OUR WORK THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Read below to hear more about our plans for our work year-round. This is still in development and in the process of fundraising, and we are excited about the opportunity to expand our role in serving the community.
While our flagship program is the Earth Day ATX festival, our greater purpose is to facilitate coordination among community stakeholders to develop and implement scalable, systemic, community-driven solutions. We serve a future in which Austin leads the way in systemic transformation toward a sustainable society for all people. We are a 501C3!
For 2019, we are focusing on four tracks that we feel are significant and relevant for Austin: Transportation, Regional Water Use, Climate & Climate Resilience, and Food Conservation & the Circular Economy. We plan to work with businesses, local nonprofits and community advocates to bring multiple viewpoints together in the interest of allowing inclusive, community-driven, systemic solutions to emerge. As a generalist organization who provides a platform for a wide range of environmental groups, we feel we can play a unique role in convening these groups for the greater Austin good. Critical to and imbedded in this work will be the distinctions of anti-racism, equity and inclusion as a primary lens.
Building on the network of organizations brought together through the Mobility Ecosystem at Earth Day, and working with local community advocates and neighborhood organizations, we plan to have a series of community-led development sessions to build a systemic approach to traffic and economic mobility for all Austinites that includes electrification and public transportation as key components.
REGIONAL WATER USE:
It's easy to see our water use as an Austin-only problem. But the truth is, we are a city in a network of communities upstream and downstream that have an interconnected relationship in a state that highly values private land rights. As climate change continues to impact our region with increasing droughts and floods as our climate changes, how do we effectively and equitably share the commons without using them up?
What would it look like to be a truly resilient community? With all the resources and talent we have here in Central Texas, our capacity for change is great -- if channelled into collaborative and inclusive strategies that break through our silos. We have long undervalued some of our best community leaders whose voices could help lead the way to real community strength. With destruction comes change. What if we used every flood, every fire, every drought as an opportunity to rebuild society in a sustainable and equitable way? What would that look like? Who would lead? These are the guiding questions that will be at the heart of this project.
FOOD CONSERVATION AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY:
Food waste is an enormous contributor to climate change. What's more, Austin throws far more food away annually than would feed every food-insecure child in our city--every meal--all year. We plan to work with businesses and organizations to help connect the community to food system solutions that could make all the difference.
We have seen that there are certain key environmental topics in which may be more divisive than any of us realize. The Earth Day Austin team is working to develop a series of community conversations that begin with connecting participants to anti-racist and diversity training and conitinue with a deep community dialogue that builds understanding and opens up new opportunities.
At the heart of community leadership is the community itself - rising naturally behind a shared vision. Here’s Earth Day’s vision: a resilient community of communities working in partnership toward a vibrant Austin that works for everyone.