Homer Drawdown began in February of 2020 and meets on the third Thursday of each month. In October the series transitioned from local climate solutions brainstorming to solution implementation phase. Over the next year Homer Drawdown will be working to protect our local carbon sinks through Community Education, Preservation and Resortation of Peatlands!
While we are just beginning to imagine how we can collectively help preserve our local peatlands and mitigate their threats, this project is powerful because the value of keeping our peatlands intact in terms of mitigating climate change is clear and easy to communicate.
The preservation and restoration of peatlands is rated #13 of all the solutions identified in Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. “Though these unique ecosystems cover just 3% of the earth’s land area, they are second only to oceans in the amount of carbon they store – TWICE that held by the world’s forests.” Learn more about peatland protection as a solution to climate change in the Land Use chapter of Drawdown.
Homer Drawdown is a collaborative project between Alaskans Know Climate Change and Cook Inletkeeper and is equally supported by dedicated volunteers. If you live in or around Homer, we welcome you to become part of generating our climate solutions! Please contact email@example.com with questions and ideas or to purchase a Drawdown book.
Our second Homer Drawdown Peatlands meeting will take place at 6pm on December 17th. During this meeting we will hear updates from community members researching project viability in the realms of Peatland Conservation, Education and Restoration. We will also spend time working on and commiting to a timeline for our project over the next year.
November 19th For Peat's Sake Kick Off - Watch a recording of this meeitng
During our first Peatland project meeting we brainstormed specific actions we could acomplish to protect peatland in three distinct categories: Restoration, Conservation, and Education. Community members are now doing research to further assess potential viability for different project ideas.
October 29th Solution Selection - Watch a recording of the meeting.
After 9 months of community learning and brainstorming around local climate solutions, 50 members of our Drawdown community democratically selected our first project to implement: Community Education, Preservation and Resortation of Peatlands!
Below are the other top solutions we considered in no particular order:
- Wind Farm Feasibility Study
- Low-Income Home Energy Efficiency
- Food Preservation Co-op
- Non-motorized Transportation
- Outdoor Programs for Girls
- Homer Area Mini-Mass Transit
- Salvage Site and/or Re-Use Facility
- Municipal/Community Compost
- Affordable Heat Pumps
September 24th Materials
- (1) Organize to help the salvage site remain open and improve/expand it
- (2) Create a network and market for people who offer local and sustainable materials
- (3) Create a REUSE building or useful materials swap that could also incorporate trainings and local resource education
- Send letter surveying builders about choice of materials and waste
- Virtual or in person tours of local buildings that use alternative and local materials
- Education pointing toward reducing and reusing vs. recycling, also educate on what and how to recycle (revamp KARE)
- How-to guide or workshop for building a NetZero house on the Kenai Peninsula, linking in to a network of people that could provide local expertise
- Creating standards/building codes/education for buildings that incorporate more local materials and more sustainable materials in a SAFE and climate conscious way
- Financial incentives for recycling + looping the borough in
- Create a network and market for people who offer local and sustainable materials
- Encourage reused materials in local art installations
- Co-op for efficient appliances + education campaign around water conservation
August 27th Transportation
- (1) Minimass transit for the kenai peninsula
- (2) Advocating for HEA to provide rebates or subsidies for Ebikes
- (3) Creating a certification program for water taxi and charters that are using cleaner fuel/efficiency or who are buying into the carbon offset credit program
- Spearhead a community based marketing campaign encouraging investment in local stores, bulk buying and reducing individual shipping
- Carpooling program / Neighborhood based shuttle service during high traffic months
- Lobbying for roundabouts
- Analysis of a utilitarian use of HART funds to increase non-motorized transportation for low income populations
- Boat pooling
- Bulk source buying and shipping for batteries/ energy storage
- program for people to rent E vehicles
- Network to install charging stations and e fleets
- Education around sharing the road, partnering with the homer cycling club
August 6th Women and Girls
- (1) Support programs that get girls outside
- (2) Educate teachers about gender biases
- (3) Expand educations for girls around family planning and substance misuse
- Support higher levels of education funding
- Highlight local female leaders, spotlight their careers and create a mentorship program for young women
- Create a scholarship program for no questions asked to travel across the bay
- Work with the school board to require more gender studies learning in school
- Support female candidates in building their platform on climate action
- Ensure equal access in the Borough agriculture program
July 16th Land Use - Watch a recording of the meeting
- (1) For Peat's Sake: An education campaign to support peatland carbon storage. Use art as Incentivize landowners to conserve, possibly through a property tax break
- (2) Volunteer carbon offset market geared towards tourists
- (3) Support the National Estuary Research Reserve System peatland carbon project
- Design and implement interpretive plaques in Homer wetland areas
- Manage motorized travel damage in local wetlands
- Increase public awareness of fire hazards, incentivize fire breaks around homes in the form of property tax credits)
- Support the Borough in addressing the carbon-cost of developing lands for fracking in the permitting process
- Educate the borough on the value of the lands in terms of carbon sequestration
- Organize community activities to educate and celebrate lands over a weekend
- Cook Inlet watershed approach to land management - create a multi borough land management plan
- Peat Conservancy
June 18th Buildings and Cities - Watch a recording of the meeting
- (1) Bike path and walkability improvements
- (2) Carbon offset program to support low-income residential home efficiency improvements
- (3) City of Homer cost and carbon analysis for new buildings and improvements
- Partnering with HEA and having financial incentives/on-bill financing for heat pumps
- Financial incentives for smart thermostats
- A city commission that would focus on carbon and cost analysis
- Stormwater improvement system with a focus on green infrastructure
- City building life cycle cost analysis
- City annual report on building costs, energy usage and carbon emission
May 21st, 2020 Food Solutions - Watch a recording of the meeting
- (1) Municipal/Community Compost Project
- (2) Shelve stable canning, processing and storage co-op
- (3) Food waste reduction project
- Female focused small boat and ocean subsistence classes
- Meatless Mondays / Plant-based diet campaign
- Community Gardens
- BioChar project
- Localize school meals with commercially caught salmon
April 16th, 2020 Energy Solutions
- (1) Pool collective buying power, similar to the Solarize campaign, to make heat pumps more affordable.
- (2) Data collection for a wind farm on Bald Mountain, Olson Mountain, Diamond Ridge and/or Bradley Lake.
- (3) Pursue adding hydropower to the Homer reservoir.
- Identify/Pursue a financing model for low-income households to make energy improvement projects, such as on-bill financing.
- Create a marketing a program for a voluntary carbon offset market that encourages tourists to offset their travel to raise funds for Homer climate solutions
- Create a marketing plan to incentivize researchers and entrepreneurs to pilot tidal energy technology in Homer.
- Add wind turbines to the light poles on the spit.
- Farm alder and cottonwood for a large scale biomass generator.
- Methane capture system at the Homer landfill
- Pilot a tidal/hydro combo project in a harbor lagoon by creating a dam that opens until high tide, closes until low tide, then releases water to turn a turbine.
- Secure funding and invest in a biomass generator for a public building such as the library or police station.