Have you been looking for ways to get involved in climate action in our community? South Portland has committed to transitioning all municipal operations to clean energy sources by 2040, and to reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, but city staff cannot accomplish these bold goals alone.

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The foundation of our joint climate action and adaptation plan with Portland is the formation of partnerships. The city is seeking the insight of residents, business owners and organizations with lived experience and diverse knowledge to help us create vibrant, thriving and inclusive low-carbon cities.

If you are interested in helping co-create climate action programs with the city, check out two new and exciting opportunities below:

Help develop a South Portland climate action network

Last week, South Portland City Council passed a resolution supporting the establishment of a new nonprofit organization to foster community engagement in the climate crisis. The resolution states “the City Council supports the formation and success of an organizationally, operationally and financially independent not-for profit South Portland climate action network entity for the purpose of supporting the One Climate Future Plan and contributing to the fulfillment of OCF engagement goals, including to focus on community ownership; build on significant efforts of youth, businesses, and organizations; and achieve the greatest collective success.”

The nonprofit will be an independent entity, but will work with city staff to help achieve South Portland’s climate goals. Those spearheading the effort are seeking people to join leadership and advocacy teams.

For more information, or if you are interested in getting involved in the creation of the nonprofit, contact Tim Honey via email at [email protected]

Join the South Portland Waste Reduction Committee

The purpose of the South Portland Waste Reduction Committee is to assist the city in transitioning to a zero waste community by advising the Sustainability Department on policies, programs and initiatives that improve single-stream recycling, divert organic waste, minimize single-use plastics and enhance a circular economy.

While waste reduction strategies play a relatively small role in reducing our cumulative emissions based on our greenhouse gas emissions inventory, minimizing waste and using resources more efficiently can have significant upstream effects on reducing emissions outside the city.

The South Portland Waste Reduction Committee currently has three open member positions for District 3, District 5 and at-large. The committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, or if you are interested in joining, email Casey Zorn at [email protected]

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry that provides residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram and Facebook @soposustainability.

Casey Zorn is sustainability program manager for South Portland. She can be reached at 207-347-4147 or [email protected]

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