Anyone who has spent a winter in Missoula knows it can be a dark season in the valley - and with recent world events, that darkness has felt to me even heavier than usual. But yesterday, on the shortest day of the year, the sun decided to show its face in Missoula in what seemed like the first time in weeks. It was an auspicious sign, as many of our friends and partners (MontPIRG, 350 Missoula, AERO, MREA, Hellgate S.A.V.E., MCV Ed Fund, the Sierra Club, and more) came down to our Solar Solstice Rally to celebrate and show support for the future of solar energy in our state and city. We were also joined by two great local solar installers, SBS Solar and Jordan Solar. We kept warm with cameraderie and cocoa (thanks Liquid Planet!) - a joyful way to ring in the winter solstice!
As we look forward to 2017, there's no denying there are challenges ahead. But the bright future of solar energy is one thing that gives us hope when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint and building a cleaner and healthier community. The solar industry is growing and the cost of solar energy is now cheaper than ever. Another reason we love solar is that it's something everyone can get behind. In fact, the vast majority of voters on both sides of the aisle support using more renewable energy like solar and wind. In such a polarized political climate, that's something worth celebrating!
Still, the future of solar isn't a sure thing - it's up to all of us to make our voices heard! Not everyone can put solar panels on their roof, so we also need state policies that increase access to renewable energy, like expanded net metering and PACE legislation, to name just a couple that we will be supporting in the upcoming legislative session. Check out our infographic and Solar Smart webpage to learn how you can get active in making solar energy our future. And, we hope you'll join us in the community room at Imagine Nation Brewing on January 5th for our first monthly meetup of 2017!
We wish you all a holiday season filled with light and love!
-Abby (and Amy and Hailey)
Our Year 1 Celebration was a smashing success! We were thrilled to have so many friends join us at Imagine Nation Brewing to toast a year-plus of Climate Smart Missoula. We’re grateful for the support of so many of you. Building a sustainable, smart community truly does take a village.
Our Celebration was the perfect chance to recognize a few of the committed folks who are finding innovative climate solutions and building a resilient Missoula and who have helped Climate Smart grow during our first year. Thus was born the first annual Smarty Pants awards! Drumroll please…
Master of Solar: Diana Maneta
Catalyst for Change: Jack Lawson
Doctorate of Dedication: Beth Schenk
Masters in (the) Fine Art of Community Building: Fernanda Menna Barreto Krum, Robert Rivers, and the INB Team
Thank you all - and here's to 2017!
We wished we could have given out even more awards – there are so many of you who have contributed to making our first year a success!
Want to get more involved in 2017? We need you! We’ve got some ideas of how to plug in here and of course, your year-end support means so much to us today. Get in touch - and stay tuned for more...