It’s Earth Month- Let’s Take Action!

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The first quarter of 2021 for Social Enterprises was inspirational and impactful and leads us into Earth Month feeling restorative and driven. We started the year off with a virtual event called Sound Waters University, presented by Sound Water Stewards – a nonprofit organization focused on education, outreach, citizen science, and stewardship to sustain a healthy Puget Sound environment. We delivered a successful event providing education on how to make a difference in our fragile natural environment with 30+ classes on climate change, birds, whales, coastal geology and much more. 


This year’s action-packed virtual Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) helped us envision sustainability, resiliency, and social justice in higher education for the future. From bottom-up transformative strategies to representing and dismantling injustice – we learned to pivot away from conventional sustainability to align vision, strategy, and practice to fully embody change for future generations. We discussed important strategies to combat climate anxiety and to foster positive mental health relating to the pandemic and associated stressors of our times.


The WRISE Leadership Forum also took place virtually for the first time offering networking opportunities, professional development and industry insights to advance renewable energy. This event created space for learning, growing and advancing leadership for women with diverse perspectives throughout the industry from across the country. 


The Oregon Wine Symposium, the Northwest wine industry’s premier educational event, had a strong focus on climate impacts. The annual Climatology Report with Linfield University’s Dr. Greg Jones looked at 2020 weather patterns and the outlook and expectations for this coming year. The Viticulture and Enology Tracks focused on lessons in climate change, delving into the most pressing topics facing growers and winemakers including the 2020 wildfires’ impact on winegrowing regions and how to manage the impact of heat on grapes for wine quality.  


The Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium (UERC), a new event for the SE team, hosted attendees from educational institutions, state/federal agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations, business, and students virtually to support and share urban ecosystem research. Topics included diversity in ecology, sensitive species, restoration projects and practices, and wildlife conservation. 


The new virtual Veloz Summit Series hosted newly appointed California Air Resources Board Chair, Liane Randolph; Caroline Winn, Chief Executive Officer at SDG&E, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Tom Steyer, and other state and federal leaders for a fresh conversation about transportation electrification in 2021 and beyond. They addressed important issues that included the federal government’s vision in regulating zero emissions, automakers’ challenges and opportunities to accelerate EV charging, new EV business models, the vision and plan for charging infrastructure, and consumer response to EV educational campaigns.


Finally, we ended our Q1 virtual event run with our long-standing GoGreen Conference on April 6th to officially kick off Earth Month. We covered a variety of impact issues important to the region including Indigenous-led design, regional sports venues’ action and commitments toward their #ClimatePledge goals, how to diversify the climate movement and next steps for how to succeed in meeting decarbonization goals. We received a multitude of resources from our speakers and attendees during our sessions, which can be found here for your use and action in our GoGreen Resource Hub.


Join us in continuing our impact after these amazing Q1 events to drive action during Earth Month! Take part in Earth Day April 22nd global events, check out the Earth Day Network Education Resource Library and Act on Climate Change. We’ll see you in the next quarter with much more action to come!

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