In the wake of the US federal government pulling out of the Paris Treaty on Climate Change, cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and reducing national park land, some might wonder what 2018 sustainability trends might look like. However, new entities have emerged to lead the fight to reduce climate change and champion sustainability. We saw more than 2,500 businesses, local governments, colleges and universities, tribal leaders, and faith-based organizations step forward and sign the We Are Still In pledge, committing to tackle climate change, ensure a clean energy future, and uphold the Paris Agreement with or without the help of the federal government. Efforts like We’re Still In demonstrate the power of leadership at all levels.
Many environmental advocates assume that in order to motivate action on climate mitigation goals, they have to educate the public on why climate change is so important. These advocates seek widespread agreement as a precondition to action. In reality, though, that agreement might not be necessary. In fact, by focusing on climate change instead of sustainability, campaigns may be unintentionally excluding the population with the most potential for reducing emissions.
Are you looking for a few unique ways to upcycle otherwise old or unwanted items in an effort to eliminate waste in landfills? Check out this story by Cool Choices sustainability program alum Jeanne from the Kenosha County UW-Extension sent us this awesome story of how she and other Cool Choices program alum (who are also members of Sustainable Kenosha) found a creative way to eliminate waste in their community by upcycling an old satellite dish from the Kenosha County Center and transforming it into a beautiful garden display. We are always impressed and inspired by how our program participants feel Cool Choices impacts them and their decision to continue increasing their daily sustainable actions even after the program ends.
In September Cool Choices partnered with various local entities in Waukesha County, Wisconsin on a community scale sustainability program. That program is now complete – ending on November 10, 2017. Below are highlights from the data participants shared with us via our game-based platform. We are excited to report on this data and the achievements of the program, which make it a true success for Waukesha County businesses and residents.
Cool Choices is excited to announce that this fall we will be leading a county-wide sustainability program in Waukesha County. Thousands of Waukesha County residents will have the opportunity to join teams with colleagues and friends to show off their smart habits and compete for prizes—all while saving money at home and at work by adopting sustainable practices.
I spent Saturday at the Green Alliance Sustainability Fair in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Cool Choices had an exhibit and we did a workshop; we were talking about the free county-wide Cool Choices program we are launching in the Waukesha County later this fall.
The fair occurred in a clearing at a state park, which meant we were talking about environmental sustainability just a few yards from hiking trails on a crisp and sunny Wisconsin day. Perhaps as a result, I did not encounter anyone at this event who opposed protecting Wisconsin’s amazing natural resources for future generations. Opinions did vary, though, on what needed to happen and how.
Cool Choices is proud to announce that we are a featured presenter at the Green Alliance Sustainability Fair, which takes place on August 26 in Delafield, Wisconsin! Cool Choices Executive Director, Kathy Kuntz, will lead a hands-on demonstration of our engaging sustainability program, which offers a game-based approach to increasing daily sustainable actions at work, home, and in the community. The demonstration will be a great introduction to the FREE county-wide Cool Choices sustainability program for Waukesha County businesses and residents that we are implementing later this fall, with primary funding generously provided by the McKnight Foundation.
Hundreds of cities, counties, and even states made (or renewed) a public commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some local governments made this commitment in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Others re-affirmed an existing commitment. For more than a decade, cities – both large and small – have recognized the economic advantages associated with sustainability, and have set aggressive goals. At the same time, sustainability advocates have long argued that cities – with zoning authority and direct accountability to a local population – are best poised to lead on sustainability. From recycling policies, to planning decisions that make it easier to bike to work, cities are where change is happening.
Cool Choices was proud to present at the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo in Austin, Texas in June, where we were selected as a 2017 Smart Cities Showcase participant. Our booth engaged with dozens of city thought leaders looking for new ways to connect community and innovation via sustainability, technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT.) The conference offered several keynotes focused on how new technology connects with sustainability effort to benefit whole communities.