Want a Greener Burleith?

By Francine Steininger, BCA Sustainability Coordinator, solar@burleith.org

Last November at the BCA annual meeting we asked residents what they thought of the BCA board’s proposed vision for a more environmentally sustainable community. The results were overwhelmingly positive! More than 90% of the people we surveyed said they “very much” or “somewhat” wanted to see Burleith move towards being a more environmentally sustainable community.

solar panels are just one way to contribute to environmental sustainability.

solar panels are just one way to contribute to environmental sustainability.

What do we mean by a “sustainable community”? Simply speaking, we want our daily living activities not to harm the natural ecosystems upon which all life depends for continued existence.

You might be thinking that Burleith already looks pretty green to you! And it’s true that we’re lucky to live in this community full of trees, parks, and gardens. But we are talking about how our individual life choices can either sustain earth’s natural ecosystems in and beyond Burleith, or slowly contribute to its decline. Transportation, energy supplies, water consumption, food sources, waste management, product purchases, and even investment choices can have an impact on the earth’s ecosystem.

Making greener choices. Many or most of you are already well aware of some of the environmentally friendly choices you can make right now. But there other ideas out there that might be easy to add to your routine. For example, did you know that the phone application “Paper Karma” can help you reduce your paper junk mail? Take a picture with the app, and they’ll take care of getting you off the offending mail list. (I’m just starting to use it and will let you know how it goes.)

The BCA board wants to help the Burleith community discover new ways to live a greener lifestyle, and we’ll do so through a series of web and Burleith Bell articles during the year. But first, we plan to conduct an in-depth survey this spring to find out what people are already doing, are willing to do, and what would encourage or help them do more.

Using survey results. When the survey results are in, we’ll use the results to identify which sustainable activities people are most likely to accommodate and integrate into their daily routines. Our goal is to make it easy for you to expand your portfolio of sustainable choices by: 1) getting the right information to you and 2) exploring community projects in which neighbors would find it convenient to participate. We will also do our best to track our progress and see how we measure up compared to other communities making similar efforts.

Counting your views. The survey will be sent to BCA members and Burleith listserv recipients. If you are not a member of the listserv, please sign up to ensure that your views are counted as we move forward in designing our “Greening Burleith” initiative. And, of course, new BCA members are always welcome. Click here to join.