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Sustainable Ballard: A Blueprint for Every Town USA

We are Sustainable Ballard, a non-profit organization comprised of inventive, interesting neighbors who firmly believe that community self-reliance and sustainability is good foreign policy implemented locally. Together, we work at a community level encouraging neighbors to take energy conservation responsibility within homes and workplaces, including transportation choices. On a civic level, we organize educational events of a larger public scale, encouraging a discussion of renewable energy technology and implementation within our city of Seattle. We believe that each of us makes an enormous difference toward a successful Sustainable Ballard: A Blueprint for EveryTown USA.

Sustainable Ballard’s immediate goals are to establish local sustainability practices like decentralized energy generation, “green” construction, water purification and food production. We engage our community to create local self-sufficiency that is environmentally sound and economically feasible. We challenge the myth that sustainability needs a bureaucracy and bankroll to work, and prove that big ideas need only the small actions of people like you, to make an impact. And we hold the space where all neighbors, no matter what neighborhood you are from, can participate in this vision and implementation.

It was a combination of “Peak Oil” and the lack of (re)action surrounding this worldwide event that prompted the three of us, Erica Jones, Vic Opperman and David Wright, to start Sustainable Ballard. We began this effort to save our little part of the world by modeling locally-founded and future-friendly planning, stimulating a discussion about our new future which does not recognize oil as its core. Again, though our efforts are partly inspired by a geologic event known as Peak Oil that will forever challenge notions of the American Dream, they are also inspired by global warming and growing national insecurity.

Barely a year old, Sustainable Ballard meets monthly (every 4th Monday) to organize short and long term projects through a network of six guilds which cover a variety of sustainability practices: Water, Waste, Food & Medicine, Urban Planning and Building Design, Transportation and Environment. With future generations in mind, Sustainable Ballard promotes conservation through cost shaving measures and inventiveness. Our meetings are LIVELY with neighbors demonstrating their latest experiments and discoveries before our group during “WalkTheTalk”. Projects include promoting Ballard gas stations to carry biodiesel; encouraging Ballard businesses to become more sustainable and rewarding them by giving them our business; educating households towards self reliance through energy conservation, garden building, rainwater harvesting, gray water collecting for garden use and flushing toilets and modeling alternative forms of transportation (public transit, bikes, walking, carpooling, hybrids and biodiesel cars) to name a few.

Sustainable Ballard organizes many public events. Yearly we hold the Sustainable Ballard Fair (in the fall) with other like-minded organizations Groundswell NW, ArtsBallard, and ReStore (see websites below). Monthly, we hold the Sustainable Ballard Summer School (every 1st Sunday) in conjunction with the Sunday Ballard Farmers Market. Quarterly, we hold the Sustainable Ballard ASAP Seattle Forum to discuss the development, manufacture and implementation of renewable energy technologies with civic leaders in local government, industry, private business, public utilities, non-profit organizations and the interested general public. The theme of our first forum is: “The Electric Vehicle To Grid Enterprise in Seattle (EV2G)”. Our forums are organized through ASAP (Alliance of Sustainable Alternatives to Petroleum: an educational outreach project of Sustainable Ballard).

Whether you are from Ballard or another neighborhood, please join us … we believe all neighbors have beneficial skills and ideas to offer. Our Sustainable Ballard website shows how to get involved, has an events calendar, and contains numerous articles and links to local businesses and organizations that “WalkTheTalk” and share our vision. We invite you to model with us a Sustainable Ballard: A Blueprint for EveryTown USA … good foreign policy implemented locally.Thanks!

Community Guild Buy Local First Initiative: SB, Ballard Chamber of Commerce and BALLE, working with Ballard merchants to create an incentive program, to keep residents and businesses buying locallyEnvironment Waste & Water Guild Planting Trees for the Urban Tree Replacement Program (with Seattle City Light and Seattle Conservation Corps.)Ballard Environment Walks. Tours of trees and/or native plantsFood, Health and Medicine Guild Herbal Workshops. Exploring Cultivation, Medicinal Uses, Culinary Demo and Healthful Preparation

Garden Matchmaker Program. Matching people with garden resources to people with time and ability to use them.

Community Food Security, With Lettuce Link's Fruit Tree Harvest Program, Northwest Harvest and the Ballard Food Bank.

100 Mile Diet. Eating foods from within the 100 mile radius to show that we can thrive on local food, thereby reducing our comsumption of fossil fuels wasted in shipping. In collaboration with Ballard Market and the Ballard Farmers Market, we will tag foods that fit within the 100 Mile Diet.Home Energy & Conservation Guild Clean Energy Initiative. Gathering signatures for the Washington Energy Security initiative; that by 2020 15% of the electricity from Washington's largest utilities comes from local renewable energy sources Website: energysecuritynow.orgTransportation Guild King County Metro's In-Motion Project in Ballard: With Ballard Chamber of Commerce, and Groundswell NW. Getting people out of their cars and into other forms of transit

NW Biodiesel and SB joint projects: Make your own BioDiesel and an Advanced Transportation Choices Fair.

Electric Car Projects: Electric Flex Car Initiative, Ballard Electric Transportation Initiative, Do-It-Yourself Electric Car kit.Urban Design Guild Earth Day Mural. With ReStore and students from Ballard High School, SB helped to design and paint a mural depicting "Sustainability" for 15th Ave.

14th Ave Rejuvenation Project. Creating sustainable community development.

Disaster Relief. Neighborhood meetings to get neighbors prepared for emergencies.


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