GreenSpot eNewsletter December 2018

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GreenSpot Household eNewsletter  -  December 2018

“At its core, the issue of a clean environment is a matter of public health.”
                                                            – Gina McCarthy, Former Administrator U.S. EPA

Topics in this edition include:

  • Winter is Coming
  • What GreenSpot level are You?
  • Sustainable Columbus
  • Cycling in the Winter Wonderland
  • Electric Vehicle Sales are Up
  • GreenSpot and the Arts: OBLSK
  • Did you know they are a GreenSpot? American Municipal Power
winter home

Winter is coming

Brrrr! As the temperatures drop and winter settles in, think about ways to stay warm. Here are some ideas you can use:

  • Get a programmable thermostat and dial it down when you aren’t home. When you are home, throw on a sweater and/or drink some hot chocolate to keep warm.
  • Cover the windows. They make energy efficient curtains that help keep that draft at bay. Even the plastic on the windows helps a bit.
  •  Draft dodgers. These are the long tubes placed at the inside bottom of the door to keep drafts from getting in. You can even make your own with old socks or sheets.
  • Rugs. Area rugs can protect your feet from that cold hardwood floor!
  • Perform an energy audit and take advantage of rebates offered by Columbia Gas of Ohio and AEP Ohio.

Here are other eco-ideas.

GS badge

What GreenSpot Level are You? 

This past year we introduced different eBadges you can earn on your personalized GreenSpot dashboard. The eBadges correlate with the number of points you accumulate from commitments you make. We want to give a shout out to the 100 households that reached the green level in conserving energy, conserving and protecting water, and reducing/reusing/recycling! They received a free GreenSpot 10th anniversary teeshirt. We’ll be doing more giveaways in the future, so make sure you log into your account and keep it up to date.

Sustainable Columbus logo

Sustainable Columbus 

Recognizing the role a healthy environment plays in contributing to the City of Columbus reputation as an Opportunity City, the City has established the Sustainable Columbus initiative. This initiative, under the leadership of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, focuses on optimizing city operations and working with external stakeholders from throughout the community to enhance and promote environmentally friendly policies throughout our community. Please check out the Sustainable Columbus website to learn more about this effort!

Cyclist biking in winter

Cycling in the Winter Wonderland 

It can be done! In fact, no matter the weather, you can see cyclists biking around town. If you are interested in winter biking there are some things to consider.

• Wear mittens or bifurcated-style handwear which keeps the fingers close together.

• Keep your feet warm with winter boots or purchase specialized bike shoes.

• Wear a balaclava with ski googles or sunglasses to keep your head warm.

• Wear layers to keep warm and don’t forget a waterproof and/or windproof jacket.

• Fat tires are more stable in the snow than skinner ones.

• Remember COTA has bike racks on all their buses, so if you need to retreat, take the bus.

GreenSpot member Yay Bikes! wrote an excellent article on “Dressing for the Weather.” Additionally, they are holding a “How We Roll Holiday Lights!” on Tuesday, December 11th for their members. Photo courtesy of Yay Bikes!


Electric Vehicle Sales are Up

Smart Columbus recently announced that for the first time ever, electric vehicle sales in the Columbus region exceeded 1% of vehicles sold in the Columbus region during the summer of 2018. EV sales benefitted from the release of the Tesla Model 3, with Tesla selling 54.6% of electric vehicles purchased in the region during the three-month period. The most popular plug-in hybrid electric vehicle model during this timeframe was the Toyota Prius Prime.

Check out the sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield and Licking Counties during the summer of 2018.

These sales figures put the Smart Columbus program ahead of schedule against its goal of increasing electric vehicle sales in the region nearly five-fold, from a baseline of 0.37% of vehicles sold in 2015, to the goal of 1.8% of vehicles sold by 2020. Smart Columbus’ electrification efforts are funded by the $10 million grant awarded to Columbus by the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies as the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge.


GreenSpot and the Arts: OBLSK

OBLSK recently had the pleasure of working with Polaris Fashion Place to create “Santaville”, an interactive, immersive, magical experience for children to venture through as they wait to meet the man of the hour. Santa Claus! An important part of this installation was to find a way to build from sustainable materials. And being able to answer the question of how can you build a HUGE installation in recycled materials. The two main building materials we used in the installation were F-Sorbs (used for our snowflakes) and Baltic Birch wood (used for the Santa village). F-Sorbs is amazing! It’s an acoustic paneling that is made from 65-96% recycled content that contain no adhesives, paints, coatings, VOC’s, formaldehyde, fiberglass insulation, wood, agriculture or paper products. This project was, also, all built by local artists in Columbus, Ohio building up the local economy here in our home town. See more images here.

AMP Logo

Did you know they were a GreenSpot member? American Municipal Power


American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) is dedicated to environmental stewardship, and has been for over two decades. AMP’s diverse energy portfolio makes them a leader in deploying renewable and advanced power assets.

AMP developed the first utility-scale wind farm in Ohio; is a partner in the largest utility-scale solar installation in the state; and deployed 11 hydro turbines across four run-of-the river plants on the Ohio River in 2016 and 2017.

AMP’s Sustainability Principles, formally adopted in 2005, and updated in 2011 and 2018, serve to guide organizational planning and decisions. The principles, along with AMP’s quarterly and annual sustainability reports, can be viewed at

AMP strives to use its Columbus headquarters building to demonstrate the use of green materials and energy efficient products.

  • AMP replaced 220 lighting fixtures with LEDs. The estimated annual electricity savings is 35,448 kWh for a total estimated annual cost savings of $3,226.
  • The chiller and control system were replaced with a new, more efficient system, with an estimated annual energy savings of up to 300,000 kWh and projected cost savings of up to $30,000 annually.
  • AMP installed an electric vehicle charging station for free use by tenants, employees, members and visitors as well as to charge AMP’s plug-in-hybrid fleet vehicle.

In addition to the Columbus GreenSpot Light Award, AMP received the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s highest honor in 2018 – the E3 Platinum Award.

GreenSpot is a program of the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities. Stay connected through our website.