Since the beginning of my time working in the South Portland Sustainability Office, I have had the pleasure of writing about sustainability topics ranging from coastal resilience to electric lawnmowers. This week, I’m taking a step back, looking back and requesting, humbly, some input from you.

Dan King photo

There has been a lot to write about since November. My inaugural column was a summary of South Portland’s climate action progress during 2021. I was overwhelmed (and excited) by all of the sustainability work South Portland accomplished within only a year. I felt my understanding of climate action begin to bloom.

Since then, I have learned about coastal resilience, municipal and community solar, transitioning homes to electric heating systems, electric lawn care equipment and more by writing these columns. In addition to learning about the basics of these topics, I have begun to understand their interdisciplinary nature and benefits. When writing about electric heating and cooling systems, for example, the focus is not only on the reduced energy use and transition off of fossil fuels, but on housing affordability and home comfort as well.

With the exception of a few fun additions to our Sentry schedule – such as our new sustainability staff highlights – our article topics align with our monthly Coffee and Climate.

Coffee and Climate is a monthly event hosted alongside the city of Portland that explores a variety of sustainability topics and encourages ongoing conversations with community members and sustainability staff. A highlight of these events are guest presentations from topic experts, such as staff members and scientists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute who talked with us about community-driven coastal resilience, a local architect from Kaplan Thompson Architects who talked about affordable energy-efficient housing.

Coffee and Climate events provide the opportunity for sustainability staff to connect with our community and learn about what questions and concerns people have about taking climate action. To register for upcoming Coffee and Climate events and watch recordings of previous conversations, visit


Having ongoing climate conversations is a large part of Portland and South Portland’s joint climate action plan, One Climate Future. The plan itself was created with community input from nearly 100 events and over 1,600 surveys, proving that a core component of climate action is community consultation.

Moving forward, the South Portland Sustainability Office continues to want your input. What sustainability topics are you interested in learning more about? How can we better connect you with climate action in your community? Reach out to me at with any and all suggestions.

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

Mia Ambroiggio is a Greater Portland Council of Governments Resilience Corps Fellow serving in the Sustainability Office. She can be reached at

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