It’s Energy Efficiency Day! Plus, Climate Champion, Nicolas De Brabandere, and introducing Urban Forests.
Energy Efficiency Day, Climate Champ–Nicolas De Brabandere, Urban Forests
ENERGY EFFICIENCY DAY
HAPPY ENERGY EFFICIENCY DAY! Energy Efficiency Day (the first Wednesday in October – Oct. 5, 2022) is a collaborative effort of dozens of energy efficiency advocacy groups around the United States, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance to Save Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations.
Energy Efficiency Day was first celebrated in 2016. The message of the day is “Save Money. Cut Pollution. Create Jobs.” The average U.S. household saves almost $500 annually thanks to current efficiency standards that apply to new appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and water heaters.
Energy efficiency helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuel power plants. Buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of the nation’s energy consumption. In 2022, Energy efficiency employs more workers than any other clean energy job sector, more than 2 million Americans.
The day even has its own organization and website—energyefficiencyday.org. Its goal is to share tips, tools and stories that promote the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, from lower costs to healthier homes.
Why does celebrating Energy Efficiency Day matter to us? According to the website, Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut consumer bills and reduce pollution. The website also features ways to take action. There’s a social media and press template tool. Helpful in assisting in spreading the word. Surf on over to energyefficiencyday.org/take-action, or click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.
Organizers of the event are asking us to share our own energy efficiency success stories today. Use the hashtag #EEDay2022 on all your online posts! BTW, this year’s theme is “All About the Heat Pump.”
CLIMATE CHAMPION, NICOLAS DE BRABANDERE
In 2015, Nicolas de Brabandere traveled to India to learn about the Miyawaki method with Afforestt. It’s there that he realized how much he wanted to revive forests like the ones he’d seen. One evening, walking through a Miyawaki forest at dusk, he could hear creaks and rustles all around him. Birds and animals had moved into the forest. It was clear to Nicolas that this new habitat was now full of life and miracles.
de Brabandere created the first Miyawaki forest in Belgium and founded Urban Forests on his return from India. This first forest is a success. Since then de Brabandere and Urban Forests have planted several more.
According to a report commissioned by the World Economic Forum in 2018, Nature is worth over $125 Trillion. De Brabandere’s goal is to reconcile the economy with ecology by bringing innovative and natural solutions to environmental challenges. And that’s why de Brabandere is a climate change champion, and why he matters to us.
BELGIUM’S URBAN FORESTS
URBAN FORESTS is the Miyawaki method specialist in Europe for creating fast growing urban forests. These forests flourish on small plots of land. They are beautiful, participatory in the making, self-sustainable, and they provide many ecosystem services.
While studying biology in Tasmania, UF founder, by Nicolas de Brabandere, became conscious of the complexity of ecosystems and species. More specifically how they are sometimes unique to one area and found nowhere else. “I saw trees so tall and so old that nobody even knew their age. I discovered that our natural heritage is as rich and diverse than our cultural history.”
When he returned to Érezée, Belgium in 2016, de Brabandere founded Urban Forests using the Miyawaki method. The Miyawaki method is based on two principles. The first is It restores native habitats using native trees; the afforestation principles are based on an understanding of how these species would interact in a natural forest. The second is planting a diverse mixture of trees close together to maximize density and create balance.
Why does Urban Forests matter to us? It’s proof that we can do more than just plant trees in cities. We can actually plant forests. Urban Forests provides a template for other ecopreneurs who wish to move fast and plant forests. Moreover, it provides a template for participatory planting events. Trees are planted in the form of a full-fledged event with the project volunteers: family, employees, residents, associations, schools.