Celebrating “green” successes in Shelburne

The Pierson Library is bustling these days. Director Kip Robertson happily reports that library circulation is up 9.2 percent from last year and electronic materials are up 61 percent. In fact, the library boasts over 1,300 visitors on the average per week. The local library has most books that appear on the NY Times best seller list, an extensive collection of DVDs and books on tape, computer access, coffee – a wonderful gathering place for the community. In fact the library recently ordered a book, “America the Possible” by James Gustave Speth, that I asked about and I had it in my hands a week later. I highly recommend it! Photo by Laurie Caswell Burke

By Laurie Caswell Burke

As we near the end of another year I am encouraged by the progress we have made on the “green” front.  Access to local food has increased, paths have been built, more homes are energy efficient, the Shelburne energy committee continues to meet monthly and our local library is bustling with activity.  We are not waiting for government to solve the environmental issues that face us, rather taking a Margaret Mead approach that begins with the collective actions of individuals.

In Shelburne, in Vermont, and around the country, actions are clearly reflecting a change our choices to live a more sustainable lifestyle. And we need to continue to remain vigilant on this front to ensure that future generations will enjoy a healthy planet.  There are many national organizations that are committed to helping us live smaller and with a more environmental sustainable ethic. A few that I follow closely are 350.org-whose mission is to promote a global movement to solve the climate crisis and The Center for the American Dream, an organization that helps Americans to reduce and shift their consumption to improve quality of life, protect the environment, and promote social justice.  There are countless others including the Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, Toxic Action Center, Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA) – all doing very good work. 

Vermont is fortunate to have Bill McKibben, environmental speaker, author, and activist for climate change. He has written extensively on the impact of global warming and continues to be an activist in Washington.  His latest book “The Global Warming Reader” is on my holiday wish list.  I deeply admire McKibben’s passion and devotion to keeping “climate change” on the front burner, especially on the national landscape. Kathryn Blume, a local climate champion, speaker, and activist clearly uses her theater talents to approach climate activism in an original manner with grittiness and humor, and who, like McKibben, has made this a priority.

Each of these folks and organizations has websites that provide more detailed information. I encourage you to visit.

As we look toward a new year let’s celebrate the success we have seen thus far. Every small action contributes to a collective action and clearly makes an impact! These photos represent a sampling of actions in our community. Put a little green in your holiday this season!

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