Big, exciting news. We're officially building a new road here in Dunwoody, the road to sustainability. The City of Dunwoody passed a resolution one week before Christmas to pursue Atlanta Regional Commission Green Community Certification and to set up a Dunwoody Sustainability Commission. Sustainable practices, such as those outlined in the ARC checklist, have a positive effect on energy and resource efficiency, waste and pollution generation, health and productivity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all members of our community.

I have been named Chair of this citizen advisory board (which proves how easy it is to get involved here in our new City of Dunwoody, if you speak out a bit, show up occasionally, and are willing to work!). I have built an amazing committee of people passionate about these issues (half of whom I had never met before!) and several of them are currently putting together their own sub-committees to embrace specific challenges (such as becoming an Energy Star Partner, a Water First Community, and a Bike Friendly City). I am particularly committed to making access to involvement as easy as possible for as many people as possible, and would like you to know that you are needed! WE have the ability to build a more sustainable city! Specifically:

* Those of you with young children who may have taken a break from your professional careers but have a heightened sense of awareness about eco-issues because of having children and want to make a difference for your children and/or build sustainability skills to prepare for a future job

* Those of you who are finally seeing the seeds of change you planted in the '70s coming to fruition and have time and passion to give

* Those of you who are working demanding jobs in eco-related fields and have germane professional skills to offer

* Those of you temporarily without jobs who know that sustainability skills are increasingly highly valued in the job marketplace

* Those of you who are preparing college applications (or will be doing that in a year or two) and want real-world experience in the burgeoning green economy

* Those of you with businesses here in Dunwoody who realize the benefits of "people, planet, profit" triple-bottom-line sustainability

* Those of you new to our city who want to connect with like-minded individuals, or want to add your unique voice to our community (especially if you have lived in a city that is ahead of us on these issues!)

* And anyone else who wants to see the effects of their actions right where they live.

We're working with no budget this year, relying on the sweat and smarts of the citizens of our City (plus the support of our City Council) to make a measurable difference.

Want to get involved right away? Here is the social networking site I've set up for all of us to weigh in on issues relating to sustainability. Sign up (it's free) and start getting involved. Forward it to friends and neighbors whom you think would be interested. Get your neighborhood association, place of worship and business involved. We'll be recommending initiatives to our City Council as the year goes on, and your input is needed now, specifically in gathering benchmark data in a wide variety of categories so that we can measure progress over time.

I'll be posting on this blog just on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on to give you updates. Sign up in the sidebar for automatic email notification so that you don't have to keep checking back. And join us as we embrace this work-in-progress. Or should I say, this journey on a new road to a more Sustainable Dunwoody.