What I've Learned

Being green isn't easy. How can we finally mobilize an entire community to definitive action? Words describing educative efforts and awareness are, arguably, first steps. But maintaining an environmentally friendly lifestyle must be a fundamental change in our thinking. It should become a basic element of our lives if we hope to achieve widespread success.

The ability of a community to adapt to fundamental change rests in two areas of focus: what is the depth of change and how well can we apply this to daily life. Notionally, small, highly focused programs with clear goals gain the advantage in the local environmental arena. Not until we are given the opportunity to combine these efforts, such as intertwining a community garden initiative with composting in an area - do we see an enthusiastic response by citizenry. Yet, as we strive to make integration our goal, an examination of the effectiveness of each program becomes vital. In any community, it is my belief that all environmental programs are typically advantageous; however, what is needed in a community at the moment is what determines its success. Call it, supply and demand. That mentioned, when such an initiative is introduced, how well can we apply its fundamentals to our daily life? Convenience is an attractive quality. Arguably, introducing citizenry to otherwise foreign notions of environmental awareness should carry clear benefits for those choosing to participate, other than considering 'environmental ethics,' if you will. This often poses a challenge to communities attempting to introduce 'green' changes.

Environmental change is fundamental change. The extent to which we are reminded of this varies by community response. My participation in the Summit Free Market Planning Committee since September of 2008, my recent appointment to the Recycling Advisory Committee of the City of Summit and involvement in a Summit community garden project, have given me the opportunity to clearly see community response. In Summit, it is exemplary. However, I know that it is not total and nor is it widespread. This is what we must strive for. Providing a wide range of environmental projects requiring different levels of community involvement will ensure greater involvement.

Educate and Support for a Greener Future.

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