Climate Action Plan Newsletter

The last few weeks have been an important reminder of something I often take for granted, clean air. The ability to go for a walk or run in fresh air is something easily forgotten until the sky is hazy and I'm coughing my way through the park. Our air quality has been some of the worst in Colorado this summer, largely due to wildfire smoke drifting all the way from one of California's largest fires in history, Dixie Wildfire. Other fires in the Pacific Northwest and Canada have also been contributing to our hazy skies. Larger and more frequent wildfires are one of the major symptoms of globally increasing greenhouse gases and climate change. To keep us safe, each of us needs to start regularly checking air quality before engaging in outdoor activities during wildfire season. One great resource for tracking air quality is through the City's air quality dashboard which you can find here.

In this month's edition of the newsletter, we're sharing an exciting update about a new Shift campaign focused on water-saving actions. The first action is encouraging everyone with control over their outdoor irrigation to turn it off by October 1st. We are also celebrating a $200,000 grant awarded to the City by the EPA to improve indoor air quality in homes for underserved residents. You can also learn about the importance of reducing back-to-school car idling and an opportunity to help shape the City's Recovery Plan from the pandemic.

Please keep yourselves and others safe as many of us go back to school, adapt to the Delta variant, and protect ourselves from poor air quality.

Best,

Jensen Morgan, Community Engagement & Climate Action Specialist

Shift Your Water Challenge

In 2020, 91% of all Fort Collins Utilities customers turned off outdoor irrigation by October 1. Let's do it again! That’s equivalent to the annual water use of 1,250 homes!

Do you want to save money on your water bill? Do you want to join thousands of community members working to save Fort Collins' vital water supplies? Join the Shift Your Water Challenge today and pledge to turn your outdoor irrigation off by October 1.

Eligible Fort Collins Utilities residential water customers who complete the pledge will be entered to win $50 off their next water utility bill. You could be one of the 100 winners!

Join the Shift Your Water Challenge

City Awarded EPA Grant
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will provide $200,000 to the City of Fort Collins to address indoor air quality and health concerns for underserved community residents. The funding is part of $50 million for Environmental Justice (EJ) initiatives allocated to EPA under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in underserved communities through a range of local initiatives.

With the funding, the City will build off existing indoor air quality, energy efficiency and emergency preparedness efforts and partnerships to engage with underserved and at-risk community members.
Learn More About the Projects Here

Back to School and Vehicle Idling

Back to School month is here and with that comes long school pick-up and drop-off lines which often results in vehicle idling. Idling is running the engine of a car or truck while it's not going anywhere. Unnecessary vehicle idling isn’t good for our air, wallets or cars. So what can we do about it?

Here are five easy ways to reduce idling:

  1. Turn off your ignition if you're waiting for more than 30 seconds.
  2. Stop idling while the train is passing.
  3. Stop idling at school drop-off zones.
  4. Park and go inside instead of using the drive-thru lane.
  5. Warm up your engine by driving slowly, not by idling.

Share your Ideas for a Resilient Recovery

The City of Fort Collins is set to receive approximately $28.1 million of the nearly $6 billion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds received by Colorado and other communities. These funds are being used to invest in short- and long-term economic, environmental and community recovery. 
 
The pandemic has brought serious challenges to our community, impacting virtually every aspect of our lives and often exacerbating previously existing issues. As we begin to shift from response to recovery, we know we cannot return to the pre-pandemic status quo, but instead need to focus on a recovery that benefits all. 

As we develop our Recovery Plan and prioritize spending of ARPA funding, we want to hear your ideas about what a vibrant and resilient recovery looks like for our community and what priorities should be focused on as we work to build back stronger.

Share your ideas now

OCF Tip of the Month: Go Zero Waste
On average, Fort Collins residents and businesses throw away just under 100,000 tons of trash a year (about 3 lbs. per person per day), much of which could have been recycled or composted. Often things we throw away didn’t mean much to us but did have a high impact on greenhouse gases and natural resources.

Zero Waste Neighborhoods is about helping people and businesses reduce waste and emissions, reuse, and feel comfortable sharing, which saves money and supports a more circular economy. 

Try these following tips to help contribute to Zero Waste Neighborhoods: 
Check Out Other Actions Listed in the OCF Action Guide

Contact Us
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Katsi or myself if there is more we can do to support you in your own climate action journey.

Jensen Morgan
Community Engagement & Climate Action Specialist
jmorgan@fcgov.com

Katsi Peña
Climate Program Assistant 
kpena@fcgov.com
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Fort Collins, CO 80521