In an effort to be good stewards of our resources, responsible citizens of Atlanta and the world, The Open Door Community has engaged in the process of making our operations as green as possible. At the same time, the difficult decision was made to provide a “cooling zone” for our guests and volunteers in the dining room, kitchen and (for other reasons) the office. The challenge is to add air conditioning and still either hold steady or, ideally, reduce our utility bills.
In order to proceed responsibly in this effort, we first had an energy audit performed by Southface Energy Institute. Their audit produced a list of specific recommendations, which we immediately began implementing. The air conditioning has been installed, and all of the light bulbs at both 910 and Dayspring Farm have been replaced with either compact fluorescent or LCD bulbs. We have also gone entirely to low-flow water fixtures and installed plexiglass insulation to eliminate heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. We have taken several measures to reduce heat gain in the kitchen and are looking at a new stove that will not pour heat into the kitchen and waste gas by constantly-burning pilot lights.
To assist us in these efforts, The Open Door Community received a grant from the Community Partnerships Committee of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The Community Foundation works directly with donors and their families to educate them about issues in the community and support their personal philanthropic goals. The foundation also provides support to nonprofits through grants and guidance to help them better serve those in need. For more information about the Foundation’s programs and initiatives, visit www.cfgreateratlanta.org.
The specific program involved is the Grants to Green program. Grants to Green is a collaborative partnership between The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, Southface and Enterprise Community Partners. Launched earlier this year, Grants to Green provides knowledge and funding to nonprofits to help green their building structures and become more environmentally sustainable. By participating in Grants to Green, nonprofits can not only save more on operational expenses in the long-term, but they can also dedicate those saved dollars to better meet their mission. More information about Grants to Green can be found on the individual partners’ websites at www.cfgreateratlanta.org, www.southface.org and www.enterprisecommunity.org.