Outreach/Education/10 Percent Challenge Opportunities

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The following is a list of goals which GNC wishes to accomplish to promote and publicize the 10 Percent Challenge, while also educating folks about climate change and what we can do in our daily lives to address it.

Outreach Ideas

The object of performing outreach is to reach as many Needhamites as possible, including where possible in-person presentations. We want not only to describe the 10% Challenge and persuade people to join the program, but also to teach/remind people about climate issues and challenges we face. We also want to tell people about GNC and its action-groups and projects generally, and hopefully find new members and generate new energy.

A. Formal Outreach (scheduling and making in-person presentations):

GOAL: Have GNC members trained regarding the presentations we have already developed.

TASK: Train presenters to give the presentations that have been developed. [ELEANOR & JIM]

GOAL: Have as many community groups and houses of worship agree to host a talk by GNC

  • Use list of groups we have developed, adding to it as necessary.
  • We discussed having newcomers to town included.
  • Presentations will vary in substance, style and length with the needs and situation of the groups with which we will meet.

TASK: Network with community groups, garner as many invitations to speak as possible. Examples of actions to take: contact groups/houses of worship with whom you have a connection; or go through a friend or neighbor who belongs; or make cold-calls.

TASK: Be a presenter, and go out and make presentations to community groups/houses of worship (after receiving appropriate training), or even to groups of neighbors/friends. [JIM. ELEANOR, MICHAEL G., PAM STEINFELD, LOIS SOCKOL]

TASK: See if we could have a speaker at First Parish UU's Needham Lyceum.

B. Informal Outreach:

GOAL: Create and distribute a succinct email to persuade people to join the 10% Challenge.

  • The email will contain 4 or 5 reasons why the sender has joined the 10% Challenge and why the recipient should too.
  • The email should emphasize the fact that undertaking the 10% Challenge will mean saving $$. *The email should request that the recipient not only join the 10% Challenge, but pass on the email to other Needhamites.
  • The email should have a link at the bottom to the 10% Challenge page.
  • Once created, this email should be sent by GNC members to friends and to contact groups, and the email will hopefully be resent multiple times and have several after-lives, in order to reach the maximum number of people in Needham.
  • Discussion included ways to spread the email throughout the school community.

TASK: Create and design email content. [JIM and ELEANOR]

TASK: Identify and implement ways to pass on the email and help get it distributed widely in Needham, for example to Town employees, to personal lists of GNC members, to organization list serves.

TASK: Oversee the distribution of the email to the schools -- students, teachers and parents. [DAVID HARRIS & CHUCK DOWE - Pollard; DAVID COURNOYER (?) - High School; DEBBIE SCHMILL - elementary schools]

There are several distinct electronics communications systems for the school community:
  • The PTC e-mail lists and newsletters - contact is through each PTC
  • School and district listservs - these are generally used for school related information from the Principals. The Superintendent does send an occasional e-mail to the whole parent community.
  • School newsletters - these are created and distributed by each school. Most now have online versions as well as hardcopy ("backpack mail"). A 10% Challenge announcement should be created specifically for the bulletins and can then be submitted to Joyce Wiggin in the Superintendent's office for approval for distribution in all the newsletters.
Michael 18:05, 7 November 2008 (EST)

GOAL: Sponsor events where the 10% Challenge can be promoted

For example, showing an environmentally-themed film and using the occasion to promote the Challenge.

TASK: Choose film, find location, and plan and publicize event.

Publicity Ideas for 10% Challenge

The object of publicizing the 10% Challenge, Green Needham Collaborative's flagship project this year, is to have as many Needham households and businesses pledge to take on and complete the 10% Challenge (or an equivalent program). We want at least 250 households and businesses to join the 10% Challenge. The breakout group discussed the following ideas to publicize this program, in no particular order.

GOAL: Get the Town to officially endorse the 10% Challenge and to publicize it to residents. Get the Selectmen to pledge to take the 10% Challenge, and then use that fact, and their experience, in further promotion of the 10% Challenge.

[Note: Need more specifics: MICHAEL]

TASK: Contact Selectmen who have not already indicated that they would join the 10% Challenge and convince them to join. [LOIS, MICHAEL G.]

TASK: Contact Carys Lustig and see if she can arrange for the Town to put a link to the 10% Challenge on its website.

TASK: See if Town would be willing to put something in the water bills or to publicize it in other ways.

GOAL: Put a link to the 10% Challenge on local and regional websites, including the needhamonline website.

TASK: Contact Lee Leavitt, and transmit the link and whatever else is needed to him, for inclusion on needhamonline. [JIM]

TASK: Find other local or regional websites and get them to include a link to the 10% Challenge.

GOAL: Get the local media to cover the 10% Challenge

  • probably after it is up and running, so there is something concrete to publicize
  • Focus on the fact that the Selectmen have pledged to do the program.
  • Aim for beginning of January to tie into the New Year's Resolution theme.

TASK: Get the Times, Hometown Weekly and Globe West to cover the story. [PAM S. -- Hometown Weekly; STEVE -- Globe West] [I think the ideas was that the Globe West story would focus on Ollie and student involvement, or on regional initiatives, while the hook for the local newspapers would be the Selectmen involvement. We should decide which we would want to come first.]

TASK: Get Needham Channel and perhaps even Channel 5 to cover the story.

TASK: Write and submit letter(s) to the editor, with several co-signers.

GOAL: Have the 10% Challenge publicized at Town Meeting/Special Town Meetings this year.

TASK: Get the Moderator to mention the 10% Challenge? Propose a resolution? Have literature available showing progress of the 10% Challenge at a table at Newman cafeteria during Town Meeting.

GOAL: Have local retailers offer coupons/promotions in which they will encourage participation in the program, and perhaps make a donation to Green Needham.

TASK: Identify retailers who might be interested. [RICK: NeedhamOil]

TASK: See if Harvey's would be willing to post small tear-off info sheets for the 10% Challenge on the shelves where energy efficiency products are sold.

GOAL: Use our own website to keep up the excitement.

TASK: For posting on the GNC website, design a thermometer or other graphic illustration of number of participants or pounds of CO2 avoided.

GOAL: Have signs at strategic locations around town.

TASK: Create colorful, eye-catching signs promoting 10% Challenge. [TO BE CREATED BY HIGH SCHOOL KIDS? DAVID HARRIS TO OVERSEE?]

  • NB - see below - we may be able to use downsized versions of the sign

TASK: Have sign placed at RTS.

TASK: Work with Ron Sockol to have sign placed at Memorial Park.

  • Already in process as the first use of our sign - see this page
Michael 18:05, 7 November 2008 (EST)

TASK: Have sign placed on easel at Needham Library (like with Solar Challenge). [LOIS] [Eleanor's note: I think we need to discuss this. I know that the Library is hesitant to set a precedent of promoting local projects. The Solar Challenge was accepted because it was a project sponsored by the Town. Even so, there was some hesitation on the Board.]

GOAL: Create signage that individuals can display, such as car magnets and/or bumper stickers. Have decals or lawn signs available to those who complete the challenge.

TASKS: Determine if feasible, and find vendor to create items and sell to us.

  • I highly recommend car magnets over bumper stickers - much better and much easier to get people to use them
  • Get the vendor information for car magnets from the override committee
  • I"m not sure about lawn signs - although they are very visible and effective, they can be annoying, especially when they're up for a long time.
Michael 18:05, 7 November 2008 (EST)

GOAL: Get school children involved.

TASK: Identify schools (and/or school environmental club or Green Kids) that would be willing to promote a friendly contest to see which class/grade/cluster can have the most households signed up for the 10% Challenge [DEBBIE SCHMILL].

TASK: Design and promote a contest for smaller children, perhaps a picture drawing contest depicting ways to save energy, with the winning pictures to be displayed in a prominent place (supermarket?). [Eleanor's note: Perhaps find a way to make it more action oriented, and not just another "I love the Earth" art project that doesn't really mean much in terms of actually helping the environment. Maybe something like "what we do at home to save energy." ]

TASK: Contact Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to see if they want to get involved.

TASK: Look into the possibility of sponsoring a Little League team.

GOAL: Get the word out to newcomers.

TASK: See what the status of Welcome Wagon is in Needham. Find out about Newton's environmental Welcome Wagon packets.