At the request of the Board of Selectmen, Green Acton prepared an initial draft of a town-wide Sustainability Policy for Acton. After receiving feedback from Green Acton members, a small working group of volunteer editors was formed to amend the draft policy to integrate and reflect the feedback from membership. The result of that work was sent to the Board of Selectmen on December 1, 2017, and is available here on our website as a PDF file.
When elected officials and Town staff in Acton are making decisions, they are thinking of maintaining health, welfare, financial solvency, and other measures of the town’s well-being. “Sustainability” takes those same measures, but deepens them to include future generations, and broadens them to include the wider web of life of which we are a part, including people beyond Acton. Because of the intertwined environmental emergencies we are in the middle of, sustainability usually has an environmental focus: a large part of these emergencies arise from short-term and narrow thinking, and making progress on environmental crises requires a consistent focus on the wide and deep impacts of today’s decisions.
In 2017, the Acton Board of Selectmen voted during their annual goal-setting exercise to put the creation of a sustainability policy as their top priority for the upcoming year, and they asked Green Acton to help them think this through.
On July 5, 2017, as a first step in developing a proposed sustainability policy, Green Acton hosted a sustainability brainstorming session. Many ideas emerged, placed on a large table with pieces of paper, and transcribed here in this Google document.