If you’re reading this, you’ve already found your bonus insert with today’s Beachcomber. It’s the Whole Vashon Catalog, and it’s more than a compilation of information. It’s an expression of our community’s commitment to the Earth. It’s the embodiment of a collaboration among the island’s businesses, non-profits and a small army of volunteers to focus on ways we can work together to stand up to the climate crisis with creativity and hope.
As I write, I’m keenly aware that it would be easy to put the climate on our collective back burner since we’re also facing a pandemic, the resulting economic crises, and an unprecedented period of civil unrest. These crises are all connected. But that’s a column for another day.
The publication of the Whole Vashon Catalog has been a process, the first step in gathering our community around the notion that together we can have a positive impact on the survival of our earthly home. In fact, Rondi Lightmark, producer/director of the catalog and founder of its umbrella organization, The Whole Vashon Project, envisions a future where island environmental groups pool their resources to experiment with projects and practices that can help to mitigate human damage to our Planet. And, when we sharpen those practices, we will share them with other communities.
In the process of creating the Whole Vashon Catalog, over 120 businesses and non-profits took the time to consider their green goals for the coming year — practices they’ve committed to that can begin to reduce our island’s carbon footprint. Some organizations asked for help designing green goals; others offered suggestions… The collaboration took off. And, as we collected green goals, individuals offered their dreams and wishes for our island’s environmental health; a selection is in the catalog, all are on the project website.
Climate students among us assembled volumes of resources we can use to learn about tried and true as well as innovative ways to help our Earth return to health. There are quizzes to test our climate knowledge. A dozen island artists jumped at the opportunity to contribute their drawings to make the catalog even more fun. And, throughout the year of building the catalog, we shared what we learned along the way in Beachcomber pages supported by Vashon Rotary, on our Facebook page and on the WholeVashonProject.com website.
We are proud of the catalog and filled with gratitude to all who contributed to its publication with financial, intellectual and creative contributions. You’ll find a list on page 92. We encourage you to use the catalog as a resource throughout the year. When you need a little inspiration, read Michael Meade’s “Prayer for the Earth.” If you’re looking for ‘green’ island businesses to patronize, check Page 20 for a complete list of those who’ve committed to green goals. Find ‘green’ nonprofits on Page 47. Check out the “Resources” section for essays from island environmental experts, like Dr. Tag Gornall, Fran Brooks and members of Zero Waste Vashon. Pump up your ‘green’ library in the “Good Green Reads!” section, where you’ll find a wonderful list of recommended books from island readers.
The Whole Vashon Catalog is a calling card for the Whole Vashon Project, and a launchpad for what we hope will be a groundswell of enthusiasm for gathering more strength, creativity and the will to work to save our Earth. Its reason for being is to promote what is already here and to help us figure out how to practice living sustainably and harmoniously, in partnership with nature.
The Whole Vashon Project is a manifestation of the potential in our community — and it does not need to exist as anything more than an inspiration for anyone and everyone to go beyond this initial model. Going forward, we hope to keep up the momentum with climate education through programming, Earth love inspiration through art, and support for positive action through collaboration. It’s a big idea — and we already know our community is up to the challenge.
Join us? Get on the mailing list at wholevashonproject.com. Share your ideas in our Facebook group: Facebook.com/wholevashonproject. We’re just getting started!
Susan McCabe is the former station manager of Voice of Vashon and a project partner for the Whole Vashon Catalog.