Posted by: Necci – Oct 26, 2012
It was in July of 2012, on the patio of Ellwood Thompson’s that Becky Lakin and colleagues first discussed the effort to engage the community in a sustainability project. The organization, now known as sustainRVA, is represented by three companies, partnered together – Ellwood Thompson’s, Urban Grid and BioRide. They share a unified vision to excite, educate and enhance Richmond through events focused on sustainability. This month, sustainRVA’s first community effort came to fruition.
Renew Richmond was a two week clean-up project with a simple and brilliant goal – pick a spot, clean it up, and make a work of art with your trash. Participants were instructed to form a team and take ‘before and after’ shots of their worksites. The Renew Richmond project attracted a wealth of supporters, and the proof will be on display until October 28 at 3007 W Cary St. The clean-up yielded a full 13 piece exhibit of Eco-Art creations – a measurable victory for Lakin, who was pleased to have attracted even the first supporter. “The project more than achieved the goals we had in mind,” said Lakin. “For our first event, I was extremely pleased and wildly impressed with the outpouring of support and excitement.”
Sponsoring companies awarded prizes for biggest clean-up transformation, largest team effort, best company team, best all around, and best Eco-Art creations. However, most people involved in the project required very little incentive to take part in such a fun and worthy cause; some people had no idea that awards were being given at all.
In the next few months, sustainRVA intends to work off of the momentum generated by the Renew Richmond project. The goal of sustainRVA is clear, and the notion of sustainable living lends itself to a wealth of possibilities for future projects, which will focus on renewable energy, food production, and beautification the city. Becky Lakin sees sustainRVA growing steadily into a more organized entity. “sustainRVA is now developing into something that is not a collaboration of companies, but an independent organization that will be run by representatives of various organizations in our community that have like-minded goals.”
By Dan Mulrooney; Photos by Stephanie Younce