For more than forty years ACES has promoted ecological literacy and environmental stewardship. In 2008, ACES staff and board made a decision to address the carbon emissions of our organization. By our 50th Anniversary in 2018 we aim to produce renewable energy at our sites equal to all of our energy consumed. Our educational programs send the message that by reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, we are preserving biodiversity and preserving ourselves. ACES’ 90,000 annual contacts will now be informed about the connection between healthy biodiversity and the essential resources of clean energy, wholesome food, and fresh water.
An essential first step in managing our progress was to measure how much energy we have been using and the associated emissions. These graphs highlight this work and are updated each year. The data includes four ACES program sites, on-site housing for seventeen program staff/family members, and vehicle use for ACES programs. Housing units not on an ACES program sites are not included.
The average US household emits 11 metric tons of CO2 per year according to the EPA. In 2009, ACES’ total carbon emissions were 150.5 metric tons of CO2 or equivalent to just under 15 US households.
ACES commitment to reducing our carbon footprint is focused on:
- Building & transportation efficiency
- Heating and powering our buildings with clean renewable energy sources (geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass)
- Converting to electric vehicles and promoting alternative transportation (short commutes, bikes, public transportation, and carpooling)
- Producing food on our properties
- Utilizing compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs
- Recycling office paper, cardboard, glass, vehicle/equipment oil, and metal
- Producing our publications with recycled paper and soy inks whenever possible
- Switching to E-mail Newsletter and E-mail alerts whenever possible
- Daily cleaning products do not contain toxic chemicals
- Hazardous materials are recycled
- Paper products are not bleached, double-sided printing is a everyday practice
- Use sand rather than salt on icy driveway during winter
- In addition, we maintain our vehicles and equipment on a regular basis to increase efficiency and reduce pollution