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Jessie’s Story

Posted: 2:41PM March 23rd, 2015 | Comments

Jessie Lerner, Executive Director

Given I’ve been with Sustain Dane since 2007, there is a good chance we have met. If not, I look forward to meeting you. We can even compare our trashion (fashion made with trash and recyclables) at the 3rd annual Sustainability Sideshow on Friday March 6thNo this photo is not my every-day look.Last summer, I shared some of my favorite milestones along my curvy path to Sustain Dane in a blog post so I will use my “meet the staff” space to reflect on some of the ways this job has impacted my lifestyle.

In love with being multimodal 
Four years ago, we (my husband Mike and I) bought our first home. In 2010, I was not aware of the the Housing & Transportation Affordability Index, but we instinctively knew that we could afford more house if we didn’t need to buy a second car. We gave our realtor a funny shaped map with an amoeba shaped highlighted blob of where we could stay a one-car family based on Madison’s bus and bike systems. We moved to the near west side and both of us can walk, bike or bus to and from work. Some day’s I’ve even used all three forms of transportation (thanks to B-cycle). We coordinate our post-work transportation on a google calendar and I have only needed to use a cab once because of double booking! Having access to cabs & community car as a backup plan gives us both confidence to continue enjoying a one car, two bike, two bus pass, four feet lifestyle.

In love with local food
For the past six years we have been proud members of Ridgeland Harvest CSA. Coincidence that it’s one year less than the length of time I’ve been with SD? Over the years, we have also become CSA members to a fruit share, a meat share (that we learned about at an Ignite Madison “all things food” event this summer) and yes, even a beer share. To me, participating in the CSA model is more than just being the recipient of convenient, affordable, high-quality local food. I am also investing in my community and my health (the variety of greens I now eat AND enjoy is astounding). Once we became home-owners and my gardening could expand from a few balcony herbs to three 4x8 raised beds, I have experimented (with varying degrees of success) in vegetable growing. The combination of CSA and home grown produce has keenly increased my awareness to the beauty of our seasons and the vulnerability our food systems have to increasing extreme weather events.

I’d love to know how your increasing sustainability knowledge has impacted your lifestyle. I am endlessly energized by learning of your ah-ha moments, new habits, or challenges you are still working on, and how our programing can enhance your knowledge and actions. Feel free to share your story by contacting me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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