Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sustainability Commission Survey Report

Carbondale's Sustainability Commission recently surveyed a sample of Carbondale residents as to which sustainability issues they feel are most important for the city to tackle. Here is the press release from the Commission summarizing the results:

The Carbondale Sustainability Commission announced the results of its fall 2019 survey.  These results reflect the priorities of the 483 respondents on possible strategies to include in the City's Sustainability Action Plan.  The plan’s aim is to establish a vision for a sustainable and resilient Carbondale and actionable goals and strategies for addressing climate change threats, such as flash floods followed by drought.  
Five sectors for achieving greater sustainability were addressed in the survey, and more will be added in subsequent phases of the Sustainability Action Plan’s implementation.  The proposed strategies in each sector were selected based on public input, City staff input, and action plans of other U.S. cities.  The most popular strategies among survey respondents were as follows.
·         Energy Use in Built Structures: install solar panels on city buildings (in the works); support community solar buy; increase energy efficiency through education and weatherization of homes.
·         Energy Use in Transportation: increase walk-ability with more sidewalks and bike-ability with safety measures.
·         Green Infrastructure: manage stormwater (in the works); plant more trees and gardens, esp. with native plants, and in place of lawns; set goals to reduce water/air pollution.
·         Food Production and Consumption: encourage locally grown food (gardens and markets); educate to reduce food waste.
·         Waste Reduction:  make it easier for people in apartments to recycle; develop composting facility for Carbondale; encourage composting for schools and homes; host zero waste events; reduce single use plastics (with a fee or ban on some).

These strategies will be the topic of consultations with City staff in the next months, and lead to a community-wide open house to increase public participation and buy-in.  The full survey report is available on the City website: look under Sustainability Commission.  Commission meetings are held at City Hall on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.; the Action Plan subcommittee meets on the first Thursday at 3:30 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.

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