We have had a good year, with several events at the United Nations — on such topics as electric transportation and geospatial indicators — maintaining an outstanding Board, and attracting talented interns.
We have also received our first foundation grant, albeit a small amount, but more a recognition that we are making a contribution in awareness raising and advocacy.
As the saying goes, “Think globally, Act locally.” Well, I have become more involved locally. In addition, for the past few years NGO Sustainability been a member of the Manresa Association — a local group concerned with the future of an NRG decommissioned coal and then oil burning power plant. I am trying to persuade the group and the city, that the best future use would be as a solar energy facility. One argument is that it is the easiest remediation solution for the 55 highly polluted acres from coal ash and oil spill. The rest of the 125 acres could be for recreational and other purposes.
Most recently, a county-wide committee has been formed, Sustainable Fairfield County. I represent my town of Norwalk. Hopefully, this group will also be an important support for my efforts on the solar energy facility. The timing is ripe as the state legislature just passed a 40% renewables by 2050. As usual, such laws are passed without funding or any indication of how we are going to get there.
What are our biggest concerns: new board members, now particularly from the private sector, from environmental law firms, members and friends remembering to make their yearly financial contribution — especially as we are looking to restart our Liberia renewable energy program. As an all volunteer organization we do have expenses for maintaining an office, and for our programs. We would also like to be able to help our interns with their personal costs.
Our Newsletter is a source of pride as we try to keep all up to date on the media, particularly newspapers and periodicals, on what is happening in the world of sustainability and renewable energy.
Our project of the moment is the elimination of the use of plastic bags and straws. What a surprise, today, to look at the front cover of the NY Daily News to see a big article and 3 pages inside on just the subject of plastic straws. So I suppose we would all agree, NGO Sustainability is “au courant”!