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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New program aims to start local EcoTeams

From a story on WQOW-TV, Eau Claire:

Eau Claire (WQOW) - A new program aims to teach area residents all about sustainable living.

The UW-Extension was recently awarded a $7,500 grant by the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board to help start eco-teams. Eco-teams are small groups of individuals or businesses that work together to lessen their impact on the environment.

When it comes to going green the options are endless.

"Hanging out your laundry, starting a compost bin, installing low-flow shower heads," says Erin LaFaive, UW-Extension horticulture educator.

But figuring out what those options are might not always be easy. That's why the UW-Extension is stepping in with a new program called EcoTeams.

"EcoTeams is a way to have an evironmentally sustainable lifestyle in a fun way. You get groups of people together at work or in your neighborhood or your faith organization and go through a workbook called the green living handbook," adds LaFaive.

After completing each chapter you meet with your EcoTeam to discuss what you learned and ways to apply that to your everyday life. Topics in each chapter include things like water, electricity and garbage.

"In the workbook, it asks you what actions are you willing to take and you check those off, then when you're done with the workbook it asks which ones you really did," says LaFaive.

The book even helps you calculate things like energy bill savings and how much garbage you go through. And with cities going green, LaFaive says now is the perfect time for everyone to jump on board.

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