Promoting Sustainability in East Jefferson County, WA
While there are only about half a dozen action groups at present that are active, others have been quite active in the past and could be again, with the right confluence of energies.
Health and Wellness. A resilient community is a healthy one. That means we must be in a position to provide affordable and effective health care for individuals when they get sick; it means we must avoid being taken unawares by epidemic illnesses; and it means we must live in a way that does not make people sick. When the Health and Wellness Action Group was active, it sponsored several educational forums on subjects such as actions to take during a pandemic, the effect of wood smoke on health, the use of POLST forms, and the need for health care reform.
Shelter. A community that is managing to live in a sustainable way will have affordable housing that is built with renewable materials, does not use a lot of energy to heat, and does not emit a lot of toxins into the living space. When the Shelter Action Group was active, it sponsored a series of presentations on Green Building techniques that were well attended and well received.
Water & Land. It has been said that a community is only as healthy and vibrant as the ecosystem that surrounds it and supports it. The Water and Land Action Group, when it was active, focused primarily on educating the community about the functions and issues of our local watershed, including a movie, public forum and a web-based discussion course. It also partnered with the Health Department to publish water conservation tips in the city’s monthly utility bill newsletter.
Giving Back. With an eye to paying forward or giving back, this action group was instrumental in the creation of SCALLOPS, a network of over 70 neighborhood and community groups in the larger Puget Sound area, collaborating on sustainability issues.