Does the leadership in your community make it a priority to communicate in a “green” fashion? The “How Green is My Town?” checklist offers six questions that will help you determine how green your community’s communication really is.
Does your town have an Office or Director of Environmental Affairs? GreenPoint: The OEA should have both the responsibility and authority to coordinate local governmental efforts, and to develop and maintain effective communications between residents and local decision makers, as well as with surrounding municipalities.
Does your town require the use of green printing techniques (chlorine-free recycled paper, printed both sides using soy-based inks) for all documents? GreenPoint: “Green printing” refers to new trends in printing and print design which reduce waste, reduce toxins, reduce use of trees, and use recycled materials.
Does your town provide a practical mechanism for communication of its environmental policies to town employees? GreenPoint: Establishing an environmental task force made up of representatives from various departments can facilitate communications and provide a venue for necessary feedback.
Does your town have an effective method of communicating its environmental policies to residents? GreenPoint: The challenge for local governments is not necessarily how to get citizens involved but how to accomplish multiple environmental goals on limited budgets and manage public expectations at the same time.
Does your town maintain a town website or web pages with all environmental information, regulations, etc? GreenPoint: We recommend the creation of a distinct site or section dedicated to environmental issues where local governments, businesses, educators, students and citizens can easily access information and become active participants in local programs.
Does your town actively solicit the participation of the business community in addressing environmental issues, and does the business community cooperate?
If you are interested in learning how your local business community can become greener, check out Sarasota County, Florida’s Green Business Partnership and start greening your business today. Check out their Green Business Partnerships Application.
Breezy Point, New York is at the southern-most point on Long Island in Queens, and was hit square by Tropical Storm Sandy. In a large community meeting on July 6, 2013, community members discussed a wide range of cooperative efforts to re-build “green”. As several speakers noted, the community is coming together to turn ”crisis to opportunity”, by building better, smarter, and, where they can, greener.
Sponsored by the Breezy Point Green Committee, the event was smoothly organized by Ashley Fallon, a graduate student giving back to this special community where she grew up. To help support rebuilding efforts, the event featured speakers on solar power, smart ways to restore vegetation, the volunteer efforts of Westchester Habitat for Humanity and New York Says Thank You Foundation. The committee is helping to do research on green building opportunities, as well as introducing green companies interested in serving Breezy Point, to all community members, The committee is also exploring a solar generation site at the end of Breezy Point, to lower electric bills for years to come.
The featured speaker of the day was Daniel Wallach, Co-Founder of Greensburg GreenTown Kansas. Mr. Wallach shared his perspective from what he learned after the successful effort to rebuild Greensburg as a model green community after the devastating tornado destroyed 95% of their community in 2007. He spoke eloquently, not just about the environmental and economic advantages of sustainable building practices, but also described the very special way that the fabric of communities themselves can be restored when people are brought together by such an effort. This sharing and support between the Breezy Point and Greensburg communities, was a wonderful aspect of the event, where hope and determination were found in equal measure.
We salute the Breezy Point Green Committee and all community members who attended.
What does sustainability mean to you? How do you define that word in relationship to your life, to your community and to the country? Is it a priority? Or something that is better left for when the economy is stronger?
One of the problems with the word sustainability is that people have a hard time explaining it, defining it and understanding practical aspects of what it means to be sustainable. The word, in some ways, has been rendered useless.
A challenge with creating what some call sustainable communities, is understanding the goals. When most people are asked if sustainability should be a priority of government, the majority of people will say no. But, when people are asked if they want clean water, healthy food, transportation options, long-term prosperity and walkable communities, people say yes.
Somewhere along the way, the word sustainability stopped working. That doesn’t mean that we don’t want it, it just means we need a new word.
Here’s What You Can Do RIGHT NOW!
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GreenTowns.com, the national network for local sustainability, announced new products and services to connect and support green efforts in 15,000 communities across America. Check out GreenTowns latest press announcement. Here’s What You Can Do RIGHT NOW! Join your community’s GreenTowns network and stay connected. Discover sustainability initiatives in your town. How green is your state? Check out […]
We need real solutions for global food production. How do we balance feeding the world and caring for the planet? The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment is looking for answers. Check out their video, Big Question: Feast or Famine. Here’s What You Can Do RIGHT NOW! Learn about Right to Know Learn about Urban […]