To help you find local organizations and events, we publish two resources, both with flexible search tools:
- Sustainable Lehigh Valley, the Alliance’s directory of organizations, businesses, and professionals that promote sustainable communities
- Calendar of local and regional events
And we publish several blogs to help you keep up to date—and to allow you to voice your thoughts.
Why do folks become engaged in fighting the good fight? Even those who do take the risks involved are not sure why nor know how to get others to join in. Even researchers are scratching their heads.
A) Here are some serious searchings that seem to connect individual engagement in sustainability efforts with the importance to those individuals of being able to make connections with/reach out to others similarly aware and engaged – while those not engaged seem to be adrift, clutching at flotsam and jetsam to stay afloat:
“I am a graduate student studying Environmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. I am very interested in the Transition Network, and am currently researching what motivates people to become involved and remain active in Transition Initiatives.” – In email from W dated 11/18/2014
“The bottom line for most people is their physical and perceived economic survival. This is true of the chaotic conditions from Pakistan to northern Africa, in the Ukraine, in Africa, in Western Europe and the rest of the world. Long term ‘sustainability’ is not their major concern. They want to survive now. They are not worried about tomorrow. People generally need a minimum amount of confidence that they and their children will survive in the present before considering longer term survival.” – In email from X dated 11/23/2014
“There is nothing in the Lehigh Valley or Eastern PA that organizes for ending inequality, police brutality, corporate gentrification of the commons, the promotion of white elitest American consumerist values in the name of corporate military empire. When that happens I will be glad to be involved, if I am still on this earth plane.” – In email from Y dated 11/27/2014
“There’s some research on social movements that has shown that most people do not get involved by learning facts or becoming persuaded by theories — they are more likely to get engaged when someone they know invites them to do something like attend a rally or get involved in discussions. Once they take that first step and start participating, their command of the facts and ideas grows. Facts & logic don’t really attract support.” – In email from Z dated 11/27/2014
“Efforts to achieve sustainability cover a broad range of activities, from campus recycling campaigns to improving public transportation to political and social activism to organic farming. The following questions are designed to help explore what your organization has found to be successful ways for enabling and empowering people to engage in sustainability.” – From Nadia Tornieporth’s 8/8/2013 research questionnaire aimed at understanding how organizations engage people in sustainability efforts.
“Professional pursuits are often driven by personal, emotional needs. For me, over the last few years, that has been a need to allay anxiety, specifically anxiety about the environment. I’d think about the wildlife I’d taken for granted and lament the diminished natural wealth that future generations would inherit. Every day’s news brought upsetting developments—ice caps melting, northeastern bats dying of white-nose syndrome, bee colony collapses—and I realized I had two choices: erect a mental blockade and ignore it all, or find a way to engage with it. I chose to engage as a journalist.” – From Judith D. Schwartz’s Cows Save The Planet…, 2013:4-5
B) And here is a link to a not-very-serious, but hopefully-thought-provoking-nevertheless motivational research project:
“visiontest: Problems planning for the future? This test can enable you to identify problem areas in your visioning process.” – Let us know if it actually helped you figure things out.
C) Send your thoughts to us and we’ll post them on the Alliance website.