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 Story of Plastic” Free Screening and Community Talk Back

Join Earth Day Every Day and the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley in viewing the Story of Stuff Project’s newly released film documenting the pervasive effects of plastic pollution on the earth and its inhabitants.

Sign up to watch “The Story of Plastic” online at your convenience between June 1 and June 8. Then attend an online “Talk Back” with local panelists discussing the film and answering your pre-submitted questions in a 45 minute Zoom session on Monday, June 8 at 7PM.

All free. Details and registration here:

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.

Cast your vote for three of these candidates to be on the November ballot for the three positions up for election. Voting ends on May 16. Voting options are here.

“The Sierra Club is offering this series of webinars to explain the energy bills passed this year in Virginia. These are designed primarily for advocates, but are open to anyone who wants to understand how the transition to 100% clean energy will work (May 14), the new opportunities in distributed solar (May 21), and the tools available to local governments that want to save energy and address climate (May 28). Since I will be the lead presenter, you can also expect a little bit of a critique of the bills as we go. :)” – Ivy Main, Conservation Co-Chair & Renewable Energy Chair, VA Sierra Club

Free. Details and RSVP here.

Get some background for the webinars with our Legislation Roundup 2020 by CAAV member Joy Loving here. Joy has just updated her spreadsheet to reflect the final status of the bills that are highlighted!

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 5/15/2020

Politics and Policy Former Vice-President Joe Biden has named Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State John Kerry as co-chairs of his climate task force.  A group of former climate policy staffers for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is pushing his comprehensive climate plan with both congressional Democrats and Biden.  A group called …

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. In addition, learn more about what and how you can compost by dropping your compostables off at our Saturday Harrisonburg Farmers Market station, April-October.


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 and at the Market Compost Drop-off Station or Market Info counter during Market hours.