About the Sustainability Action Network



History:   When the Sustainability Action Network formed in 2007, the founders had a clear vision of how climate disruption is caused by the insatiable fossil fuel appetite of industrial society. They realized that if fossil fuels are not kept in the ground, their use will result in the demise of human society.

Then in 2008, the production peak of easy and cheap petroleum hit. But the corporate profiteers didn’t opt for conservation and renewable energy. They doubled down on fossil fuels by extreme extraction from deep water, tar sands, mountain top removal, and fracking. This made them more money, but also caused extreme ecological devastation – and climate disruption.

The unraveling of the planet’s ecosystems and the destabilization of the climate makes for a stark reality. The choice, as stressed by the Transition Movement, is to either switch from fossil fuels to conservation and renewable energy, or face catastrophic ecosystem collapse.

Sustainability Action incorporated as a not-for-profit in the State of Kansas on 15 April 2008, formed a governing board of directors, and ratified bylaws.  On 21 October 2010, we achieved non-profit 501(C)(3) tax-exempt status.

Our major programs are:  Energy Conservation and Renewables, Bicycle and Alternative Transportation, Water Rights and Watersheds, Prime Farmland Preservation, Food Sovereignty and Permaculture, Lawrence Food Not Lawns, and Local Money and Local Food.

The Sustainability Action Mission is to bring awareness of the global crisis caused by climate change, energy vulnerability and economic instability to communities in the Kansas River bioregion, and the tools needed to re-skill and re-localize our economy and create a more socially just and ecologically sustainable world.

To reduce society's collective carbon footprint, Sustainability Action Network strives mainly for institutional change in policies and programs. While incremental personal lifestyle changes help, they of themselves are too slow. As such, we advance ecological sustainability on several fronts of Energy-Ecology-Economy, simultaneously and methodically.

Our national officials fail to address this crisis, instead pursuing counter-productive and unsustainable economic expansion. Our communities must create the solutions for human and ecological survival. We embrace the Permaculture ethic of care for the earth, for people and for community, equality of life, conservation, and limits to growth.  As much as we are able, our organizational actions honor and respect all species and all peoples.

Our Vision:  Ecological sustainability means living in a way that is mindful of consequences for the future.  We envision a community built around livelihood strategies that protect the commons of clean air, soil and water; deliver efficient, affordable, clean and renewable energy; prioritize local food systems; and promote biological diversity so that future generations of people and other species can also satisfy their basic needs.

In this context, “development” will mean improving the quality of life for all people in the Lawrence and Kansas City areas, fostering social justice in the distribution of available resources and opportunities, and fortifying our local economy toward the goal of mutual self-sufficiency.  Social relationships are equally important to ecological sustainability; the society we advance will be built on mutual aid, trust, equity, and participatory democracy.

We envision the formation of an informational network, sponsorship of educational seminars and workshops, and community social and political activities.  We envision planning to rebuild local community infrastructures including community supported agriculture, manufacture of basic commodities, renewable energy projects, resource utilization and environmental protection.  We engage our local and state government representatives in formulating policies and legislation that may foster sustainable practices and lifestyles.

Our Governing Body:  Sustainability Action is governed by its active membership, which meets annually to elect a Board of Directors.  Policy issues are formulated by our Board of Directors by consensus, and ratified by a majority of our membership. We hold monthly Board meetings that are open to all members and people in the community, and at which major organizational issues and events are planned and decided.  Our monthly meetings are generally on Thursday evenings, 6:00-7:30pm.

We collaborate actively with sister organizations including:  Flint Hills Renewable Energy & Efficiency Co-op, Kansas Permaculture Institute, Lawrence Ecological Teams United for Sustainability, the Sunrise Movement, Live Well Lawrence, Films For Action, Douglas County Food Policy Council, Lawrence Pedestrian Coalition, Cultivate Kansas City, Lawrence Fruit Tree Project, and many more.


Sustainability Action Network is a silver level Guide Star participant, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.


The Sustainability Action Network is a non-profit organization that is bringing awareness of a global crisis caused by climate change, energy depletion and economic instability to communities in the Kansas River bioregion. We are initiating positive solutions inspired by the Transition and Permaculture Movements. We bring the tools needed to re-skill and re-localize our economy and create more socially just and ecologically sustainable country and world.


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