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Getting Started

The first three questions...

1. Has your town adopted a comprehensive Environmental and Sustainability Policy?

An effective policy announces the town's commitment to action and sets out its goals and implementation strategies, as well as providing a focus for the efforts of employees and departments, community groups, business organizations and individual activists.

2. Has your town established an Office of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs?
Towns and villages that have an Office or Department of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, and/or a Chief Sustainability Officer who oversees the efforts of the town, are more likely to do better on a broad spectrum of issues than those without.


3. Has your town implemented an effective method of communicating your environmental and sustainability policies to employees and residents?
Most residents get their information from websites or social media. Website pages should be up to date and easy to locate. Promote your policies and programs on Facebook, Instagram and other sites. 

Town Hall

The Township of Montclair, NJ was one of the first towns to actively pursue sustainability efforts as a means to save money.  

Southampton, NY's Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee has a comprehensive plan for sustainability, incorporating all levels of government, business and citizen participation.  

The Dallas Office of Environmental Quality's Environmental Management System (EMS) has created a brochure outlining a number of procedures for municipal employee involvement.


Burlington, VT,  is not only the first city to get almost all of its energy from renewables, it has also archived important pages from the EPA regarding climate change which have been removed from the EPA website.


ICLEI is an organization of local governments and governmental associations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.

The California Institute for Local Government provides local governments with practical, impartial  and easy-to-use resources. Visit the site for multiple examples of climate action plans adopted by California towns and cities. 

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