Collaboration: The Key to Community Success

Sustainable Woodstock’s distinctive role in our community is to hold a focus on long-term environmental and economic challenges that affect our quality of life. SW’s board regularly discusses a wide range of pressing issues–from energy and transportation, to food production and waste reduction, to housing and local economic development—to determine which of them we ought to address at any given time.

There is a lot of work to do, and we fully realize that we, a small group of concerned citizens, cannot tackle any of these challenges on our own, so we seek to collaborate with other organizations, businesses, and agencies that are also working to improve our community. All the projects SW undertakes depend on community collaboration. Here are some examples:

Why We’re Helping to Build a Sustainable Community

Usually this column describes one of the specific projects that Sustainable Woodstock is facilitating. This week, though, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture: Why is it important to have a local organization devoting so much time, effort and thought to “sustainability”?

The term “sustainable” refers to ways of meeting our economic and cultural needs that can continue for generations. For the past century, affluent modern societies have not lived sustainably; we have been over-consuming precious resources and over-burdening the soil, water and atmosphere with waste by-products,  jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Our “ecological footprint” exceeds what the planet’s life support systems can renewably provide. Ecologists call this imbalance overshoot, and historians (Jared Diamond, for example) identify it as a primary cause of the collapse of civilizations.