October 25, 2014   1 Cheshvan 5775
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Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Aug. 21, 2013
High Holy Days Programs: Environmental Stewardship

Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Goals
:
1. Educate congregants about the issue of global warming and present it as a religious issue
2. Get congregants to do an energy audit of their homes and businesses
3. Encourage congregants consider the environmental implications of their lifestyles

Overview: Global warming poses one of the most significant existential threats of any issue facing the world now. Recently, the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere surpasses 400 ppm, its highest level in thousands of years.

This is not just an environmental issue, but it is also a religious and moral issue, as our Jewish texts teach us that as humans, we are the stewards and caretakers of this Earth, working as God's partners in protecting it. This activity will get congregants to consider the environmental impact of their houses and lifestyles by having them calculate their Carbon footprint.

Implementation:

The Cool Climate Small Business Carbon Footprint Calculator (http://www.coolcalifornia.org/business-calculator) is a great tool for measuring your organization's baseline energy use. The Calculator is very easy to use and can help you determine what steps you can take to reduce your organization's energy use by 14%. Before you begin entering information, download this helpful User Guide (http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/resources/bizcalcuserguide). If you do not have information, you can leave a blank response and the Calculator will automatically enter a default estimate. This is a "smart default" based on the average amount used by a similar organization in your region of the country.

After you enter your information, the Cool Climate Calculator will give you a summary that shows the top four categories contributing to your organization's carbon footprint. It will also compare your organization to similar organizations.

On the Take Action page you can see various actions that will enable you to reduce your carbon footprint, with estimated savings and payback periods. You can easily see which actions will enable you to achieve a 14% reduction.

After doing the Carbon Footprint calculation, try a RAC text study on the environment, found in the Holiday Guide (link here) to understand our textual tradition's commitment to preserving the environment.

Program provided by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish life (COEJL) www.coejl.org/

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