BostonCAN and will

Judy Kolligian, BostonCAN volunteer, celebrates shrinking her carbon footprint by more than 10,000 pounds at the Wake Up the Earth Parade in Jamaica Plain in May 2011.

The Boston Climate Action Network serves as the city’s volunteer watchdogs on all things “green,” making sure officials follow through on plans to combat climate change by enacting proposed initiatives.

That’s only a portion of what they do.

On a hyper-local level, Loie Hayes, BostonCAN coordinator, said the non-profit program teaches residents how to live a greener lifestyle by hosting house parties that inform, direct and support making certain changes.

Hayes said BostonCAN organizes “Green Blocks” in individual communities, designating a “block captain” to hold meetings and roll out green initiatives.

“We know that climate change is happening and we are going to have to adjust our living to deal with that fact,” she said. “We support them with training and materials and workshops and communications that they need to be able to form a green block and keep it going.”

A recent block party in Jamaica Plain brought volunteers together to revamp a resident’s living situation to help save on energy costs.

“We worked with a family for a couple of weeks to identify what could be done in the house to be more energy efficient,” said Hayes.

A MassCAN affiliate, the Boston-branch tracks the city’s climate action plan to make sure people more broadly understand the plan to shrink the carbon footprint 25 percent by 2020.

Hayes said while Boston is in the top tier of cities in the nation planning ahead and proactively addressing climate challenges, the group strives to expand the number and range of communities that understand the issues of climate change.

“We are committed to doing what we can to get people to mitigate and adapt to those changes,” she said.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.


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