There’s no such thing as a sustainable community of one!
I recommend the following organizational sites and blogs for inspiration about what’s possible, for connecting with like-minded people and for building your own support system for moving toward your sustainability goals.
This page is still under construction; more links and annotations coming soon!
Please contact me with your suggestions for additions.
The North Olympic Peninsula’s “transition town” organization before the concept migrated to the U.S. Formed in 2006 and became an official Transition Initiative in 2012. Mission: “Working together toward local sustainability – integrating economy, ecology and community via action and education.” Supports a dozen action groups including Food Resiliency, Emergency Preparedness, Transportation, and Economic Localization. I volunteer on the steering committee of this optimistic, determined and incredibly prolific grassroots organization.
SCALLOPS (Sustainable Communities ALL Over Puget Sound) started around 2007 with a chance meeting between the coordinators of three sustainable community organizations: Local 20/20 in Port Townsend, Sustainable Bainbridge, and Sustainable Ballard. Now there are more than 60 SCALLOPS groups! Through outreach, education and community-building programs, SCALLOPS facilitates the cross-pollination of best practices, inspires and nurtures new groups, trouble-shoots and solves challenges, and mobilizes action on behalf of regional sustainability.
I was thrilled to attend the first annual Thriving Communities Conference hosted by the <a href=”http://www.whidbeyinstitute.org”>Whidbey Institute</a> Feb. 2-4. It brought together teams from communities up and down the Cascadia corridor to discuss “cultivating community in challenging times,” with a focus on food. I’m planning to attend next year!
“Motivating individuals to examine and transform personal values and habits, to accept responsibility for the earth, and to act on that commitment.” NWEI discussion courses are like “sustainability book clubs,” with thought-provoking readings and a lively exchange of ideas on how our habits and attitudes affect the environment and what each of us can do to make a difference. Port Townsend is one of the most active NWEI affiliates, and has used courses to unite neighborhoods, promote local food solidarity, and model voluntary simplicity.
Jefferson County’s WSU Extension has created a water discussion course modeled on NWEI’s that is called Our Watershed.
An $11 million business promoting local, healthy, affordable food for our community. In my mind, the Co-op is the beating heart of our local sustainability culture. It’s a full-service grocery store, but also an information clearinghouse, a community center, and the place where I have the best conversations over shopping carts!
Founded in 2012 to give a platform for the talented people within the greater Olympic Peninsula to share their rural skills and knowledge with the future. Courses are grouped as Nature Studies, Rural Arts & Skills, and Sustainable Living.
Jefferson County Energy Lunch Programs, Archived on Port Townsend Journal
These monthly lunch programs are aimed at increasing awareness of how energy, energy technology and energy policy affect life and business in Jefferson County. Free and open to the public and attended by a core group of local energy professionals and elected officials. Past programs are professionally videotaped and archived here.
We have an active extension office currently headed by Dr. Laura Lewis, who has a background in “agroecology”—agricultural systems that maintain resilience and stability in the face of environmental and social change. There is a wealth of information in the Agriculture pages. WSU Jefferson County sponsors our lovely annual Farm Tour in October.
Jefferson County and City of Port Townsend governments have pledged to help our community reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to levels 80% lower than 1990 levels by 2050. (Way to go!) So that the residents of Jefferson County “CAN” rise to this challenge, this website provides toolkits for measuring and saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint at home and at work.
A community-based group working to improve the nutritional value of food served in Jefferson County schools, part of the nation-wide Farm to Cafeteria movement. Successes include launching school garden and compost programs in Port Townsend and Quilcene, and co-producing the North Olympic Peninsula Farm to Cafeteria Conference.
The assertion that individual rights are a higher priority than corporate rights is being carried forth at the local level by this leaderless, open, volunteer, non-violent and consensus-based group. Formed in 2012, its members plan to write a Bill of Rights for Jefferson County which describes the type of community in which we all want to live, and then make it legally binding through county governmental channels.
Read related blog post.
Headquartered in Port Townsend since 2010, this educational, non-profit organization works to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable streets, livable cities and better built environments.
A volunteer-directed, community-based effort focused on promoting bicycling activities, events, culture/community and BIKE FUN for people of all ages and skill levels. Anyone can plan and post rides, activities or events on the interactive calendar. Promotes PT Pedalpalooza (a new bike festival in July).
An an intentional community in the city limits that tries to minimize its ecological footprint, provide for economic diversity, adhere to compassionate communication, stick with consensus, use permaculture principles, and grow much of its own food. Founded in 2004, it maintains a solid presence in Port Townsend, reminding us of how we can live together, lightly.
The goal of EnviroStars certification is to give businesses incentives and recognition for reducing hazardous waste, while giving consumers an objective way to identify environmentally sound businesses. The nationally recognized program was created in King County, Wash., in 1995 and has spread around the Puget Sound region.
Green Business is a voluntary program that gives recognition to businesses that are working to reduce waste, recycle and otherwise conduct business in an environmentally conscience manner. The program provides free technical assistance to business aimed at improving existing practices. Any type of business can be certified if they meet the criteria.
A blog hosted by the county’s Department of Public Works’ Transportation Planning Program, facilitating an exchange of ideas among those interested in the future of transportation and community development in Jefferson County.
PTguide.com, online since May 1998, is the premier online resource for Port Townsend and east Jefferson County. Its events calendar is the “go-to” resource for all things happening here, it plugs local businesses, and it provides web space for lots of community organizations. It is wholly owned and maintained locally.