We need your voice 𝗡𝗢𝗪 as the Des Moines City Council prepares to vote on what may be the first step toward implementing a Climate action plan for the city. The Council is considering a proposed ordinance to measure and benchmark the energy and water use of all buildings larger than 25,000 sq. ft. Commercial buildings in Des Moines are responsible for 35% of city-wide emissions! Adopting this ordinance would be a big step towards the city's goal of lowering GHG emissions by 28% by 2025.
The first reading of the ordinance was on April 22 - Earth Day. While there was a sense of responsibility to hear more on that day, not all of the council members may be willing to carry this through. The next reading before the council is scheduled for May 20th.
This step towards climate action hinges on their votes. We need everyone to speak up and ask that this ordinance be passed. Join us to have your voice heard and to stand up for climate action. We will have materials to write letters, including paper, envelopes, stamps, and talking points. We will also have a list of council members phone numbers for phoning in as well.
Do not miss this opportunity! Our time frame is short and we 𝗡𝗘𝗘𝗗 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗩𝗢𝗜𝗖𝗘!
Looking to revive your spring wardrobe? Swap, don't shop! Urban Ambassadors is hosting an Earth Day clothing swap. Only $5 suggested donation!
Bring clothes to donate, grab clothes to take home. Drop your items with a volunteer on the way in, and browse through the racks for the same number of new things. Come celebrate Earth Day by swapping sustainably!
Have you ever needed construction materials, a new appliance or possibly a light fixture? Well, before you pay retail or head to a home improvement store, stop by the Greater Des Moines Habitat ReStore to check out some new and gently used items at reduced prices.
Join Urban Ambassadors and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for our January meet-up. We will learn more about what the ReStore is and how they help keep construction materials and other home improvement goods out of the waste stream.
”Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.” - Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity
We will have Dylan Lyons of Habitat for Humanity conduct a tour of the facility and have a question and answer session following.
Crafts and Plants at Art Terrarium
Calling all crafters! Join us for a fun, informal meet-up this month as we prepare homemade decorations for our Sustainable Sunday Funday. We'll be potting plants and learning how to make leaf garland with the support of Art Terrarium co-owner, Shylah Statler. Art Terrarium is a combination art gallery and plant shop that opened earlier this summer. We're excited to visit this space, learn more about their local work, and get crafty together. Hope you can join us!
Photo Credit: DSM Magazine
Join us for our August Meet-Up on Tuesday, 8/8 at 6pm at the Franklin Avenue Library.
Leaders of the Citizens' Sustainability Task Force are in the process of meeting with City Council members surrounding the Force's idea that the City should have a Climate Action Plan. City council will be meeting August 14th to discuss their Strategic Plan for 2016-2031, also known as GuideDSM. In the plan, a sustainability plan is mentioned as an "On The Horizon" item that needs review and refinement.
This presents an opportunity for Urban Ambassadors (that's you!) to have input on what the Task Force should request from the city.
A structured discussion will be hosted by Urban Ambassadors and will feature Jon McAlister climate activist and concerned citizen and Kari Carney, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Iowa.
In addition, we will discuss Des Moines' 3-STAR certification. Throughout the course of the meet-up we will refine points to provide to the Task Force for the August 14th City Council meeting.
This spring, the City of Des Moines launched a Gold Level Recycling Program, which got us wondering... how many of us would qualify for the program? Test your knowledge and expand your current understanding of what can and cannot be recycled in Des Moines at our next Meet-Up!
Although Bike Month is behind us, that doesn't mean we have to stop bicycling! More great weather is sure to come, meaning plenty of opportunities to spend time outside or use alternative forms of transportation. A number of people commented on a post in the Urban Ambassadors group about wanting more or better public transportation! So we figured let's talk about it!
We have invited Rob Muencrath, BCycle Operations Manager for the Des Moines Bicycle Collective, to speak about alternative and bicycle transportation. "The Des Moines Bicycle Collective champions stronger communities, vibrant neighborhoods and healthy individuals by encouraging active transportation choices."
Meet us at the Bcycle Station at 13th and Grand and if possible, ride your bike to be more sustainable! Also, there is some grass nearby where you can sit if you would like... if so, bring your picnic blanket!
Back by popular demand and just in time for the upcoming garden season, Urban Ambassadors is inviting community partners experienced in composting to share their story!
We are honored to have The Holton Homestead join and speak about their composting service in Elkhart and Ankeny areas. We have also heard about a composting CSA in Marion and in Iowa City. We think it is time Des Moines should have one too! Join us for our April Meet-Up to learn all about composting, how you can reduce food waste and improve soil health in your own backyard.
Urban Ambassadors is a 501(c) non-profit organization serving as your hub for sustainable living in Greater Des Moines. We help you clarify sustainability goals and connect you with local resources to meet those goals! Our monthly Meet-Ups (2nd Tuesday of the month) are a great way to connect with other like minded folks in the community!
UA and other local sustainability groups will be marching together in the Des Moines St. Patrick's Day Parade to provide public exposure for our groups while having fun. Bringing the green to the green parade!
In addition to having the Big Yellow Bike again, we hope you'll bring other fun things to ride (bikes, electric bikes, electric cars), so we can show how awesome and fun being sustainable can be! We will also be taking “sustainable selfies” with parade watchers that we will share on social media.
We need marchers representing UA and other sustainability groups. Please join us in the parade to represent your favorite sustainability organization and have some fun.
More details to come as we get closer to the event. Mark your calendars!
RSVP via the Facebook Event now!
Are you looking for a fun, yet socially responsible, way to spend Valentine's Day? Look no further than our February Meetup: "Love" Letters for Legislators!
Join us at Confluence Brewing Company for a fair trade chocolate sampling paired with writing our local legislatures on issues we care about. We'll bring the chocolate and supplies for letter writing!
RSVP on our Facebook Event!
If you have been a part of the UA community this year, we want to buy you a beer and thank you for helping us host events, share tips on Facebook, and continue to support our organization.
If you're new to UA, come meet the people who help us get things done & learn how you can plug in as we look towards 2017.
The first 30 beers are on us, so be sure to show up around 6 p.m.
We are going there for our October Meetup on Tuesday, October 11 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Garden (5085 Meredith Drive). You'll have a chance to hear from the owners, Jenny & Eric Quiner about their story and what goes into maintaining the garden every season.
Celebrating our eco•heroes is fun (and very important too)!
The life of an eco•hero can be tough—a lot of hard work and not enough recognition. Now’s your chance to raise up the eco•heroes in your life at the 2016 FriendRaiser—all you have to do is join us to help share their successes and their sustainability stories.
Let’s have some family-friendly fun while we celebrate. This year we’re featuring:
Community potluck. Please bring a dish to share sign up here.
We’re asking folks to bring their own place settings this year to help reduce waste! Cool, right?
Activities including a nature scavenger hunt, Hula Hooping 101, and sustainable crafts. Local folk music. Nominee Meet and Greet—a chance for you to get tocknow the nominees. Silent Auction—we’ll have local products and services to auction off. Award ceremony highlighting our local ecoheroes.
Who: You, your friends, your family, your neighbors, your kids, your dogs
Where: The Windsor Heights Community Center: 6900 School Street Windsor Heights 50324
4:30-5:30: Activities and music
5:30: Potluck begins
6:00: Awards presentation
6:30-7:00: Activities and music continues
Tell us if you're joining on our Facebook event page!
We are excited to have Matthew Bailey at our August meetup to discuss his approach to combating climate change and how we can all help sequestor carbon, reduce greenhouse emissions and build a climate resilient landscape here in Des Moines.
Whether you live in an apartment, tent, trailer, duplex or house, we hope you'll join us for a great discussion about how plants are part of the solution to climate change.
About Matthew: With degrees in biology, plant biotechnology, and crop genetics — and careers in industry and academia as a scientist and research administrator — Matthew ditched his real job in 2009 to work for himself and breed ornamental plants. Along the way the irksome issue of climate change eventually got the better of him, and the plant sync was born.
The purpose of the plant sync is to improve the lives, safety, and health of people through mindful plant choices and gardening practices.