The Cool Block program was started 10 years ago in California and is currently being rolled out in Europe and on the East Coast (i.e. in our neighborhood). The program goal is to accelerate the decarbonization of our cities by 2030. Media Borough is the latest home to a Cool Block pilot.
What is the Cool Block program? I like to describe it as a hyper-local study group where we look at carbon reduction strategies: building energy resilient households, preparing for disasters, and developing community projects. You can learn more about how the Cool Block program works here.
On the global scale, Cool Blocks claims that the program is responsible for removing more than 20 Billion pounds of C02 from our atmosphere. They have touched two million households since starting this work in the early ’90s. For more on the assumptions and metrics check out this impact report.
As of August 2023, our little Borough of Media has enrolled 12 households at the tip of North Lemon Street. We’ve met three times so far for an Information Session, a Team Building Meeting and a working session on creating an Energy Resilient Home. We’ve been reviewing our preparation for power outages—and have discovered some cool devices and food products that can help support that effort.
An online community dashboard allows us to track which actions we’ve taken and the impact it’s had on carbon reduction.
Each block is encouraged to create a mission statement that reflects the block’s priorities. North Lemon Street adopted this mission statement:
In response to climate change and degrading natural environments, we choose to respond, prepare for emergency, help each other and those in need, by working together, pooling resources, and sharing as neighbors.
Undoubtedly, the most powerful aspect of this program so far has been the bonding across our neighborhood. Casual conversations with neighbors are way up, people are walking together and bonding over local events. We’ve even had one household that had a mini-crisis with their water system. They were able to call upon their new-found Cool Block neighbors for some help with access to water when their system was shut down for repairs.
Learn more about becoming a Cool Block leader—register and join a free information session to be held on August 30th at noon: