Outreach/10 Percent Challenge Rollout/Draft Press Release/Maas

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Give us less than 15 minutes of your time, and we’ll show you a simple way to save money and save the planet, too.


Green Needham Collaborative has created a Web-based program for reducing your carbon footprint by 10 percent. Visit challenge.greenneedham, click a few buttons, and let the program do the number crunching.


You’ll see the impact of such basic steps as turning down your thermostat, replacing your lightbulbs, and changing your driving habits. In addition, you can calculate the impact of more ambitious projects, such as adding insulation, replacing an old furnace, and buying a more fuel-efficient car.


The program keeps a running total of how many pounds of carbon dioxide you will keep out of the atmosphere. CO2 is the most common of the greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.


When you're done, you'll have a plan tailored to your household. You can print it out for reference and submit it to Green Needham so we can keep a townwide tally of energy savings..


If all of Needham’s xxx, home were to cut their energy use by 10 percent, it would be like taking xxx number of Humvees off the road.


As you fill out your plan, you will see links to more in-depth information on saving energy, such as how to cut the cost of running your hot water heater and how to stop the vampire in your computer and TV from sucking electricity while you sleep.


Green Needham is spreading the word about the 10 percent challenge by speaking to schools, churches, and civic organizations. The town of Needham has already committed to the goal, and a separate effort is underway to bring businesses on board.


"Although you can't control the price of oil and gas, you can cut back a surprising amount of what you use,” says Michael Greis, co-founder and co-chair of Green Needham Collaborative. “We'd like Needham to be a leader in the effort to reduce carbon emissions. What each of us does matters."


Greis notes that Green Needham has set a goal of enlisting 250 Needham households and businesses in the challenge, but hopes to greatly exceed that number.


"People I talk to want to save energy, but sometimes they get overwhelmed by all the information and just don't know where to start,” says Eleanor Rosellini, a collaborative member who helped develop the on-line program. “Our hope is that the 10% Challenge will become a community project, with houses of worship, civic organizations, and local clubs encouraging members to participate."


Green Needham Collaborative is a is a local citizens environmental group, which works with various organizations, schools and citizens in Needham. It focuses on global warming and promoting sustainable living practices. Visit www.greenneedham.org for more information, and send an email to 10percent@greenneedham.org to receive more information and join the 10% Challenge.