The Black And Gold City Goes Green

Summer of Energy

The single most important thing you can do to clean up our air is change what energy you use, and how you use it.

On Monday, June 2, PennFuture launched the Summer of Energy -- an opportunity for Pittsburgh-area families to clean up our air. Dive in to learn about switching to Pennsylvania wind energy and cutting the amount of energy that you use.

Change what energy you use...

One of the single most important ways clean our air is to change what energy you use -- and with Community Energy Inc., it's easy to make the switch to clean, Pennsylvania-produced wind energy. And as an added bonus, when you switch to wind on a dirty air day (an air quality action day), you'll also get a $20 Giant Eagle Gift Card! Start the switch to Pennsylvania Wind Energy here.

... And change how you use it.

A goal of the Black and Gold City Goes Green campaign is to encourage Pittsburgh residents to take simple, low-cost actions to save energy. Find inspiration and report your energy saving actions by clicking on the 'My Actions' tab above. For the Summer of Energy, we're surprising four focus neighborhoods (and maybe some surprise ones!) with a Neighborhood Blitz -- an event where volunteers and community members go door-to-door, spreading the good news about saving energy, saving water, and saving money (and the planet, too!) while giving out green goodie bags. The goodie bags are free and neighbors love them. See what we're up to this summer:

Dormont. Thanks to Sugar Cafe, Hollywood Theater, Dormont Floral Design, Dormont Appliance, and Dormont's newest Attorney's Office and great Community Partners at Dormont Business District Advisory Committee and Town Center Associates for helping to make the Dormont Green Business Blitz a success! Dormonters and Pittsburgh-area residents picked up FREE CFL light bulbs, power strips, LED night lights, toilet tummies, shower timers and sink aerators at five different Dormont businesses to save energy and water at home. One lucky winner walked away with the grand prize: a couple's class to a great Pennsylvania Resources Council composting, vermicomposting, or rain barrel class (composter, worms and bin, or rain barrel included with class); two tickets, popcorn and soda from the fabulous Hollywood theater; a microwave from Dormont Appliance; and two tickets to Taste of Dormont!

Oakland.Oakland was the spot for our first blitz of the year -- and we had a blast! Thanks to Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) and some all-star volunteers, Oakland residents are saving money on utilities while reducing heat-trapping gas and air pollution.

16 volunteers gave 178 residents blitz bags that included 4 CFLs, a smart strip and 2 LED night lights donated by Duquesne Light; a toilet tummy; a sink aerator; a recycling bag/schedule; and a reusable tote bag (donated by Whole Foods and the East End Food Co-Op). More than half a million pounds of heat-trapping gases will be saved annually from the actions residents take with the items they were given -– the same as taking 50 cars off the road each year. Almost 100,000 gallons of water will be saved annually. Read more about the Oakland Blitz here.

Regent Square Neighborhood. Our second blitz of the year took place in Regent Square on June 16. Special thanks to the Regent Square Civic Association for collaboration on this event. Look for us at Regent Square’s EcoFest at the Wilkins School Community Center in October -- more details coming soon!

Downtown Commuter Carpool Challenge

A good amount of the pollution downtown is produced by people who don’t even live there –- commuters. We’ll be haunting businesses and public areas to encourage commuters to consider alternative ways of getting to work, including carpooling. And we don’t just want people to think about carpooling -– we are helping them to make it happen. We are registering commuters interested in carpooling and hosting a meet-and-greet for commuters to meet the other people in their area and set up their own ridesharing agreements.

Over 40 Highmark employees signed up for carpooling already at our first (Car)Pool Party -- will you?