On April 19, members of the accepted a 12 week challenge from the Mercer Island Green Ribbon Commission to take on the "22 Ways: It's Easy Being Green!" plan to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy. 72 Rotarians stepped up to meet the challenge to make better choices for the environment and were duly honored in a July ceremony.
The challenge involved making changes both at home and on the go to by implementing some of the "22 Ways" to reduce carbon emissions such as carpooling, working from home, replacing incandescent bulbs, eliminating an old appliance, or using a programmable thermostat.
Earlier this year, the Mercer Island City Council issued a friendly challenge to the Mercer Island School Board, in an effort to set an example on how simple steps could be taken to reduce each individual's carbon footprint.
On July 26, members of the Commission honored the Club President (David Bobanick), and Planet Earth co-chairs (Lowell Ericsson and George Chambers), with 22 Ways T-shirts, a framed completion certificate, and reported on their impressive results.
The 72 Rotarians who participated in the challenge represent 47% of the club who collectively took 685 steps to reduce their environmental impact. The top 6 items completed during the challenge are listed below:
- Walk instead of drive
- Make car trips more efficient
- Eliminate a car trip
- Use a programmable thermostat
- Replace 5 or more incandescent bulbs
- Do laundry more efficiently
"I enjoyed learning about the various tips for 'on the go' and 'at home.' The most exciting accomplishment was test driving a higher MPG vehicle. I was amazed to see the real time gas mileage register 50+," said Claudina Campbell, Mercer Island Rotary Member.
City Staff Next to Take On 22 Ways Challenge
The Rotary club was the fourth major Island organization to take the challenge, following the Mercer Island School Board, Mercer Island City Council, and the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. In September, City of Mercer Island employees will join the challenge, with their results announced in November.
"It's great that city employees are taking on this challenge. It shows the broader community that with a little bit of effort, we can make real progress on energy savings, and city employees can take what they've learned home to their families and neighbors in their own community. That's how real change occurs," said Mercer Island City Manager, Rich Conrad.
The Green Ribbon Commission is a partnership between the city and its citizens to promote easy steps we can all take to live well without having a big negative impact on our environment.