A2ZERO Enters a Second Year
June 1st, 2021 marked the 1-year anniversary of the City's plan to achieve a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality, known as A2ZERO.
To commemorate this event, we held a week-long (June 1st - June 6th) series of decentralized, distributed, and family-fun events to learn more, get involved, and have fun as we work collectively to achieve a more just and sustainable future.
Even though A2ZERO Week is over, there are still numerous ways to get involved! You can sign our A2ZERO Pledge and commit to one or more actions that will help make our carbon neutrality goal a reality, participate in our A2ZERO Scavenger Hunt to learn more about sustainability efforts in our city, order from one of the restaurants participating in our Reusable Container Pilot Program, enter our Saving Energy Sticker Design Contest, or apply to become an A2ZERO Ambassador! You can learn more about all of these opportunities - and check out some highlights from A2ZERO Week - below.
Take the Pledge...
Do you want to be part of the community working to achieve a more just, sustainable, healthy, safe, and comfortable future for all? Then join us by taking the A2ZERO Pledge and commiting to one or more sustainability-focused actions. And if you need help achieving your commitment to any of these actions, staff from the Office of Sustainability and Innovations are happy to help! You can reach us at [email protected] or reach out to a specific team member.
Join the Search for a More Sustainable Future...
During A2ZERO Week, we launched the A2ZERO Scavenger Hunt! This is a fun new game that helps "daylight" many of the sustainability activities underway in our community. During the scavenger hunt, you'll learn about these sustainability activities and the organizations that are undertaking them, and you'll be able to experience downtown Ann Arbor in a new light - and perhaps discover some locations you haven't noticed before! Plus, you'll get a free treat during your adventure - and those who complete the scavenger hunt will have the opportunity to win more prizes!
Reduce, Reuse, Return...
As a part of Green Fare, a weeklong event showcasing some of the sustainable fare and products our community has to offer, we launched the Ann Arbor Reduce, Reuse, Return (A2R3) Reusable Container Pilot Program! This program is a collaboration between OSI and four local restaurants: Zingerman's Deli, Miss Kim, El Harissa, and Detroit Street Filling Station. For the month of June, select dishes in take-out and delivery orders from these restaurants will be served in reusable containers. If you receive a meal in one of these containers, simply wash the container and return it to a participating restaurant in order to receive a discount on a future order!
As part of A2ZERO Week, the Office of Sustainability and Innovations launched a “Saving Energy" Sticker Design Contest. Students in grades K-12 can help us design a sticker to promote saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint. The public will be invited to vote on the finalists, and winners will receive a $200 cash prize and have their design featured at future A2ZERO community events! Designs are due by July 13th, 2021.
Become an Ambassador...
The A2ZERO Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for interested individuals to take a deep dive into pathways for advancing local sustainability, resilience, and carbon neutrality. A2ZERO Ambassadors take part in a nine-week training program that explores multiple aspects of what it takes to truly become a sustainable and carbon neutral community. Ambassadors will leave this training with the knowledge, tools, and resources to discuss climate change and the specific actions that their community can begin implementing to advance carbon neutrality. You can apply to become an Ambassador here!
Stop by the Ann Arbor Distilling Company (220 Felch St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103) and purchase a four-pack of the Eezy Treezy, the Distilling Company's new limited-time A2ZERO-branded drink! A portion of all proceeds supports tree plantings in low income neighborhoods!
Check out a new A2ZERO Kit from any Ann Arbor District Library branch! This kit includes an electricity usage monitor, a thermal leak detector, an indoor air quality monitor, and an infrared image camera - all the equipment you need to perform a DIY home energy audit!
A Look Back at A2ZERO Week
Watch it Again
Unveiling of the A2ZERO Mural - To kick off A2ZERO Week, Mayor Taylor unveiled the new A2ZERO mural, located along the Border-to-Border Trail in Gallup Park! A recording of the unveiling ceremony will be available on the CTN YouTube channel, and you can stop by and see the mural on your next visit to the park!
Carbon Pricing Panel with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby - On the first day of A2ZERO Week, the Citizens' Climate Lobby held a panel discussion exploring considerations around putting a price on carbon. Panelists discussed different carbon pricing strategies, their social and economic impacts, and how they compare with and complement other emission reduction initiatives. The event was moderated by Kris Olsson, chair of the Washtenaw County Environmental Council and a biologist with the Huron River Watershed Council. You can watch a recording of this event here.
Emergency Preparedness and You - During A2ZERO Week, we hosted a special presentation by representatives from the American Red Cross and some of our own A2ZERO Ambassadors on how to prepare for disasters. You can watch a recording of this event here.
A2ZERO Awards Night
On June 2nd, OSI held an Awards Night to honor our first cohort of A2ZERO Ambassadors, as well as to recognize five individuals and businesses for their contributions to sustainability efforts in our community. Below are the individuals honored during the first annual A2ZERO Awards Night:
A2ZERO Champions - Businesses
Scrap Creative Reuse
SCRAP Creative Reuse has been leading the way in environmental activism and waste reduction for over 37 years. This non-profit continues to be an example of creatively repurposing materials in new ways, and has diverted over 80,000 pounds from the waste stream since 2019. SCRAP Creative Reuse has championed sustainability practices and environmental education for decades and continues to be an important presence in the community.
Green Things Farm
Green Things Farm encourages biking to the farm by offering an extra pound of produce free for CSA members who bike to pick up their shares. In 2020, they donated 10 shares a week to families in need during the pandemic. They also send recommendations to their members for how to live greener & support farmers of color by donating profits, food, and resources to the Detroit Black Farmers Food Security Network.
A2ZERO Champions - Individuals
Clark's dedication and hard work were vital to help start Common Cycle, a non-profit that provides Ann Arbor residents and college students a free resource for bike repairs, education, and equipment to promote biking throughout the city.
Emma, the owner of BYOC Co., is a champion of sustainability. Her simple - yet ingenious - store allows customers to bring in empty containers of either beauty or cleaning products to refill them. She also offers receptacles where customers can recycle items such as razors, oral hygiene products, and food containers.
A2ZERO Lifetime Achievement Award
Mark is the primary author of the Ann Arbor "Solar Development Readiness Report" for City Council, which served as a foundational document for A2ZERO and called for 78 MW of new solar and the streamlining of solar permitting. Following this report, he authored the Sustainability White paper and, along with John Mirsky, recommended the creation of the Office of Sustainability and Innovations to the City Council and Administration.
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