Sustainable Williston meets Thursday, April 6th at 7:15 PM (Special Topic: Storm Water)

Sustainable Williston will meet Thursday evening at the Dorothy Alling Library at 7:15 PM. Becky Tharp, Manager of the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, a program of Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Dept. of Environmental Conservation, will give an educational talk on storm water issues effecting our region. Becky’s presentation will be followed by a brief Q&A session. Come join the conversation!

Williston’s Carbon Footprint: Why So Big?

There’s an informative Web site offered by the University of California at Berkeley that offers, among other things, a map of the United States showing how many greenhouse gases the average household puts out in every zipcode. Here’s our area:

Williston's Carbon Footprint

You’ll notice that South Burlington and especially Burlington are greener (literally and figuratively) than we are in terms of carbon footprint, but that’s a little misleading: it turns out that cities tends to have lower carbon footprints, but they result in widespread suburbs with larger carbon footprints. Burlington depends on its suburbs, so unfortunately it’s a linked effect.

The good news here is that those of us in the suburbs have an enormous opportunity to reduce carbon footprint, and that anything we learn to do can spread to other suburbs around the world, where we see this same pattern.

It’s hard to make out from the picture above, but look at the blue and purple columns in the graph. Those represent transportation (blue) and heating (purple). Reducing car trips, reducing use of airplanes, carpooling, using mass transit, and electric cars all can combine to drive that blue bar way down. For the purple bar, we have similarly big possibilities, including insulation, weatherization, and air source heat pumps (or if you don’t have a home suitable for one of those, the next best thing would be wood or wood pellets).

As a matter of pride, let’s not be just an average suburban town: there’s a lot more to Williston than that. Let’s show people how a small town like ours on the fringe of a small city can make a big difference.

DIY air sealing, smart power strips, and appliance rebates from Efficiency Vermont

Happy New Year, Sustainable Willistonians:  Have you been getting this excellent newsletter from Efficiency Vermont???
The beginning of this month's Efficiency Vermont newsletter

The beginning of this month’s Efficiency Vermont newsletter

Their current offering includes:

How Much Do You Know About Wind Power?

The U.S. Department of Energy has a new quiz out that will challenge your knowledge of wind power and bring you up to date on some new and unexpected information, like how next-generation wind turbines will make a lot more wind power available, even in places that currently wouldn’t be considered good possibilities for wind.

electricity-generating "wind engine" from 1887

electricity-generating “wind engine” from 1887

My favorite factoid, and a surprising one to me:

Wind energy is now the cheapest form of power, with new power purchase agreements in 2014 averaging a record-low 2.35 cents per kilowatt-hour.

I got a 7 out of 13, and I felt like I was doing pretty well, considering! Hopefully you can beat that score. Check out the quiz at http://energy.gov/articles/quiz-test-your-wind-energy-iq.

Learn about Electric Vehicles from this Drive Electric Vermont Presentation

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On June 15th, Dave Roberts of Drive Electric Vermont, an organization that works to help provide information and opportunities for Vermonters about electric vehicles (EVs), gave an eye-opening presentation to Williston residents about electric vehicles. Here, courtesy of Drive Electric … Continue reading