Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
In marking this 2021 Spring of hope and renewal this past Earth Day, April 22, the Southeast Iowa Sierra Club would like to ask, “What if?”
• What if the great minds, hearts, and innovators of our communities came together?
• What if they created a legacy of sustainability for future generations in Fairfield and Jefferson County?
• What if we created a “Green Recovery” model?
Earth Day 2021 provided an opportunity to reflect on a year marked by the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic which touched every country and human life on this planet. What we have learned from the COVID-19 experience is that incredibly rapid change is possible.
When we put our collective minds to it, the seemingly impossible suddenly becomes possible. It seems all the “can’t happens” that we have lived by in the past don’t apply when we’re in a crisis. We rise to the occasion and find solutions, from developing vaccines to sheltering the homeless, canceling debt and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
We need not live within the limits of “can’t.” We can build a more resilient community, a “Green Recovery” community, so that we are prepared to address the next pandemic and the next new crisis.
The idea of a “Green Recovery” model is not new to Iowa, nor to the Midwest. Several Iowa communities have already developed their own version of a sustainability framework for the future including: Burlington, Dubuque, Mason City, Charles City, Des Moines, West Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Troy and Johnson and Story counties. Other neighbors are following suit including: Manitowoc (Wisconsin), Greenburg (Kansas), and Branson (Missouri). The time is right for Fairfield and Jefferson County to seize a better future.
To do our part toward a “Green Recovery”, Southeast Iowa Sierra Club has made a three-year commitment to:
1. Mitigate the impacts of climate change and build a more resilient Fairfield community.
2. Support our community in transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy resources.
3. Restore vitality to our wildlands, wild waters and wildlife.
4. Transition to zero waste through thoughtful consumption, waste reduction and redirection.
If we look back at this COVID-19 crisis and economic restart in 10 years, how will it be remembered? Can we rebound from this crisis and create an even better “new normal” for everyone?
Let us remember a Native American proverb: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Join us by committing to create a Green Recovery.
For more information, visit: https://www.sierraclub.org/iowa/southeast
Anne Walton, executive committee chair of Southeast Iowa Sierra Club
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