Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. We inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.  LEARN MORE

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    Sustain Charlotte Seeks a Full-Time Bicycle Program Manager

    Applications accepted through June 15, 2015

    Position Summary

    Sustain Charlotte is looking for an energetic Bicycle Program Manager with a passion and talent for fostering collaboration to accomplish shared goals. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Bicycle Program Manager will develop and manage a two-year initiative to build relationships and foster collaboration among the various organizations who offer cycling events and programs in the Charlotte area, assist with publicizing these activities, and establish Sustain Charlotte as the hub organization for information related to cycling. The Bicycle Program Manager will also assist in securing funding via grants and membership to support these activities beyond the initial two-year period.

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    Sustain Charlotte Hosts Sustainability Discussion with Latin American Visitors

    Sustain Charlotte staff and board members met with eight Latin American professionals on Wednesday to discuss ideas for implementing sustainability programs in urban areas. We shared the story of why our Executive Director Shannon Binns founded Sustain Charlotte five years ago. Then we explained the goals and strategies for each of our major programs and initiatives. As we reviewed land cover maps showing how sprawl has dramatically altered our regional landscape over the past 40 years, several visitors shared that their countries or regions are also facing similar challenges. Poor land use decisions, over-dependence on private vehicles, and short-sighted planning are not problems unique to the United States. 

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    Sustain Charlotte staff and board members discussed sustainability with Latin American visitors.

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    Sustain Charlotte addresses City Council at Monday night's public hearing on City budget

    At last night's public hearing on the City budget, we questioned the proposal to replace our current waste collection and disposal fee with a property tax increase on the grounds that doing this would make the actual cost of our waste “invisible” to residents, and create no financial incentive to reduce how much we throw away. We proposed a variable rate structure based on the amount of waste each resident generates instead, as used in Austin and Seattle and thousands of other American cities and towns.

    See Sustain Charlotte Director Shannon Binns' comments to City Council below: 

    Good evening, 

    My name is Shannon Binns, I live here in Charlotte and I direct a local nonprofit called Sustain Charlotte. 

    Tonight I want to share with you our perspective on two important issues related to the budget.

    First, think about the last time you turned down your thermostat because you knew that doing this would save you some money on your monthly electricity bill.

    Now think about the last time you turned off the faucet or garden hose because you knew it was wasteful to let it run, and that you would pay for your wastefulness when you got your water bill later that month if you didn’t switch it off. 

    Now think about the last time you didn’t throw something in the garbage can at home because you knew it would save you some money on your garbage bill.

    My guess is that you thought about a time you turned down your thermostat and turned off the faucet, but had a hard time remembering when you didn’t throw something away to save some money. 

    This is because putting less in your garbage can at home doesn’t save you money.  No matter how much (or how little) waste you create, the amount you pay is the same. 

    In other words, the financial incentive you have to reduce your energy and water use does not exist when it comes to the amount of waste services you use.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way.   

    Unit pricing, also known as variable rate pricing or pay-as-you-throw, is a system under which residents pay for waste management services per unit of waste collected rather than through a fixed fee or tax, thereby offering individuals an incentive to reduce the amount of waste they generate.

    In fact, rather than replacing our current flat annual waste services fee with a higher property tax to raise the revenues needed for waste collection and disposal, which makes the true costs of waste services invisible to residents, we urge you to implement variable rate pricing as thousands of municipalities around the country have already done, including Seattle, WA and Austin, TX, to name just two.

    This approach is not only more economically efficient, but it is also more equitable in that those who choose to reduce their waste are not subsidizing those who choose not to do so, more transparent, and gives residents more control over the cost of waste services, in that they are able to save money by the choices they make.

    If we move to a variable rate system, it is estimated that we would generate $17M in additional revenue in the first year and see another $2M in tipping fee savings for a net financial impact of $19 million in the first year, nearly enough to cover our current budget gap.  Over 10 years, this approach is estimated to positively impact our bottom line by $233M.  

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    Lastly, I want to reiterate our continued support for investing in Phase 2 of the Gold Line.  Those of you who were serving on Council in May of 2013 will recall that we presented a statement of support for this investment to Council that was signed by over 2,500 of our residents.  Like us, those residents remain supportive of this important investment for our growing city and we do not have time to delay this investment further.  

    Thank you, and thank you for your service.

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    Exciting news at our May Monthly Mixer!

    Just when you thought our Monthly Mixer couldn't get any better, we're making it happen! Beginning in June, we'll combine our monthly networking event with Green Drinks Charlotte. We're all excited about this merger of the two events since we know it'll mean more chances for YOU to expand your network of new friends who care about sustainability! The format will remain similar and you'll still see all of the Sustain Charlotte staff and volunteers, but we'll also be joined by volunteers and current attendees of Green Drinks Charlotte.

    We can't imagine a better opportunity to invite your friends, family, and colleagues to our new event! Stay tuned to our social media (Facebook and Twitter) and your email for an announcement about the date and location of the next mixer.

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    More than 45 people came to mingle and to hear what we're working on!

     

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    Sustain Charlotte Announces Winners of 2015 Awards

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    CHARLOTTE, NC – Sustain Charlotte, a local nonprofit dedicated to educating, engaging, and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges, recognized 100 Charlotte area citizens and organizations for their innovative work to advance the region’s sustainability. Awards were presented to thirty-one winners in front of a crowd of 350 at the Sustain Charlotte Awards + Earth Day Celebration on April 22  (Earth Day) at the Historic Palmer Building in East Charlotte. Local nonprofits, government agencies, businesses, and neighborhood associations were recognized for helping to advance ‘Charlotte 2030:  A Sustainable Vision for Our Region’, which Sustain Charlotte launched in 2010. The Earth Day Network recognized the celebration as an official Earth Day event.

    Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter and City Council Members Alvin Austin, John Autry, Vi Lyles, Greg Phipps,Patsy Kinsey, and LaWana Mayfield, as well as Mecklenburg County CommissionerPat Cotham and Trevor Fuller were in attendance. Terri Bennett, Co-Founder of Do Your Part® served as Master of Ceremonies.  

    Sustain Charlotte Founder and Executive Director Shannon Binns welcomed the audience saying, “Regardless of religion, race, or political boundaries, what unites us all is our shared dependence on this planet: for food, for energy, for water, for air – for everything that sustains us. On this 45th Earth Day, we come together to lift up those who are leading the way to making our community sustainable so that 45 years from now, our children, nieces, and nephews will enjoy at least the same health and prosperity that we enjoy today, if not more.” 

    Awards were presented to three organizations in each of eight categories: Land Use, Sustainable Economy, Energy, Food, Waste Reduction, Social Equity, Transportation, and Water. Also, three individuals were recognized as Outstanding Leaders. This year’s winners are:

    Category Winning Individual or Organization
      1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
    Energy Envision Charlotte Alliance for Climate Education JLL & Goddard School of Rock Hill
    Food Green Teacher Network Society of St. Andrew - Charlotte area modPALEO & Atherton Market (tie)
    Land Use Charlotte Reconnecting Ourselves With Nature (CROWN) Land Design Little
    Social Equity Youth Development Initiatives Universal Institute for Successful Aging of Carolinas & MeckMin (tie) Little
    Transportation B-cycle/Charlotte Center City Partners Charlotte Spokes People Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association
    Sustainable Economy Centralina Council of Governments Project for innovation, Energy & Sustainability (PiES) Naturally Clean & USGBC North Carolina (tie)
    Waste Reduction Central Piedmont Community College Grier Heights Community Improvement Organization Enderly Park Neighborhood Association
    Water Autobell Car Wash Charlotte Water Commonwealth-Morningside Neighborhood Association
    Outstanding Leader Terry Lansdell Monica Embrey Jaime Emerson

    Event sponsors included:  Charlotte Magazine, Boingo Graphics, Mecklenburg County, Plan Ahead Events - South Charlotte, Hannah Solar, O2 Energies, Belk, TreeCycle America, Sean Busher Imagery, Blumenthal Foundation, S&D Coffee, Duke Energy Foundation, Solar Solution, NC Sustainable Energy Association, Healthy Home Market, Charlotte Green Team, McGuireWoods, Whole Foods Market, Cruise Carts, Clean Air Carolina, Habitat for Humanity Charlotte ReStore, TapSnap, Zippy Shell, and NC GreenPower.

    For more information on the event, visit the event website sustaincharlotte.org/awards or contact Sustain Charlotte. 

    Sustain Charlotte is a nonprofit organization helping to advance a region-wide sustainability movement by serving as a catalyst for change.  Our mission is to inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.  Visit www.sustaincharlotte.org for more.

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