One Last Oxford Challenge

The climate crisis IS the greatest crises facing the world today.

The average American household generates 55,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Compare that to the average household in Brazil or Sweden and it will make you want to cry for our country.

We can make a difference, starting here in Oxford, but we need to work together.

Engage your friends, family, alderman, future mayor & senators in a conversation about this great crisis. Consider taking action through participation in Low Carbon Diet Eco Teams. To learn more, visit http://www.empowermentinstitute.net/lcd. Also on this website learn about the “Journey for the Planet” school curriculum.

To quote the former chairman on the fed, Paul Voelker, “If we don’t solve the global climate crisis, economies around the world will collapse”.

It’s not just a feel-good thing; it’s a crisis of critical nature.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Thanks for listening all week & have a great weekend.

This is my final email and a challenge to each of us.

Fondly,

Leighton McCool

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Make Oxford a Biking Community

Here is Leighton McCool’s latest installment:

Driving a car is the most polluting act an average citizen commits.

A human on a bike, however, is extremely efficient and a true gift to our environment.

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Let me clarify here, I am more guilty than many of you. I drive an SUV (ouch), I have no choice as I frequently carpool 6 to 8 kids a day. What I am saying is that each of us do our part, when we are able.

For anyone who came to the grove yesterday, you may have seen the comparison of the US carbon footprint to Brazil and many other eco-friendly countries. It was a frightening demonstration.
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If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam and seen the millions of bikes on the streets, it’s a beautiful site. Many, many, many more bikes than cars. It’s not unusual (in fact it’s the norm) to ride your bike on a date to the movies, a concert, etc. They have a Ride ‘n Share program where you simply grab a bike from a rack, donated by the government (or shall I say the taxes payers dollars) and ride it to your destination. There is never a shortage of bikes. Now how’s that idea
for our tax dollars? I’d sure support it.

Consider breaking out your bike today. Oxford’s bike shops are offering free tune-ups in the grove today from 10AM till 2PM. If your bike is ready to go ride it to work or school today. If you stop by the square on your bike (next to City Hall), the Oxford Cycling club is giving away free coffee and lots of great knowledge.

Let’s all join together to make Oxford a more friendly biking and walking community. Are you in???

Did You Know…

Between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags (Kroger type bags) are used every year worldwide and unfortunately for our planet, that same bag you receive today will stick around (literally) for thousands of years polluting the earth. They don’t biodegrade. Paper bags aren’t much better as they require twice the energy to make. The solution. Get some reusable bags, now available at Kroger and everywhere else in town. Keep them in your car and use them when you go to the grocery or anywhere else. Then maybe someday Oxford could follow the lead of
countries that ban or heavily tax the use of plastic bags. Even San Francisco banned plastic bags in March 2007 and several other US cities have followed suit. Perhaps a project for our next mayor and board of alderman???
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This week in Kindermusik classes we are handing out bags also. If you are not currently taking classes but would like a bag just give me a call!
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Tomorrow is EarthDay and WorldFest. Come out to the grove anytime between 9AM and 6PM. We’re giving away free reusable bags from Kroger, free environmentally friendly light bulbs, lots of education, entertainment and fun for all.

We’ll have a carbon footprint station set up where you can personally determine your carbon footprint and learn how to reduce your monthly bills and carbon footprint immediately.

Kelley Norris is playing on the plaza from 11AM till 1PM. Consider riding your bike up or hopping on the new city bus and join us for lunch in the grove. Food vendors are set up.

At 4PM, Natasha Bankhead is conducting a demonstration on crocheting beautiful handbags out of (these otherwise harmful) plastic bags. Beautiful doll clothes can also be made from these bags. So bring your crochet needles (the largest you can find) and be prepared to learn a new craft. Children welcome!!!

A Moon bounce, powered by the city’s solar powered generator, will be in the grove and plenty, plenty more. If you can’t get by during the day, bring the kids after school, I promise it will be fun & educational for all.

I hope to see you tomorrow!!!

Did You Know?

That the homes that we live in account for more than 20 percent of our national energy demand and produce more than 20 percent of our national carbon dioxide emissions?

Roughly half of our home energy expenses come from heating & cooling our house (and the rest of Oxford via drafts and air leaks). Fixing poor insulation and reducing drafts in your home can save you several hundred dollars each year on your utility bills and will help our severely damaged planet by sending less emission into our already
polluted air.

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Help us celebrate Alternative Energy Day in the city of Oxford. Stop by the grove or next to City Hall for wonderful demonstrations and education about what each of us can do to play our part. At 2PM today, the Chief
ENVIRONMENTAL Officer for Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Kevin Butt, will be speaking in the Johnson Commons Ballroom.

Bike to lunch today and get 25% off your lunch from participating restaurants on the square. Check out olemiss.edu/green for participating restaurants.

Going Green Can Make You Rich!

Here is the next installment from our Oxford Green Coordinator:

On average, American families spend $2,500 a year on bottled water. But did you know that most bottled water is just tap water in disguise. In fact, federal standards are higher for tap water than for bottled water. So do yourself, your community and your earth a favor and put that $2,500 to better use.

Start drinking Oxford’s fine water from your tap. It will help to keep the over abundance of water bottles out of our land fills. It will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. And it will have a significant impact on our environment.

Purchase a reusable water bottle today & start enjoying Oxford’s water for free.

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Today is water conservation day in Oxford. Go to OleMiss.edu/green for details on all of the planned community events taking place in the grove and various other locations in our community. You can make a
difference!!!G

A Greener Oxford

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Leighton McCool is the Director of Earth Day this year in Oxford. She is passing out some daily tips that we can all join in to make Oxford Greener.

For today:

Gather your old paint cans, batteries, cleaning spray bottles and all other junk that destroys our land fill. Amberlyn Liles, recycling coordinator for the City of Oxford, has worked her tail off to make recycling easier in this town (and it is) and to bring the Hazardous Waste program to our city. You’ve paid for this, we all have via lots & lots of state tax dollars. If we don’t support it, Amberylyn will only have to fight that much harder for the state funds to get this group to come here next year. If Oxford doesn’t support it, the tax dollars will be used elsewhere in the years to come.

Please, do yourself a favor, gather some junk and take it down to the Conference Center today just off of Sisk next to Della Davidson. They’ll be open from 8AM till 3PM and you don’t even have to get out of your car. A group of city employees, volunteers and Amberlyn herself will be there to greet you and unload your car as you pull through.

Take a child with you, it’s a learning experience for all of us.