponsors are giving the Sunrise Guide coupon book, a $20 value, to all who complete the challenge. The Sunrise Guide contains a coupon from Evergreen for $250 off a project that will save 250 gallons of oil, or the equivalent.

The first 25 people who sign up and register their pledge on the site will have their names entered into a raffle for more prizes. Penobscot Home Performance, of Belfast, is donating a two hour, home energy audit, with a blower door test, infra-red camera inspection, and walk thru, worth $400. Revision Energy, of Liberty, is giving a TED 1000 Series, (home energy detective ) complete with installation, for a value of $360. This unit shows how much and where the kilowatt hours (kWh) in a house are being used.

From Efficiency Maine, there are LED nightlights for the first 30 people who sign up.

“We are so impressed with the way the students have pulled this plan together and so grateful for the community response,” said Glassman in a news release. “The Future Homeowners group really got behind the idea for establishing the challenge and it was their inspiration to set it up this way. It’s exciting to see how everyone is putting in their part. And of course, saving energy, saves money, and puts more back into the local economy, while improving our global impact.”

It is the hope of the group that the actions taken during these three months will be lasting. They encourage participants to stack their teams with everyone they can get to join.

To sign up for the challenge, go to: myenergyplan.net, click on Personal Energy Planner, fill in that you live in Maine and scroll down to select your town.

After telling a couple of details about your household, scroll down the list of challenges and select Green Sneakers Future Homeowners, as your Challenge group.

Then select your community, It’s most important that you then scroll down and pick your team.

Continue to fill out the required fields, then click next. The site will prompt you through the steps, and will show you how much those steps would progress you toward carbon reductions and money savings..

On several of the pages, you can choose to click on more for additional opportunities to reduce.

It is also crucial for us that you register with your email address on the web. That is how the web sites will track the teams. Your personal information will not go to anyone. You will receive an email reminder to complete the challenge.

The Future Homeowners group also has been training students in building science and helping their families learn how to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Green Sneakers is a successful neighbor-to-neighbor home energy project created by Maine Partners for Cool Communities, which is a collaboration of the Sierra Club-Maine Chapter, Maine Council of Churches, and Physicians for Social Responsibility-Maine. The partnership works with communities and their citizens throughout Maine to implement municipal and neighborhood strategies to solve global warming and improve air quality. Green Sneakers has been partially funded for one year through a generous grant from the Better Tomorrow Fund. Green Sneakers Midcoast has established a desk at the Island Institute’s offices on Main Street in Rockland.

The students plan to be at the Common Ground Fair to present more information about the challenge.

To learn more about Green Sneakers, and how to join a team, please call Nancy Glassman, at 322-9147, or email greensneakersmc@gmail.com.