Westchester Green County USA

Carbon Neutral by 2025
50% Net-Zero by 2040
100% Net-Zero by 2045

Welcome to WGC USA! Our overaching goal is to help Westchester be the first “Green County USA” by targeting school districts in Westchester.

One World UV is our parent organization. Our objective here is to help you MEASURE, REDUCE, & OFFSET your school’s carbon emissions through our Dual Pledge, no matter where you are in the world. Addressing sustainability and climate change will very likely be one of the largest challenges of our lifetimes.

At the global level we are encouraging schools to sign a dual pledge sponsored by both the UNFCCC and the UK Climate Change Champion.

 At the local level we plan to generate a concerted, coherent effort to help Westchester students become among the most Eco Literate in the world by bringing together environmental clubs and environmental educators from across Westchester.

Video [2:17]

Summary: 

To measure your carbon footprint, the UNFCCC has developed a GHG emissions calculator specifically for schools.   The UNFCCC has shared with One World both the calculator and a presentation that describes how to use the calculator that we will make available on our website.  Once you input the data in the calculator, the calculator will automatically determine your GHG emissions. Topics covered:
  • WGC USA Overview and Goals
  • Carbon Neutrality
  • Key Components of the K-12 Climate Action Plan
  • Actionable Steps to help your school become Climate Neutral Now!
Action Item: 
  1. Sign the UNFCCC’s Pledge
    1. Your school’s name will then appear on their website!
  2. Calculate your Carbon Footprint
  3. One World Lesson (from Sustainability Unit)
  4. Gather the paperwork you need:
    1. School/District’s Heating Bill
    2. School/District’s xyz
Need help converting from metric to customary? Use this site or find an online Conversion Calculator!

Video  [00:40]

Summary:  

An important part of this annual process is to develop a plan to reduce your carbon footprint where possible each year.   As part of this process the UNFCCC asks that you commit to reduce carbon emissions where possible, over the course of the year; using actions like replacing light bulbs with LEDs, reducing waste, improving recycling etc.

This UNFCCC presentation explains the rational schools should apply in looking to reduce their carbon footprint.    It is important to point out that this is an annual process and as such the UNFCCC does expect schools to eliminate their GHG emissions overnight.   The goal is to reduce progressively each year. 

Topics Covered:

  • Ideas for Short-Term Reduction Plan
  • Ideas for Long-Term Reduction Plan

Action Items: 

  1. Identify one adult and at least one student who will be in charge of the Dual Pledge
    1. View Success Stories
  2. Schedule a meeting with WGC USA 
  3. Check Out One World’s Eco-Passport Project!

Video  [01:16]

Summary: 

One World is supportive of the offset mechanism as it addresses on of the fundamental challenges facing humanity as we undertake to address this global problem.  Nations are at fundamentally different stages of their development.   As a result per capita GHG emissions vary dramatically from country to country.

Topics Covered:

  • Overview and Example of the Carbon Footprint Calculator

Action Items:

  1. Fill out the Carbon Footprint Calculator
  2. Discover your Total Emissions
  3. Find an organization to fund in order to offset your carbon emissions

Video  [01:19]

Summary:

For those emissions schools cannot eliminate the UNFCCC has set up a process whereby you offset those emissions by participating in their global offset program by investing in CERs or Certified Emission Reductions.   The monies your school contributes to the UNFCCC offset program are used to invest in green projects in emerging nations where capital to invest green from day one is not always available.

Topics Covered:

  • Overview and Example of the Carbon Footprint Calculator

Action Items:

  1. Explore the UNFCCC “Climate Neutral Now” Program Website and decide on a project to fund
  2. Determine a fundraising plan to raise the money needed to offset
    1. Apply for a One World Offset Matching Grant!
  3. Once you have completed the process, the UNFCCC will send you a certificate confirming your Carbon Netural Status. Hang this somewhere for the entire community to see! They will also put your school’s logo on their website alongside other global carbon neutral players.

Make this a “Teachable Moment”

Summary:

You just did an incredible thing for your school…why not make it a teachable moment? 

Ways to integrate: 

  • involved students by asking them to choose the project for the offset
  • reveal the results of the offset contest at a school-wide or grade-wide assembly 
    • provide a brief overview of the climate change challenge and then 
    • add geography by identifying where the funded project is located
    • add STEM by analyzing what the project has been designed to achieve
    • take advantage of the assembly to introduce the 17 SDG goals of the UN for 2030
  • Check out One World’s Sustainability Unit

We believe that signing the 10 year Let’s Go Zero pledge is the perfect corollary to the annual Climate Neutral Now pledge as it extends your school’s commitment out over the rest of this decade making it clear that your school is committed to addressing the challenge of climate change in a sustained way over the next 10 years. The Let’s Go Zero campaign has chosen Westchester County as the first place in the world outside of the United Kingdom to move forward with this transformative campaign.

 

Action Items:

  1. Visit https://letsgozero.org/ 
  2. Join the Campaign
    1. Let’s Go Zero will provide you with a logo for your school once the pledge is taken.   
  3. Contact One World Admin or WGC USA to discuss the resources in Westchester to help make your school Net Zero Carbon Emissions!

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