My first week of work exposed me to various ways people work together to come up with solutions.
The first meeting I attended was the Compact of Colorado Communities held at Westminster. Earlier this year, the Compact had a symposium which identified an overall 90 action items for five themes (General & Economic Viability; Resilience; Clean Transportation; Water, Agriculture & Forestry; and Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy). This meeting was about creating a Cooperative whereby members would work together to address the action items. The meeting touched upon some of the action items for each theme and as part of the Breakout Table Topics session, attendees got to choose which theme they would like to participate in and share the issues they face, solutions they have in place, and brain stormed potential solutions that may help to address other issues.
Another meeting I attended was the City Council Meeting. Two members from the Community Sustainability Advisory Board talked about the Pay as You Throw city program which helps to improve waste diversion from landfill and also encourages more recycling. The Board would like to implement this city-wide, however there are some Home Owner Associations who prefer to have a contract with private haulers with their own terms and conditions.
The final meeting of the week, which was more of a gathering, was a community event held at Pikes Peak Market in Colorado Springs called the Sustainable Lifestyle Event. The event showcased a number of environment-friendly vendors who sell their items in bulk, and sell handmade organic products and are plastic-free. The main highlight of the event was the talk given by Andrea Sanders (@bezerowastegirl) who gave valuable insights on how we can convert (or more like revert) to practicing a “reusable” lifestyle by having more ownership of the things we have and to value them more so we are inclined to reuse them and take good care of them rather than continue to practice a “single-use” lifestyle. She also talked about quiet activism which can create a ripple effect and inspire others to make a change.
The main takeaway message I got from all these meetings is that we can all come together to talk about the issues we face (or will face in the future), and together we can come up with solutions. It is important to understand that there is no one-solution for a particular issue, and we do get different opinions and preferences all the time. This is one of the challenges of trying to implement change, and it is likely to drain a person just to think of ways to overcome the challenge. But there will always be someone who shares, or at least understands and supports, one’s ideas and opinions, and working together to tackle the challenge would feel less daunting and more achievable.
Teamwork. Collaboration. Helping and supporting one another. Together we can make a change, for a better future.
Note: Credits to Wonder Pets (an animated series) for the title of this blogpost.