Offsetting your travel emissions and reducing carbon pollution
Thanks so very much RUT Runners!
Here's more about what our Footprint Fund will do with your support:
Your dollars will be pooled with all the contributing RUT participants, with the 2023 Missoula marathoners, and with local donations -- all to support home weatherization and energy efficiency efforts for some of our lowest income community members.
At Climate Smart, we have a couple upcoming options for where these Footprint Fund will go.
First, we partner with our local Human Resource Council (HRC), the entity that conducts energy efficiency upgrades in Missoula and two neighboring counties. The HRC is limited in what they can do, based on federal guidance, utility regulations, and state policy. It's a bit complicated, but essentially when we give direct Footprint Fund financial support, the HRC can go the extra mile, and truly help a home-owner reduce energy and emissions. For example, based on their existing rules, the HRC might be able to replace windows and add wall insulation, but cannot add the ideal amount of attic insulation unless they have outside dollars (like ours!). We jump in and fund the extra, going the extra distance.
Second, we are currently seeking out our own projects, working with our friends at Habitat for Humanity or nonprofits that help our low income neighbors or the unhoused. When new heating systems or water heaters are needed, can we bridge the gap and help purchase the slightly more expensive but more energy efficient and carbon-friendly appliance? Can we "Electrify Missoula" and reduce pollution? More to come as we figure these out.
Thank you for going an extra mile but helping us fund projects that we know are good for both low-income home-owners (even renters!) and our planet.
A note for those familiar with brokered carbon offsets. We DO calculate the energy saved per dollar and stand by the fact that what we support does offset carbon pollution. But you are not actually purchasing a "verified, certified carbon offset". We don't know the exact price/ton of emissions at this time, so there's some trust involved. That's how we fly in Missoula - we trust each other to make our community better, especially for those most vulnerable, and we have fun doing it.
THANK YOU for trusting us and helping to be part of climate solutions!
When used correctly, carbon offsets are useful, even awesome. They are also just a small part of climate solutions and we encourage everyone to step it up. Look for ways to reduce your own carbon footprint and get involved in local efforts that build the systemic change to meet this moment. And please vote and work to elect leaders that will drive climate action and pace and scale. Visit missoulaclimate.org.