By Elysa Hammond, Director of Environmental Stewardship, Clif Bar & Company
We take climate change seriously at Clif Bar & Company. As one part of our climate strategy, we partner with NativeEnergy to help build new sources of renewable energy. Since 2003 we’ve invested in more than 30 renewable energy projects, including the first Native American-owned wind turbines in South Dakota and a large-scale wind farm in Greensburg, Kansas, a town that rebuilt green after being destroyed by a massive tornado. We’re especially excited about our recent support of school-based wind turbines in Indiana.
This year I visited the Hoosier state’s first school-owned wind turbine—one that our carbon offset investments helped build. I was thrilled to see firsthand the benefit renewable energy projects can have not only on a local school economy but also in making hands-on science education more tangible and relevant.
I visited Union City High School not only to see the wind turbine but to meet John Zakelj, the visionary science teacher who inspired the project. A few years earlier John built a small-scale solar array and wind turbine at the high school as way of bringing science and math to life for his students. The positive energy from that work moved beyond John’s classroom, generating interest in wind by the Randolph Eastern School Corporation and town of Union City.