Today marks Day 10 of EcoChallenge 2014! As you know, EcoChallenge successes are both good for you and good for the planet. To provide a little extra inspiration (and to thank you for a job well done), we have giveaways and raffle prizes from your favorite businesses during the EcoChallenge. Our biggest EcoChallenge giveaway is a year’s worth of Organic Valley products, which will go to one lucky EcoChallenge supporter!
Everyone who makes a donation of $10 or more to support the NW Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge between now and the end of the EcoChallenge on 10/29 will be entered to win this awesome prize. It’s a prize worth $360, which can be yours for a tax-deductible donation of $10 or more. Your contribution will go toward helping us build communities of change across the globe, and improving your EcoChallenge experience for next year (which will *hopefully* include an EcoChallenge app!).
We’ve loved hearing your updates and stories on your EcoChallenge blogs and over at our Facebook page. Keep the stories of change coming! Thank you for demonstrating the collective power of many people taking action.
*This year NWEI is aiming to raise $17,000 during the EcoChallenge. 27 individuals are helping us to reach that goal. We thank you for your support as we continue to inspire people to take responsibility for Earth!
EcoChallenge 2014 is underway with 205 teams taking on actions to lighten environmental impact – and setting goals that stretch the comfort zone and make a difference for each of us and the planet. It still isn’t too late to join the fun!
Every year we get great ideas from our EcoChallengers about ways to make a difference and build community, too. This year we’re excited to share what Kerry Lyles, EcoChallenger and NWEI staffer, is up to. “My EcoChallenge this year is a little different — I’m going to be focusing my efforts for the two week challenge on expanding my role in the “sharing economy” and fostering “collaborative consumption.”
Kerry’s first goal was to organize a neighborhood work party, which she did this past weekend. “We will take turns completing a project at each neighbor in the work party group’s house. One morning a month we gather at a neighbors house and operate with the idea that “many hands make light work” on a manual labor project, like washing windows or planting garden beds, and then we rotate through the other members of the group one at a time each month.” Four families participated and this past week they kicked off the work parties with the goal of winterizing a neighbor’s garden. They dug up vegetables and grasses and then covered it for winter. As Kerry says, “it was a family affair.” Way to engage the whole family and community!
*We’d love to hear how your EcoChallenge is going. Any ideas to share? Head over to our FB page and drop us a line!
We’re off and running! EcoChallenge 2014 kicked off last Wednesday and we have over 2,300 participants and 203 teams signed up as of today. (And, it isn’t too late to join us!) Portland Business Journal’s Wendy Culverwell shared the following article with some top 2014 EcoChallenge highlights:
Northwest Earth Institute’s annual challenge to go green has kicked off with some 2,000 participants committing to take small steps to make their schools and workplaces more sustainable. The 2014 EcoChallenge started Oct. 15 and runs through Oct. 29. It has attracted participants from not only the Portland area but the entire country as churches, colleges and schools take advantage of the chance to encourage new daily habits.
The program aims to promote sustainable habits that continue beyond the competition. Teams sign on to earn points for meeting EcoChallenge goals such as choosing sustainable foods, saving water and energy, reducing trash and using alternative transportation.
Not surprising perhaps, NW Earth Institute itself is fielding the largest team of the crop with 134 staffers and supporters agreeing to take steps to save resources.
Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company, is using the challenge as a public declaration of its commitment to social responsibility. To date, a member of its 94-person team has already prepared produce from a farmer’s market to ensure it doesn’t go to waste and installed a low-flow water shower head at home.
Bank of America committed to transform its own internal operations when it launched a 10-year, $50 billion environmental business initiative in 2013 to address climate change. The company set a goal to reduce water and paper consumption by 20 percent, divert 70 percent of its waste from landfills, cut its energy consumption by 20 percent and its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent, and to have 20 percent of its corporate real estate portfolio achieve LEED certification by 2015. The bank is fielding a 50-member team.
The University of Portland is fielding two student teams who are competing to see who can earn the most challenge points. The private school in North Portland has strong credentials already. It was rated the greenest school in the region by Princeton Review last year and was the first college in the West to ban the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. Fifty eight students are participating in the challenge this year.
*New this year: you can now post photos to your EcoChallenge blog, just like EcoChallenger Risa De Groff did as they set up a compost tumbler for their family just in time for the kick-off of the EcoChallenge.
“This is our family’s third year doing the EcoChallenge and each year I have decided to choose a new challenge. The first two years we have carried over so many of the new habits created that I wanted to pick something that we are currently struggling the most with. With a recent move we have noticed that our recycling and trash bins are getting fuller faster than ever. We are taking on the Trash Reduction challenge, which touches on a few other areas that we need a check-in on as well (buying in bulk, reusable mugs, not using paper goods). This year will be the first time ever we will be starting a garden so I am very excited to start a compost!”