Last MLK Day ICEY worked with Anne McLaughlin and Volunteers for Change to organize and execute an MLK Day weatherization project. We were trained in simple, effective weatherization tasks such as caulking, wrapping hot water heaters, insulating hot water pipes and outlet gaskets, cleaning refrigerator coils, and putting up window insulation. About 100 people participated, and we weatherized 25 homes in Bloomington.
Recently, ICEY enjoyed weatherizing with the Monroe County Energy Challenge and their Energymobile! We helped homeowners identify changes they could make in their homes to save money and energy as part of a citywide effort to reduce energy usage and win a grant for more energy efficiency programs.
Over spring break, eight ICEY members drove together to Washington, D.C. and attended the Spring Lobby Weekend run by the Friends Committee of National Legislation. We heard guest speakers, including activists, religious leaders, and politicians, and participated in workshops on effective lobbying and communication with people whose views on climate change differed from ours. On our last day, we spoke with Representative Young’s office about the PREPARE Act and with Senators Donnelly and Coats’s offices about the Portman-Shaheen Bill. We had a great time exploring the city together, learned a lot about how our government functions, learned how we as citizens can have an influence on it, and came back home feeling inspired to do more.
This past October, a small group of ICEY members visited Todd Young’s District Office Manager to discuss the Gibson Resolution: a Republican-proposed resolution that acknowledges humanity’s impact on climate change and calls for action. We plan to continue lobbying locally.
Islamic Center Project
ICEY is helping the Islamic center of Bloomington get solar panels and become more energy efficient. ICEY has created a report about the ways that the Islamic center can reduce their energy usage. The idea is that the money saved by reducing energy use in the mosque and in congregants’ homes will go towards purchasing the panels. ICEY plans to help weatherize the homes of congregants.
ICEY has planned a youth conference, Youth Empowering Sustainability (YES!), that will be held on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Indianapolis. We will host two days of workshops and training focused on helping youth from around the state start their own groups like ICEY and teaching them to organize and execute weatherization projects like ours. We will have opportunities to explore other environmental topics and get hands-on experience helping local homeowners improve their home energy use. We’re encouraging participants to bring friends from other congregations to jump-start the formation of their own interfaith environmental groups.
ICEY can’t do all of this alone! If you know any youth who are passionate about the environment, please encourage them to join us. We are always looking for more enthusiastic middle- and high-schoolers of any religious affiliation who would like to be part of ICEY. Also, if you would like to see our great work continue, consider pitching in to make it possible. You can be sure that your money will help empower us and many other youth to take action for the planet. Thank you very much for your support.