Posts filed under ‘Parkwood’
Seven new Bicycle Transportation Trainers recently graduated from Clean Energy Durham’s training program, which equips them to train neighbors and community members about bike transportation, maintenance, and safety. The Trainers also learn about organizing fun, educational neighborhood events to get their neighbors pedaling to work, for exercise, to save money, and the sheer joy of riding a bike. Bicycle Transportation Trainers go through 14 hours of training where they learn basic maintenance skills: fixing flats, adjusting brakes, fine-tuning gears, etc. In addition, they learn outdoor biking skills, such as quick stop, rock dodge, and instant turns.
Congratulations to our latest Bicycle Transportation Trainers: Gretchen Gehrke and Joanne Fairhurst from Morehead Hill, Janet Hitti and Michael Brooks from Parkwood, Debbie West and Brandon Jozwiak from Woodcroft and Scott Rodgers from Hope Valley North. (more…)
Janet Hitti, a Parkwood neighborhood and Durham resident for 20 years, was thrilled to receive a letter of thanks from Durham Mayor William Bell for her NERP volunteer work. NERP, the Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program, overseen by the Durham City-County Sustainability Office, works to increase energy efficiency, which saves homeowners on their energy bills and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Not only has Janet, a retired nurse, made many changes to her own home to conserve energy, but she said she is doing this program because she “wants to help other families save money.”
Janet was one of dozens of volunteers trained by Clean Energy Durham to help the City promote this program. “It’s about neighbors helping neighbors,” she said.
Janet has knocked on doors, explained the program, and helped people fill out the application paperwork in her neighborhood of 1,000 homes. She said many residents were receptive to her outreach, since Cathy Starkweather of the Parkwood Energy Committee had already explained the program in a Parkwood newsletter.
Janet practices what she preaches. Energy-saving work that she has already completed on her own home include new double-pane windows, a ridge vent put in the roof and soffits in the overhang, energy-efficient storm and patio doors, water-saving shower heads, and shrubs around the foundation (which also conserve energy).
Items that Janet hopes to complete through NERP include sealing of ducts and cracks, a programmable thermostat, and attic insulation, she said.
In talking with neighbors, Janet was pleased to discover that many people also have already done some of these improvements to their homes.
“Volunteering is an opportunity to learn about people, about the project, how things work. Hey, we’re all in this thing together, so working together makes sense to me,” Janet said.
Spotlight by Clean Energy Durham volunteer Darcie Borden
What an opportunity to improve energy use at my 50-year-old Parkwood home! The November Basic Energy Education (BEE) workshop held in my neighborhood provided new information and reinforced what I had already read . Two trained volunteers talked about energy use (with clarifying charts) and welcomed comments and questions from the dozen or so Parkwood neighbors around the large table.
I have now learned that it is important to insulate the corner support posts and not just the attic itself; I need to obtain a very good carbon monoxide alarm; for safety reasons I should weatherstrip my hallway furnace closet door plus remodel it into a sealed-duct vented or power-vented unit (or get a new non-closet furnace); the crawl space does need insulation; and a recently-made dishwasher has its own heating unit so it is not necessary to keep the water heater set as high as I thought.
It was also a nice occasion for connecting with neighbors. Seated next to me was a resident who, along with others, volunteered his time and efforts years ago to assure sports opportunities for Parkwood youth, my sons included. Here was a chance to thank him in person while we waited for the speaker to begin after the intermission.
I encourage everyone to take advantage of these informative – and free – neighborhood energy workshops!
In Parkwood, a group of neighbors has been combining their creativity, unique skills, and commitment to promote energy efficiency in their neighborhood for well over a year. This past weekend, this group, the Parkwood Energy Committee,held an inspiring green living fair with over 30 green vendors. From one end of the Parkwood Shopping Complex to the other, neighbors learned about rain barrels, river and forest preservation, and vegetarianism. They met contractors who specialize in making homes more energy efficient, lenders who specialize in energy efficient homes, and ecologically friendly lawn care services.
Next month, the Parkwood Energy Committee is hosting a fun and educational “Green Living Fair” at the Parkwood Shopping Center.
They have already booked 22 green Durham organizations to be present and share information. There will be opportunities to learn about everything from green house cleaning services to using solar energy, ecologically friendly gardening, and much more. There will even be prizes!
Mark your Calendar for Saturday March 13 and plan to stop by the Parkwood Shopping Center on Revere Road between 10am and 2pm.
If you are interested in having your organization represented, or for more information, contact Christine Danko at christine.danko at gmail.com.
Kids are important players in home energy efficiency. They can consume the most energy with television, electronics, and long showers, but they can also be great advocates for energy efficiency if you can hook their interest.
Parkwood’s neighborhood energy group invited neighborhood kids to sign a t-shirt-shaped pledge form saying they will turn off lights when they are finished, and these were displayed on a clothesline at a neighborhood event.
Children can practice their multiplication and division skills by being responsible for gathering their family’s energy bill data and calculating the family’s carbon footprint. Use an easy online calculator or use Clean Energy Durham’s simple hand-out, available from your neighborhood energy group. Compare results on your block.
Kids can also check the air pressure on the tires of family vehicles, as air pressure affects fuel efficiency.
In nice weather, kids may be more willing to go outside instead of staying inside and using kilowatt hours. Get your kids to pledge to play outside or play “unplugged” for at least an hour each day.
Line drying laundry may seem overwhelming if you have a family. Are your kids old enough to help? Give them small rewards for helping, or include it in their weekly chores.
Let us know what you’ve done to get your kids involved in neighborhood energy work. Keep us posted on the difference you see in your energy bills. Let’s work together to raise an energy efficient generation.