Discussion of 350.org event and related Cool Roofs Program
The bulk of the meeting was taken up with a discussion about two related items: an event recognizing the 350.org "Day of Action" on October 24 (see http://350.org for more information), and the new MPGRCC Cool Roofs yearlong project.
Discussion covered the following topics:
A 350.org-related event
- One option discussed was an event in front of Kepler's Books, if we could get permission. This event would include signboards covering the cool roofs concept, volunteers who could talk to interested persons about cool roofs and the GRCC's cool roof project, tables with handouts, and entertainment provided by a belly dance troupe and a young person's hip-hop group. However, the Kepler's event depends on getting permission from the building owner, as well as Kepler's and Borrone's. At this time, it is not clear that we will be able to have this event, but there are tentative plans in place in case the permissions come through.
- Another event option that was discussed and elaborated is related to existing or new cool roofs in Menlo Park (including West Menlo). This would basically entail getting permission from a cool roof owner, such as the owner of the house that just had its roof painted in West Menlo, to have a small "press event" on October 24.
- A further elaboration of this plan was to develop a small yard sign that people with cool roofs (even if they did not know they had cool roofs) could place in their yards, calling attention to the fact that their roofs are reducing global warming. Existing cool roofs would be identified using Google Earth or Google Maps (you simply look for buildings with light-colored roofs). Then the owners/residents of these buildings would be contacted to see if they would like to participate in the signage. There was consensus that this would be a worthwhile activity, and in particular could take advantage of the Menlo Atherton High School Leadership Council, represented at the meeting by Mary Kenney, who could help with the Google Maps search by looking in their neighborhoods for candidate buildings.
- Other event options that were suggested were: Finding a volunteer who would paint "350" on their roof in preparation for a complete cool roof painting; using compost from the Menlo Park compost pile to "paint" a giant "350" on the hillside in Bayfront Park. At the moment we do not have a volunteer for painting "350" on their house.
There was discussion on whether the 350.org event needed to specifically focus on the number 350, or on some action that Menlo Park/the GRCC would be taking to help reduce atmospheric carbon. The general consensus was that the action was more important than the symbol, per se. The further consensus was that there are various ways to incorporate "350" into the Cool Roofs project, such as having a target of 350 new cool roofs in Menlo Park over the next 12 months.
The Cool Roofs Project
The bulk of the meeting was taken up with discussing what type of event we could do for the Day of Action, but it also focused around the Cool Roof Project in general. This is currently conceived as a one-year project to promote cool roofs in Menlo Park. The project will be launched on 24 October, in conjunction with the 350.org Day of Action. The numeric goal of the 12 month project is to result in 350 new cool roofs in Menlo Park during the project. The means are via education, events, working with the community, and working with the Menlo Park City Council. 350 new cool roofs in Menlo Park offsets the equivalent of more than 3,500 tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking almost 1,000 cars off the road for a year.
Action items resulting from the discussions above included:
- Development of some yard sign concepts (Judy Horst)
- Development of web site content, "frequently asked questions," and other materials regarding the cool roofs project, to be available for October 24 (Nils Davis, Kate Forrest, Alex Cannara, and others)
- A posting to the 350.org website indicating that Menlo Park is having an event (Nils)
- Discussion with the Menlo-Atherton High School Leadership Council about helping with finding existing cool roof buildings in Menlo Park neighborhoods (Mary Kenney)
- Is Borrone's open to an event on Menlo Plaza? (Joe Walmsley to contact someone he knows at Borrone)
Open questions that still have to be researched:
- Who will pay for the signs? (Nils and Kate)
- Can the signs be environmentally responsible (e.g., recyclable, compostable, etc.)? (Judy to research)
- Can we have the event at Kepler's? We are awaiting a response from Clark Kepler and the Menlo Plaza managers, as well as Borrone's
Joe Walmsley "pre-announced" an initiative that he is starting to organize, focusing on getting people out of cars and onto bikes. The kickoff for this will be an event including merchants and local publicity. This initiative is at the "gathering ideas" stage, according to Joe.
The meeting ended at 12:15.