An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

“As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions.”     -Al Gore

Learn more about Al Gore by clicking HERE.

Cherry Creek High School’s Ecological Action Club will be hosting a screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a movie focused on the efforts of former Vice President Al Gore to educate the global population about the effects of climate change. We will show the movie on Friday, April 20th from 5-8pm at Cherry Creek High School. As an environmental club, not only is it important for us to do everything in our power to enact positive change in our environment, but also to ensure that the people in our community are aware of important issues affecting our environment such as climate change. Following the movie, a group of students will be available to answer any questions about important climate change issues or other questions about the movie. We are so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to see you there!

Tickets will be $10 at the door and will go towards installing solar panels on a veteran’s home on the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation this summer!

If you are unable to attend the screening, but would like to contribute to EcoAction’s fundraising efforts, please click HERE.

 

Love to all,

Riley Weeks

 

 

Ethnic Fest!

On February 1st, EcoAction had the pleasure of having a table at Cherry Creek High School’s Ethnic Fest, a celebration of culture and diversity within our community. Along with intricate henna designs, amazing performances, and crazy good food, our small contribution to the festivities were Belgian waffles! The money we made went directly to our Solar Panel fund. We are looking forward to heading out again this summer to install Solar Panels on the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation! Check out what we did last summer by clicking HERE. For everyone who stopped by, thank you so much for donating your time and money at such a unique event! We hoped you enjoyed our waffles and see you next year!

P.S: Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming fundraisers, including  PATXI’S PIZZA!

Peace,

Riley weeks

 

Patxi’s Pizza Fundraiser!

Click HERE to donate directly to Eco-Action

Greetings, Pizza lovers! Yes, I did say pizza! Ecological Action is having a fundraiser! Come eat with us on Wednesday, February 28th at Patxi’s Pizza on University and Hampden.   You can also pick up a half baked pizza for later by calling 303-783-2000

10% of the proceeds will go to purchase solar panels for a family on the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation.

To learn more, check out our blog from similar installation from last summer: Pine Ridge 2017!

If you have already joined us for Pizza, or are enjoying a slice right now, we really appreciate it! Thank you for taking the time to look at our website to see what we are up to.

Looking to donate more than 10% of your bill? Click on the link below to help! Our goal is $5,000 and we couldn’t do it without such a supportive community!

Click HERE to Donate

Continue to check this blog and share it with your friends and family to see what Eco-Action is up to and how the solar panel installment goes this summer! But for now, enjoy that pizza! Yum!

Peace and Love,

Riley (EcoAction President at Cherry Creek High School)

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Happy 2018, Everyone!

I want to share my gratitude for the incredible recognition Ecological Action has received from an organization working to foster a generation of “world-changers”.

In September, I was awarded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes “celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from diverse backgrounds all across North America. Established in 2001 by author T.A. Barron, the Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment”

The other students I was selected along with are passionate and remarkable activists in so many fields. It is an humbling honor to be selected alongside such inspirational people as a 2017 winner. I am so eager to see how the amazing projects each of them leads continue to evolve and impact the world.

Please read their stories HERE and get involved with a project that strikes you!

To the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes: Thank you for supporting the contributions and endeavours of youth. I am incredibly humbled by and exceeding grateful for the work you do to recognize, reaffirm, and spread the word about youth taking action and following their hearts. I never anticipated that the projects I lead would reach so many people. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to not only share my story but for buoying my hope that our generation is capable of solving each and every one of the issues our world faces.

All my gratitude and appreciation,

Abigail Weeks

 

Additional Publicity:

Colorado Parent: Colorado Kids Making a Difference

Mother Nature Network: Meet 20 kids who are changing the world right now 

Reuter’s Sustainability Blog

Reader’s Digest: The 17 Most Inspirational Kids of 2017 

When Meters Spin Backwards

Thoughts from Abbie Weeks and Jeff Boyce

-Abbie Weeks-

Today we put up the last of the solar panels on Mr. Conquering Bear’s house and finished a project that began as soon as I returned from Uganda last summer.

I can’t help but smile remembering the moment the solar panels were live and began to generate electricity. All of the team was gathered around the meter and, as miraculously as working against gravity, it spun backwards; energy was going back into the grid.

lastday3

Often times, environmental conservation works feels just like that: like working against gravity: as if pursuing sustainability means pushing back at some unstoppable force of economics or some inevitable path for our planet.

But this solar installation on Pine Ridge is another piece of evidence that the protection of our planet and the prosperity of our species are simultaneously attainable. Solar works. Renewable energy is a realistic solution.

This trip to Pine Ridge was full of not only incredible memories and people, but of a sense of community and purpose. Late night campfires and games of Frisbee strengthened friendships and created utter joy. Meetings with the Pine Ridge Housing Authority, lessons from the Solar Corps team at Grid Alternatives, and stories from local tribal members, strengthened my sense of purpose, and created profound awe.

I have graduated high school, and the EcoAction chapter at Cherry Creek High School will be passed on to new student leadership. Yet the experiences I have had working with communities towards affordable and sustainable energy are already writing the next years of my life. How lucky am I to have met so many kindred souls, to have traveled across the world and the United States, and to have the support of my community in this incredible adventure. I want to thank Jeff Boyce: teacher, mentor, and incredible human being for his undying support of my dreams. He helped me make so many of them come true.

There is always a finality to the closing of one chapter and the beginning of the next, but I have no doubt that EcoAction and you, reader, will defy gravity and continue to fulfill our responsibility to our planet and each other. We need action and activists now more than ever.

Best of luck, and my immense gratitude to each and every person I have met so far on this journey.

All my love,

Abbie Weeks

_MG_1885

 

-Jeff Boyce-

I became an environmental scientist because I care about this beautiful planet that we share. I became a teacher because it is future generations that will need to solve the problems that we collectively face.

The PV install in Pine Ridge was complete when the net electricity meter slowed down and reversed direction. This was the moment that the 3 roof arrays consisting of 21 individual panels came online and began producing more electricity than the home was consuming.

This installation of this 7.2 kW system marks a decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide that is released by the combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity. This system will generate approximately 15,000 kWh of electricity per year. The Nebraska Power Association generates electricity for Pine Ridge and uses coal for almost 65% of that electricity. A single kWh of electricity from coal releases 1.2 pounds of carbon dioxide. This install represents a decrease of just less than 20,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

This is real change. We don’t to need to wait for people in Washington to legislate change, we need to educate people and change how we approach our consumptive lifestyles.

I want to thank Grid Alternatives for allowing us to partner with them. This trip changed the lives of my students and opened my eyes to the power of learning outside the classroom. The folks at Grid went out of their way to educate, to engage and empower my students each and every day. They are true “Solar Warriors”!

IMG_1091Riley Weeks and Abbie Weeks Sending up the last of the solar panels_MG_1704

JYWG5557

Robin, Abbie, and Lina

 

Solar Panels to the Roof!

Wednesday Roof Team: Claire

Hey everyone, I’m Claire.

A few of us woke up early for the sunrise gleaming over the lake we’re camping by, and it was breathtaking. The lake was calm and clouds bright pink. The clouds blew in and rained and rained, so the day started a little later than anticipated.

We got to Conquering Bear’s house around nine but lightning kept us from working on the roof at first so we tested and recorded the open circuit voltage (VOC) of each solar panel to ensure the whole system would be generating as much electricity as possible once installed.

GHTG8774Eventually we got up onto the roof around 11am. We worked in two teams on different sections in the house. Boyce, Nick (Solar Corps), Lina, and I installed nine solar panels onto the East side of the house and four on the West side. Which was pretty easy once you got the hang of it. A little muscle heaved the panels from the ground onto the roof and Lina and I helped straighten them out and bolt them in place. On the West side, the rest of the roof team worked on getting the rails up for more panels to sit on. After lunch we regrouped to work on running conduit (for the wires) from the different junction boxes (from the panels) to combine them into one box. Tomorrow we have to attach eight solar panels (on the West side) and fish the wires through the conduit. Other than that we nearly done!

 

Crawlspace Mornings

While the roof team may seem to have all the glory of installation to themselves, the ground team does merit some appreciation. Although the solar panels are placed on the roof, as well as the microinverters in this install, the electricity generated by the panels must be fed into the main service panel (an electric box) located in the back of Mr. Conquering Bear’s house. On the ground this morning I worked with Riley, Allan, and team supervisor Austin, in the crawlspace. We dropped the grounding wire down from the back room into the crawl space but the wire wouldn’t fit into the conduit at first so we had to bend new wires and try and fit it into the awkward space between the wall and insulation. The power is off to the home to prevent electrocution as we handle the wiring, so we were without lights in the crawlspace save a flashlight.

 

 

IMG_1061

Austen wearing an arc flash suit to avoid potential electrocution while working on the main service panel

 

Eventually we got all the wiring in place so that when the panels are active, they will directly power the home!

IMG_1073

In the afternoon we fed wires up to the roof that would connect the arrays and finalize the connections. Tomorrow we will finish the instal!

 

riley sticker

Riley places Caution sticker on electrical box