Carbon-reduction competition returns to Jefferson County

Registration open until Jan. 22

Posted 1/14/21

Roaring in hot on the heels of a global pandemic, Taming Bigfoot will be making its triumphant return in Jefferson County in the year ahead.

This time around, though, Jefferson County’s …

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Carbon-reduction competition returns to Jefferson County

Registration open until Jan. 22

Posted

Roaring in hot on the heels of a global pandemic, Taming Bigfoot will be making its triumphant return in Jefferson County in the year ahead.

This time around, though, Jefferson County’s carbon footprint reduction contest will challenge participants to calculate their mid-pandemic carbon footprint in hopes of cultivating carbon-reducing habits as we collectively emerge from our viral slumber.

According to Bob Bindschadler — a retired NASA scientist who spent much of his career studying ice in Antarctica — the months ahead pose a unique opportunity for participants who want to evaluate their carbon impact. With many folks traveling less it is often the case that our carbon footprints are significantly reduced as a direct result of COVID-19. After having spent nearly the past year engaging in carbon reducing behavior, Bindschadler posits that everyone has a unique opportunity to examine which carbon contributing behaviors they are able to go without; hence Taming Bigfoot 2021’s tagline: “Recovering Greener.”

“I see it as an opportunity to gauge in a quantifiably defensible way how our personal footprints have changed under pandemic conditions,” Bindschadler said. “I think a lot of us are looking forward to being able to make adjustments to our lifestyle as the pandemic ends.”

After examining the difference in carbon output in pre-pandemic days, compared to mid-pandemic, Bindschadler said he hopes participants will realize that they have been — and can continue to — live in a manner that reduces their carbon footprint as we enter a post-pandemic period.

While the solution to the issue of global climate change will not only be coming from the grassroots, Bindschadler said, he notes that the grassroots work remains an important mechanism for the ultimate answer to the problem of global climate change.

Bindschadler said many of his colleagues prefer to focus on larger-scale corporate polluters as they are often the largest contributors to carbon emissions. But he feels that by taking stock of one’s own carbon footprint, an individual can become emboldened to hold other carbon contributors accountable.

“My point has always been that if [large-scale polluters] is where you put all your effort, then you’re pointing fingers,” he said.

“Once I address my own personal carbon footprint and reduce that and struggle with how to do that, that empowers me to say ‘OK, I’ve put my own house in order and it’s time for that industry to do the same.’”

Taming Bigfoot 2021 will take place from the beginning of February through the end of April.

Starting in February, teams of competitors will be asked to use a carbon calculator to tally up their collective carbon footprints while living their lives as normal. After the initial “business as usual” month, the teams are asked to take measures to ratchet back their carbon emissions starting in march and through April.

While Bindschadler said the first Taming Bigfoot competition in 2016 saw prizes awarded to the contests biggest carbon reducers, 2021’s iteration will be primarily focused on friendly competition educating the public and the participants on strategies they can employ to reduce their own carbon footprints.      

Teams are currently forming and applications for the competition will continue to be accepted until Jan. 22.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit l2020.org/climate-action/bigfoot/.

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