Climate and Energy
We aim to help counteract the current climate crisis, reduce fossil fuel usage, and encourage the use of renewable energy. Even actions by other names help: reducing plastics and fertilizers reduces fossil fuels in manufacturing; organic gardening returns carbon to the soil; and a Transition consciousness leads people to more sustainable lives.
Everyone has heard about landfills overflowing with excessive waste, plastics that appear recyclable but aren’t, turtles choking on plastic bags, whales autopsied with hundreds of pounds of plastic in their guts, and people with microfibers in our bodies (studies have shown that each of us ingests the equivalent of one credit card of plastic per day!). Are plastics, along with chemicals, responsible in part for the US lag in health outcomes? Science can analyze and help solve the problem; art can dramatize and publicize it.
Pesticides and Herbicides
Chemical toxins are a disaster. The names have changed since Rachel Carson blew the whistle on DDT and the like in 1962, but their toxicity and damage to environmental and human health haven’t changed. We know people with continuing health issues in adult life because they grew up in homes with compulsive application of pesticides. Taxpayers and homeowners fund spraying to kill mosquitoes, when the chief result is to knock out other slower-reproducing species, such as pollinators, fish, and amphibians. Institutions and individuals spray herbicides to kill unwanted plants, thus wiping out biodiversity and creating monocultures that in fact increase disease and pest species.
We find that people are eager to break loose from often unhealthy supermarket food and grow their own. We have sponsored organic garden tours and made a series of videos featuring different nearby locations. We also encourage the planting of trees, which improve urban quality of life, reduce heat in the air and thus reduce summer energy consumption, and which absorb chemical pollutants out of the soil and air.
The International Transition network and Transition thinking have guided the Green Team toward cultivating community building and mutual support. Our current Transition goals include: community gardening, Living Landscapes (reducing lawns and planting to attract and nourish native insects), and assisting the Borough in its voluntary initiative, Sustainable Storefronts, created to guide and recognize local businesses reducing plastic waste. Our Transition team is also planning a series of concerns on front porches to entertain and uplift the community. Read more about Transition here.
What Have We Been Doing?
In cooperation with West Chester University’s Office of Sustainability, WCGT has for several years sponsored events in the Fall Film and Forum series aimed at informing and engaging the public about how to live sustainably.
WCGT also participates in Earth Day activities each year, including rallies, marches, talks, and chalking sidewalks.
We have spread the word via yearly yard sign designs. Some of the most memorable signs are the baby in the gas mask (2016) and most recently an image from Transition symbolizing our diversity and growing together.
Due to their mission and involvement in WC, Green Team leaders have been honored in 2021,by West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley, in recognition of service to the community.