Environmental Action Group

Environmental

The Environmental Action Group’s purpose is to work on projects that green the urban environment and elevate eco-awareness.

Current activities

The Action Group cosponsors a regular series of monthly conversations called Changing Co2urse: Local Solutions to Global Crisis. The series addresses climate change as a crisis of human conscience urging innovative response. Discussions focus on environmental justice issues — the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, while living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.

Other cosponsors of this program include the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Environmental Community Organization, and the Green Sanctuary Partners of St. John’s Unitarian Church. These programs are usually held at St. John’s Unitarian Church at 320 Resor Avenue in Clifton every fourth Sunday evening from 7 to  9 pm.

As part of a special task force, the Action Group is pushing for legislation to reduce single-use plastic bags in our city. We collaborate with the League of Women Voters’ Committee on Natural Resources  and the Sierra Club.

What committee members do:

  • help plan Sunday programs: identify topics, contact presenters, organize refreshments, etc.
  • participate in the plastic bag task force
  • volunteer for other advocacy efforts

How to get involved:  Members interested in addressing climate change and promoting a clean and safe environment should contact Action Group chair Jeanne Nightingale at jnightingale@fuse.net or 513-295-2603

Achievements:

  • In collaboration with the Alliance for Leadership and Interconnection (ALI),  partnered with students and teachers, companies and organizations, to advocate for LEED-certified public schools in Cincinnati and then to integrate environmental awareness into the curriculum. CPS has now become a national leader with 22 LEED schools, and Ohio far outstrips every other state with over 300 such schools.
  • Promoted ordinances that protect the city against frack-waste injection wells.
  • Collaborated to present a series of monthly environmental programs (that continue)

Sunday, November 12, 2017: WCC’s Task Force on the environment cosponsored a screening and discussion of the movie A Plastic Ocean, a powerful film that brings to light the consequences of our global disposable lifestyle. This was a special event. The Cincinnati Past Plastic Coalition celebrated its Oct 25 launch of our city-wide campaign to regulate the distribution of single-use carryout bags.  Addressing local solutions to global crises, plastic pollution constitutes such a crisis par excellence and calls for action on a local level.

Sunday, October 22, 2017: A screening and discussion of the Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature The Salt of the Earth — a photographic portrait of humanity from the dawn of time. His photographs communicate a strong hope for healing through a better relationship with Nature and a healthier understanding of our own.

Sunday, September 24, 2017: A screening and discussion of “The Anthropocene.” Have human beings permanently changed the planet? That seemingly simple question has sparked a new debate between geologists and environmental advocates over what to call the time period we live in. They argue for “Anthropocene”— from anthropo, for “man,” and cene, for “new”— because human-kind has caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and altered the atmosphere, among other lasting impacts, leaving an indelible scar on the planet. Humans have become a force of Nature. But are we an intelligent force?

Sunday, March 24 and April 28, 2017:  Screenings of a documentary called RENEWAL, a film that presents the stories of eight different faith communities combating global climate change, the devastation of mountaintop removal, promoting food security, environmental justice, land preservation, recycling,  and teaching love and respect for life on Earth.

Sunday, May 26: Screening of a film on the TRANSITION TOWN movement, how some communities around the world are responding to the disruptions of climate change with grassroots creativity and imagination. They are finding ways to rebuild their local economies and their communities.

Sunday, June 23: Presentation by Kristen Barker of the CINCINNATI UNION COOPERATIVE INITIATIVE based
on the Mondragon worker-owned model that began in the Basque region of Spain after the Spanish civil war left the region devastated.

Sunday, August 25.  Matt Trokan, Water Conservation Coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club spoke about Soil and watershed conservation, waste water treatment and storm water overflows, “regionalizing” Cincinnati’s Water Works, the threats of living downstream from Ohio’s Utica Shale. He told us about the Sierra Club’s Clean Water Campaign and give us some tips on how we can protect our local watershed in our own back yards.  Did you know that Ohio leads the nation
in Combined Sewer Overflows, and that Cincinnati is the third worst city in the country?Cincinnati’s Mill Creek is the nation’s most polluted river and it is still plagued by sewage overflows. The Clean Water Act requires the Metropolitan Sewer District
of Greater Cincinnati to reduce sewage overflows. A combined sewer overflow (CSO) occurs when storm water from houses, roads and parking lots enters the sewer, mixes with sewage and then overflows directly into our streams and rivers. Sewage overflows threaten our health and the health of our environment. The Sierra Club has organized a Water Sentinel program
to train volunteers to monitor the quality of our local rivers and streams. We are urged to write the Metropolitan Sewer District asking them to make clean water a priority for all Ohioans. We all live downstream. Let’s stop flushing money down the drain!

Sunday, September 22: Screening of award-winning documentary, BAG IT! Is Your Life Too Plastic? Two UC students have initiated a campaign to reduce plastic waste in Cincinnati to rank us among a growing network of cities worldwide taking similar progressive steps to create a greener world.

Sunday, October 27: Dr. Kathleen Smythe, Senior Administrative Fellow for Sustainability and the Environmental Imagination, presented a history of agriculture as the single most important development in human history, but arguably one of the most disruptive to our environment. She spoke on INNOVATIONS IN AGRICULTURE; WHAT MUST WE CHANGE
TO SURVIVE ON THIS PLANET?  She screened sections of the a feature documentary COMING TO GROUND portraying Kentucky’s efforts to move away from tobacco dependency to create a new agricultural economy and culture.

Sunday, November 24. Alison Auciello, Ohio’s organizer for Food & Water Watch, presented a talk: A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT’S IN OUR FOOD. She told us what we can do to label Genetically Modified Foods in Cincinnati

Sunday, December 22: We will screen the documentary,  A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a provocative film about the growing problem of hunger in America. This film tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat in a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about hunger, malnutrition, and obesity.
It doesn’t have to be this way. This is a call to fix our broken food system.

Sunday, January 26, 2014. SAVING THE PLANET…WITH YOUR FORK!  Bill Messer, local artist, curator, critic, and first amendment and environmental activist, will discuss the environmental impacts of meat consumption. We will view a short animated documentary The True Cost of Hamburgers as well as clips from Making the Connection, a British film that presents the benefits of a plant-based diet. (This talk will be held at the Civic Garden Center on Reading Road in Avondale.)

FUTURE TOPICS in our monthly series include a presentation by Larry Falkin from Cincinnati’s Office of Environment
and Sustainability on his work with Al Gore. es. We welcome you suggestions for future topics.

For more information, contact Jeanne Nightingale, Co-Chair Environmental Action at J.nightingale@womanscityclub.org.