Boston Founding Members working on environmental protection: sustainable solutions to big problems

16 Nov

The public is becoming increasingly concerned about the environment. The impact of human activity on the planet is far reaching and there is growing concern about access to clean water, overpopulation, the depletion of natural resources, and the burning of dirty fuels. Gone are the days when we can lean on Government to solve these problems alone. Government, business and citizen alike, we must all play our part. It is the nonprofit and social enterprise sector however, that by and large, is leading the way in environmental stewardship. Today we feature four of our Founding 30 Boston-based organizations who are working to protect the environment and tackle these problems. What makes these four so compelling, is not just their impact on the environment, but their approach to tackling a combination of social and environmental issues simultaneously.

SolSolution has a dual focus: to generate clean, renewable energy and improve the quality of education in low-income communities. Their model is simple but effective – funds from the sale of solar-generated energy are diverted to underprivileged schools.

They’re ambitious too. Their 2020 goal is to provide 1 GW of solar power to U.S. schools, effectively saving $200 million in energy costs, which is donated to schools in need. How are they reaching their target? The SolSolution Educational Power Purchase Agreement (E-PPA) provides clean energy at a low, fixed rate, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and freeing up schools’ budget to be spent on much needed resources.

Help SolSolution! Learn how you can promote their case, go solar, make a donation or simply “Shop and Eat!”

Wegowise is bringing clarity and simplicity to a complex but popular issue in the green space – Energy Efficiency Investments. In addition to helping those grappling with the confusing science and finance of energy efficiency, Wegowise is also using its resources to serve low-income housing communities – precisely where their work can have the most meaningful impact.

They have created a low-cost and easy-to-use online tool that “gives expert answers to non-experts.” This tool helps users get the most out of energy efficiency investments, especially in the affordable housing sector, where resources are limited. As a social enterprise, Wegowise also combines the benefits of a revenue stream with a mission for using energy more wisely. Visit their website for a demonstration of how the Wegowise tools work, as well as pricing plans.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) combines the expertise of scientists, economists and lawyers to address environmental threats to the climate, oceans, ecosystems and people’s health.

Science, Economics and Partnerships: EDF was founded by a small and passionate group of scientists, who remain firm in their belief that rigorous science will help us identify and understand the most serious environmental problems and most effective solutions. Armed with scientific facts, EDF appeals to the marketplace. EDF have demonstrated time and time again that the right incentives can attract people and capital investment from the markets to solve environmental problems. Finally, EDF scientists partner with lawyers and major corporations to ensure lasting solutions.

EDF has been in operation for over 40 years and has many success stories to share. Visit their site to learn how EDF wrote the 1990 Clean Air Act, changed the way people think about commercial fishing and how they became the first nonprofit to partner with a big business in the US.

Founded in 1973 by the League of Women Voters and the Boston Shipping Association, The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA) promotes a clean, alive and accessible Boston Harbor.

Harbors are often the hub of industrial activity for seaside cities. That doesn’t mean they can’t also be beautiful, green, and safe public spaces. TBHA works closely with all the harbor’s stakeholders – from developers, environmentalists, waterfront businesses and local government – to develop sustainable solutions for environmental protection, industrial and commercial activity and public access. Among its many initiatives, TBHA has ensured the success of various renewable energy projects, the development of its popular waterfront and a program to remove over 240 tons of marine debris from the harbor’s waters.

They also host a number of free events that encourage both locals and tourists to get involved and enjoy the harbor. Visit their website to see what is happening in the upcoming weeks and learn how you can get involved.

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One Response to “Boston Founding Members working on environmental protection: sustainable solutions to big problems”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Catchafire Catches Fire in Boston with SolSolution « Solsolution - November 17, 2011

    […] what Catchafire had to say about us and our other environmental peers on their blog. Here is a small excerpt: “What makes these […]

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