Greenfield High School’s Environmental Science Club launches ‘Cooler Communities’ website

  • Students at Greenfield High School, pictured, have launched “Cooler Communities,” an interactive website geared toward engaging residents in ways they can reduce carbon emissions. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Report
Published: 6/11/2021 5:50:54 PM

GREENFIELD — Students at Greenfield High School have launched “Cooler Communities,” an interactive website geared toward engaging residents in ways they can reduce carbon emissions.

Through June 25, people are encouraged to make pledges on the website (community.massenergize.org/GreenfieldMA), committing to an action aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Actions include going vegetarian, planting a tree, installing solar panels or adding an indoor plant, among others.

“Our club is proud to present a Cooler Communities event, in spite of the relatively tough COVID year,” Jacob Frank, chair of Greenfield High School’s Environmental Science Club, said in a press release. “We strive to implement sustainable practices into the everyday actions of all Greenfield residents and Massachusetts as a whole, whether they be children or adults.”

The release states climate change has been talked about for decades, but with the recent government commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, “now is the time to look at what we need to do to achieve that goal, and what we can do right now.”

On the website — which was created by the Environmental Science Club and supported by Greening Greenfield and ener-G-save, a charitable foundation that supports environmentally conscious projects — residents will find information about how they can weatherize their home and change the heating system, in most cases at no additional cost, to a heat pump run by electricity made from wind, solar and hydro, instead of using oil and gas. There is also information about how to install solar panels on your home.

The next set of actions have to do with supporting open space, “because nature is the only thing that can take carbon dioxide, the major source of greenhouse gas emissions, out of the atmosphere,” the release explains. Additionally, scientists have found that trees, shrubs and flowers native to our area are used more often by our pollinators that play a critical role in the ecosystem, feeding birds and creating our food.

People will find several actions to choose from, such as signing up to plant a tree with the Greenfield Tree Committee or learning about how being a lazy gardener can be a good thing for butterflies, bees and birds, the release states.

Finally, residents will find several behavioral changes that can reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time improving our health. According to the release, these include such things as exploring what it is like to eat vegan or vegetarian for a week, walking and biking instead of using a car, and caring for indoor plants that improve air quality.

Cooler Communities is a program of ener-G-save and is made possible by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, the release states. It was created to “engage students in meaningful learning around climate change solutions, to share their findings and invite their community to join them in making their town and our planet healthier.”


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