Monday, December 28, 2009

Dawn of a new era

2010 will mark a new era for me, which technically began just a few months ago. Since September, I realized that I became so restless with my desire for a more sustainable community. Although the City adopted its Green Cincinnati Plan and Climate Protection Plan in 2009, I still do not feel that we have a strong, comprehensive, city-wide effort. Our neighborhoods can be greener. Our transportation priorities can be much greener. Our concept of localism can be much greener.

In November 2009, I decided to start the conversation of creating community green opportunities for our neighborhood, particularly in Clifton. At Clifton Town Meeting, I presented a slideshow on various possibilities of how our neighborhood can partner with other entities to achieve greater recycling volumes, community composting, better connection between residents and community gardens, and overall waste reduction. My bit was so well-received, in fact, that the trustees of Clifton Town Meeting requested that I setup a green subcommittee under their umbrella. Over the past two months, I have been working to assemble a working team that will address these issues in our community.

Little did I know the attention that my presentation would receive. Soon after, after many carbon copy e-mails, I was requested to do a similar presentation for the CUF Neighborhood Association meeting. The reception of that engagement overwhelmed me. I could not even get through my slides, as hands flew into the air. One man said he could not even remember the last time then had a presentation effect everyone in attendance to such magnitude. The e-mails also reached representatives of other community councils in Uptown, who have a vision of a larger, regional green strategy.

Now I and many others envision a collection of green assets for our region. It will be used to help recognize our existing strong points and areas of greater desire, such that money may be leveraged for more sustainable neighborhoods. It matters where a neighborhood gets its food, where it is sourced, and who benefits or suffers from the current system. It matters where our waste goes, how much energy is required to get it there, and what alternatives we can find to redraw our waste stream. Food, post-consumer waste, personal energy exerted, and our physical limitations--measuring and gauging how these types of energy are wasted, reused or diverted is vital to the enhancement of our natural environments and communities.

The above is primarily a proclamation, but it is also the beginning for a new focus of this blog. Up until now, I felt that my aforementioned efforts were not mature enough to spout about it here. I anticipate that I will have a lot to say my own personal goals to live more sustainably as well. Plastic will play less of a role in my life. The local grocery and farmer's market will have greater priority in my daily grind. The new, local, food delivery co-op also has caused me to reassess how I get my food. The way that information is dispensed to others can also exhibit a more sustainable path. The oft-encountered crossroad of "less sustainable and more sustainable road" can depend on which results in a greater net benefit. The mind swirls with these thoughts, but I feel that I am close to attaining that green confidence I have been wanting. Even so, always more can be done.

Until next time...soonsoon.