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It starts with your community - what have you done?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

While its important that laws change on a National basis, we need get information out to our local communities as well.  Being a true community, you need to have a way to reach others in your neighborhood to share idea, ask questions, send out information and more.  Here is what we have done in town of Hyattsville, MD, a 16,000 person community right outside of Washington DC.  Would love to hear what you are doing in your neighborhoods and hopefully we can all share some of these ideas.

 

1.  Listserve - The Hyattsville Organization for a Positive Environment was created in 1996.  It was a group of residents that go together to work on not just green environment, but the everyday life in our small city.  We had a small listserve of about 50 residents.  We are now up to 450 residents on the listserve (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HOPE_in_Hyattsville/) and avearge about 350 emails a month.  We talk everything from environmental issues, to crime, to community events to where to go to get your knives sharpened.  We chose the YahooGroups listserve platform which I prefer over the Google.

 

2.  Wiki - One of the only "Community" Wiki's out there, the Hyattsville Wiki (http://hyattsvillewiki.com) is run off of the Wetpaint platform.  We have pages and pages of information for residents with people adding more whenever they want.  We have pages specific to Gov't, the Environment, Community Calendar, various groups and more.  This is not sanctioned site by the City, rather, citizens putting up their own info.  We encourage you to copy the setup as well as the structure.  Visit our neighbors wiki in Riverdale Park (http://rpwiki.wetpaint.com/) for an alternative structure.

 

3.  Hyattsville Environmental Committee - This is a sanctioned group from the City.  Go to the the Hyattsville Wiki to view what we do.

 

Jim

post #2 of 6

Jim,

 

It seems like you and  your community are very much involved in the efforts to go green and save the environment.

 

If you havent had the chance to check out The Staga Network, I encourage you to do so today.  I am a web developer who is also very interested in the green initiatives that are surfacing as of late.  I decided to use my expertise to create a way for everyone to lend a hand.

 

The result of my desire to use technology to help save the environment is The Staga Network.  The idea is rather simple.  If we each give things away to people who live in the same neighborhoods (or near by) we can each help reduce the amount of trash we create.  By doing this, we also lower the rate at which products must be produced which helps lower energy usage in factories, transportation, and incineration.

 

Additionally, we get the satisfaction of helping our neighbors and cleaning out the "clutter" from our own homes.

 

I think this would be a great application for the members of The HOPE community and I hope you help spread the word to them.  I have just recently launched this website and i am trying to generate as much interest as possible.

 

Thanks,

Bryan Migliorisi

www.Staga.net

post #3 of 6

Here in Creve Ceour, Missouri I am working on an inventory of all the greenhouse gases the city produces in a year.  We are trying to account for every emission source the community is responsible for, from the cars driven and electricity used, to the methane produced from our garbage.  I'm working in conjunction with the City Government, the Mayor of which signed the US Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement, to establish a baseline emissions level so we can measure the success of reduction measures we hope to implement.  We are using ICLEI's - Local Governments For Sustainability, model where the importance of data and accountability can ensure that emissions reduction targets are met.  It's a big project, but we hope to get big results out of it.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Bigspencedawg! -  - The City of Hyattsville also has signed on with ICLEI and will be looking for somone to do the data entry.  Had a member of the Environmental Committee just come back from a conference with others who signed up with ICLEI and some spend years on it, others months.  Not sure how big Creve Ceour is, but for smaller town the municipal side goes fast, it's the broader community that takes a long time.  We are considering a survey sent to residents that hopefully we get enough people to complete that will be a good enough representation.

 

City vehicles are usually one of the bigger items.  The City of Hyattsville bought 2 Segways for the police and have been using them a lot.  I think we should get at least 2 more (around $5k, 100% electric and Segway will even purchase the carbon offset for the electricy you use!).

 

Has Creve Ceour joing Cool Cities yet?

 

Jim

post #5 of 6

Creve Coeur has a nighttime population of around 17,000 though the daytime is estimated to be around 50,000.  There a lot of business headquarters within the city limits.  Hyattsville looks to be similarly sized.  In terms of the data collection for the community, I would suggest going straight to the utility companies.  We were able to get natural gas and electicity usage for the entire city, broken by RCI sector (residential, etc.)

 

Things are going well in Creve Coeur because the committee did their homework - there is buy-in with key players within the local government.  The Assistant City Administrator oversees my work and is interested in helping implement reduction measures.  The City Administrator has shown support, as well as the Mayor and City Council.  The Mayor and City Council  OK'ed the inventory before it even got started. 

 

The City Vehicle Fleet is definitely a major contributor.  That's one area I am going to be looking into for reduction measures.  However, the buildings the City operates are largest emitter for municipal operations.  I like the idea of a Segway, I'll have to look into that...

 

We have joined Cool Cities, but for some reason we can't get them to put us up on their website.  That reminds me to contact them again.

 

Keep up the good work over there and if you ever need any help or suggestions with the inventory, let me know.  That's all I'm doing this summer.

post #6 of 6

And the way I was found to do the inventory may work for you as well.  I don't know what colleges are around Hyattsville, but our committee found someone in the community who already donates to a local university.  The donor earmarked the donation to an intern (me) to perform the audit as an internship.  Maybe something similar can work for you?

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