Non-profit builds a greener future through community resilience

Friday, June 7th 2019, 4:57 PM EDT

Updated: Friday, June 7th 2019, 6:10 PM EDT

By Jennifer Kveglis

SARASOTA COUNTY - It's no secret that  global warming and climate change has transitioned into an urgent issue. With two chapters on the suncoast, an international non–profit hopes to educate and inspire you to make small lifestyle changes for a greener earth.

Don Hall, Co-Director of Transition U.S. said, "The effects of climate change are increasing in their frequency and their severity as scientists have been telling us for years."  Tackling big issues like air pollution, oil crises, and local economic hardships sounds intimidating at first. He said, "Re imagine how their future can be different...that it doesn't just have to be the status quo."

But it's a job imperative to the future of our planet, made easier through building community resilience. He said, "We can't just wait on governments to take action. We also need to take action from the bottom up." Transition U.S., a nationwide non–profit has been doing just that since 2007. The non-profit joined more than 50 other countries in following the International Transition Towns Movement.

He said, "Bring people together in their local community to re imagine and rebuild our future. Looking at our local food systems, our local economies, how we use energy." Transition U.S. launched 165 official transition initiatives across 39 states. Hall said each initiative addresses a community's needs.

On the suncoast, Transition Sarasota tackles hunger. Executive Director of Transition Sarasota, Rebecca Brey said, "Our Suncoast Gleaning Project, which we are just about wrapping up for the season. We harvest excess produce from local area farms."

Last season more than 280 volunteers harvested more than 30,000 pounds of produce and donated to All Faiths Food Bank, Manatee Food Bank, and Feeding Tampa Bay.

She said, "Our other big project is Eat Local Week. It's really about investing that back into the local economy to support those businesses and educate people on their options here in Sarasota and Manatee." The 9th Annual Eat Local Week is October 17th through November 1st.