By Julie Thibodeaux    

Everyone’s talking about sustainability these days but many people still wonder -- what is it? And what’s it mean to me? Kim Young, president of Net Impact DFW, wants to bring the topic down to earth.  To offer a primer on the movement, Net Impact DFW is hosting Sustainability + Me! on Nov. 5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at KERA, at 3000 Harry Hines in Dallas. A cocktail reception follows from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We’re taking it out of the ivory towers,” said Young. “We want to help people get started on a sustainable path.”   At the free event, seven pioneers in sustainability will discuss their search for a way of life that is good for the triple bottom line -- people, the economy and the environment. Topics include sustainable neighborhoods, community gardens, energy, recycling and green building.

         
“We picked people we thought had interesting stories,” said Mitch Fine, programs chair for Net Impact DFW, who will speak about becoming a green investor.  Young said sustainability is within everyone’s reach and can be achieved through simple lifestyle changes. “It’s about moderation and balance,” she said. “It’s about not buying as much stuff. It’s energy usage. It’s also about taking care of your health and leading a balanced lifestyle.”

    
Anna Clark, engagement chair for Net Impact DFW and author of Green, American Style, will be speaking on becoming a “citizen consumer.” She said that in her own life she’s learned to spend her dollars locally, a practice she hopes to encourage in others.  “I think a lot of people are frustrated that they don’t have a voice, but our buying power is a powerful voice in a consumer economy and a consumer culture,” said Clark

Young said her goal is that everyone who attends the event will come away with one thing they can do in their lives that would have a beneficial impact, whether it’s riding the DART, turning the lights off or driving five miles less.   “Every individual has so much power to make things change,” said Young. “The most important thing is that you get started.”   

Speakers are
Anna Clark    Becoming a Citizen Consumer
Jeff   Kiec  The Importance and Role of the Community
Elizabeth Dry    The Green Brick Road: Educating Diverse Populations
Mitch Fine  Progessive Capitalism and The Business Case for Green
Tony Robinson  Sustainability and The Paradigm Shift
Joan Meeks  Respect Our Environment
Gary Gene Olp  Buildings and the Environment

This is the first large-scale event for Net Impact DFW, which is a chapter of the international membership organization, founded in 1993 to promote sustainability. Headquartered in San Francisco, Net Impact and has grown to almost 300 chapters around the world, geared to students and professionals. The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter was launched in 2010 and today has around 400 members. SMU and TCU both have campus chapters. http://netimpactdfw.org/

Young said while Dallas is behind the country in embracing sustainability, the local sustainable community is growing.  “When you think of the sustainability culture in the country, Dallas may not be top of mind but there are people here doing some impressive things,” she said. “We’re as green in some areas as Austin.”  She hopes that Net Impact DFW’s first speaker showcase will not only provide education but will be the start of weaving together a sustainable culture in the Metroplex.  “We’d like to be the local hub for the sustainability culture,” said Young. “We’re all in this together.”

The event is open to the public. However seating is limited, so reservations are encouraged. Podcasts of the programs will be available on the Net Impact website following the event. For more information on Sustainability + Me!, see http://www.whatsustainabilitymeanstome.com

Sustainability + Me! on
Saturday Nov. 5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at
KERA, at 3000 Harry Hines in Dallas.
A cocktail reception follows from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The link to register for the event is http://sustainabilityandme.eventbrite.com/


Julie Thibodeaux is a former writer and editor for the Fort
Worth Star-Telegram. Contact her at julie@jthibodeaux.com.