This year, volunteers from Sustainable Tucson, in the spirit of celebration and education, are putting on the 5th Annual Envision Tucson Sustainability Festival. The festival this year is on October 18th from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at the YWCA of Southern Arizona. The idea behind the festival is to give the public an “opportunity to see the variety of organizations in our community, to celebrate what we’re (the community) doing, and to see how we can get others involved so that we can make a difference”. It will be a great family fun-filled event with vendors, displays, exhibits, demonstrations, and speakers, all there to celebrate and educate people of the amazing sustainability work being done around Southern Arizona. Local First Arizona's Lisette DeMars will be a panel member where the topic of discussion will be, "Envision a sustainable future for Tucson & Southern Arizona: What will it look like, and how will we get there?". Other panel speakers include Bruce Plenk, Luis Perales, and Tres English. Be sure to bring your friends and family, because this will be an event you won’t want to miss! Find out more information and see a list of exhibitors and activities HERE.
Though Envision Tucson Sustainability Festival is a great event once a year, the volunteers at Sustainable Tucson strive to educate and further the reaches of sustainability in Southern Arizona all year long. Sustainable Tucson is a non-profit, “grassroots organization that builds regional resilience and sustainability through awareness raising, community engagement, and public/private partnerships.” Paula Schlusberg is a member of Sustainable Tucson’s Core Team; a group of volunteers who collaboratively direct the programming and direction of Sustainable Tucson. Paula describes the work of the organization simply as trying “to keep (sustainability) in the front of people’s minds” and to “move towards a resilient future”.
One of the ways Sustainable Tucson does this, is by offering monthly public meetings. These public meetings are where citizens can come and learn about the sustainability efforts in Tucson and to educate themselves on specific sustainability issues. Other organizations from around Southern Arizona come to the meetings and often present, and discuss, their work and mission to attendees. Paula says that the meetings inspire action by individuals to make a difference. Individuals are encouraged to get involved with organizations that are working in areas of sustainability, that they feel passionate about, or where they want to make a difference. Sustainable Tucson also encourages people to take action by providing information for use in advocacy on a wide array of sustainability issues, both local and national/global. If you want to get involved with the organization or simply to attend a meeting or attend a meeting. You can visit their website to find when their next meeting is, and what upcoming events they have.
Tucson is a special place with great people and organizations, and is a place that has unique sustainability issues. Sustainable Tucson understands the value of networking and working as a community to solve problems and to address sustainability. By working together and not against each other, more resources and efforts can be put towards the same goals, and Sustainable Tucson aims to help companies and organizations make those connections with one another. Paula said that the same goes towards supporting and growing a strong sustainable local economy. We “really want to see local businesses viewing themselves as part of a network, acting not just as individuals, but working with other local businesses as a larger local organization”.