Three People Leading The Green Movement In Charlotte
Passionate leaders in Charlotte have established nonprofits, volunteer programs and community initiatives to promote and enhance sustainable living in the greater Charlotte area. Even though Charlotte has been deemed one of the least walkable cities for its size in the nation, these environmental leaders are establishing positive green lifestyle practices and pioneering the environmental movement in the Queen City.
Robin Emmons: Chef, Farmer, Nonprofit Director
Robin Emmons decided that more local, healthy, organic food needed to be grown here in the Charlotte area, specifically in low-income communities. With her organization Sow Much Good, Robin Emmons seeks to solve the food desert problem prevalent in many neighborhoods in the Charlotte community. Through the establishment of a community garden that has become more of a community center, a steady handful of volunteers help maintain the garden, advocate healthy eating in their communities and run a weekly farmers’ market. Emmons believes that regardless of socioeconomic status, people should have access to healthy, affordable food options and understand the repercussions associated with eating cheap fast food.
Shannon Binns: Nonprofit Founder and Director
Shannon Binns is the founder and executive director of one of the most influential environmental organization in the Charlotte area: Sustain Charlotte. He manifested his idea for a more sustainable Charlotte into a successful nonprofit. Sustain Charlotte works very closely with the City of Charlotte on different planning, transportation, land use and environmental policy issues to promote more sustainable practices. Through Sustain Charlotte, Binns has been very successful in harnessing the power of community groups in advocating sustainability practices, including Sustainable Schools and Sustainable Neighborhoods.
Robert Phocas: Environmental and Sustainability Manager
As the City of Charlotte’s Environmental and Sustainability Manager, Phocas helps Charlotte become more energy efficient and less fossil fuel dependent. Phocas spears several projects to achieve these goals that aim to create more green jobs for Charlotte. He also serves on the Board of Director for Envision Charlotte, a nonprofit that aims to make the buildings in Uptown Charlotte more sustainable.
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Isabel Sepkowitz is a freelance writer. She is an environmentalist who values sustainability, education, and innovation for the emerging green economy. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.