By Lisa Loomis

The Carbon Shredders, a Mad River Valley conservation and education group, has successfully lobbied select boards in three Valley towns to have energy conservation articles placed on the Town Meeting agendas.

In the last week, Carbon Shredders have gathered signatures and presented petitions to the select boards of Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston and Moretown. Their petitions requested that the boards allow voters to cast ballots on the following articles:

 #1: Shall the voters of the Town of _________ pass a non-binding resolution to reduce the aggregate energy usage and carbon emissions of the residences, businesses, and institutions within the Town of Waitsfield by 10 percent by the year 2010.
#2: Shall the voters of the Town of _________ resolve to support the "10 by 10" carbon reduction initiative, as proposed by the Mad River Valley-based group Carbon Shredders, through active participation in the "10 by 10" program. This participation would include calculating current C02 footprint and using tools made available for free by Carbon Shredders, and pledging a 10 percent reduction in energy-usage and CO2 emissions by 2010. This resolution would mandate participation by Town institutions and facilities.
 #3: Shall the voters of the Town of _________ approve an expenditure, not to exceed $600.00, to support a local community education program offered by the Mad River Valley-based group Carbon Shredders in partnership with the non-profit Yestermorrow Design and Build School, with the goal of getting the Town's residents, businesses, and institutions to reduce their energy usage and carbon footprints by 10 percent by the year 2010. Said funds would be used to cover a portion of the operating expenses associated with workshops, educational materials and public awareness and support programs, during the 2008 fiscal year, and would be paid via reimbursements by the Town, subject to Town approval of each expense.
The Fayston Select Board agreed to put Article 2 on its Town Meeting agenda. The Waitsfield Select Board agreed to put on Articles 1 and 3. The Warren Select Board agreed to put all three articles on its agenda. The Moretown Select Board asked that the articles be raised from the floor during Town Meeting.
The mission statement of the Carbon Shredders is to "help the Mad River Valley save money on energy costs, create a clean energy future for the community and reduce our collective energy usage and CO2 footprint by 10 percent by 2010 through our '10 by 10' initiative.
The Carbon Shredders include a steering team of 13 local individuals, organizations and businesses, with corporate sponsorship from Yestermorrow, Seventh Generation, Do Your Part/ICF International and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.