Up & Coming Weekly

April 18, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 9 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM APRIL 19 - 25, 2023 UCW 9 is year marks the 53rd anniver- sary of the environmental movement commemorated annually as Earth Day. Since 1970, billions of people worldwide have come together on April 22 to take action towards a more sustainable, equitable and resilient future for our planet. Greater awareness of our environ- ment as well as climate crises comes at a critical time when the just- released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, known as IPCC, report warns of the urgency in strong, rapid and sustained reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating widespread temperature and weather extremes as well as eco- logical, social and economic unrest. United Nation's Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls our environ- mental and climate crises "the defin- ing issue of our time." And what we do, or fail to do, today will have significant implications for generations to come. IMPACTS Whether globally or locally, these challenges connect and affect us all. Historical hurricanes such as Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018 impacted thousands of lives, homes and busi- nesses not only in Fayetteville, but in surrounding communities, states and beyond. According to our state's budget of- fice, these extreme flood and weather events cost over $20 billion in dam- ages, clearly telling us that the cost of inaction is far more destructive and expensive than the life-promoting benefits of sustainable action. RESPONSE We are living in unprecedented times when our human and environ- ment calls for sustainable action are loud and clear. In response, in 2016 nearly every nation on earth signed the Paris Climate Agreement that ad- dresses climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2022, the U.S. federal government enacted the largest environmental, climate and renewable energy legisla- tion in U.S. history. Leading in the south in renewable energy jobs and green innovation, North Carolina has a State Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. Also joining forces, with sustain- ability and climate initiatives, are the major and growing cities of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Winston Salem, Asheville, Cary and others. Fort Bragg, our nation's largest military installation, not only has comprehensive waste reduction and recycling initiatives but also energy efficiencies that include the largest floating solar array in the southeastern United States. SUSTAINABLE FAYETTEVILLE As the momentum of sustainability is rapidly increasing across cities and nations around the world, our city of Fayetteville has a distinct opportunity to benefit and lead by example. With greater environmental aware- ness, unified leadership and bolder climate action, a City of Fayetteville Sustainability Master Plan is inher- ently defined by meeting the needs of our city today without compromising the regenerative needs of nature or the generational needs of the future. A Sustainable City of Fayetteville would also strive to carefully balance social equity, environmental stewardship, as well as economic prosperity — known as sustainability's triple bottom line. SOLUTIONS e success of our city's social, environmental and economic initia- tives requires a whole-community approach in implementing cleaner, greener solutions. ese include: 1). Leading by example through integrating sustain- ability best practices into our city's decision making thereby maximizing environmental benefits and minimizing nega- tive environmental impacts. 2). Cultivating collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders that encourage sustainability education and in- novation — not only in city and county government, but also in homes, small businesses, large corporations, school districts, colleges, universities, churches and more. 3). Promoting and improv- ing city-wide waste reduction and recycling initiatives that move us beyond a linear material economy and into a circular material economy that reduces, reuses, recycles and composts waste thereby reducing the burden on our rapidly-filling landfills. 4). Promoting and incorporating clean and renewable energy efficien- cies that include expansions in com- munity solar opportunities, carbon offsets, as well as cleaner multimodal transportation systems that help re- duce carbon emission objectives that are aligned with our federal and state priorities. 5). Protecting and preserving vital water resources, including the Cape Fear River, which is already bearing the impacts from industries, pollu- tion, and competition, according to researchers. 6). Preserving neighborhoods, pro- viding affordable and efficient hous- ing, innovating with greener build- ings, and supporting local and small businesses that all collectively support an equitable, sustainable and resilient community and economy. BENEFITS Investments in the health and well- being of our environment are invest- ments in the health and wellbeing of our community and economy — as they are all connected. Climate-change evidence and environmental-pollution lessons de- rived from the ongoing prioritization of economic profits over the detri- mental impacts on people and planet clearly demonstrate the justice and "rightness" of world-wide, sustainable policies and practices. Today's All-American City is a sustainable city that reaps the benefits of greener, innovative action that in- cludes greater environmental aware- ness, improved resource efficiency, lower waste, cost savings, resident and visitor affinity, brand enhancement, strengthened resiliency, climate adap- tation, and more. In Fayetteville, we can deepen our appreciation for our unity with Mother Earth by harmonizing our Can—Do Carolina mindset with our environ- mental calls for action as we affirm: "We find a way. We care for one an- other. We protect the world. We always go further." Editor's note: Anne Schrader is the owner of Eco Solutions, a local company providing sustainable-living services for business, home and com- munity. For more information visit www.ecosolutionsnc.com. Celebrate Earth Day by investing in a sustainable Fayetteville by ANNE SCHRADER FEATURE ANNE SCHRADER, Contributor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. All images courtesy of Eco Solutions.

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