Joel Shuler

Living in a more sustainable community won’t just happen one night while we’re sleeping; unfortunately, we can’t just “wish it” into being. It will take collective will transformed into collective effort. This collective effort will need to come from the public sector, county and municipal governments with a responsibility for infrastructure improvements and maintenance, public transportation and overall community quality of life.

It will need to include the private sector, businesses and organizations with a vested interest on community growth (sustainable growth, hopefully) and economic development. It also must include you and me. We have a strong vested interest in all facets of a sustainable community and the higher quality of life that it brings. Better public transportation options, more pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly streets and trails, easy access to recycling and reuse options, better access to locally grown produce and locally made products – all these things and much more require not only our support but our active participation.

Fortunately, positive things are happening, and there are lots of examples of sustainability leadership. There’s Revolucion Coffee + Juice, a “plastic free” coffee shop and juice bar that also offers $1 off your next juice for each returned juice bottle.

And there’s Dr. Robert “Tito” Norris, who made the commitment in 2007 to have his Stone Oak Orthodontics practice run on 100 percent renewable energy; in 2011 his office became the first LEED-certified single-doctor orthodontic office in the U.S. And there’s Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning, which recently built a separate recycling center at its headquarters where recyclable parts from old heating and AC units and from old water heaters can be separated and recycled. There are countless more examples across our community of businesses, organizations and individuals practicing sustainability.

Why do these “extra” things? I like the answer Don Rackler, who owns Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning, gave me recently: “Because it’s the right thing to do, isn’t it?”

As a matter of fact, it is. And for readers of Natural Awakenings, sustainable business practices are a key differentiator. Our readers tend to make purchasing decisions with the planet (and the community) in mind.

These stories need to be shared. If your business or organization operates with sustainability in mind, let us know. It’s a story worth telling.

Blessings to you and yours for a wonderful, bountiful and sustainable October!


Joel Shuler, Publisher

Posted in: Local
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