Sustainable Fairfax began as an inspiration to take local action on the global warming crisis in February of 1999.
Our first educational event was held in September of 1999. Soon after, Community Choice resolutions were passed unanimously by the town of Fairfax and the County of Marin. The town of Fairfax became the 365th local government worldwide to join The Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and the first town in Marin.
Co-founders Rebekah Collins and Odessa Wolfe made a commitment to develop an organization intentionally focused on effective strategies to achieve sustainability goals for the benefit of Fairfax.
Sustainable Fairfax is a nonprofit organization focused on education, outreach, and activism on issues of sustainability. We are a hard-working group of volunteers committed to the philosophy that we must attend to the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations and the natural world to provide for their own needs.
Our vision is to provide events that support the local economy, teach sustainable environmental practices, and build community. We strive to inspire citizens to take action on issues such as Climate Change, Toxins, Zero Waste, Food, Water, and other sustainability topics. We also work actively with our town and county governments, businesses, other non-profits, and community groups to create a connected community, strengthen our local economy, and support diverse ecology.
In practical terms, this means that we:
- Provide educational programs to teach home-scale sustainability practices, as well as host panels and forums on topics like landfill reduction, environmental practices, clean energy, and more.
- Join collaborative projects like the FairBuck, which we helped launch in 2011, Streets for People, which launched in 2012, and the Fairfax Climate Action Committee, which formed in 2014.
- Take on large initiatives like our Fairfax Zero Waste program and ReduceX2.
- Organize activism and education around issues like the Plastic Bag Ban and GMO labeling.
- Partner to provide community events like Streets for People and the Fairfax Craft Faire.
We strive to help all age groups in our community to work together to regenerate and preserve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of Fairfax and its sphere of influence.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability simply means making something continue to exist. For Sustainable Fairfax it refers specifically to behaviors of our human culture. Since human life, like all life, sustains itself on the abundance of the natural world, that abundance must be maintained without destroying the ecological balance. A sustainable human culture is one which allows and helps the natural world to regenerate itself and remain healthy.
Native Americans and many other indigenous cultures throughout the world accomplished this for thousands of years. Our present civilization has consistently used nature faster than it can regenerate and created waste faster than it can be absorbed. Our lifestyle is not sustainable for human culture or the natural world. We accept the fact that we are a part of the natural world and have responsibility to care for it. We can do this in a way that supports local economy and builds a strong community.
Sustainability means different things to different groups of people and our focus is on improving three areas:
- Ecology – preserving the health and diversity of the natural systems throughout our town.
- Economy – maintaining a healthy and vibrant local business community.
- Community – promoting a balanced and strong sense of local and global community while being inclusive of all humans and non-humans present in our area and beyond.