FACS 2021 Sustainability Champion Awards
The call for Sustainability Champion nominations is now open! Our Sustainability Champions Awards celebrate and recognize the contributions of individuals, faith communities, elected officials/public sector employees, and businesses in Northern Virginia. These individuals and organizations work tirelessly toward improving the environment; contributing to a healthy, livable climate, in our community!
This year’s theme is Plan, Restore, Thrive. Nominations are due by Friday, April 2. Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, and the Awards program will take place Wednesday, June 2 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Our 2020 Annual Report is here!
Through the generosity of supporters and growing involvement, we were able to expand our regional hubs, successfully advocate for local climate action and legislation, and provide public awareness and community outreach programming.
- On February 23, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on prohibiting the use of plastic bags for yard waste collection...and the ban passed! 11 advocates, including FACS activists and partners, spoke in favor of the ban. FACS activists sent 74 letters to the supervisors and Chairman McKay. This is an important step toward Zero Waste in our county. Thank you!
- Fairfax County’s schedule of FY2021 Budget Town Hall Meetings for each district is available online. Contact us to learn about our priorities for 2021 and how this relates to the budget. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up to join an advocacy team (our advocacy teams will meet with the board of supervisors this spring). The next team meeting in Wednesday, March 10th at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome to join at this Zoom link.
- The Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee (BOSEC) meets on Tuesday, March 16 at 11:00 a.m. Materials will be posted here and the meeting can be viewed on Channel 16 or streamed online.
- We need you to provide input on the county's Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) via three short, online surveys. The surveys are offered in four languages (English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese) and focus on different issue areas of relevance to the climate planning effort, including energy and transportation issues. The surveys will remain open until March 14, 2021. Take the surveys and share with your networks!
Prince William County
Thank you to all who attended our first webinar! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. The first monthly meeting of the PWC Hub will occur on Wednesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. Email email@example.com if you would like the Zoom link.
City of Alexandria
Check out our blog post on what we're up to and how you can get involved:
- Action priorities
- Connecting with other City congregations
- Alexandria Library virtual workshop on March 6: "Drawdown: Reversing Global Warming"
- Next monthly meeting: Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m.
The legislative session in Richmond is wrapping up but we can celebrate now. All six bills that FACS actively supported passed! How? A major reason was your involvement. Last fall, FACS Advocacy Team members began meeting with their delegates and senators, many for the first time. FACS supporters sent over 700 emails in response to our action alerts. Did that encouragement make a difference? You bet it did.
- HB 1902 Foam Ban: After years of struggle, a bill to ban the use of Styrofoam food and beverage containers by restaurants was improved to include government, schools, and nonprofits.
- HB 1919 Local Green Banks: This FACS initiative to promote clean energy projects in low- to moderate-income communities that otherwise might not receive financing now awaits the governor’s signature.
- HB 1965, HB 1979, SB 1223 Electric Vehicles: This suite of bills will make EVs in Virginia more available and affordable to support the 2045 net-zero carbon target in the transportation sector.
- HB 2227 Building Codes: The final legislation requires the state Housing Board to “consider” adopting amendments “at least as stringent as those contained” in the latest International Energy Conservation Code. Not as strong as we wanted, but it’s progress nonetheless.
Faith Community Spotlight
Last fall, the members of Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) in Arlington voted with overwhelming support to approve the church's plan to become a Net Zero congregation. The church recognizes the call of this moment to address climate change in transformative ways.
Rock Spring's plan includes insulation improvements, solar power installation, window upgrades, and automation. The plan was developed through a process of careful study and evaluation, including The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) studies. It is being financed through the savings in energy costs and a loan from the church's endowment. Rock Spring has been spending over $37,000/year on utility costs, and estimates are that this will decrease to around $5,000/year once solar installation is complete.
Join us to discuss this project and hear how you can do the same in your community. Hear from Rock Spring members Jerry Hartz and Peter Geiger, who worked with our Green Accelerator Project (GAP) and Property Board to lead this work, and from Associate Pastor Rev. Laura Martin, who collaborated on the project, and get your own questions answered.
Community Partner Spotlight
Community Housing Partners (CHP) Energy Solutions promotes healthier, safer, more energy efficient homes by providing energy audits, inspections, energy performance upgrades, and building science education. FACS is proud to partner with another Virginia non-profit that values environmental, economic, and social responsibility. Together we are committed to raising awareness about ways that qualified homeowners under an income threshold can reduce their energy burdens to help advance climate action and social justice.
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
PO Box 2012 | Reston, Virginia 20195
703-239-3748 | firstname.lastname@example.org