Sustainability, by its very nature, requires collaboration.
Who We Are
Winona’s largest public and private institutions – Winona State University, the City of Winona, the County of Winona, Winona Area Public Schools, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – are teaming up with each other and community members to implement sustainable environmental practices.
The ecological and economic consequences of pollution, extreme weather, and climate change compel us to commit to protect our environment and reduce greenhouse emissions through the promotion of energy conservation, low carbon energy technologies, and pollution-prevention strategies. Recognizing the linkages between climate change, energy security, environmental health, and robust economic growth, we are partnering as Sustain Winona to share experiences, fund solutions, and educate our communities on the need for aggressive action to address our shared challenges.
A Community Sustainability Collaboration
Sustainability depends on developing methods, systems, and materials that will not deplete resources or harm natural cycles. Living a sustainable life means making choices, individually and institutionally, personally and publicly. As citizens we need to convince our government officials – local, state and national – of the importance of achieving a balance that is sustainable.
The Where, What, When, Why, & How of Sustainability
It’s not someone else’s problem…
It’s all of ours. It has been said that we need to think globally and act locally. Winona County is interdependent with larger systems – local, regional, national, global. The things that we do here in our community DO affect the world around us.
It is not just an environmental thing…
Protecting our environment is an important part of sustainability, but it’s not the whole story. Sustainability is achieved when the environment, the economy, and society develop in collaboration using only the resources that can be replaced. An essential element of the concept is ensuring future generations’ ability to do the same.
The sooner the better…
Currently, it takes over a year (1.23 years, to be exact) for the Earth to regenerate the resources we use each year. We do not have to make a massive change to our lifestyles immediately. To do so would overwhelm our good intentions. We need to look at our lifestyles and find ways to make small, incremental, but meaningful changes. Then we need to keep making changes.
For the sake of future generations…
Our use of fossil fuels and other resources is causing world-wide changes to our climate. Air and water pollution affect the health of our communities and our enjoyment of our shared resources. It’s essential that we respond now before the problems become too big to manage.
Making different choices…
The thing to remember is that sustainable living doesn’t mean missing out on what we enjoy. It means finding ways to achieve the same sorts of human comforts while behaving in a way that’s more thoughtful and less wasteful.