One of Tallahassee’s sustainable initiatives has picked up statewide recognition. Sustainable Tallahassee’s Debbie Gibson says the honors came at the recent “Working on the Green Sustainable Summit” in Crystal River.
“The Community Carbon Fund of Sustainable Tallahassee has been selected to receive an award from Sustainable Florida,” Gibson said. “They have selected us as having the best practices for a non-profit in the state.”
Other local winners included Get Involved Tallahassee the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. Gibson said the Community Carbon Fund is working on a number of things right now.
“Well what we’re trying to do is raise enough money to complete four different projects, which will cost us about $80,000, particularly at the Southern Scholarship Foundation out at FSU,” she explained. “We are looking to convert 13 of their houses from electric water heating to on-demand gas, which will save them over 55% of their water heating costs.”
Gibson added the Carbon Fund has a few other activities on tap as funding permits.
“Several projects we’re doing to buy energy-efficient refrigeration for some houses working with incarcerated men who are now out and in the community and we’re trying to give them an opportunity to become citizens again in the community and this is another way we can help them.”
Despite all the altruistic intent, Gibson said there are also some hard-nosed numbers motivating these efforts.
“What’s wonderful about the Community Carbon Fund is not only do we lower the electric cost for all of these non-profits, we lower the carbon footprint, while we’re giving jobs to local contractors, so it’s a win for everybody.”
And finally, Gibson would like the local program to be a template for success elsewhere.
“What we hope is that other communities will look at our model and we can spread it across Florida so that other communities can work towards sustainability.”
Which would be another feather in the cap of a program that has already racked up numerous successes making area non-profit organizations more energy and cost efficient.