What an exciting month for advancing Fairfax County’s climate action agenda! On February 5th, The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed The Fairfax Green Initiatives Board Matter. This board matter recommended a comprehensive series of actions that the county should take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, including funding of a Community Energy and Climate Action Plan, and was jointly presented by Supervisors Foust (Dranesville), Storck (Mt. Vernon) and McKay (Lee). In addition, at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee meeting on February 12th, the county presented plans for its Request for Proposal for a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), advanced the recommendation of a C-PACE ordinance, and shared its vision for a new Office of Environment and Energy. All of these represent priorities we have been advocating for in our Fairfax to Zero Campaign! Thank you for your support over the years to get us here! Read on to learn about easy ways to get involved in advocacy and other programs.
“Fairfax County Steps up Environmental Initiatives” February 22, 2019, Fairfax County Times
“The Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote last week to approve the new Fairfax Green Initiatives…was a momentous step forward,” Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions founder and chair Eric Goplerud said. “We applaud this multifaceted approach that will strengthen the sustainability of the county and wellbeing of its citizens for years to come.”
Fairfax County Budget
There is much to celebrate about the Fairfax County FY 2020 proposed budget, including funding of an Office of Environment and Energy, an increase in the budget for the Environmental Improvement Program, funding for LED Streetlight Conversion, and funding for EV charging station infrastructure. These items require our support to ensure they remain in the budget when approved in May.
The budget is missing two key items which we need to advocate for, both of which were identified in the recent Fairfax Green Initiatives Board Matter that was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors: 1) Funding of a Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan and 2) Funding of a Resiliency and Adaptation Plan. We have prepared Budget Talking Pointswhich outline these requests in greater detail.
There are three opportunities to get involved in the budget deliberations, which run from now through May 9 when the Board of Supervisors approves the budget.
2) Join a FACS Advocacy Team and meet with your Board of Supervisor representative to discuss the budget. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
3) Consider testifying at the public hearings on the FY 2020 budget on April 9-11. If you would like to testify please contact email@example.com.
Candidates address Climate Change
Bettina Lawton interviewed several candidates for local offices on February 25 during the Inside Scoop program on Fairfax TV Channel 16. You may watch the show with Dan Helmer (running against Hugo in the 40th District in the VA House of Delegates), Linda Sperling (running against Herrity for Springfield District Board of Supervisors), Erika Yalowitz (running for Providence District Board of Supervisors), and Rodney Lusk (running for Lee District Board of Supervisors) by clicking on this link. Note that each candidate is asked to speak to their views on climate change and how to address the issue locally.
Fairfax County Landfill & Covanta Energy Tour
FACS will tour Covanta Energy and the Fairfax County Landfill later in March. If you have a question about the facility please submit it here. FACS will make materials available after the event for members to learn more.
Fairfax Countywide Strategic Plan Survey
Fairfax County is undergoing a comprehensive strategic planning process. There is currently a survey open to the public as part of the initial phase of this process. The County will use this data to prioritize their programs and services. This is an excellent opportunity for the faith community to weigh in about our collective vision for a livable, sustainable carbon-free Fairfax County that is equipped to justly deal with the effects of climate change. Fill out the survey! The survey closes on March 9th!
Preparing for Earth Day
Share the Plate
For Earth Day, we ask you “Share the Plate” with FACS. Earth Day is April 22nd and many congregations are joining in to celebrate creation on Sunday, April 28th! We ask that your congregation consider a special offering to Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions or make FACS the mission of the month in April.
FACS can table after your service to talk about our work, share our work during the announcement portions of your service or provide you with resources to share with your congregation.
In honor of Earth Day, join FACS and congregations all across the region this April to play the Carbon Footprint game! FACS hosted a recorded webinar with tips to play the game. Plan to play? Contact FACS to let us know!
Earth Day Events
Let FACS know about your upcoming Earth Day events and we will include them in our newsletter and social media. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with information.
How to Start a Garden Workshop
Thank you to all who came to our Community Garden at Your Place of Worship event. It was a wonderful event focused on food justice and ways to combat this at congregations. Materials from the event can be accessed here. Continue your education by attending a workshop focused on foundational knowledge about selecting a site, starting seeds, and caring for plants from Adria Bordas, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Senior Horticulture Extension Agent and Cory Suter, a local permaculture farmer.
Date: March 19th
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Location: Cornerstones (Corporate Office), 11150 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 210, Reston, VA 20190
CCL is a nonpartisan volunteer group focused on national policies to address climate change. Their trainers will teach techniques to use in lobbying Congress on climate change and building public political will for climate action. Their consistently respectful, non-partisan approach to climate education is designed to create a broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations.
Join UUCF Climate Action Group for the film, What Lies Upstream. The film is an investigation into the massive chemical spill that left over 300,000 people in West Virginia without drinking water for months.Watch the trailer here. There will be two wastewater experts to talk about how wastewater contamination affects Virginia after the film.
Date: March 15th
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, 2709 Hunter Mill Rd, Oakton, VA 22124
Sustainability Awards and Showcase
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is proud to announce our Showcase and Awards Celebration on Sunday, June 2nd from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Over the years, members of Temple Rodef Shalom cultivated an informal group that meets to discuss the connection between religion and stewardship. The group grew out of a shared desire to ponder questions that are often overlooked in services and educational classes. They wanted the time to think and learn together about creation care.
When the group first formed, Cantor Rachel Rhodes helped bring foundational Jewish texts and ideas to the class. But now the group is casual and self taught with members bringing in contemporary articles and ideas. The group emphasizes viewing climate change from a moral perspective as they all agree caring for the earth is not political but rather an ethical and moral part of their lives. Their group has 15 people that come and go and encourages congregations to also take on such a group. They believe all can benefit from discussion with or without a professional background in environmental topics. Their group consists of professionals in environmental offices to gardeners, all are welcome at the table. Change happens from learning and growing together.
The Temple leadership has also listened to the voices of members to help guide their work. As they undergo an addition to their Temple they are doing a feasibility study to determine if the roof can have solar panels installed. To their Temple the panels will serve as witness to their focus on creation care.
Lenten Creation Care Calendar Play the Carbon Footprint Game in April
Vegan and Vegetarian Cookbook complied by UUCF Climate Action Group
This cookbook was edited by Sophie Zager and is an outgrowth of the UUCF Climate Action Group’s Carbon Footprint Game, which focused on steps children, families and adults can make personally to put their beliefs about honoring the interdependent web of all beings into practice.