I was visiting a member last week and spent quite a bit of time discussing different ways the environmental plan could be improved. One of their big issues was that there is no recycling in the town. He had called different waste haulers in the area, none of which recycled, and was looking for further assistance. When I asked if he had contacted the city, the answer was no.
Local resources are the keystone to any successful environmental plan, and we jumped on the computer and visited the municipal website. It’s an exercise I would recommend for anyone looking to improve their environmental efforts. Sometimes you may need to do some digging to find what you are looking for. In my home town, for example, waste management can be found within the highway department, but it was worth it to find they offered free mulch to town residents willing to pick it up. I also found a sign up for a biodiversity workshop, links to local stormwater organizations, local laws and ordinances, and local community organizations (which include a nature center, another great local resource). When searching the site, key words to look for include programs and incentives.
As helpful as municipal websites can be, I can’t overemphasize enough the great information that can be found through your local cooperative extension website.
The next step is to followup and speak to an actual person. While you are at it, see if they, or someone they can recommend, would be willing to be part of your green team and help with future environmental planning.