Press release from Green Built Alliance:
As Appalachian Offsets crosses the one-year mark on its fundraising campaign to install solar panels on the roof of Asheville’s Isaac Dickson Elementary School, the nonprofit program will receive a financial boost as the beneficiary of 5% Day at Whole Foods Market, 4 South Tunnel Road, and Greenlife Grocery, 70 Merrimon Avenue, next week.
Both owned by Whole Foods Market, the two grocery stores will be donating 5 percent of all proceeds during normal business hours Thursday, April 19 to support Appalachian Offsets’ Isaac Dickson project. All Whole Foods Market stores around the world celebrate a quarterly 5% Day to support nonprofits and programs that champion environmental stewardship, health and nutrition, and sustainable food systems.
The generous contribution made by Whole Foods Market will go twice as far thanks to an anonymous donor who has provided a matching grant for the Isaac Dickson project. With more than $33,000 in tax-deductible contributions made toward the project as of early April, less than $77,000 remains to be raised from the community to complete funding for the project.
Appalachian Offsets’ largest undertaking to date, the Isaac Dickson Elementary School project will install a $1.1 million solar system on the roof. The school was designed as one of the state’s first Net Zero Energy schools and has been awaiting the integral solar system since construction was finished in 2016.
“Installing a rooftop solar system on the new Isaac Dickson Elementary will fulfill the architects’ vision of using the school building itself as learning tool that can be used to facilitate discussions about our environment and conservation, as well as the impacts of fossil fuel consumption not just on our climate but also on our air and water quality,” Isaac Dickson Elementary PTO Co-President Matt Menne said.
“Our kids will bear a much greater burden of the consequences of climate change caused by carbon emissions than their parents, so we owe it to them to do whatever we can to ensure that these youngest members of society have the same opportunities to succeed in life that we have had,” Menne said. “What better way to help than by reducing the carbon footprint of our schools, which provides the added benefit of saving money on energy costs for the district in the long run.”
Over its 30-year life, the solar system is expected to save $4.5 million in energy costs for the school.
Administered by the nonprofit Green Built Alliance, Appalachian Offsets is a voluntary carbon offset program that offers businesses, organizations, and individuals the option to easily reduce or offset their carbon footprint. Supporters offset their emissions by paying into a community fund that helps make energy-efficiency improvements within local nonprofits, schools and low-income housing.
Community members interested in getting involved can visit www.cutmycarbon.org to calculate their carbon footprint and offset emissions by paying into the community fund that supports these projects.