Jane Bindley – a force for sustainable life

Dec 07, 2010 1 Comment

Jane Bindley is a force for life – for sustainable life on Earth!  She can’t help herself – she has to be in community to share her love of working together to improve ways humanity connects and uses the resources around us.  Her joy and “can do” spirit is infectious.  Enjoy this interview where you’ll get a glimpse, just a thimbleful, of the many good works Jane is doing!

1.  What do you do?

I’m an advocate for the environment. I’m always thinking of ways to educate, make changes in behaviors, to spread the word. Ideas pop into my head – ideas of how to reduce carbon emissions. Then I begin to think of ways to turn those ideas into a reality.

In the summer of 2004, I attended a speaker training for global warming education and did public speaking. I loved doing this. It was a good way to let off steam and I learned more about global warming and climate change preparing the talks.

One idea that came to fruition was as simple as suggesting to my 50th College Reunion Committee that we become a “Green Reunion.” They said “yes!” We had the Reunion and then created Green Fund for sustainable projects. A group of us are still prodding our alma mater to improve their practices.

Another similar idea was establishing a Green Committee at the hospital where I work. A colleague who was captivated with the information in a talk I gave, never gave up his e-mailing a VP until there was a Green Committee established in the hospital. There was no recycling and so I took all of the paper from the department to my local recycling center until the hospital instituted paper recycling. One of my colleagues continues to take plastic bottles home to her recycling center. On my to do list is conservation in many areas, shutting down computers, plastic recycling, fewer lights on at night. All will save dollars as well as carbon.

In 2006, I called five folks to see if they would be interested in forming a group to work on global warming education in our community. It was the beginning of the Weston Climate Group. For the past two years we have had of eight folks who run the Group. We have done film series, educational speakers, town wide competition on home electricity saving. One of our members writes columns for our local newspaper and two of them attend every meeting of the Permanent Building Committee to help improving the energy efficiency of town buildings.

In 2006, I purchased a 1970′s ranch on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. My dream was to have a year round vacation home for my family and to have a net zero home. Net zero meant no fossil fuels and running the year round home on the electricity it produced. The dream came true!

The net-zero home was built due to the design builder and the people he gathered to work on the renovation. During the building and after its completion we have used the house to show interested home owners and builders all of the components — insulation, ground source heat system, solar hot water, photovoltaic panels, triple glazed windows and all of the sustainable products. We participate in the October National Solar Open House Day. We have open houses in conjunction with the local Science Center. The Science Center’s Lake Tours included a description of the Net Zero home, too. Spreading the word about the possibilities of sustainable components has been a fun way to meet new folks and learns about their projects and dreams.

Recently, my condominium building in downtown Boston has hired a firm to assess if they can become a LEED Certified Existing Building. The Board voted to replace 700 light bulbs with LED bulbs in the common areas of this high rise. (They use 90% less electricity than an incandescent light and the investment of will be paid back in three years.) Our building administrator is determined to improve the building. I am right there beside her and so is our Board. She has led the way. I am Chairman of our Green Committee. It creates an exciting atmosphere in the building.

2. Why do you do it?

I started working with these carbon reduction ideas after I heard Ross Gelbspan speak in March of 2004. I considered myself to environmentally up-to-date and well read in current events. It was part of my heart and soul. My college botany major introduced me to the fragile and beautiful interdependence of all of God’s creatures including ourselves. Ross’s lecture changed my life. I knew nothing about Global Warming and the resultant, Climate Change. Why was I so ignorant? Ross answered that question, too.

Here are just a few of the facts he presented that evening way back six years ago. They are also found in his 2004 book, Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis – And What we Can Do to Avert Disaster and on his website.

  • In 1995,a community of the world’s climate scientists declared they had detected a human influence on the climate.
  • In 2001, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comprised of 2,000 scientists from 100 countries participating in the largest and most rigorously peer reviewed collaboration in history, reported to the U.N. that brutal droughts, floods and violent storms across the planet will intensify because emissions from Humanity’s burning of coal and oil is driving up temperatures. The report concluded that poor countries in Africa, Asia and South America with limited resources would bear the brunt of the most severe climate change.

These two facts were like getting hit by a ton of bricks. There were many others that stood out to me as well that evening and I encourage readers of this interview to visit Ross’s website and glean new information that will inform and inspire thoughtful action.

4 . How does “what you do” and your approach to life nourish you? In what ways do others find what you do nourishing?
Everything I have worked on over the past six years has been enormously rewarding and stimulating. Why? Everything depended upon working with other people. Nothing was done or achieved without the energy and knowledge of the other folks. We worked together. That is the nourishment for me and I suspect for them, too!

5. What would you say is your biggest source of inspiration?
My biggest source of inspiration are the veterans who have given of themselves for the past decade and more — Ross Gelbspan, Bill McKibben, Eban Goodstein, Ian Bowles, and Lieth Sharp. They are tireless. They are the doers, teachers and leaders. Thank God for them.

6. Where can we learn more?

To read about the net-zero home Jane built in NH — www.regreenprogram.org

To read about the home Jane recycled in MA – www.metrowestdailynews.com

To explore the activities of the Weston Climate Group – www.westonclimategroup.org

To learn more about Ross Gelbspan and his work — www.heatisonline.org

Living Green, Spotlight - Making a Difference

One Response to “Jane Bindley – a force for sustainable life”

  1. Lynwood Murnan says:

    I really enjoy the article.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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