Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Living

What is sustainable agriculture?

“Sustainable agriculture is a way of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, respects animals, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances rural communities.”
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What is sustainable living?

"Sustainability secures people's quality of life within the means of nature in a way that is fair and equitable to all humanity, other species and to future generations. Sustainability recognizes the inter-relatedness of the economy, society, and environment. It requires that we not consume resources faster than they can be renewed nor produce wastes faster than they can be absorbed."
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Local Organizations

Green Tuesdays & Thursdays Calendar of Events: Films and Lectures for all the participating communities in Dane County: Monona, Cross Plains, Mt. Horeb, Middleton and Oregon (and Cottage Grove beginning next year). A discussion will follow each film.

Sustain Dane Sustain Dane is a Madison-based non-profit organization that is an excellent local resource for information about sustainability. They promote sustainable living through special programs and events. An initiative to make Madison the cleanest, greenest, healthiest capital, with a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tons by 2011. Individuals and businesses can take the Mpower Pledge to join the effort and then read about the steps they can take to make it happen. Madison’s green campaign.

Your community, your home

Do you like fresh food?

  • Know your Farmer Know your Farmer Know your Food is a USDA site hoping to aid the sustainability conversation between farmer and consumer.
  •  LocalHarvest is America's #1 organic and local food website. We maintain a definitive and reliable "living" public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources.
  • This regional food guide include farms, farmers' markets, restaurants, stores and other businesses that sell local food and use sustainable production and business practices.
  • Sustainable Table Sustainable Table is a site that celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food.
  • Chicken Coops. Check out the link for information on building your own chicken coop:

Your home

How much energy does your home use? Find out with a Watts Up? Energy Meter or the Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor.

Rain barrels collect rainwater and allow for use instead of going directly to the water table. Oregon Public Library's was acquired through Sustain Dane.

How sustainable is your community? Rate your community, your neighborhood, your household.  Stronger Neighborhoods, Sustainable Communities, Better Lives. Connecting people in your neighborhood. helps you connect with people in your neighborhood. Some ideas:
Share, offer, or seek stuff (plants, tools, CSA food share, ladder, magazines, camping gear...)

  • Offer or find neighborly services (pet care, lawn mowing, music lessons, home repair...)
  • Form or join a group (car pool, early childhood playgroup, food buying club, play cards...)

Powerhouse TV Shows Online. Alliant Energy's PowerHouse is an educational program designed to help you improve the energy efficiency, safety and comfort of your home. Shows are categorized by topic below, with the episode number behind the segment name for reference.


Enact A hands-on approach to sustainable living. On your own or with a team of friends, neighbors, or coworkers, this action-oriented program will help you learn how to reduce your environmental impact. Reserve the book.

New American Dream This group's mission is to help Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice. For a broad overview of this group's perspective on sustainability, click on “About Us”, “The Dream”, then “Vision.”

Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. All the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
and Another Way Ways people can make a difference to solve the problems facing the planet.

Other Resources Book Resources on sustainability. Pinney branch sustainable living MCF grant.


Dane County Bike Map link New editions come out typically in the spring.

Energy Resources

Focus on Energy: works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Energy Star: to encourage customers to buy energy efficient products, ENERGY STAR partners occasionally sponsor special offers, such as sales tax exemptions or credits, or rebates on qualified products. Partners also occasionally sponsor recycling incentives for the proper disposal of old products.

Wisconsin’s Office of Energy Independence: site for the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and its energy sector. This site is intend to provide a conclusive resource for companies and individuals regarding the status of federal stimulus programs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: provides tax information for businesses.

The Energy Center of Wisconsin: is helping to shape a future that taps efficiency as our nation's first energy resource. We train the workforce responsible for the performance of our homes and workplaces and collaborate with stakeholders to find ways to make better choices about how we use energy.

Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation: is a national leader in the design and implementation of award-winning energy savings programs for utilities, municipalities and regulators across the U.S. and Canada.

Recycling Helps you find out where you can locally recycle everything and reuse more to reduce your carbon footprint. give away your unwanted possessions for free to someone who wants them. Locally. How to recycle your electronics.