Residents plant green ideas in housing associations
Sharing economy, thriving green common areas, garden parties, “green”, involving children and more outdoor clotheslines. The ideas were many when ProjectZero and the area’s housing associations gathered a volunteer corps of residents for a training day in 2020, where they were trained to be green ambassadors in their neighborhoods.
Since then, the ambassadors have participated in a number of events on everything from waste sorting to electric cars.
The ambassadors’ job description states that they should work for social sustainability, a better environment, lower energy consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. They will not act as experts, but through their green engagement, they will help inspire their neighbors and initiate initiatives in their own housing association. For example, beds with mixed flowers that promote biodiversity, as initiated by some of the green ambassadors in Nordals Andels Andelsboligforening.
The green ambassadors are part of the EU-funded HAPPI project that involved all six housing associations in the Sønderborg area. During the 3 years of the project, the housing associations together managed to make energy savings of 115 GWh through renovations and behavioral changes. This corresponds to an annual reduction of 1,640 tons of CO2 emissions from the housing associations.
Even though the project is over, there are still active green ambassadors. Several of the housing associations have chosen to build on the initiative.