Frequenty Asked Questions About the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge

Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge FAQs

  • What is the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge and why should I get involved?
    • The Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge is an online platform that helps Contra Costa residents reduce their carbon footprint by providing tips, incentives, and resources. Collect points by taking actions that reduce your household’s overall carbon footprint. Earn points to be eligible to receive prizes such as reusable utensils, straws, and bags! 
    • Anyone who participates in the Challenge may receive a free yard of mulch from EcoMulch and be entered into a drawing to win a water-trough planter filled with soil, a $150 value! 
  • What is the Spring/Summer Challenge?
    • The Cleaner Contra Costa Fall Challenge is a competition where teams across Contra Costa County will compete by completing actions, earning points, and making a difference in their community. The top team per region (West County, Central County, East County) and the first 100 households to reach 5,000 points will earn a prize.
    • The Spring/Summer Challenge is now in progress and runs until August 31, 2020. More information on the Spring/Summer Challenge can be found here: https://sustainablecoco.ning.com/forum/topics/join-the-cleaner-contra-costa-spring-summer-challenge
  • Why do I need to create an energy profile?
    • Your energy profile creates a baseline for your carbon footprint and allows you to see your progress as you complete actions. You’ll be asked to provide information about your:

Home Energy

  • Number of rooms in your house
  • Type of stovetop and oven (e.g. gas or electric) and frequency of use
  • Where you do your laundry and how many loads a week do you do
  • Type of fuel you use to power your main heater (.e.g. propane or electric)
  • If you use portable electric heaters or air conditioning
  • Kind of fuel you use to heat your water
  • If you participate in 100% green electricity through your utility 
  • If you have a direct utility account for your electricity;
    1. If you pay your bill directly to the utility for your home energy, you have a direct account. 
    2. If you pay for your home energy use to your landlord or a condo association, then you don’t have a direct account. We need at least 12 months of service to use your actual data. If you don’t have 12 months, then we can estimate your use.

Transportation

  • On average, how many miles you drive your car a year
  • Miles per gallon of your car

Food and Waste

  • Number of meals a week that include red meat
  • If you dispose of garbage in bins at your house or into shared bins at your building

Result of your Energy Profile

  • Login and password for PG&E account, if you have it, to pull in the most accurate energy data. You may also estimate energy use based on number of rooms.
  • What is the difference between a Team and a Community Group?
    • A Team is a small group that competes against other teams for points and prizes. A Team can only include up to 10 people. Invite your friends and neighbors! 
    • A Community Group encourages people within the same community to mobilize their neighborhoods and organizations to participate on the platform. A Community Group can include an unlimited number of people. Schools, faith groups, and other community organizations are good examples of Community Groups. 
    • You can join one team and one community group. During our Spring/Summer Challenge (now through August 31, 2020) the top team per region (West County, Central County, East County) will earn a prize. Community Groups will be recognized with a certificate of achievement from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.
  • How do you find resources that help you complete actions?
    • When exploring any Action, resources (e.g. rebate programs, financing) can be found at the bottom of the page and are personalized for the city you selected when you created an account.
  • How can you get more points?
    • You receive points by choosing an action, setting a deadline for yourself, and marking it as complete when you’ve accomplished your goal. The number of points you can receive per action depends on your current carbon emissions and the impact of the action. One easy action that can earn you a lot of points is choosing Green Electricity
  • What do you get for earning the most points?
    • The more points you earn, the bigger impact you are making by reducing your carbon footprint! Many of the actions you take can also save you money and increase community health. During our Spring/Summer Challenge (now through August 31, 2020) the top team per region (West County, Central County, East County) and the first 100 households to reach 5,000 points will earn a prize.
  • How do I claim my prize?
    • If you reach 5,000 points or higher, you need to send in a screenshot to document your progress.
    • Click on the house icon on the left side of the screen to access your dashboard. Once you are on the “My Dashboard” page, take a screenshot of the “My Progress” section.
    • Email your screenshot to colleen@sustainablecoco.org with your name and city of residence. We will give you a Tread Lightly Toolkit with a reusable utensil kit, stainless steel straw, and more! 
    • To claim your yard of mulch, share any Action you have taken by clicking the “Create A Post” button at the top of the Action page and write about your experience. Bring a screenshot of your post to EcoMulch to claim your free yard of mulch. You can contact them at myecomulch@gmail.com
    • Your screenshot should appear on the right of your “My Dashboard Page”. Here’s an example: 
    • If you’d like a large amount of mulch, EcoMulch can deliver (delivery fee applies) and credit you for one yard. 
    • This will also enter you in the drawing to win a water-trough planter filled with soil (over $150 value). 
  • How can I join or create a Team?
    • From your dashboard, click on the green square that says “Join or Start a Community”. 
    • A pop-up will open, asking you to if you’d like to join or start a Community Group or a Team - select the “Join or Start a Team” icon. From this page you can request to join a Team or create a Team. If you are joining a Team, you must request to join and then be accepted by the Team. If you are creating a Team, choose a team name and invite your friends and colleagues to join!
  • Why should I join a team?
    • Teams are a great way to stay motivated and compete in the Fall Challenge. Everyone on the Team can choose actions that are right for them and contribute to the Team's success. Share ideas and resources with each other and help each other take actions! You can track progress on your Team page. Then stay in touch, work together and celebrate your success! You may meet new neighbors and learn new tips from one another. You may only be a part of one Team.
  • How can I join or create a community group?
    • From your dashboard, click on the green square says “Join or Start a Community”. 
    • A pop-up will open, asking you to if you’d like to join or start a Community Group or a Team - select the “Join or Start a Community” icon. From this page you can request to join a community or create a community. If you are joining a Community Group, find your group from the list and select “Join Community”. If you are creating a Community Group, choose a name, select “California” and then your city, add a welcome message and group description! You may only be a part of one Team and one Community Group. 
  • What actions should I take?
    • The easiest way to earn a lot of points is choosing Green Electricity. Taking public transit, eating lower down the food chain, and reducing and reusing are some other simple, high impact actions. The platform also provides actions that are renter-friendly!
  • What if I already have solar?
    • There are a few extra steps to include your energy use if you already have solar installed. Your utility bill from PG&E only shows net-metering, but what the energy profile needs is total electricity consumption.
    • The way to calculate total usage in a given month is:
      • For winter months, take your total solar generation for the month plus what you drew from the grid.
      • For summer months, take your total solar generation for the month minus what you sold back to the grid.
    • You can usually go online and ask your solar installer for a report with your generation numbers. However, some solar companies do not provide this data; in that case you can get an estimate from the PVWatts Calculator.
    • Another option is to simply estimate your household energy use based on your home type and square footage. However, this approach will not provide you with customized savings results.
  • How do I tell people about the actions I am taking and how they can get involved?
    • You can share Actions on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email etc.). The share buttons are located on each action’s page, in the top right corner next to the action summary.
  • How do I change my language preference?
    • In the top right corner of the browser there is an option to switch between English and Español.

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