Climate Conversations, Episode 1: Sustainable Midlands

Episode posted February 28, 2022

Link to the podcast is here.

Transcript

Bob  00:12

Welcome to Episode One of Climate Conversations. I’m your host Bob Petrulis. Climate Conversations is a podcast of the Climate-Ready Columbia Conference coming up on April first and second 2022. This event will be held on the University of South Carolina Campus and is free and open to the public. No prior registration is required. For more information go to climatereadycola.org. This episode features Becca Smith, executive director of Sustainable Midlands and co-organizer of the Climate-Ready Columbia first annual Sustainable Yard Tour. The tour is an affiliate of the Climate-Ready Columbia Conference and will take place the day after the conference, on April 3. The self-guided tour will take you to several public and private yards and gardens that demonstrate sustainable features, such as native plants, solar installations, water conservation systems, and more. I talked with Becca about the tour, and about what Sustainable Midlands is doing now that we’re emerging from the pandemic. Welcome to the conversation, and it’s great to have you here.

Becca  01:29

Thank you so much for having me, Bob. I’m excited to be here.

Bob  01:33

So tell me a little bit about Sustainable Midlands. You guys have been around for a while. And what are you up to? What do you do?

Becca  01:42

Absolutely. Yeah, so Sustainable Midlands has been around here in Colombia and the Midlands for a while now. We started up back in 2010 and we’ve been rocking and rolling ever since. And it really kind of started out of concern from some citizens. And it was created by one woman kind of spearheading it at the time. And, again, its main focus was concern of development choices that were happening around Colombia, and what that kind of meant for our water quality. That was a huge concern at the time. And I’ll kind of talk a little bit about what we’re doing right now in regards to water quality, and the monitoring going on even still. And,  if you think about 2010, versus where we are now in 2022, the word sustainable even, just a few years ago really was more of a murky word that people may not have really known what that was, or what it really looked like what it meant. And so sustainable, even now is a really large umbrella word that can look like a lot of different things, which we can talk about as well. But one thing that sustainable Midlands, when it was, being created, was very passionate about was food and trying to raise awareness for local food, and sustainability, trying to think of long-term ways that we can create, power and movement around local food and just raising awareness of that. And so that was a huge push between our food pathways, trying to keep that awareness local, in our waterways. So what that kind of really looked like when it was created, the organization was creating two watershed alliances. So right here in downtown Columbia, Rocky Branch Watershed is sort of located in the Five Points, USC, down to the stadium area, for anybody out there who’s listening, watershed is, little tributaries, and streams and all kinds of, if you put your hands like a little cup, and it’s all gonna start kind of leaking through, it’ll eventually meet and flow towards a larger source of water. So that’s what a watershed is. So there’s the Rocky Branch Watershed. And that’s, again, like I said, in sort of the downtown Five Points, area, and also the Smith Branch Watershed, which is moreso kind of in the Bull Street, North Main, kind of northern part of the city. So those are some initiatives that were created. The sustainable business really cared about back in the day was making sure that the water in our urban areas was being monitored, that we could actually see, Okay, are there large amounts of bacteria in these waters? Do we have impairments in our waters that are impeding the flow of our waters and things like that?  And in terms of the, what we kind of had to do with food back in the day, they kind of created a directory of sorts that tried its best to connect farms throughout South Carolina. And we hosted all kinds of, talks and things like that to try to engage with the community, as well as being kind of a founding mover and shaker for a, kind of a Midlands food alliance. So trying to kind of create some coalition and create some community around food, and keeping food local. And it kind of all, physically manifested in the Tasty Tomato Festival, which kind of became like a signature event for Sustainable Midlands, and I think, maybe to a degree could have overshadowed some of the initiatives, but I don’t know if that was necessarily a terrible thing, because I think that Tasty Tomato Festival was a key event for many years, pre COVID. So we can kind of discuss where we’ve been since that time and our dormant period. But, between our waters, and our foods, I think those were two really main things that Sustainable Midlands was known for in the past. And the reason why can I go into such long detail is because, we’ve been around since 2010. And especially these past two years with COVID, we’ve, it’s really forced us to go extremely dormant. We had some leadership changes, and kind of just the changing of the guard seemed like for year after year, there was just a new leader after new leader. And so the initiatives were kind of lost, and so I kind of came along. And maybe that might be a sort of a good, a good segue, if you will, I can maybe kind of tell you all about what we’re doing now,

Bob  06:58

You told me, before we started that you had just come back from the water quality monitoring trip and wonder if you want to just say a little bit about what that was like, what did you do? And what was the experience like for you?

Becca  07:12

Absolutely. Yeah. So I mean, I’m a Columbia native, I love our waters. And it’s always been something for me that I think is a very underrated part of where we live, we have three beautiful rivers running right through the middle of our city and intersecting Columbia, West Columbia. And it’s just a huge asset. And I’m really excited to be putting that kind of personal passion back into Sustainable Midlands, especially since these were some key initiatives that we had, in the past. So right before the holiday is I was able to get a certification for Adopt-A-Stream. So Adopt-A-Stream is a program that is kind of housed through DHEC, and anybody can get their certification to become what they call a citizen scientist. So I was able to get, my certification to monitor fresh water. So, all the fresh water we’ve got here, bingo for all that good stuff. And so I was really excited to get the certification for that, and just wanting to kind of put some life back into these efforts that, we have had historically, but again, because of COVID, some leadership changes, things like that, we haven’t been as present in the community and in the sustainable initiatives, especially surrounding water for several years now. So I kind of want to put a jolt back into that. And so today was actually my first time going out and physically go into a site, a water, a site with some water to test the quality of the water. So, since I mentioned earlier, we had Rocky Branch Watershed Alliance and Smith Branch Watershed Alliance, right now until we can kind of grow and get some more participants to help us you might be excited to also volunteer for these things. I’m just going to kind of stick to one site at Smith Branch and one site at Rocky Branch since I’m just, one person kind of wearing many hats right now, but still really excited to be out in the field. So, we were out at Bull Street. If anybody’s familiar with the new I think it’s Gosh, it’s got the name of Ellen Page Ellington Park is the name of the new park and it’s on Gregg Street. If anybody hasn’t checked it out yet. It’s a fantastic park. Lots of really cool walking trails and a doggie park even. So I was over there kind of downstream of the dog park, because maybe, let’s say, some people might not pick up after their animal, something like that, it might be best to sort of test that water downstream of that. So basically what that looked like was just testing several different things, testing, observations that I’m seeing, and taking samples of the water to check for bacteria and see what kind of levels of Ecoli might be there that could alarm us, so that’s kind of why people monitor to make sure, especially in these urban areas, with a lot of, run off a lot of wastes from all different, sources are kind of going and washing out into our waters that affect not only the health of our waters, but our ecosystems, and also us humans, and even our puppers, and our kids and things like that. So, that’s been an exciting thing, and exciting endeavor to kind of reenergize in that. And, of course, I’m a tomato lover. So, we’re definitely excited for a Tasty Tomato Festival this year as well.

Bob  11:07

Well, I want to follow up on that. I was at the, I think it was the last Tasty Tomato Festival when you moved over to Earlewood Park. But before I before we go there, I’m just curious, if a person wanted to kind of help out with the water quality monitoring any of that kind of stuff? Would they have to go through the certification process? Or could they just kind of be your assistant or, work with you?

Becca  11:36

That’s a great question. I mean, I’m always looking for help. And you don’t have to have your, certification, if you would just like to kind of be an assistant, it is definitely something where you don’t want to go out by yourself to, monitor, you never know what could happen. So the buddy system is definitely kind of mandatory part of the process. So if someone, let’s say, wanted to learn how to, what it kind of looks like, in action and sort of be an assistant, that day, that will just be absolutely fantastic. There’s also, different sort of hands-on ways that you can engage with folks who want to just come out and learn more about water quality, while you are physically, monitoring yourself. So there’s plenty of opportunity there. But if someone were to want to get their certification, they have periodic classes and workshops, and that maybe sometimes might require some travel, if you wanted to go to a workshop, it could be maybe an hour away, it could be right here in Colombia, but Adopt-A-Stream operates statewide. And again, this is a, an initiative through DHEC. So, I would just Google Adopt-A-Stream, if that was something that you wanted to do on a personal level, anybody can do it. And it’s a really exciting thing. And it’s all public information, at the end of the day. So we can all go online right now and check out how our waters have been. And the longer you do it, the more data you’ve got to kind of go back and judge how healthy is our water. So it’s a really exciting thing to get involved with Sustainable Midlands and our watersheds, or if you’re listening from a different area of the Midlands and a different watershed, you also have the ability to create a brand new site that could have never been tested before.

Bob  13:42

So is that a day-long training session? And then you get certified? Or what’s the, how much commitment is there in terms of time? And effort?

Becca  13:52

Yeah, that’s a good question. So the workshop is about six hours. And you do actually go out into the field and you do some kind of mock testing, if you will, so you can get your hands wet, it’s a very hands-on day. And again, it’s about six hours. So you normally bring a sack lunch, and you’re kind of prepared to take a little test at the end. And you got a workbook, you’ve got some guides to help you. And it’s a very encouraging kind of test. I mean, they don’t want to, they want citizen science. So, it’s not one of those things where you feel extremely nervous going into it. They’re very encouraging for wanting to expand the program. And yeah, and it’s a lot of fun. So once you get going with it, the idea is to test once a month so that you know if you’re just testing water itself, if you want to test other kind of portions of that like macro invertebrates, the little bugs in the water. That’s kind of a different kind of timeline for testing. But yeah, so I would say for someone who’s interested in it, just check out Adopt-A-Stream DHEC, and you can see when their next kind of field day workshop is.

Bob  15:11

Great. Okay, so let’s talk about food then.

Becca  15:16

Yeah, my favorite.

Bob  15:19

Sounds like you guys are thinking about bringing back the Tasty Tomato Festival and that would be great. I’m first in line.

Becca  15:27

Do you have a green thumb?

Bob  15:34

Oh, I like eating um, I don’t necessarily do a good job of growing um. I had some some tomatoes this time. You know, like, this summer, I bought some heirloom tomato plants. And I grew them and they were like, they were like those, those Charlie Brown Christmas trees that bedraggled and he got, like, one ornament. I got like, one tomato on my plant. But, you know, that was last summer. Maybe this summer I’ll have more luck.

Becca  16:10

So that’s exactly right. Yeah, I mean, I guess it takes two to tango anyway. So you got the grower, and then you’ve got the eater. So there’s definitely a little bit of both out there for everybody, and especially at Tasty Tomato Festival. So that was actually how I got introduced to Sustainable Midlands in general, honestly, Bob, um I kind of come from more of an arts and a nonprofit background. And before COVID, I was actually a full time musician, if you could believe that or not. And I’ve always loved I mean, you can catch me on any given Sunday watching an environmental documentary, or reading books, and on more of a personal level. So, what does that look like, day to day, or especially when my husband and I were playing music all the time, I wanted to really try to align myself with things that I cared about and initiatives that were important to me and that way, and so we would try to kind of play certain festivals and things like that, that were just, again, more aligned with our our views and our kind of our passions like that. So we actually played at Tasty Tomato Festival in 2019, at Earlwood, when it had changed venues and locations over to the kind of Earlwood Rec Center. And that was,

Bob  17:40

Which is Smith Branch, by the way.

Becca  17:42

It sure is. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, kind of the funny sequence of events is now I just live right up the street from from that rec center, and we go and play disc golf over in that little park all the time. And so wonderful, wonderful spot, but that’s how I got involved. I was just kind of, I was just some entertainment that day, and I said, Wow, I really liked what Sustainable Midlands is doing. I wonder if they could ever use my help, because I studied arts management when I was at the College of Charleston, so I went to Charleston for school. And moreso worked with theatres, but um the degree that I have is in nonprofit management, essentially. So I was always kind of working with arts nonprofits, because I just kind of grew up with the arts. And so kind of leaning on that when I saw a Tasty Tomato Festival. And again, I wonder if I could ever help them out, I would just love to do that. And so, kind of fast forward, we’re in the thick of COVID. And I ended up kind of pivoting to a teaching role. And, really just, it was not, I don’t know, it was just, it was a really hard year if I could say the least about teaching during COVID. So, my husband’s actually a teacher now, too. And so he’s just kind of thrives with it. But I said, I really feel like I’m cut off from community and community is such a part of who I am, that I felt like my cup just wasn’t full anymore, you know. And so, just kind of the series of events happened. And here I am today, I mean, it all kind of just, it was kind of miraculous, really, you know what, what sort of ended up happening. I was going to go back to teaching and then kind of right there at the last minute. I got in touch with the board chair of Sustainable Midlands and we got to talking and he kind of laid it all out out for me and gave me kind of a snapshot of where the organization is at right now. And so kind of just taken a leap of faith and doing all I can to get Sustainable Midlands back up off of the ground right now. So that’s kind of what I’ve been doing from the fall on into 2022. So I’ve really been excited to see the new year and see a new year. For Sustainable Midlands, we have a lot of exciting things coming up that I’m just so energized and excited about, one of which, long story short, is Tasty Tomato Festival. So I know historically, it was at City Roots, which is such a fantastic spot. And I just can’t say enough about that. But we are really excited, kind of to have some new plans rolling out for Tasty Tomato Festival. So everybody stay tuned on all that good stuff really soon, but it will be back up and running this year, we are really, really excited for that. So that kind of save the date, location announcement will be really, really, really soon. And I’m very excited to put the call out for all of our tomato growers and all of our vendors, get some great entertainment, some local entertainment and just celebrate that’s sort of one of the things in revisiting our mission was like, let’s celebrate, we want to advocate for sustainability and all of what does sustainability look like this, again, such a big word. So we’re advocates for sustainability, but also what everybody else is already doing in town. We want to be a team player and just lift each other up and just be a part of be a part of that. And, we want to celebrate. So I think that Tasty Tomato Festival is kind of a culmination of what it means when we can come together as a community, and we can eat local, and we can see what sustainability in action really looks like so we’re gonna have a lot of zero waste kind of components to the event, as well, and just keep it as green as possible and hopefully inspire and kind of energize and just get back get back in the community, which I’m really excited for.

Bob  22:23

So Tasty Tomato, and you’re continuing the water quality initiative. Anything else that you see coming up for Sustainable Midlands in the next few months, or a year or two?

Becca  22:41

Absolutely. Um, so, just on a really short term level, we have a lot of events just happening all the time, so we are going to re engage in kind of community cleanup efforts, we have a really exciting kind of relationship with the SC Aquarium, they’ve created an app called a citizen science app. And it’s a unique way of tracking data that you might find on a litter sweep. And so we’re really excited to be re engaging in that way as well. So, if people want to get involved on a regular basis, they can check us out online, at sustainablemidlands.org. If they want to go right to our events, it’s sustainablemidlands.org/events. And there you can kind of see what we have on the ballot right now. And we’re excited to hopefully just be doing some quarterly hikes that are just for the community just to come, engage, and just be a part of it, get to know one another and create that community around people who want a segue, they want a point of entry, and they’re looking for other people who are feeling the same way that they are and I think that none of us really have all the answers. I know I don’t, and I’m trying to figure it out every single day. And I think that it’s important to not operate in a silo and that we try our best to branch out as much as we can. So in doing these things like community hikes, that again, are just solely for us to engage in come together as a community and enjoy the natural world around us. That’s something that I want to prioritize as well, that are just community free events like that, that are happening on a quarterly basis. So any news they’re really excited for initiatives like that just community center things, and again, kind of going back to this community cleanups really excited to be offering those once a month as well. So, picking different areas of town and if there’s an area in your part of town or even throughout all these counties that do are in the Midlands, our name is sustainable Midlands. So, we really hope to expand and serve all of the counties that are located in the Midlands at some point. And that was, I think, an initial goal, when we were created 12 years ago, but here we are, as a one person staff, it can be difficult to execute that. But always welcome to suggestions and ideas. I would love to host some workshops, lunch-and-learns. One thing that we’ve kind of recently taken a poll with, online with our Instagram followers is their interest in panel discussions and Q&A. So, talking about things like fast fashion and microplastics, and mass farming, and things like that. What is your interest, what’s your level of interest like that just as a member of the community that wants to know more, and it seems like, that’s kind of where people are heading, and people are hungry for that kind of knowledge, and also just discussion. So those are some things I think, maybe this is sort of how that word sustainable is changing over time as we’re learning more and discovering more, as a global society, trying to weave that into the fabric of who we are as an organization. So we have these staple initiatives, like water quality monitoring, food pathways, Tasty Tomato Festival, advocating for that really localized stuff, but also on a more philosophical level, trying to also engage with, with our communities in that way. So kind of trying to see what comes of that, and really excited for some things that I kind of have up my sleeve, like a kind of a dreamer. And again, I come from an arts background. So I’m really hoping to execute a mural that would kind of engage in the, again, just more holistic, what it means to be a sustainable Midlands, like if we could close our eyes and just dream up, what our dream city would look like, what would it look like if we could just dream together for a minute. And so I’m really kind of gunning for that to be a huge effort for me this year, and hopefully, getting that done, there are a couple grants that I’m I’m looking into, and hoping that we might be considered for something like that, that just encapsulate the diversity, the inclusion of not only our people, but our landscape and what it means to live in a sustainable location. I think we’ve all kind of seen things online, or maybe it’s been fortunate enough to go to a city, where they’re really on the ball with some really cool sustainable practices. And, trying to kind of interject in a way here on a local level with our community and help our community dream up, and feel energized and inspired to want a sustainable Midlands, I think is something that I’m really looking forward to doing.

Bob  28:07

Well, I’ll be sure and put some of that information about your website and other things in the show notes so that people can go back to that and get in touch with you. Yeah, that’s all really exciting. And I, I do think that connecting the arts to this is really a great idea. And, I think anyway, people want to engage in multiple different ways. And, not all of us are climate scientists, or kind of, on the technical end. Many of us, I think, want to be in touch with the aesthetics and the wonder of it. So I think that’s terrific. And I love the idea of getting out on hikes and other things like that. So I think that’s really exciting stuff.

Becca  29:10

Yay. And I understand, just kind of, to, to hit that point home of not being a scientist, I do not come from a science background. I never really I mean, on my list and like, what do I want to do with my life? You know, I actually have listed out work for an environmental nonprofit, but me having to get certifications and learning about pH and dissolved oxygen and all these different things. I’m like, I never, ever would have thought that I would actually be doing these kinds of things because I am an artist at heart, and I always will be and I think that that kind of intersection of art and science are so closely related that people want to kind of keep them separate, but people have All different kinds of talent and maybe one person is kind of has an artsy mind and one person kind of has a sciency mind or maybe a person just does not know how to get engaged with sustainability, what that really means, you know. This is kind of our opportunity to kind of freshen ourselves up and level the playing field them in terms of what we do as an organization that I’m really excited about just kind of keeping our doors open for anybody. So even if it’s just a mural, and engaging with the community in a visual way that helps stir up some kind of feelings on the inside and get people excited about that is really something that I’m hopefully looking forward to doing.

Bob  30:49

So I happen to know that you are also involved in the upcoming Climate-Ready Columbia Conference, which is going to be held on April first and second, this year. And hopefully, we’re going to be in person. Yeah. But I understand that you are a co-organizer of a kind of a yard and garden tour. And I wonder if you could talk about that a little bit. And, what’s going to happen? I guess that’s on Sunday, the third, so it’s the day after the conference. But tell me about that.

Becca  31:34

Yes, I am so thrilled about that, that’s kind of been on the forefront of my mind, as we approach April, it’s coming up. And I’m really, really excited to be co-organizing the sustainable yard tour with a friend named Michael Drennen. And this is kind of in coordination with Climate-Ready Columbia, as you’ve mentioned, that climate conference happening on April first and second. And we’re also kind of coordinating and sort of cross promoting Columbia Green’s garden tour. So Columbia Green has that long standing garden tour. That has happened for many years now. But this sustainable yard tour will happen on April 3. So that’s Sunday, April 3, after the conference, we’re really excited to moreso focus on yards, homes and kind of expanding from that a little bit for things that are moreso focused on sustainable practices in particular, so not just the beautification of an area, but its functionality on a sustainable level. So basically, we’re shooting for the yard tour, to be happening from 10 to 5 on Sunday. So it can kind of be as long or as short as you want, we’ll have different locations. So if you can only make it to one or two, and then you got to scoot, that’s fine. But if you want to make it through the whole map, that’s kind of a kudos, kudos for you. And hopefully, we’ll have some little prizes at the end. So, we’re actually still kind of getting that map, that tour map lined up. So we’re kind of behind the scenes right now, getting our sights confirmed, and all that good stuff. But, we’re gonna have a variety of locations that the general public can come and view. And it’s a free event. So we want basically the premise of this sustainable yard tour, which is really the first ever so from what I understand here in Colombia, that really encourages the public to come out and be hands-on with what it looks like to live sustainably day after day. So a lot of these things that people will see on the tour, are really kind of old school, and they’re things that people did in the past that, with this hustle and bustle, fast paced society we’ve kind of gone away from because we just haven’t had the time anymore. But, we’ll have a variety of sustainable practices and features that people can learn more about, ask questions about and also be connected with resources while they’re there. So what does that actually look like? You know, let’s say that a certain yard practices, some composting, right, so they’re kind of using their food scraps and they’re turning that into something else that they’ll repurpose for their garden. We’ll be featuring some backyard gardens, some grow it yourself and eat it yourself as fresh as it can get kind of thing. We’ll have some solar alternative energy sources, and some kind of zero emission output, lawn care, maintenance, pesticide-free practices, things like that– clotheslines. We’re hoping to get some chickens if we can find a yard that has a chicken coop or two, so people can just ask questions about what it’s like to raise chickens. I think that a lot of us fantasize about having a plot of land with some chickens running around. But, the reality is that is it can be a little bit more cumbersome than that when we stop dreaming, and we start executing the plan. So, this is an opportunity for people to visit from site to site, the different features that we’re hoping to kind of highlight in this sample yard tour. So right now we have a few sites confirmed. So, a couple kind of homesteads, if you will, in Shandon. So kind of near the USC campus where that conference will be happening. And we’ve also got USC on board. So we’ll have kind of a tour of the student garden that is right near the green quad, if anybody’s familiar with that, as well as more of like a holistic, sort of university institutional-wide tour that kind of explores the challenges of sustainability and trying to meet the needs of a lot of people, it’s easy when maybe you’re just you’ve got a couple chickens and raised bed for you and your family. But when you think about energy output and food that’s needed for an institution like USC, so it’s, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. And I think that’s something that we can kind of explore on the tour, which we’re really, really excited to host and really, very, very much looking forward to that one. So that one can also be found at sustainablemidlands.org/events. Right now, it’s moreso just like a RSVP, save the date. People can also subscribe to our email list, which is a great way to stay up-to-date, they can find that on our website as well, on pretty much any page on our website, you can register to receive our emails. And also we’re very active on Facebook, and Instagram and all those things, but really excited for the sustainable yard tour.

Bob  37:08

Any other thoughts? Besides getting yourself on the email list? Are there other things that they could do to get involved?

Becca  37:15

Absolutely, yeah. So one thing I was really excited to do, right when we hit the new year was to put some life back into our memberships. So we used to kind of have that membership, if you wanted to go a little bit further, want to actually become a member, that’s a really exciting thing to do, and say I’m a member of Sustainable Midlands. So we have a variety of levels that people can become a member and just $25 if they want to give more, and kind of support us on a certain levels, kind of going up that triangle, that pyramid, you can check that out at sustainablemidlands.org/memberships, we’re really excited that we’ll kind of have that membership reboot, if you or anybody you know of as a business owner, might be connected with some more on the corporate side of things. We’re always looking for sponsors. You know, that’s kind of one thing that we really need in order to keep going, as does any nonprofit, especially these days, it was always hard as a nonprofit. But I think especially with COVID, it’s been an extreme challenge. And that’s something that Sustainable Midlands is not embarrassed to say that, it’s really forced us to go dormant, and be extremely scrappy, and just trying to do what we can and kind of hanging on by the skin of our teeth right now. So if there is a corporate sponsor out there who feels that they’re in a place to support us, and help us with our initiatives, help us with our outreach, help us just get where we want to go as a Sustainable Midlands, we’re always welcoming that, if you are just interested in volunteering, we are so excited for that, we really, really need all hands on deck for our cleanups, of course, that community engagement piece, but also, if you’d like to kind of do a little bit more, so let’s say that Tasty Tomato Festival rolls around or kind of more organized event, those are some things where we really need some hands on deck for that to make sure that that event is a total success. So there are some kind of goodies that go along with things like that, as well. So, you can get involved in a variety of ways, but at the end of the day, we would just like to see you out there and get to know each one of you, know these folks who are interested and what does it mean to live sustainably and, I mean, I think we’re all kind of figuring that out on a day-to-day basis, and we’re not perfect and we’re all kind of learning and I think it’s um seeing where we are on a global scale. It can make you feel overwhelming and kind of scary, but at the same time the cheesy, but it’s true as think globally act locally, so I’m really excited to just kind of see what happens and hopefully engage with the community in a variety of ways.

Bob  40:17

Well, I would like to just put in a bid here, which is that a few years ago, when I was a member of Sustainable Midlands, you all had some pretty good swag, and particularly had some T shirts that were pretty nice. And so I would just advocate for you to resurrect the T shirts!

Becca  40:40

I’m a fan of T shirts, too. I’m excited for that for sure.

Bob  40:45

Well, thanks for taking time!

Becca  40:49

Thank you. Thank you all so much for having me.

Bob  40:53

Yeah, well, it’s a pleasure. And yeah, anything else before we, before we wrap up?

Becca  41:00

Yeah, I guess I’ll just maybe plug our socials really quick. If anybody’s like an online person. And you’re feeling social. We’re on Facebook. We’re on Instagram, we’re on Twitter. So you can find all those links through our website. Our website, again, is sustainablemidlands.org and it’s completely revamped. There are a lot of different sources out there for just general education, trying to kind of touch on food with water, we’ve got a variety of resources online for the public to engage with and hopefully send you on your way in that way. But you can always write to me. I’m at [email protected] and our socials are all on there as well. But we’re on Facebook at Sustainable Midlands, Instagram at Sustainable Midlands and Twitter @sustainablemid.

Bob  41:54

great. Well, thanks again and best of luck to you and to Sustainable Midlands and I’m looking forward to the that Tasty Tomato Festival and maybe for one of those hikes pretty soon. Thanks, Becca. For current information about what’s up and Sustainable Midlands Be sure to visit sustainablemidlands.org. We’ll be releasing episodes of Climate Conversations once or twice a week until the Climate-Ready Columbia Conference. Hope to see you next time.

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