Green Newton urges students to reduce their carbon footprint

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Maille O'Neil

With the perils of climate change on many minds at North, students learned ways they could take action as part of  the Newton Climate Action Plan during a Green Newton webinar Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The webinar focused on informing students about “the most important actions for their families to take in Newton’s Climate Action Plan,” according to Green Newton President Marcia Cooper. 

The Webinar featured student and alumni speakers from North, South, and The Winsor School. Green Newton is a non-profit organization dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change through informing the Newton community. The 2019 Newton Climate Action Plan addresses the city’s goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050. 

Several of the speakers emphasized the importance of household energy efficiency as a way to lower the city’s overall carbon footprint.

“A home energy assessment will help you identify ways to insulate and seal air leaks in the outer walls and ceilings of your house,” said South senior Clara Dutton.

Kayla Springer, a junior at The Winsor School, said that one of the city’s goals is to have 16 percent of households using heat pumps within the next ten years. Heat pumps “use electricity instead of natural gas to move heat, instead of creating it.” 

Since passenger vehicles contribute approximately 24 percent of Newton’s greenhouse gas emissions, students might recommend an electric vehicle for their next family car, according to North junior Theo Hoffman. Other eco-friendly alternative transportation include biking, walking, or taking the bus. 

Webinar speakers also urged students to encourage their families to support renewable energy programs like Newton Power Choice.