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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Ten Action Steps for Sustainability

udith Enck gives the key note address at the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair in Rensselaer, NY on October 28, 2017. Photo John Ciovacco of Aztec Geothermal, LLC.

udith Enck gives the key note address at the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair in Rensselaer, NY on October 28, 2017. Photo John Ciovacco of Aztec Geothermal, LLC.

By Joanne Coons

Judith Enck, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Director under President Obama, gave the keynote address at the 2017 Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair on Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Rensselaer, NY. With over 500 people in attendance, the presentation was a breath of fresh air which proved a motivational and informative call to action.

Judith Enck suggested ten action steps to take to promote sustainability:

  1. Call Senator and House Members – ask them to pass the next supplemental budget item allocating money for renewables.

  2. Ask congress not to cut the EPA budget.

  3. Ask institutions to divest from fossil fuels.

  4. Write thank you notes to organizations that support litigation (including Earth Justice, Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, The Alaska Wilderness League, and The Wilderness Society).

  5. Support local media (no matter how small a donation, it all helps, vote with your dollar!)

  6. Write well-written letters to the editor.

  7. Use social media, especially Twitter.

  8. Run for office.

  9. Make sure your pension divests from fossils fuels.

  10. Watch Fox News (to understand where opposition is coming from, so you can disarm it).

The event was one-stop shopping for information and products from more than fifty different organizations as vendors tabling and presenting workshops. Topics ranged from solar energy to composting and sustainable living. They included solar installations on your home, community solar, purchasing electricity through a renewable energy supplier, and a Google offshoot that makes geothermal heating and cooling installations more affordable. There was information on green and zero energy building techniques, heat pumps, Tesla’s wall-mounted storage battery, replacement windows, energy-efficient products, and how to invest your money in sustainable businesses.

In addition there were thirty non-profit organizations with information about bicycling options in New York’s Capital District, how to sign up for a NYSERDA energy audit, how your town can become a “Climate Smart Community,” the best ways to compost, environmental justice, lobbying for a carbon tax, biomass heating, the power of Community Choice Aggregation, making healthy soil, recycling, raising and saving bees, HVCC’s Clean Energy Management Program, Green Energy Times, and local climate advocacy organizations.

Joanne Coons is an adjunct professor at Hudson Valley Community College, TEC-SMART facility teaching PV Theory and Design. She organizes Capital Region NYSES (New York Solar Energy Society) monthly meetings and is a member of the Town of Clifton Park GREEN Committee.

Many thanks to our sponsor:

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