Introduction

The Town of Fairfax is updating its 2014 Climate Action Plan and needs your input to develop effective measures that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In March of 2019, the Town Council passed a Climate Emergency Resolution and set a target of zero emissions by 2030, going beyond State reduction targets. 

After receiving community feedback, the Fairfax Climate Action Committee will bring a first draft of the 2030 Climate Action Plan to the Council and then post it for further public comment. Hopefully, a final version will come before the Council by the end of this year.  

This survey has seven sections focusing on different topics. We hope you will respond to all of them, but you can answer just those you choose.  After a brief introduction to each section, you’ll be asked to rate your interest for personal actions and your priorities for Town actions. Thanks in advance for your help!

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* 1. Community Engagement

Fairfax is in a position to play a more significant role in addressing the global climate change problem than many communities of its size. To start with, our region emits an outsized portion of greenhouse gases per capita. At the same time, Fairfax has been a leader in environmental consciousness (ie, Marin Clean Energy and Safe Routes to Schools), and we value a vibrant, small-town community life. Based on these shared values, Fairfax has the opportunity to become an example of a community making a real difference in our ecological footprint.

Which personal actions are you willing to take to engage with community on climate-related actions?

  Not planning to do Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it!
Attend a workshop(s) on the Town’s climate change strategies and initiatives
Learn about online tools to assess my carbon footprint and ways to reduce my greenhouse gas emissions
Complete a Resilient Neighborhoods program with a team of community members
Create a zero carbon strategy and timeline for my household
Support a community funding initiative (similar to GoFundMe) for a local project to reduce emissions and increase resiliency

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* 2. Which actions should the Town take on community engagement?

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Highlight Fairfax Climate Action Committee activities in Town communications including newsletters, the website, and public meetings
Explore funding strategies to support individual and community actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Dedicate staff resources to support climate action goals
Work closely with the San Anselmo Sustainability Commission and hire a shared sustainability coordinator

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* 3. Energy Efficiency

Increasing the efficiency of buildings is often the most cost-effective approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency upgrades, such as adding insulation and sealing heating ducts, have demonstrated energy savings of up to 20 percent, while more aggressive “whole house” retrofits can result in even greater energy savings. New construction techniques and building materials, known collectively as “green building,” can significantly reduce the use of resources and energy in homes and commercial buildings. The State of California requires green building energy efficiency through the Title 24 Building Codes, updated every three years, with a long-term goal to require all new buildings to be zero net energy by 2030.  

Which personal actions are you willing to take to increase energy efficiency?

  Not planning to Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it!
Switch to LED light bulbs at home and workplace
Purchase electric Energy Star appliances
Get a home energy audit to identify and prioritize energy efficiency upgrades such as improved insulation, duct sealing, and new windows
Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use
Install smart thermostats

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* 4. Which actions should the Town take to increase energy efficiency

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Provide Town-funded monetary incentives for energy efficiency projects
Require new and remodeled homes and commercial buildings to be more energy efficient than mandated by State law
Require energy audits at time of sale of homes and commercial buildings
Require simple energy efficiency retrofits at time of sale of homes and commercial buildings (ie, seal leaks, replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs )

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* 5. Renewable Energy

Energy that comes from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, and small hydroelectric, are the cleanest and most-environmentally friendly energy sources.  Solar provides about 6% of Marin’s electricity needs.  

When solar is not an option, due perhaps to a shady roof or a reluctant landlord, residents and business owners can purchase 100% renewable electricity from MCE or PG&E. The Town government was one of the first MCE customers to sign up for MCE’s Deep Green electricity. Today, about 14% of the electricity MCE supplies in Fairfax is Deep Green. MCE’s goal is to provide 100% renewable and GHG-free electricity to all its customers by 2025.

Over the next decade, electrification of existing appliances and heating systems will be one of the most important ways we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The County of Marin currently offers rebates – up to $4,500 per household – through its Electrify Marin program to upgrade to electric furnaces and heating systems, stoves, cooktops and water heaters.

Which personal actions are you willing to take to utilize renewable energy?

  Not planning to Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it!
Opt up to 100% renewable electricity such as MCE Deep Green
Replace my gas clothes dryer with a electric dryer
Replace my gas stove with an electric or induction stove
Replace my gas hot water heater with an electric and/or solar thermal water heater
Replace my gas heating system with an electric one
Install solar panels at home
Install battery storage with my solar panels

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* 6. Which actions should the Town take to utilize renewable energy sources?

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Install solar energy + battery systems at all Town facilities
Promote county rebates for replacing gas appliances and heating systems with electric alternatives
Require homeowners to install electric appliances at time of replacement
Replace gas appliance and heating systems in Town buildings with electric alternatives
Require new residential and commercial buildings to be all-electric 

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* 7. Transportation

About one-half of Fairfax’s emissions comes from transportation. Things are changing with the viability of electric vehicles (EVs), especially here in Marin where electricity is pretty clean and expected to get cleaner. Marin County is a leader in EV adoption rates – second only to Santa Clara County – and EVs already comprise about 4% of all registered automobiles in Marin.[CO2]  

However, we can’t rely on EVs alone to reduce transportation emissions.  The Town has made significant improvements to the bicycling and pedestrian network, and works with the transit agencies to improve and promote service. We can also significantly reduce vehicle miles traveled by working form home, car sharing and combining trips.

Which personal actions are you willing to take to increase use of low-carbon transportation?

  Not planning to do Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it!
Carpool, take public transportation, or combine errands to reduce number of trips
When using a service such as Uber or Lyft, choose to share the ride with other people whenever possible
Ride a bike or scooter instead of driving a car
Drive an electric vehicle
Install an electric vehicle charger in my home or business

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* 8. Which actions should the Town take to promote use of low-carbon transportation?

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Host an electric bike and vehicle event for test riding and driving
Incentivize a transition from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles
Install more EV chargers in public parking lots and require workplaces / multi-family buildings to also install more EV chargers
Install more pathways and sidewalks
Install more bike lanes

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* 9. Waste Reduction and Recycling

The things we buy, consume, and throw away generate a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing, transport, distribution, and disposal. You can reduce emissions by limiting your purchases and consuming less stuff in the first place, and then giving away or selling what you no longer need.  Recycling or disposal should be a last resort. 

When reuse is not an option, it’s important to properly sort your recyclables. If you have questions about sorting, you can use Marin Sanitary Service’s new app and online tool “Where Does it Go Joe?”

It is especially important to keep all food waste and other organic material out of the landfill. That’s because the decomposition of organic material in the landfill creates methane, which is 28 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. 

Unfortunately, about half of our food waste ends up in the landfill. For this reason, Fairfax prohibits residents from putting food waste in the grey landfill cart. Instead, food waste can be composted at home or simply placed in your green curbside cart along with your yard waste. 

Which personal actions are you willing to take to reduce landfill waste?

  Not planning to do Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it
Evaluate each purchase I make to determine if it is necessary, or if there is a less wasteful option
Shop locally whenever possible
Donate used items before throwing them in the trash
Prevent food waste by buying only what my household will eat
Practice backyard composting, and/or put food waste in my green curbside cart
Refuse single-use plastics and bring my own reusable bags and food/drink containers when permitted

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* 10. Which actions should the Town take to reduce landfill waste?

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Educate the community on how to properly sort recyclables and compost waste
Enforce the current food waste composting and recyclables ordinance
Enforce the ordinance requiring businesses to utilize Marin Sanitary organic collection services
Encourage state laws that require businesses to take back packaging

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* 11. Water Conservation

Marin County is no stranger to periodic droughts and the need to conserve water, and MMWD customers have responded by reducing per capita water use by about 23% since 2005. In addition to installing low-flow fixtures (showerheads, faucets, and toilets) and water-efficient appliances (clothes washers and dishwashers), residents and businesses are planting native, drought-tolerant species and replacing lawns with attractive, low-water use gardens. Good thing, because as temperatures continue to rise, we will experience more droughts and more intense heat waves than before. 


Which personal actions are you willing to take to conserve water?


  Not planning to do Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it!
Install water-efficient appliances such as clothes washers and dishwashers and only run them when full
Install low-flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets
Practice water-efficient behavior such as turning off faucets when washing hands, taking efficient showers, strategically watering plants and washing cars
Replace my water-intensive landscape or lawn with drought-tolerant and low-water use plants
Capture and utilize rainwater and/or install a greywater system

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* 12. Which actions should the Town of Fairfax take to conserve water?

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Promote countywide incentives for water-efficient appliances, fixtures, and landscapes
Install water-efficient toilets and faucets at Town facilities
Install water-efficient landscaping at Town facilities
Require homeowners to replace lawns with low water-use plants

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* 13. Carbon Sequestration

One way to sequester carbon (or remove it from the atmosphere) is to incorporate carbon-rich compost in gardens and yards.

In addition, the carbon sequestration benefits of planting trees can be critically important. Trees can store carbon dioxide, provide habitat for wildlife, reduce ambient temperatures, and reduce energy use by shading buildings.  

Which personal actions are you willing to take?

  Not planning to do Low to moderate interest High interest Have done some but want to do more Have already done it!
Purchase carbon credits to offset my carbon footprint
Utilize compost in my garden
Take advantage of free compost provided by Marin Sanitary and the Town several times per year
Plant trees or shrubs in my yard according to FireSafe guidelines
Utilize a community garden

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* 14. Which actions should the Town take to sequester carbon?

  Not a priority Low to moderate priority High priority Make this happen!
Develop a plan to plant more trees on Town-owned properties and apply compost to Town-owned landscapes
Investigate potential sites for the creation of no-till community gardens on Town-owned property
Create standards to maximize carbon sequestration on Town properties
Hold a tree giveaway event or provide low-cost, fire-safe trees to the public through a bulk purchasing program
Investigate a Fairfax carbon offset program to fund local projects

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* 15. Please provide your contact information in case we would like further feedback (optional).

0 of 15 answered
 

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