Community Supported Sustainability
Implementing sustainability is a team sport. We’re not used to this team approach – we want someone else to do the heavy lifting that leads to social change. But ultimately, unless all of us are participating, sustainability remains elusive.
This was quite evident recently when the Alliance partnered with Pueblo County and the SouthEastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society (SECRES) to hold the Pueblo Regional Sustainability Roundtable on energy and waste. The Alliance’s last Roundtable in Pueblo was in 2009 and a lot has changed in 4 years. There are more people interested in sustainability as evidenced by the turnout. In 2009 we had less than 15 attendees while in 2013, that number jumped to over 40. More importantly, Pueblo County now has a comprehensive Strategic Sustainability Plan and the County Commissioners are very much in favor of sustainability measures. This is good news on all fronts – more people interested and a roadmap of how to get to a more sustainable region.
Now for the tough news – we ALL must play a part. In the Pueblo Roundtable discussions, it was clear that people wanted a full-time Sustainability or Energy Coordinator who would just make things happen. Even if such a position was fully funded, it still takes the entire sustainability community to come together and help implement certain measures. One person can’t do it. One organization or government can’t do it. It really takes a village.
Pueblo is not alone here. We, as sustainability advocates, must embrace our role to actively participate in our communities’ sustainability paths. Otherwise, we are doing what’s easy – being complacent and waiting for things to change on their own. In my opinion, that’s never a good strategy.
So get out there and make change happen.