Post by Bryna Peebles
Canvassing in rain
pavement slick and bodies soaked
like flooded coastlines
As my haiku might suggest, the New Hampsters experienced some mild(ly treacherous) precipitation today just as we set out to canvass a neighborhood for the afternoon. Our lead contact here in Nashua, Bob Eldredge, runs the Nashua BetterBuildings branch, a government funded non-profit that provides residents with free consulting and financial incentives to make their homes more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient. I dislike canvassers as much as the next person; who wants to get up and answer the door just to be told that they should buy something they don’t need or give money to someone they don’t know? But we weren’t selling anything, or asking for money. One might even say we were going house to house practically giving out cash, when one considers all the money a person could save just on their energy bill after getting a consult and implementing a few of these tips. But alas, the door was still slammed on our faces a few times, though in the end we did manage to convince quite a few residents how easily they could save energy. That coupled with the free pizza Bob bought us afterward made the afternoon certainly worth it.
Nashua is considered a beacon city of New Hampshire for the lead it has taken in energy efficiency, and this was exemplified by the conference we attended today that brought together local government branches and business groups to highlight and connect efficiency initiatives. So far, our week has been very focused on the business and building aspects of fossil fuel usage, and this has certainly put us in contact with individuals we might not otherwise meet. Yesterday we visited a building nearby that uses geothermal heating and cooling, and received a tour by the building’s developer. He made sure to slip the fact that he was a Republican into the conversation, as well as the fact that all of his decisions were purely financial. And that’s fine and dandy! Doing a good thing is doing a good thing. It’s only been three days, but I have a feeling that this might be one of the biggest lessons I learn this summer. Sometimes it’s about inspiring people to join our movement to secure our species’ home on a hospitable planet. Sometimes it’s about tax incentives. I, for one, would love the whole world to jump on the stop-global-warming bandwagon, but everyone is going to approach the issue of fossil fuels from a different angle, and I suppose it’s our job this summer to support every effort we come across that reduces emissions.