To take our local climate responsibility up a notch, Transition Lopez Island is launching the Dime-A-Gallon Challenge, a voluntary personal carbon tax, based on the amount of gasoline consumed by a household. Funds collected will be used to support activities and organizations that promote environmental, social and economic resiliency within our community.
In Washington state, transportation represents nearly half of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state. On-road vehicles alone account for more GHG emissions than contributions from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, fossil fuel industries, industrial processes (such as aluminum and cement production) and agricultural uses, combined.
According to a survey done by graduate students from Monterey Institute of International Studies and presented in their 2012 report “Lopez Island 2025,” Lopezians drive an average of 6,374 miles in their primary vehicle and 3,569 miles in their secondary vehicle for a total of almost 10,000 miles per household. State average, according to WSDOT, is around 12,000 miles per household.
This translates roughly to about 400 gallons of gasoline used per household at $3.50 per gallon or about $1,400 of gasoline cost per year. At 10¢ per gallon of fossil fuel used, the average household would contribute $40 per year to the Dime-A-Gallon Fund.
Despite the known environmental impacts of fossil fuel use, this voluntary carbon tax does not reflect the true environmental, political, and social costs, but does provide a small incentive for us to consume more conscientiously.
This project was developed by Quaker Meetings in Berkeley and Ann Arbor and brought here by the Lopez Island Friends Meeting. It builds upon the long tradition of Quaker Friends’ commitment to justice and the environment.
Community members are encouraged to monitor their own fossil fuel and energy usage and contribute to the fund. To get started with Dime-A-Gallon Challenge and calculate your contribution amount, pick up information and a free handy notebook at the Lopez Library, Blossom, Lopez Village Market and South-end General Store.
Your Dime-A-Gallon cash or check payments can be dropped off in the bright blue locked cash boxes provided at the Library or the South-end General Store or paid at the Blossom and Lopez Village Market checkout counters or online through PayPal or credit card.
To learn more, call Ron Metcalf at 468-2276. We welcome suggestions from the community on activities and projects to be funded by the Dime-A-Gallon Fund.