Casey Valencia

With the climate and environmental crises of our day growing in urgency, the need to re-think our ways of living to be more truly sustainable has never been greater. But what does that look like in practice?

How are you building sustainability into your everyday life? What resources would make sustainable choices easier for you and your family? And how does our community support sustainable living on an individual level?

Thankfully Missoula has an incredible support system for anyone who is interested in making more sustainable choices but it can be overwhelming to know where to start!

The Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD) and our partners can help you start your own green journey at home, work, and beyond. MUD’s biggest program is our tool library located on the corner of Russell and Wyoming right next to Home ReSource.

The tool library has nearly 3,000 tools that can be borrowed just like books from a library. With so many tools available, our members can craft much needed updates to their living spaces. MUD also hosts a variety of workshops every year to teach sustainable living skills to our community.

Come to our annual Garden Party on September 10th to learn more about our work to empower people to build a more sustainable community and check out some of our tips below to build sustainable living into your own life this fall.

Around your house:

  • Check out MUD’s upcoming workshops to learn basic tool skills including a women-led intro to carpentry
  • Winterize your home and save on heating - seal up leaky window and doors, make sure you have adequate insulation, and check your heating appliances to make sure they’re running properly
  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets to save water - check out our women-led intro to plumbing to learn the skills to do it yourself
  • Mend your clothes and gear with a MUD sewing machine (or stop by a Fixit Clinic at Home ReSource for some extra help)
  • Move your home towards zero waste with local composting options such as Soil Cycle and Missoula Compost Collection

In the yard and garden:

  • Start a garden to grow your own food - fall is a great time to build garden beds for spring planting
  • Check out this local guide from Grow Safe: Non-Toxic Missoula on how to care for your yard without chemicals
  • Install rainwater catchment to water your yard or garden (or check out MUD’s rain barrel workshop this fall)
  • Borrow an electric mower and trimmer from MUD to reduce carbon emissions
  • Preserve your harvest with MUD’s food dehydrators, cider presses, and meat grinders
  • Get inspired to protect pollinators by touring MUD’s beehives, pollinator garden, and bee lawn or check out our beekeeping workshops this fall

 On your commute:

  • Change up your routine and walk, bike, or ride the bus
  • Fix up your bike at MUD’s bicycle repair station or borrow the tools to do it at home
  • Make sure your vehicle is running efficiently and learn basic car maintenance skills at a women-led workshop this fall

 In your community:

  • Volunteer! MUD is always looking for people to help work on projects around the site. It’s a great way to meet people while giving back
  • Come learn more about community-wide sustainability efforts at events like Climate Smart’s Clean Energy Expo and Home ReSource’s SponCon, both on September 17th
  • Feeling inspired and want to meet other sustainability-minded people in Missoula? Join MUD for our annual Garden Party on September 10th from 6-10 pm. Purchase tickets here for a night of delicious food, live music, upcycled carnival games, and fun community connections under the full moon. The event supports the tool library and our workshops as we continue to provide the tools and skills for sustainable living in Missoula. Hope to see you there!

Casey Valencia is the Executive Director of the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project. This Sustainable Missoula column is brought to you – via the Missoula Current – most weeks by Climate Smart Missoula and Home ReSource.

Sustainability Happenings

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

It’s Farmers’ Market Season! Support local food & farmers. Missoula Farmers Market (N. HIggins) and the Clark Fork River Market run on Saturdays through October, with a Tuesday evening market July – September.  Look for the Wildfire Smoke Ready booths this week!

Sept. 10. 6pm – 10pm. MUD’s Garden Party. Purchase tickets here for a night of delicious food, live music, upcycled carnival games, and fun community connections.

Sept. 17. 10am – 2pm. Climate Smart’s 4th annual Climate and Clean Energy Expo at Caras Park. Solar installers, local climate & sustainability organizations, educational programs, e-bike and car show, kids activities and more! FREE!

Sept 17. Home ReSources Spontaneous Construction. Missoula’s festival of creative reinvention! Reuse. Compete. Create. Enjoy! More info and team registration here.

Sept 27. Book club & author discussion: Saving Us by Katherine Hayhoe. 5:30 - 7:00pm. Hosted by Families for a Livable Climate. All are invited to read Saving Us: A climate scientist's case for hope and healing in a divided world, and then join us for a discussion, and Q&A with climate scientist, author, and expert climate communicator Katherine Hayhoe. Register HERE.