What has the Sitka Global Warming Group Done? 

Current Activities:

 

Past Meeting and Event Information:

Renewable Energy in Sitka - Solar, Wind, Hydro.  - a Panel Discussion

On January 21, 2015 we answered the questions people have been asking for years - how much power have the wind generator or solar panels  made in Sitka over the last several years?  What has worked well and what hasn't in Sitka and is renewable energy right in your situation? And what is the latest news on Blue Lake Dam?  About 30 people got an update and a report on actual results of solar, wind, and hydroelectric systems in Sitka and asked questions of our panelists:

Thanks to our co-sponsor, the City and Borough of Sitka!

Wine-making Classes to Support SGWG, July and November 2012, February 2014

“Wine-making at Home” classes were held on Fridays.  In a fun and informative one-evening beginner’s course, Perry Edwards and Michelle Putz, members of the Sitka Global Warming Group (SGWG), taught how to make wine from locally-grown fruit.  These are annual classes...look for additional opportunities in 2014 and 2015!

Green Business Open House September 15, 2012

Over 115 people took part in our Green Business Open House during the Farmer’s Market.  People enjoyed tours, information, and snacks at two of our award-winning businesses, BIHA (Baranof Island Housing Authority's) and their new LEED-certified building and Sitka Office Services at 245 and 246E Katlian Street.  Thanks for participating, asking about green practices, and for taking nomination forms to send in later.    

"Compost" float for 4th of July 2012

Sitka Global Warming Group (SGWG)/Sustainable Sitka, The Sitka Local Foods Network, and the Sicka Waste Compost Group created a joint "compost" float for 4th of July!  You know people in Sitka support sustainability when you hear them CHEER (and hoot and holler!) for compost!   

 

5/5/2012 "Connect the dots" International Climate Action Day 

On Saturday, 5/5/2012, International Climate Action Day, we worked on climate change by Connecting Climate, Weather, and Oceans...This 2-part event 1) gathered materials and information to 2) help make an exhibit that shows climate change and ocean acidification are here NOW.  We'll bring this exhibit to venues around Sitka to help Sitkans connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather and ocean acidification.

 WHY? 

Your materials help show the connection between carbon dioxide, our weather, our climate and our oceans:  

We now have these materials, so help us find venues to share our exhibit.  Where?  The sky is the limit!  With your help, we'd like to share it at the Seafood Festival, as a library display, at a museum or a gallery.  For more information or to bring this exhibit to your location, call Michelle Putz at 747-2708.

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - Meeting

Bike to the Boots!  September 24, 2011

 In support of Moving Planet – a www.350.org event

Thanks to those who attended and supported "Bike to the Boots!" on September 24, 2011.   This was Sitka's "Moving Planet" event in support of www.350.org 's international climate action day to move the planet beyond fossil fuels.  Attendees learned about the benefits of local foods, got some exercise and had their bikes checked and bike tires pumped up, learned about energy, energy conservation, and  recycling in Sitka, and learned about climate change, science, and CO2.  Thanks to our partners - the Sitka Local Foods Network, Yellow Jersey Bike Shop, SEARHC Health Promotion, RecycleSitka, the Sitka Conservation Society, the Sitka Boys and Girls Club (and their great artists/kids!), and 350.org.
 
And thanks especially to Amanda Wagstaff who was the main organizer of the event.  Amanda was a short-term resident of Sitka who came/worked for the summer and jumped right into organizing her first community action ever!  So if you are sick of wondering and worrying about environmental issues like climate change, ocean acidification, and the like, look us up, take some steps to improve your sustainability, and help us take action!

10/10/10 International Climate Action Day with www.350.org - fuel economy checks and tune ups for 80 vehicles in Sitka!

 

 

Grid-tie Solar System Open House – June 21, 2011

Curious to see what a grid-tie solar system looks like and learn how well it works?  This event happened on the “longest day of the year”!

Ten people came to see first hand what a grid-tie solar system looks like, how well it is works at that moment and how it has been performing since its installation.  Visitors met with and asked questions of the system’s owners and the designer of the system.

Discussion topics were system output, design, costs and savings, and City-specific information.  Chris Duguay, owner of One Island Energy and designer of the installed system and home-owner, Michelle Putz, answered questions.  Participants viewed the grid-tie solar system.    

A showing of the film "Vanishing of the Bees" April 21, 2011

The Sitka Film Society, Sitka Global Warming Group/Sustainable Sitka and the Sitka Local Foods Network teamed up to present the movie “Vanishing of the Bees”.  The movie, narrated by Ellen Page, describes a recent phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, where entire hives of bees die off, leaving hives full of honey other bees won’t touch (normally when a hive dies off, other bees will raid the hive and take the honey). The loss of the bees is of critical concern for farmers and gardeners because honey bees are one of the major ways crops are pollinated. Without these bees pollinating the crops, we lose our ability to grow much of our food.

"Earth Day" Energy Conservation Sign Building Party, April 17, 2011 

For our Earth "Day" event, we worked on the Red-Yellow-Green Light Energy Conservation Sign/s on Sunday, April 17 at Linda Willson's home south of Halibut Point Recreation Area.  Afterwards, we joined Kerry's birthday party...work and play!

10/10/10   International Climate Action Day with 350.org 

Our event was a fuel economy check and tune up where we checked/filled tires, checked air filters and oil and provided information on fuel economy tips and home energy savings tips.  We also provided tire pressure gages to participants.  We put over 80 vehicles through the line.  We found that over 90 percent had low tire pressure (many under 1/2 the tire pressure indicated for the tire).  Sponsors SGWG, Sustainable Sitka, RecycleSitka, Petro Marine Services, City and Borough of Sitka, and Renaissance Construction. 

Grid-tie Solar Panel Discussion - September 2010 

Three speakers discussed general information about and considerations for local grid-tie solar (photovoltaic) power systems as well as more specific aspects like system design, system costs, and City-specific information.  All information related to a grid-tie system being installed at the home of Michelle Putz and Perry Edwards on Shelikof Way.  Chris Bretwon, Sitka’s Utility Director, Chris Duguay, owner of One Island Energy and designer of the system to be installed, and home-owner, Michelle Putz each presented information and answered questions during the discussion.  Participants viewed some of the components of the grid-tie solar system to be installed.  

Saving Fuel on the Waters of Sitka Sound - March 2010 

Looking for ways to reduce your costs and carbon footprint while out in your boat?  An open-forum, panel discussion with 6 speakers who shared ideas and experiences about: switching out motors, going electric, reducing fuel use, self-propelled travel, & more.  Our speakers discussed ways to (and take questions on) save money on fuel in every kind of boat in Sitka.  Topics will range from trollers to personal and charter boats; from switching to high-efficiency motors to methods for switching boats to electricity.  We discussed economic opportunities to ideas on charging batteries through wave action.    

Ocean Acidification - February 2010

We appreciated the participation, attendance, and and media coverage of our ocean acidification education and action event series (Feb. 9-11).  Thanks to all who attended and thanks to our keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Mathis, Assistant Professor and Chemical Oceanographer from University of Alaska Fairbanks (www.sfos.uaf.edu/oa/).  Dr. Mathis did an amazing job of turning complex science into something we could all understand.  His work with school kids in Sitka will be shared with local parents and the far-reaching communities of Mt Edgecumbe students. 
 
We appreciated the invitation by many groups like the Sitka Chamber of Commerce, the Sitka Forest Service office, and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska to bring our speaker and his important information to their supporters and employees.  His talk with the Sitka Chamber of Commerce was a good reminder that ocean acidification is not only an oncoming environmental disaster, it will also have major negative effects on coastal communities and businesses.
 
Thanks also to our local action item speakers:  Kerry MacLane spoke about growing our own vegetables and other food in Sitka (www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org).  Andy Eggan from the City Electric Department reminded everyone to pay attention to the City's Red-Yellow-Green Energy Alert Light to help reduce diesel burning (www.cityofsitka.com/government/departments/electric/index.html).  Chris Duguay of One Island Energy explained how to get up to $10,000 of "free money" from the State for home energy efficiency upgrades (www.ahfc.state.ak.us/energy/weatherization_rebates.cfm).  And Doug Osborne asked us all to turn off our cars and be idle free to protect kids health and the environment (more information at www.idlefreevt.org). 
 
But this can't be the end of Sitka's role in learning about and taking action on ocean acidification through reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  As Dr. Mathis said, "The worst thing that can happen is inaction."  So what can you do?  Write to political leaders at all levels to take immediate action to cut carbon emissions and support/develop renewable energy.  Make personal choices that use less fuel and produce less carbon dioxide; check out www.sitkaglobalwarming.org for ideas on reducing your carbon footprint in Sitka.  And work locally on projects that reduce community carbon dioxide emissions.   You can come to the next Sitka Global Warming Group meeting on Wednesday March 10th to learn how to use less fuel while out in your boat and to find out how to get more involved in local actions.  And maybe even help out with ocean acidification research by collecting water samples this summer; if Dr. Mathis asks us to collect local data - I'll put out the word!  If we are to reduce our chances of losing our food web and our fisheries for next several centuries, we must stay engaged and stay active.

Thanks to Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Sound Science Center, UAS (with the help of a grant from Sitka Alaska Permanent Charitable Trust ), and UAF for donations that make these programs possible!  

 

Where are we going as a group?

"Organizer's meeting"  January 19, 2011 in Harrigan Centennial Hall.  

A few of us got together and talked about the group’s interests, willingness to help, and the priorities of those interested in organizing activities and actions.  There were a lot of “like to do’s” but also a strong recognition that there’s a limited amount of time and energy to do everything that is possible.  With that, we came up with some things that we will work on as well as several things that will fall by the wayside for now unless another organizer comes forward.  

The activities SGWG/SS organizers will put effort into organizing in 2011/2012

Several items were discussed as being important, but no one stepped forward to take these on.  Some of those items: events that bring in people outside the typical group, hosting education events (like the ones we had on ocean acidification), education actions, etc.  As a group SGWG/SS will NOT do the following:

L     Hold regular meetings

L     Present/organize speakers/presentations

L     Coordinate speakers/presentations with other groups

L     Continue the 8th grade “Energy Conservation” classes (these are pre-prepared lessons put on by SGWG volunteers)

 

…if you feel like any of these activities are important enough to you to help set up, run, or organize them, we would gladly help you get them going.  Please contact me if you would like to look into this more

 

Contact Us:

info@sitkaglobalwarming.org; 907-747-2708