Carbon Neutral BUUF Project, 11/22/22

Vision of Carbon Neutral BUUF

Organize a long range plan for BUUF to become carbon neutral in line with the  City of Boise Climate Action timeline.

Goal of the Carbon Neutral BUUF Project

Our goal for a carbon neutral BUUF  is to balance our emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal or elimination. Our timeline follows that of  Boise’s Climate Action Roadmap,

  • 2030 100% Clean electricity for the BUUF building
  • 2035 Carbon neutrality for BUUF’s building and grounds
  • 2050 Carbon neutrality of BUUF members and friends


Our planet – our community – is at a crossroads. Our days are getting hotter, our water resources are threatened, forests are burning, and air quality is worsening. As individuals, as a city, as a country and as a global community – we must take bold action to address climate change.

Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise’s Climate Action Roadmap

If humans drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Boise will still see an average of 11.5 days hotter than 105 degrees by 2070. Without a reduction in emissions, models predict that by the end of the 21st Century, Boise could see maximum temperatures up to 114 degrees and spend nearly a month with temperatures exceeding 105 degrees.

White House unveils new climate data mapping tool, Idaho Statesman

Meeting, 11/22/22

This is the inaugural meeting of the Carbon Neutral BUUF project.
Attending: Scott Smith, John Warren, Tom von Alten, Jim Bigelow


  • purpose: get together to discuss a project to make BUUF carbon neutral
  • Discussion:
    • How to proceed.
      • John suggested that he work with Cornelia Sprung to write a grant to finance have as someone (BSU grad student?) do a carbon footprint analysis for BUUF and develop a plan to get to net-zero.
      • See the breakdown, below, of different parts of BUUF when considering carbon neutrality, from John Warren. He will continue working to refine and expand this list.
      • next meeting will be after the first of the year.
      • question: what will happen with the existing BUUF CAT now there isn’t a chair?
    • a special appeal for the 2023 auction to replace all carbon emitting landscaping equipment with electric equivalents
      • From Grass Lawns are an Ecological Catastrophe : The process of mowing lawns produces a large amount of CO2. Scientists use different criteria from each other and therefore their statistics vary from each other. Thus, there is quite a significant difference in the estimates of how much gas lawnmowers use. According to the EPA, the figure is 580 million gallons of gas per year whereas the Department of Energy’s value is 1.2 billion gallons per year. Estimates vary from 16 billion to 41 billion pounds of CO2 being emitted from lawn mowers every year.Another estimate is that every gallon of gasoline burned by lawnmowers emits 20 pounds of CO2. According to the EPA, one gas lawn mower emits 89 pounds of CO2 and 34 pounds of other pollutants per year. According to a Swedish study, using a mower for one hour has the same carbon footprint as a 100-mile car trip. The EPA found that gasoline-powered lawn mowers emit eight times more nitrogen oxides, 3,300 times more hydrocarbons, 5,000 times more carbon monoxide and more than twice the CO2 per hour of operation than electric lawn mowers.
      • From The Carbon Footprint of a Lawn:
        • an acre of grass with sequester 3,600 pounds of greenhouse gases annually
        • a stand of maple 13,740 pounds. (Also, see How Much Carbon Does A Tree Capture?)
        • The carbon footprint of lawn maintenance comes primarily from three inputs: mowing, lawn chemicals, and irrigation. For lawn chemicals and irrigation this input is an embodied carbon footprint, meaning comes from the use of fossil fuels required to mine, manufacture, process, package, and distribute the resource to customers. For mowing, the carbon footprint is a direct input – meaning the use of fossil fuels to power the lawn mower.
      • Scott emailed the outdoor sanctuary asking about a special appeal to replace our gas powered landscaping equipment
    • get BUUF switched over to Idaho Power’s green energy program?
      • Scott will find out more about the green energy program.
      • Can BUUF meet the 100% clean energy goal this way?

John Warren suggested, as a starting point, thinking of the following areas when considering how to think about making a carbon neutral BUUF.


  • HVAC
  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • Water / Sewer
  • Kitchen
  • Physical building
  • Grounds
  • Supporting individual decisions
    • Small groups sharing what they do / did / learning from others
  • Who / how we donate to as BUUF
  • Social / environmental justice connections
  • Other?

Small Group Level

  • Youth groups
  • Adult ed groups
  • Book clubs
  • Interest groups
  • Carbon Buddy groups
  • Other?

Personal Level

  • Travel to Sunday services or other BUUF meetings
  • Actions supported with help from wider BUUF
  • Actions without direct BUUF connections
  • Helping others