Oak Ridge kicks off Green Power Switch

Oak Ridge is one step closer to becoming the first Green Powered community in the Southeast. The city kicked off a campaign for the Green Power Switch Saturday at the annual Oak Ridge Earth Day Festival.

"We are trying to promote the Earth healthy things we do in Oak Ridge. There is the erase your trace which is a drive recycling. You could get rid of your electronics, books, blankets, shoes, and we also have document shredding," said event organizer Mary Saethre.

The Oak Ridge Earth Day Festival has been a staple of the Oak Ridge community for nearly a decade. It shows the importance of being green in the community.

This year, the city is focusing on one specific sustainable effort. The Green Power Switch.

"We work with local power companies to make this program available for people who want to support sustainable energy. Who don't have solar or wind power on their roofs. They can add $4 or $8 to their electric bill, and buy a block of energy that is solar powered energy wind electricity from here in the Tennessee valley," said Green Power Switch Project Manager Jenny Wright.

They had a booth at the festival kicking off a two month campaign.

The goal is getting 100 people to sign up.

"This has been really encouraging. We came out here and set up and talked to a good amount of people. I think we have actually reached 10% of our goal," said Wright.

One of the people who signed up on day one was grade schooler Kira Palau, who spent her birthday money to sign up her family.

"It helps the Earth stay healthy, and it will help everyone so there is not as much pollution," said Palau.

This campaign is the last step before they would qualify for the Green Power Community Award. An award that fits in with Oak Ridge's overall theme, being green.

"I am looking forward to actually being able to say that we are the Green Power Community in the Southeast," said Marlene Witt with the city of Oak Ridge.

"I am curious to see where they will go from here. What will be the next step in terms of sustainability," said Wright.

The campaign wraps up June 21st. If they get the 100 people to join, they will receive the Green Power Community award. The award would be handed out on July 14th at city council.


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