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USA: Forest Grove residents draft goals at sustainability summit

About 30 Forest Grove citizens tackled tough questions surrounding how to create a sustainable future for the city during a Saturday morning summit at Pacific University’s Marsh Hall.

Attendant broke into two work groups to address six specific categories: waste and recycling, food, green buildings, social equity, transportation and energy efficiency.

Through more than an hour of discussion, the groups formulated vision statements, goals and strategies for each of the categories. The city’s ad hoc Sustainability Committee put on the event, which is one step in the process of drafting a formal, long-term plan for making Forest Grove a sustainable city economically, environmentally and socially.

“It was pretty hectic, but we covered a lot,” said Johanna Wood, who led one of the discussion groups.

Hot topics during the discussion included:

Waste management. Attendants recommended incentivizing and educating about recycling, particularly the safe disposal of hazardous materials like prescription drugs or mercury, which can be found in compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Weatherizing energy inefficient homes. Participants suggested a program to help fund projects like insulating homes to improve conditions in cold or hot weather and decrease the need to consume electricity with heating or air conditioning.


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