by Jamie L. Banks, PhD, MS, Executive Director, Quiet Communities, Inc., Co-Founder, The Quiet Coalition

On Thursday, December 16, an audience of nearly 200 was inspired by municipal and government leaders who are leading by example to transition land care to clean, quiet practices.

The virtual conference, hosted by Boston University and Quiet Communities, brought to the fore the important role of leaders in making social change in their communities. Mayor Michael Cacciotti led the City of South Pasadena, California to become the first AGZA Green Zone® city in the nation. Deputy Attorney Christine Scalera from the Town of Southampton, New York, Mayor Stewart Welch of Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Environmental Committee members, Sasha Nahr and Lisa McDonald of Larchmont, New York, relayed the stories of how their communities are making the change–-describing the motivations, challenges, and benefits. State and county leaders Elizabeth Schmitt of California, Nina Orville of New York, Massachusetts Rep. Michelle Ciccolo, and New York State Senator John Liu discussed the diverse approaches they are bringing to facilitate state- and county-wide transitions.

What is the meaning of “the quiet transition” in land care? It is a programmatic approach to move land care from noisy, polluting gas-powered equipment to quieter practices involving battery electric and people-powered tools. It engages multiple stakeholders and harnesses the power of leadership and incentives to help overcome barriers to change. It involves holistic programs, like the AGZA Green Zone program, that provide education, training, and metrics reporting, as well as financial incentives and appropriate regulations.

What are the benefits of the quiet transition? The health of workers and the public benefit from reductions in toxic, carcinogenic emissions and noise. The planet benefits from reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Eco-systems and the environment benefit from reductions in fuel spillage, toxic waste, and damage to soil health. Municipalities, businesses, and other organizations benefit from long-term savings that can accrue and the economy benefits from a cleaner, greener workforce. It’s the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits.

Host speakers, Rick Reibstein, who teaches Research for Environmental Agencies and Organizations at Boston University, student Matt Tate, and Jamie Banks, president of Quiet Communities, thank the wonderful speakers who shared their knowledge and experience and hope the conference provides inspiration for other communities to make The Quiet Transition.

Photo credit: Ali Eminov licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0