Tom Benevento started Vine and Fig in Harrisonburg, “a program of the New Community Project (NCP), a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to the creation of sustainable systems that care for the earth, empower people most marginalized and impoverished, educate and inspire, and build the foundation for a nonviolent lifestyle.” The program teaches people how to live a sustainable way of life.
Tom is trying to get the city of Harrisonburg more involved in developing sustainable ways of living. He discussed environmental performance standards for the city, encouraging the city to accept a sustainability coordinator, and a greenhouse gas inventory for the city. He stated that the city should set high targets for reduction in residential, commercial and municipal greenhouse gases with 10% reduction every 5 years. The challenges he discussed were annual budget cycles, city ordinances, and building codes. Building code efficiency should be encouraged with incentives. Tom stated that greenhouse gas emissions will be decreased the most by increasing the contribution of renewable energy to the electrical grid. Another way to reduce emissions would be to encourage the use of electric vehicles and add more charging stations in the city.
– Michele Thomas, for the CAAV Coalition-Building Committee, February 2019
Most months, Sept – May, the CAAV Coalition-Building Committee invites a community member or group to present to the CAAV steering committee about projects with which they are involved. We are grateful to be working with so many other groups and individuals passionate about creating a more resilient, healthy and just world.