What Is Sustainable Norcross?

Do you recycle, compost, xeriscape, use rain barrels? Would you like to learn how? Are you interested in organic and locally grown produce but cannot find it? Do you admire the fabulous tree canopy in Norcross? Ever wondered how to certify your yard as a Wildlife Habitat? Are you concerned about the quantity and quality of our water? Is it better to use paper or plastic bags at the grocery? What natural products are safe but effective? Ever considered sustainable alternatives for flooring, clothing and other products? Where can you discard old electronics?

Well, let’s learn together.

Starting a new organization can be a daunting task. Then an online training manual advised:

"Don’t wait - Get started without funding, expertise, or fear of adverse consequences.

Seek useful resources - Information on the web, in literature, in the community, in person, from experts.

Seek ways to scale up - Transform successful solutions into a movement of local significance.

Have fun projects – enjoy doing. Your efforts can result in important benefits, and you can have a good time while you’re at it!"

And that is exactly what a group of like minded citizens did. The organizational meeting was held June 1, 2008 and we've been busy ever since.

Learn more about us here on our blog or contact us now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Gotta Look Where You’ve Been to Know Where You’re Going

Well, not technically. Especially nowadays when you just set your GPS to start from wherever you are and move forward. But it does help every now and again to look at where you have been in order to better chart where you want to be and how to get there. And what better time than January? A new year, fresh opportunities, renewed optimism that all things are possible…

Oops, STOP RIGHT THERE. That’s one of my weaknesses. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I tend to take on more than I can shake a stick at. Some of you know what I mean. Meryl Wilkerson, are you reading this? Can you believe I am actually admitting it?

So I need your help. Yes, YOU. Let me lay out where we’ve been and YOU help figure out where we are going and how we can get there. You can be my GPS, Global Positioning System for Sustainable Norcross, that is.

So far (since June 1, 2008 I might add) you have:

*Chosen a name

*Crafted a mission statement and objective

*Decided on goals

*Selected a custom designed logo (Thanks millions, Mike Lorey!)

*Applied for and earned the Away From Home Event Recycling grant for the city July through September (Thank you to former City Manager Warren Hutmacher for allowing us to imagine Norcross a recycle city, and Joe Dunlop of Georgia Department of Community Affairs for helping us navigate the process and having a grant to shoot for.)

*Recruited Julie Foster in July as Sustainable Norcross liaison to Tixie Fowler’s local and organic farmers’ market team. They are “The Incredibles”!

*Conducted beta tests and dress rehearsals of Event Recycling at the City’s July 3 Celebration (appreciate your assistance Craig Mims, John Davis, Jennifer Francis and City Pubic Works Department), September 5 Concert in the Park (fabulous Rip Robertson, just fabulous), September 6 British Car Fayre (Edna Berkshire thanks for welcoming us) and first annual Hopewell Healthy Living 5K on September 27 (Paisha Girtmon and Dr. Ben Pennington, you put on a quality event)

*Presented programs to Norcross Garden Club’s morning and evening groups in September (Carol Edwards and Amanda Gainer, thanks for inviting us. The gasoline money went to defray SN expenses.)

*Printed business cards in time for mingling at Norcross Business Association September meeting. (Chuck Paul, thanks for letting us visit.)

*Introduced our website (Way to go Amanda Gainer! Nearly 500 hits and they are not all from me, really.)

*Rolled out Event Recycling at the premier annual event, Norcross Art Fest held October 4 and 5 (Art Fest Organizers, thanks for having faith in us. Alice Hinterschied, the Hospitality Suite rocked! Robert Katz, volunteer wrangler at Norcross High is also the GC&B contact, Interact Sponsor and yes, most importantly, teacher. And you SN volunteers who made all this happen, you are awesome!)

*Participated at Art Fest with an informational booth and celebration of Recycling and Waste Reduction, including an official City proclamation (Thank you, Mayor Bucky Johnson. Hey Buster, the Brown Thrasher a/k/a Anthony Kontaxis, have you recovered yet? Art “Captain Recycle II” Geist, you are a hoot!)

*Designed our first T-shirt for active volunteers, underwritten by Advanced Disposal and the original caped crusader, Captain Recycle Steve Edwards.

*Supplied volunteers to assist in the city sponsored Electronics Recycling Day October 11 (Phil Robertson you read our minds by adding this for our citizens.)

*Conducted Rivers Alive Stream Clean Up on October 18 at city owned Johnson-Dean Park (Andrea Ward, I couldn’t have survived without you! Kyle Evens, Webelos Scouts and dads of Alpharetta and Milton, thanks for reminding us that Community is bigger than our city limits.)

*Spun off a group of volunteers to work on a sustainability advisory panel to the city which achieved official city designation November 2 as Sustainable Norcross Commission (Thumbs up Chuck Cimarik, Kathy Nau, Heather Royston, Jim Scarbrough and Connie Weathers.)

*Started accepting donations in October of aluminum cans and other metals which are recycled for cash to fund organizational expenses. (To Power Engineering’s Belinda Fleming, our inaugural and monthly donor, thanks. What a great idea!)

*Started accepting donations in January of used ink and toner cartridges to recycle and credit toward SN purchases at Office Depot. (First contributor and SN volunteer Andrew Hixson of Streetsmart, a division of RBC knows one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.)

*Received first official cash donation in December in honor of active member Bill Posey. (Generosity squared.)

*Joined Sustainable Peachtree Corners in January in the 1000 Healthy Lawns Challenge. (Robin Fosdick, Judy Knight and Karen Ford, don’t show us up too bad.)

*Debuted blog on January 27 (Will wonders never cease?)

*And today January 29 announced the 2008 Volunteers of the Year: Barbara and Jim Rentz. Otherwise we’d have to list you in nearly every bullet above. Can we clone you?

And I am surely forgetting something and more importantly some-body. Please forgive me. Although I’m saving a few of you for future postings.

Collectively YOU are a mighty force of energy to be channeled for the good.

What I see in the rearview mirror looks pretty darn impressive!

Let’s talk about where we are going next time.

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