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Sustainable Missoula: Collaborating for the future

Katie Deuel, left, is the Executive Director of Home ReSource and Amy Cilimburg, right, is the Executive Director of Climate Smart Missoula.

We at Home ReSource and Climate Smart Missoula frequently collaborate on efforts to build a sustainable and vibrant community. Coordinating this weekly column is just one way we share voices and stories that we hope inspire all of us to act local, buy local, and even, this time of year, to give local!

Did you know it’s Missoula Gives May 6-7, where we all, together, can strengthen the fabric of our community? Here’s our take on why and how.

Caring for our planet and its diverse people has never been a more urgent task (really), and the more that message makes its way into all corners of society, the more momentum we build for bold action. We know we cannot do it alone, and we know that work in isolation, as people or as sectors, will never get us as far or as fast as working together.

During this giving day, we’re reminded that diversity means respecting all people and that everyone has something to contribute. Indeed, working together is not just a means to achieve goals like 100% clean electricity or zero waste: it’s the only way to build a truly equitable and sustainable future worth fighting for. The stakes are, indeed, high.

Our two organizations have always collaborated, with one another as well as with other nonprofits, businesses, civic institutions and individuals, to make meaningful and lasting change. From offering programs that need a diverse set of skills, to sharing resources and ideas, and yes, laughing and crying and celebrating together along the way, we teach and learn from each other, seeking input, wisdom and best practices locally and from around the globe. We ask for what we need, we give what we have, and we believe that you do, too.

What do we need these days? Today and tomorrow, Home ReSource and Climate Smart need support during Missoula Gives so we can accelerate our work together.

And the next tomorrows? We all need inspiration, effective action, connection and resources. We need to put our collective actions to work for an even larger whole, and need to feel like those actions make a difference. If you’ve ever wondered whether your actions matter, as leaders of nonprofits that rely on community support and engagement we can wholeheartedly reassure you that they do! Especially when we join together. Here are some ways to take “working together” to a whole new level and make “we” mean a whole lot more:

Here’s what we know: We have the skills, the knowledge and the tools that we need to stop dumping so much carbon in our atmosphere, and to build the kind of just, sustainable communities that we are proud to live in. We know that these issues – justice and climate – are ultimately the same, and we won’t succeed unless we address them together. But we also know we can do it, and through collaboration and seeing our work as interconnected we can make the meaningful transformations needed to get us there.

We are truly the sum of all that you, the community, have given us, and we look forward to continuing to ask for what we need and giving what we have the all way to a resilient and equitable future.

This Missoula Gives day — now through Friday May 7 at 7pm – please join us and others in the Missoula community in making donations to Climate Smart Missoula, Home ReSource and all your favorite Missoula nonprofits that together are making our community more liveable, equitable and climate resilient. Because together we thrive. Please reach out to us for more ways to accelerate action together. And thank you.

Katie Deuel is the executive director of Home ReSource and Amy Cilimburg is the executive director of Climate Smart Missoula. This Sustainable Missoula column is brought to you – via the Missoula Current – every week by Climate Smart Missoula and Home ReSource.

Sustainability Happenings

Here we offer ideas about sustainable ways to stay involved in our community – some virtual and some (safely) in person. If you like these offerings, consider signing up for Climate Smart’s eNewsletter here. And sign up for Home ReSource’s eNews via their homepage here.

May 6 -7. Missoula Gives. A 24+ day of Giving to support myriad local non-profit organizations building a stronger more vibrant and equitable Missoula. We hope all who can will participate!

Now June. Spring Shift and Transit Scavenger Hunt! Mountain Line, Missoula in Motion and others are partnering to shift to sustainable transportation this spring, and beyond! Learn more and join HERE.

May is Bike Month! All month long, take part in events, workshops, art, prizes from local businesses, bike “celebration stations” with treats, and more! Hosted by Missoula in Motion and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board. Check out all the happenings on the Bike Month calendar and follow their Facebook page.

Now – May 15. International Wildlife Film Festival. So many good films. Virtual and outdoors. Check out 2040, Youth v Gov, and the Condor and the Eagle. More HERE.

Now – May 9. Our Other Mother. In honor of Mother’s Day, join Families for a Livable Climate to create a piece of art or a message (illustration, poem, story, photo or song) that shows our love for moms and #OurOtherMother – planet earth. All art is welcome! Details are HERE.

May 6 & 18 – Presentations for Missoula Connect, Missoula’s Long Range Transportation Plan. The draft plan is in the final outreach phase – this is the last opportunity for feedback before the plan is finalized and recommended for adoption. Attend a virtual presentation on May 6 or 18 (links via City of Missoula Events Calendar) and provide comments via the MPO website through May 21.

May 8 & 11 — Missoula’s Bike & Pedestrian Count. May 8, noon to 2pm; May 11 4pm to 6pm. Zoom training offered beforehand. Info/sign up here to volunteer. This count helps Missoula better serve bikers & walkers! 

Spontaneous Construction – Sept 18th. Missoula’s festival of creative reinvention! Reuse. Compete. Create. Enjoy! For more info and team registration here.

Ongoing. Virtual Fixit Clinics. Want to try fixing from home? Present your broken item to a global team of expert community repairers and get suggestions for things to try. After all items are presented, participants move to Zoom breakout rooms to implement the suggestions and, hopefully, fix the items

Materials donations to Home Resource keep the wheels of reuse spinning in our community; and remember that everything you need to know about what to do with your unwanted stuff is at Zero Waste Missoula.

Find more local activities and events at Missoulaevents.net and on Montana Environmental Information Center’s Conservation Calendar. And you too can help organize events – here’s the 2021 Calendar of Environmental Awareness Days – month by month break down of world day campaigns.