Sustainable Lebanon Boosts Impact on Planet-Protection
Since 2018, Sustainable Lebanon (SL) has been making positive environmental change through an informal network of 300 local members. SL’s number one goal is to address Climate Change. The organization’s efforts help City residents to meet their needs while allowing future generations to thrive.
As the warming planet we live on has made sustainability ever more urgent, SL’s leaders decided to make changes to strengthen the organization’s efforts in 2021. They secured 501c(3) nonprofit status from the IRS in August of 2021. In 2022, they hired the organization’s first employee, local leader Jennifer Grant, who brings a deep knowledge of the Upper Valley and years of nonprofit management experience to her role.
With these changes, Sustainable Lebanon has boosted its ability to educate residents regarding planet-friendly choices to help mitigate and increase community resilience toward climate change.
A top priority for new SL work is Electric Vehicles (EVs). As a result of SL’s advocacy, this year’s Lebanon alumni parade included electric vehicles for the first time. City manager Shaun Mulholland and City councilor Karen Liot Hill rode in the City’s own electric vehicle, a Leaf, followed by the chair of the Lebanon Energy Committee, Greg Ames, and Electric Vehicle Subcommittee chair, Sherry Boschert, both driving their own personal EVs.
Sustainable Lebanon has partnered with other local entities to promote sustainable waste management, especially around recycling. This spring, SL partnered with Lebanon Rotary and Jake’s Coffee to offer a day of free Styrofoam recycling to area residents. During this event, one ton of Styrofoam was collected and saved from the landfill. The next “StyroDay” will be Saturday, October 29th, so start setting your Styrofoam aside for recycling!
SL members are currently working on focused projects. In 2022, members persuaded the City to allow natural burials on cemetery property. Sustainable Lebanon members also serve on the City’s tree board and oversee its urban heat island study. For this study, volunteers measure temperatures at designated locations to help plan for future tree planting and shade.
Promoting pollinators and eco-friendly yards is another area of SL interest. This year, SL members distributed packets of native wildflower seeds to 200 Lebanon households.
Areas of future SL action include food waste reduction, green spaces, bike/pedestrian efforts, and soil health. If any of SL’s target issues are of interest to you, reach out to be added to the email list!
The organization has launched the “Second Tuesday at Seven Sustainable Lebanon Speaker Series”, beginning with “A Homeowner’s Guide to Long-Range Energy Planning.” A recording is available on the SL Facebook page.
As part of addressing climate change, Sustainable Lebanon is helping a private company – Path to a Green Home – to develop the Sustainable Nature App (SNAPP). Lebanon is the first place to have access to this new smartphone app, which allows users to select actions to reduce their carbon footprint. SL volunteers beta-tested the app and SL is now recruiting participants for a Fall pilot. Pilot participants download SNAPP to their iPhones (Android is not yet available). Participants can then choose to use SNAPP individually or join a Team of other users during the 12-week pilot. Watch for sign-up information on local listservs or contact Sustainable Lebanon to join in.
You can find more information about Sustainable Lebanon’s activities via their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SustainableLebanonNH, or by emailing SusLebNH@outlook.com or calling 603-252-1618.