Greenovate Boston is a community-driven movement to get all Bostonians involved in reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, as outlined in the City’s Climate Action Plan. By laying out the necessary steps to reduce the causes of and to prepare for climate change, the Climate Action Plan gives Greenovate Boston a framework for building a greener, healthier, and more prosperous city.
In March 2009, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the formation of the Boston Climate Action Leadership Committee and Community Advisory Committee. After a year-long process, the committees presented the City with a consensus report: Sparking Boston’s Climate Revolution.
In 2010, Boston’s top business, civic, and institutional leaders formally joined forces in the Green Ribbon Commission to share best practices, fight climate change, and support the City of Boston’s climate plan, which was updated as A Climate of Progress in 2011. Working with representatives from all sectors and neighborhoods, the City developed strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously ensuring equity, creating jobs, and preparing for the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and higher sea levels.
Progress will largely be determined by the collective actions of the people who live, work and play here.
As Boston follows the route set forth by the Climate Action Plan, progress will largely be determined by the collective actions of the people who live, work and play here. Reaching the Mayor’s 25% reduction goal could be accomplished with progressive policy-making. However, an 80% reduction in carbon emissions requires the transformation of our entire city – both forward-looking policies and the adoption of environmentally-friendly habits and attitudes. Along with the continued development of energy-efficiency and sustainability programs and the leadership of the Green Ribbon Commission, our underlying aim is to motivate individuals and businesses towards sustainable, healthier decisions and to empower them to create their own climate plans.
How much can one person do?
If every person in the City of Boston committed to five small, new actions – like those in our Quick Tips - we could reach our 2020 climate goal by 2015. These actions don’t require a whole lifestyle change: it’s as simple as switching to cold water when doing the laundry or dishes. Or making a car-free commute every other Friday. Or turning your computer off at night.
Even just one of the actions listed above could reduce your emissions by over 400 pounds a year. Across Boston’s roughly 600,000 people, that’s 240 million pounds less carbon pollution in the air, or the equivalent work done by 20,000 cars taken off the road over the next ten years.
And if it was just a single person taking one action, like unplugging a TV at night, you still would have done the equivalent work of one car driven 600 miles. Now imagine if everyone in Boston slightly changed his or her daily habit to do five of these actions. We can collectively make a difference.
Beyond these simple actions, you can make an even bigger difference a number of different ways, as seen in our Do More filter. For example, weatherizing your home, i.e. insulating and air sealing the walls, will prevent you from losing money on bills while potentially reducing your emissions by around 3,000 pounds per year, or the equivalent of roughly five smaller actions.
You can also make a difference at work. For example, have you ever noticed that the lights in your building stay on throughout the weekend? You can explore ways to talk to your employer about keeping the lights off when the building is unoccupied.
Even just one of the actions listed above could reduce your emissions by over 400 pounds a year.
Best of all, you can make a difference just by talking to others about what you’ve done. Share an existing Greenovate tip or story on Facebook or Twitter, submit your own story, or just tell others about the website. We read all comments that you leave, so that we can continue improving the website and learn from all of you! So please don’t be shy!
Finally, consider getting involved with various volunteer organizations around Boston. We have started a list for you, and as the movement builds, we need your input to develop and inform our mission and larger policies. Together, we can create a greener, healthier, more prosperous future for the City of Boston.
Guide to Greenovate Boston website
As a reflection of the wider Greenovate Boston movement, the Greenovate Boston website is also driven by everyday Bostonians – that’s the People section, where you can see what people around the city are doing to make Boston more sustainable. There are many resources that help Bostonians take those actions – that’s the Resources section, where the curious beginner to the veteran Greenovator can learn more.
Under both sections right below the banner, you can use the search filter to find exactly what you’re looking for within either People or Resources. The search box on the top right hand corner will search the entire website.
Finally, when you’re ready, submit your own Greenovate story under Share!
Things change quickly around here. We are continually improving and updating our website based on your comments and feedback. We’ll send out updates via Facebook, Twitter, and our newsletter about the latest and most interesting sustainability news around Boston.