“New Haven Healthy City/Healthy Climate Challenge” launches at ArtSpace

November 14, 2013
Five-Step Pledge Asks Residents to Cut Emissions and Build a Healthier Community

The New Haven Healthy City/ Healthy Climate Challenge was formally launched on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 by representatives from six local organizations and other members of New Haven’s environmental community at ArtSpace New Haven. The Challenge is a collective effort of local organizations to respond to the challenge of climate change and to improve the health of the New Haven community. 

The cooperative group is inviting city residents to take a five-step pledge:

  • Biking, walking, or using public transit to commute two days a month, rather than an automobile
  • Choosing the 100% renewable option on electricity bills to cut emissions from power generation
  • Eating meat-free two days a week to reduce emissions from agriculture
  • Recycling glass, plastics, and paper, and composting food and yard waste
  • Joining an environmental advocacy network or email list to get news, connect with others, and find opportunities to exert grassroots pressure on decision-makers

The pledge components were chosen based on the activities that contribute most heavily to the average family’s carbon footprint. Each one also has more immediate, on-the-ground benefits, including improved personal health and cleaner local air quality; support for local transit services, renewable energy, and farming; and stronger connections to neighbors and policy-setting institutions.

Representatives of the Healthy Climate Challenge and its member organizations include Common Ground High School, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, New Haven Bioregional Group, New Haven/Leon Sister Cities Project, and the Yale Office of Sustainability. 

The organizers hope that setting achievable goals like those in the pledge will inspire participants to think bigger and take additional steps to reduce their emissions. The Challenge website features ideas for these deeper cuts, as well as information to make it easy to succeed in the pledge.

“The pledge is an opportunity for members of the Yale community to join with our fellow citizens in New Haven to make a commitment to action that will improve the quality of life for all of us. We are doing a fantastic job of making our campus sustainable – let’s extend what we do on campus to the city in which we live and work,” said Annie Harper, Coordinator of the Yale Community Carbon Fund, Yale Office of Sustainability. 

The launch took place at ArtSpace New Haven, where the gallery is currently showing “Futurecast,” an art exhibit addressing the unprecedented weather patterns that are becoming a new reality for Americans.

For more information and to take the pledge, visit www.healthyclimatechallenge.org