January 28, 2023
Eye on the Environment
George Doran was the first to say goals should be “SMART.”
His mnemonic acronym for goals, in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, said goals should be specific, measureable, assignable, realistic and time-related.
While various adjustments have slightly changed the acronym since then—the last three words now are more commonly “attainable, relevant and timely”— the application of Doran’s wisdom has broadened from business management to a variety of other areas.
This clear thinking about achievement of goals was one of the factors making an environmental outreach campaign stand out from other grant applications when Camarillo Library director Mandy Nasr proposed the Cam I Am Sustainable initiative.
For the initiative, which features a series of workshop-oriented programs to be presented at the library through partnerships with important people and organizations, the City of Camarillo was awarded a $17,325 grant by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under a program administered in California by the state librarian.
The workshops are practical, interesting and oriented toward building environmental awareness through encouraging small changes in people’s lives.
“Asking people to go vegan or to literally get to zero waste just turns them off,” Nasr told this writer. “Instead, we are starting with fun and engaging small activities meant to spur more actions.”
On Jan. 15, the presenter was Anne-Marie Bonneau, author of “The Zero-Waste Chef Cookbook,” who shared cooking and kitchen management tips for a successful and sustainable home and planet.
In congruence with Nasr’s statement, Bonneau’s emphasized the promotional pitch she also included on the online order page for her cookbook, explaining, “Zero waste is, above all, an intention, not . . . a rule. . . . While one person eliminating all their waste is great, if thousands of people do 20% better it will have a much bigger impact on the planet.”
Many of Bonneau’s tips are simple and save money. For example, she recommends eliminating plastic wrap by simply inverting a plate over leftovers.
She has recipes for items others might discard, such as making Mexican hot chocolate bread pudding out of a loaf of bread no longer fresh enough to be delicious by itself. She no longer buys bread, instead using the same sourdough starter she has used for nine years.
During the event, Bonneau also focused on fermenting foods. She gave away symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), instructing attendees how use to the microbial mat to turn sugars into alcohol, carbon dioxide and acids. This is used to produce kombucha drinks, loaded with probiotics.
Bonneau also provides additional environmental education to people interested in her work, including on her online blog, at zerowastechef.com.
Last month, a guest post on the blog by similar activist/ chef Brigitte Gemme referred to cooking as an “act of love.”
Particularly addressing those who hate to cook, her essay makes a clever case against the packaged, prepared foods steadily gaining popularity due to convenience and sweet or salty taste.
As she notes, these foods sometimes sacrifice more important considerations, such as health and opportunities for family-building collaboration.
Starting with a message like Gemme’s would probably turn off many people who could be better reached after being drawn in by a cooking workshop at a public library.
Each month through June, the Cam I am Sustainable series will focus on topics such as composting, upcycling, food waste prevention, water conservation and solar energy.
The program is open to non-Camarillo residents as well.
For information about upcoming Cam I am Sustainable events, call the Camarillo Library at (805) 388-5222.
David Goldstein, an environmental resource analyst with the Ventura County Public Works Agency, can be reached at (805) 658-4312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.