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Going green at church, school, everywhere


Cid Barcellos, director of Grace Garden at the Davis United Methodist Church, harvests an artichoke last week. The garden produced more than 1,600 pounds of fruits and vegetables for the needy last year, helping the church fulfill its mission to be good stewards of the Earth and to maintain its beauty. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Learn more
What: “Call of the Wolf”: an Earth Day celebration plus awards presentation
When: 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27
Where: Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St., Davis
Admission: $10 adults, $5 children
Pre-register: at www.cooldaviscallofthewolf.eventbrite.com
Info: [email protected]

Editor’s note: This is the last in a three-part series highlighting Cool Davis’ Eco-Heroes and Climate Solutions Award winners. Today’s focus is on consumption.

Special to The Enterprise

Each year, Cool Davis recognizes “Eco-Heroes” — Davis residents who model how to incorporate sustainable practices into their work, civic and everyday lives. Acting out of personal conviction, they are just doing “the right thing” for themselves, the community and the planet.
The Cool Davis Climate Solution Awards go to local businesses, groups or organizations for exemplary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As they model ways to reduce their environmental impact, they become leaders in creating options to conserve resources, reduce fossil-fuel dependence and stabilize the climate.
In its efforts to work with the community on greenhouse gas emission reduction and sustainability issues, Cool Davis focuses on three topics: buildings (energy efficiency), transportation (shifting to non-fossil-fuel vehicles and other modes of transportation) and consumption (reducing consumption and waste of food, water, landfill, etc.)

The Cool Davis 2014 Eco-Hero Awards for consumption go to Ivy Zhou and Marissa Wong for their Green Team leadership at Holmes Junior High School, while Davis United Methodist Church receives a Climate Solution Award for its exemplary efforts to become a “green congregation” and feed the hungry of Davis, too.

Davis United Methodist Church

By David Abramson
When you think of a church, a lot of images come to mind, but not often are these images of organic vegetable gardens, solar panels, zero-waste initiatives or energy-consumption initiatives.
That’s what the United Methodist Church of Davis is doing to bring its place of worship beyond the four walls of the chapel and into the soil, the community and care for the Earth.
The United Methodist Church is being honored with Cool Davis Climate Solutions Award for its commitment to reducing consumption and creating a more cool and sustainable place to live and grow here in Davis.
If you take a walk through the church grounds at 1620 Anderson Road you might see Grace Garden, which produced more than 1,600 pounds of fruits and vegetables last year. The reason for creating the garden is simple: to provide healthy, nutritious food to the needy.
“Our mission is to be good stewards of the Earth and to maintain its beauty,” said Jim Cramer, chairman of the church’s Green Task Force. “We should reach out to the poor and working-class people … like Jesus did.”
The church’s solar panels produce 80 percent of the electricity it uses. The congregation did this by design so they could have the challenge of cutting their consumption by 20 percent to make up the difference.
Furthermore, they use primarily electronic communication to save on paper waste, use reusable dishware for events, have high-efficient LED lights installed throughout the building, and purchase fair-trade coffee.
Cramer sees the church’s green initiatives as fundamental to its mission of caring for God’s creation.
The United Methodist Church of Davis encourages people to come get their hands dirty in the Grace Garden every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m., Monday from 9 a.m. to noon and Thursday from noon to 4 p.m.

Ivy Zhou and Marissa Wong

By Michelle Millet
If you visit Holmes Junior High at lunch on any Wednesday you may find members of the Green Team — the school’s environmental club — standing at one of the 13 waste stations set up around the campus, educating students about the options they have for disposing of their lunch waste and helping them do so.
This is just one of the ways students on the Green Team at Holmes, led by ninth-graders and Eco-Hero Award winners Ivy Zhou and Marissa Wong, are working to encourage other junior high students and teachers to do what they can to save energy, minimize waste and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Holmes Junior High does not currently participate in the city of Davis’ pilot food composting program. So in order to help reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in the trash at school, Marissa — as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award project — and the Green Team at Holmes initiated an on-site composting program.

They spray-painted buckets for food collection, which are placed next to trash and recycling containers around campus, and recruited volunteers to distribute, collect and empty the buckets.
The Green Team also has been working an “iMatter” campaign that promotes the idea that what I do, what you do and what we all do matters. Students have created icons and slogans such as “iBike,” “iConserve,” “iCarpool” and “iSave” and posted these visual reminders around campus.

The work of the Green Team has helped Holmes achieve the highest percentage of students who bike to school among all elementary and junior high schools in Davis.
Under the leadership of Ivy and Marissa, the Green Team also has worked to find ways to help educate fellow students about what materials can be recycled. They created a computer presentation about recycling which was shown to all seventh-graders, and they publish weekly bulletin announcements under the moniker of “Green Team Talks Trash.”

Using hangers, which team volunteers hang on the recycling container on campus, they created 3D examples that show which materials can be recycled, winning the praise of Principal Derek Brothers, who said, “That’s the kind of reminder I need!”

Special to The Enterprise

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