Inspiring leadership and action for an environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous community.
Keynote Speaker Annie Leonard delivered her down-to-earth yet powerful message about the proliferation of stuff at the second annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards Dinner Saturday, November 13, at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa.
Hosted by The Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy, the awards dinner was held to honor Sonoma County individuals, organizations, and corporations who exemplify the Institute’s focus on the three E’s of a healthy economy, a well-stewarded environment and an equitable society--necessary ingredients, according to the non-profit, for a sustainable future.
In late 2007, keynote speaker Leonard created and released a 20-minute web video called, The Story of Stuff. The film quickly went viral and became one of the most successful environmental-themed videos of all time, with over 20 million viewers in more than 200 countries. Leonard recently released a book by the same name, and now directs her own Story of Stuff Project, taking her message to as many venues as possible to promote change in how we behave as producers and consumers.
While Leonard pointed out that we are “trashing the planet,” particularly in the United States where we are only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we use 30% of the world’s resources, her overall message was a positive one. She asserted that “solutions abound,” particularly emphasizing possibilities for incorporating sustainability into products during the design stage.
She addressed the room of environmental and socially conscious attendees as “my people—a big room full of change-makers.” Still, she advised the crowd that “Individual action is not enough—we need learn not to simply swim better upstream, but we must actually change the current.”
This year’s Leadership in Sustainability honorees included Kelly Rajala, trailblazer in the GoLocal Sonoma County and 350 Garden Challenge, Len Greenwood, founder of the Green Technology Pathway program at Montgomery High School, Daily Acts, a Petaluma non-profit that offers workshops on home-based sustainability practices, Indigenous Designs, a fair-trade organic clothing company, Agilent Technologies, a leading technology firm that’s taken many steps to greatly reduce its carbon footprint, and the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program, a collaborative initiative to allow homeowners to perform energy retrofits affordably.
- Written by Jan Kahdeman and published in the Sonoma West Times on November 18, 2010.
Video clip of Indigenous Designs accepting their Business award:
Video clip of Kelley Rajala accepting her Trailblazer award:
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