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Richard Boyce's avatar

Richard Boyce

( UUCCI) Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, IN

Points Total

  • 35 Today
  • 35 This Week
  • 5,439 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • up to
    5,329
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    181
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    20
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    3
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • up to
    107
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    564
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables
  • up to
    6
    public officials or leaders
    contacted

Richard's Actions

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

I will avoid buying and using 2 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 80
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Research the Climate Impact of Refrigerants

Refrigerant Management

I will spend 30 minute(s) learning about the climate impact of refrigerants and what climate-friendly refrigerants are by using the links below.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Listen to the Planet Money Podcast – “Sell Me Your Climate Bombs”

Planet Money recently interviewed the co-founders of Tradewater to learn about the dangerous impact that old refrigerants have on our environment. I will listen to the podcast to learn more about this necessary solution in fighting a climate crisis.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

More Fruits And Veggies

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding 2 cups of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day.

COMPLETED 143
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Explore My Area

Sometimes protecting nature requires feeling connected to nature. I will invest 020 minutes in exploring and appreciating a natural area in my region, whether a forest, wetland, coastal area, or somewhere else.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings

Research Retrofitting Incentives

Building Retrofitting

I will spend at least 30 minutes finding out if my city, region, state, or country offers incentives for retrofitting existing buildings.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Research Cement Alternatives

Alternative Cement

I will spend at least 20 minutes researching cement alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Express My Support For Walkable Cities

Walkable Cities

I will find out who in my city makes decisions that impact neighborhood walkability and express my support for better walking infrastructure.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Explore Other Transportation Solutions

All Transportation Solutions

I will spend at least 015 minutes researching other Drawdown Transportation Solutions.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Choose Recycled Paper

Recycled Paper

I will plan ahead to only use paper products made from post-consumer recycled paper for my home or office.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Go Paperless

Recycled Paper

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by 0.11lbs (0.05kg) a day or 3.3lbs (1.6kg) a month by opting into paperless billing, ending unwanted subscriptions and opting out of junk mail.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Advocate For More Packaging Options

Multiple Industry Solutions

I will advocate for alternatives to single-use packaging at local grocery stores, markets, at work, or on campus.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Find a Local Climate-Friendly Supermarket

Refrigerant Management

I will explore the interactive map in the links below to find a supermarket that does not use HFC refrigerants near my home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Practice the 5 R's

Recycling

I will Practice the "5 Rs" — refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle — to reduce my waste more than I can with just recycling alone.

COMPLETED 142
DAILY ACTIONS

Land Sinks

Support a Community Garden

Multiple Solutions

I will support a community garden by volunteering, donating, or advocating for a new or existing one.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Buy Bamboo

Bamboo Production

When they are available, I will purchase products made from bamboo instead of wood, plastic, or metal.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Use Muscle Power

Multiple Transportation Solutions

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips, and I will only use muscle-powered transportation for all other trips.

COMPLETED 133
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Conduct Virtual Meetings

Telepresence

I will encourage my office to hold meetings virtually whenever possible instead of requiring travel.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Express My Support For Equitable Biking Infrastructure

Bicycle Infrastructure

I will find out who in my city makes decisions that impact bike routes and express my support for better biking infrastructure.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Research and Consider Switching to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle

Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars

I will spend at least 120 minutes researching and weighing my options to see if a hybrid or electric vehicle makes sense for my lifestyle.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Research and Advocate for High-Speed Rail

High-Speed Rail

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching and advocating for a comprehensive high speed rail network in my country/region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Connect With A Nonprofit

Health and Education

I will connect with a local nonprofit working on issues affecting women, girls, and/or trans/nonbinary people in my community, and find out how I can get involved or become a member.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 035 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 144
DAILY ACTIONS

Electricity

Learn More About Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Power

I will spend at least 060 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of geothermal energy and consider investing in this technology.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Intergenerational Sprng Seminar-April 9-11

U U Office at the United Nations, International Justice and Action/ UUA.org

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

Farm Irrigation Efficiency

I will prevent water runoff and increase absorbency by mulching the base of trees and plants in my yard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 9/01/2021 3:33 AM
    Our Columbus Team may be getting help from Cummins! 

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/23/2021 6:09 AM

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/21/2021 6:14 AM

    The numbers are in, solar panels working as intended

    Adopting the title of “The Solar City” comes with high expectations of performance results. Since 2017, the City of North Vernon has been nurturing its solar energy project — which included 24 community solar installations of over 550 LED streetlights and 7000 panels — to the protestation of some community members who either thought it was too big a risk and/or that the $5.399 million loan the city took out in order to fund the project could have been put to better use elsewhere in North Vernon.
    Thus far, Mayor Mike Ochs has given his recounting of the solar project’s conception and City Council member and electrician Trent Wisner broke down how the solar panels function and operate.
    That’s all well and good when you know what it’s “supposed” to do, but will it actually deliver?
    Well, the good news is for all concerned — the City of North Vernon’s solar energy project is, indeed, working as intended.
    “The results have been what I expected,” said Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Gerkin. “The problem is that there are people that didn’t understand the project, so their view is not as positive.”
    Gerkin explained that the main misconception is that all the electric bills for the city would go to zero. Those familiar with the project, he says, knew that wasn’t going to be the case, as there were some locations where solar didn’t make sense: i.e. a sewer lift station in the middle of a wood area shaded by trees or the lack of room on the Carnegie Building roof to put in enough panels to reduce that location’s bills to zero.
    “We also knew there were some locations where electrical usage had increased since the test year in 2015,” Gerkin said.
    For example, an entire wing of the ETC Building that is now being used by Rescare was empty six years ago and the quarry project with the new water pumping system was not taken into account because it didn’t exist yet. Those locations were designed to reduce those bills to zero based off of usage in 2015, not the increased usage in 2021.
    In short, the guarantee on the project was that the panels would generate 2.8 million kilowatt-hours (KWH) annually, not that all bills would go to zero or that the city would “save” any money.
    The project was also more than just solar; a large section of the project was the installation of LED lights in all buildings and streetlights, thus reducing energy usage. LEDs have many advantages over incandescent light sources, including lower power consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching. The streetlights in the city, which are owned by Duke Energy, cost the city approximately $9000 a month prior to replacing the bulbs. They now cost less than $4000 per month.
    Initial project costs were, as mentioned above, $5.3 million, so Gerkin had to come up with a financial plan when it came time to initiate the project.
    “I was concerned the debt of this project would affect the city’s ability to borrow money for the [City] Park’s pool project that was just beginning to be talked about,” Gerkin revealed. “As it turned out, there was a legal way to come up with a guaranteed energy savings contract that pledged annually appropriated monies for electric payments for repayment that didn’t count as debt against the city.”
    The problem was, he continued, to his knowledge, it had never been done in Indiana.
    Johnson-Mellow Solutions, the company partnering with the city on the solar project, initially provided them with an out-of-state bank willing to finance the conversion at an interest rate of 3.65%. The clerk-treasurer opted to pursue other quotes for the 16.5-year loan but found that most institutions he approached were not interested or willing to fund the solar project.
    Gerkin eventually talked with Kevin Gabbard at the Seymour branch of MainSource, now First Financial, and found an institution ready to work with this cutting edge approach to energy conservation with an economical interest rate of 2.45%.
    The lower interest rate obtained by Gerkin’s initiative will save North Vernon over $600,000 over the course of the loan.
    So how does that work?
    Prior to the project, the city would budget $125,000 for payments of streetlights and $150,000 for electrical payments at the sewer plant. They still have to annually appropriate the same amount of money per the contract. Now, however, the city streetlights are only $50,000 and electric at the sewer plant is only $20,000.
    The money “saved” is then used to make the semiannual payments on the loan. The same process is used for the NVETC, the water plant, the police station, the fire station, and other buildings utilizing the solar panels.
    “The real savings comes in 13 years when the project is paid off,” Gerkin said. “The next generation will have an additional $400,000 or more to spend on something positive for the city because the loan will be paid off and the electrical bills will remain next-to-nothing. Again, the bills aren’t zero as the naysayers might tell you, but the project is certainly working!”


  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/10/2021 4:56 PM
    EMCC Agenda
    Tuesday, August 10, 2021
    (via Zoom)
    6-7:30 PM
    Current Board Members:   
    Elected Feb 2020 and ending Jan 2022:  Michelle Carr, Cathy Caldie, Josh D'Anna, Tim Kelly, Steve Forster
    Elected Feb 2021 and ending Jan 2023:  Barry Kastner, Dennis Baute, Sharon Krieg
    2021 Officers:  Dennis Baute, Pres., Josh D’Anna, VP, Barry Kastner, Treas., Sharon Krieg, Sec.
    Tim Kelley, Mail Chimp Champ, and Michelle Carr, Social Media Star


    • Annual dues ($20) can be sent to EMCC, c/o Barry Kastner, 660 Terrace Lake Drive, Columbus, Indiana 47201.
    • Minutes/Treasurer’s Report – Sharon/Barry
    • City Ethnic Expo Waste/Composting Project – Kelly Geckler
    • City Sustainability Initiative – Dick Boyce
    • Policy Advocacy with Legislature/Sen. Koch – Mike Mullett
    • Duke IRP Project – Barry Kastner
    • Liability Insurance – Any interest?
    • Calendar Items/Announcements


  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/10/2021 4:15 PM
    Attended the Energy Matters meeting via Zoom. Updates on Recycling, City Sustainability Initiative, policy advocacy, & Duke IRP Project. 

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/09/2021 4:59 AM
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting of EMCC where we begin to get additional Community support for the CDP submission from The City of Columbus, IN & reach out to Bloomington, Indianapolis, & South Bend, IN for help & guidance for next year’s submission.

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/04/2021 6:33 AM
    our wildflower plantings this year

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/04/2021 6:30 AM
    Reached out to Evelyn Bauman in South Bend, IN, & asked if we could contact both her & her recent intern (Halee Griffey) who is leaving to go back to school about what they learned about emissions submissions on this years input for South Bend,  

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/03/2021 4:20 AM
    Received the name of the contact at South Bend, IN ( Evelyn Bauman) from CDP ( Kelsey Hall), & will make plans to contact her to get information on how they are progressing on their Climate Plan . 

  • Richard Boyce's avatar
    Richard Boyce 8/02/2021 9:00 AM