Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV)

Our grassroots efforts have been keeping the climate conversation alive in Harrisonburg since 2008.


From showing up at rallies to promoting solar energy, CAAV volunteers continuously take a stand for climate change resilience in our community and beyond.


Support for climate-saavy legislators and legislation that reduces our use of fossil fuels is critical to our mission.

News + Events

Stay informed by signing up to receive our regular roundup of climate-related news drawn from a wide range of reliable sources. Subscribe to our Community Events calendar of local environment-related programs.

Top photo by Matt Schmachtenberg for JMU’s The Breeze

Bulletin Board

Things going on we want you to know about!

The Color of Money and Your Utility Bill: What Is and What Can Be

Wed, October 28, 7PM, online with Zoom

Presented by Harrison Wallace, Director of Programs for the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund; formerly Virginia Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network; and JMU graduate

People with limited money pay a bigger part of their incomes for electricity than those with bigger incomes.  Why is this and what can be done about it?  This environmental justice issue affects many people in very difficult ways.  Listen in and learn what we can do here in the valley and in Virginia.

Hosted by the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club and the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley

All invited! Free! Register HERE.

Global Climate Change Week @JMU is October 12-21, 2020.

Events include a Climate Justice Film Fest, workshops, and a screening of The Condor and the Eagle. Details and registration links HERE.

Solar Congress | October 5-23 | Online | Free

Virginia’s Solar Congress is a time each year for SUN (Solar United Neighbors) supporters from all over the state to come together, meet like-minded people, and attend a full day of solar education sessions. These sessions include everything from panel discussions to skills trainings to help build our capacity to work together to move toward a more equitable clean energy economy.

This year, due to COVID-19, we will have the same opportunity — online! Instead of one day, we will be holding an entire month of events as a part of the National Solar Congress to connect people across Virginia and the country! Sessions will cover topics from “Energy equity and inclusion”,  Electric Vehicles, “Powering Energy Freedom with Power Purchase Agreements”, and Battery Storage. …

– Aaron Sutch, Virginia Program Director, Solar United Neighbors

Full calendar of events and descriptions here.

Free! Sign up for individual sessions by clicking on events of interest in the calendar here.

One Minute for Earth – Giving the Planet a Voice on November 3

CAAV is collaborating with Earth Day Every Day Harrisonburg to bring you encouragement and motivation to VOTE for Earth-friendly candidates in this fall’s election. Through a series of one minute videos made by your fellow community members, hear why your vote is so critical to the health of our planet. One Minute for Earth is hosted on Earth Day Every Day Harrisonburg’s Facebook page. Both live and recorded videos are being added continuously between August 17 and November 3. Check them out to get inspired to make your vote count!

Then head over to our resource page for information about how to vote and who’s in the running.

The City of Harrisonburg’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances are being updated. Take this public survey to have your opinions heard!

“You do not need to be an expert or know the ins and outs of the current Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances to complete this survey. Everyone is encouraged to complete it.” It will be open through Monday, November 2, 2020.

At their June 16, 2020, meeting, the steering committee of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley voted unanimously in favor of supporting Black Lives Matter with this resolution:

Resolved that the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley stands in support of Black Lives Matter, that we support a redirection of tax dollars away from policies that enable police brutality, and toward policies that meet community needs and link environmental and social justice.

We asked, they answered! The 50by25 campaign, environmental justice concerns, recycling, transportation emissions and more are addressed by Harrisonburg’s five Democratic candidates for City Council. See their responses to questions CAAV submitted on issues impacting the environmental health of our city here.

We’ve updated this post to include responses from the two non-Democratic candidates running for Harrisonburg City Council this year. Find it here.

The 50 by 25 campaign is a call for the city to take action on climate change, increase renewable energy, and make home energy costs affordable through energy efficiency programs. Learn about it here. Sign the petition here.

Tom Benevento has an opinion piece in the February 28, 2020, edition of the Daily News-Record about the importance of this effort.



Check out all the solar installations counted so far in Harrisonburg for the 2019 Harrisonburg Solar Census. If you have solar, be counted!

Latest Posts

Climate and Energy News Roundup 10/9/2020

Politics and Policy The Editorial Board of the New York Times (NYT) has endorsed former Vice-President Joe Biden for president.  Biden’s transition team is considering appointing a climate and energy “czar” to help direct sweeping changes across federal agencies if he wins next month’s election.  A Biden administration would also take aim at the Trump …

The Color of Money and Your Utility Bill: What Is and What Can Be

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | 7PM A Zoom presentation by Harrison Wallace, Director of Programs for the Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund; formerly Virginia Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network; and a JMU graduate. Hosted by the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club and the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley People with limited money pay a bigger …

The Need for Action on Climate Change Is Urgent!

by Les Grady, Environmental Engineer, retired

earth as hourglass
Click on image for a printable trifold version of this page.

Driven mainly by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Earth’s climate is changing.

  • Evidence from diverse sources confirms climate change.
    • Atmospheric temperature reconstructions show that current warming is unprecedented within the span of human civilization.
    • Oceans are warming.
    • Glaciers are melting.
    • Sea level is rising.
    • The Arctic ice cap is shrinking, the ice is thinning, and its nature is changing.
    • Although East Antarctic ice is increasing, West Antarctic ice is decreasing much faster.
    • Weather is getting more extreme.
    • Ecosystems are changing more rapidly.
  • Evidence for the role of CO2 as the main cause of climate change is very strong.
    • Earth’s temperature is stabilized and regulated by the greenhouse effect.
    • The major greenhouse gases (GHGs) are CO2 and water vapor.
    • Water vapor is responsible for 50% of the greenhouse effect, but its life in the atmosphere is short because it condenses as rain and snow. CO2 is directly responsible for 20% of the greenhouse effect, but its indirect effect is much larger. Because it does not condense, it stays in the atmosphere for a very long time, thereby influencing the water vapor content and regulating Earth’s temperature.  It is Earth’s thermostat.
    • The level of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing because of the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas).
    • Satellites show a reduction in outgoing (i.e., cooling) radiation leaving Earth at the wave-lengths associated with CO2 and other GHGs.
    • Land-based sensors show an increase in incoming (i.e., warming) radiation from CO2 and other GHGs consistent with their increased concentration in the atmosphere.

We must release less ­­each year to stabilize Earth’s climate.

Community Compost Drop-off Program

Compost your kitchen scraps at the downtown community Compost Drop-off bins! Drop-offs can be made anytime year round at the bins’ permanent spot on the edge of the gravel parking lot at S. Liberty and Warren Streets within sight of the Turner Pavilion and Municipal Building. See images below.


Drop off compostables here at your convenience.

Anyone is welcome to drop off kitchen scraps to these 65-gallon Black Bear Composting bins at anytime. Your compostables can be dumped directly from another container or placed in a paper bag, paper box (remove any plastic tape and/or plastic labels) or BPI-certified compostable “plastic” bag.

Compostable bags to line containers, for ease of collecting your scraps, are available at the bins site.