As a way of raising awareness and initiating meaningful change, Sustain Hudson was established in the fall of 2019 to promote environmental, social and economic health in the community. Through this organization, locals can come together to increase sustainability in downtown Hudson through collective action.
Made up of a variety of initiatives, these efforts work to make the vision of Sustain Hudson a reality.
“Our goal is to let the community know what we are doing and to let them know that there are things in the community that they can do as well or that are there for them,” digital strategist at Mason Jar Marketing Missy Austreng says.
With an initiative called “Support Local, Love Hudson,” over 25 businesses have come together as friendly competitors to establish a stronger sense of community and integrate sustainability as a core commitment of their services.
The initiative began with a survey sent out by Mason Jar Marketing that asked business owners what they could do to contribute to a greener environment that is both attainable and impactful. From there, the suggestions were prioritized and implemented.
“I am getting to know business owners that I would’ve considered as competitors, but I am getting an understanding that when we work together, the community thrives as a whole,” co-owner of Purple Tree Sarah Burch says. “I think that is incredibly powerful and is actually a big message for our world. ... if you find a way to work together with shared goals, that is when true beauty happens.”
Because there is a variety of businesses providing different services, it was essential that they each came up with their own ways to contribute to the cause. Austreng explains how restaurants have committed to using compostable to-go containers, minimizing straw use by request of the customers and decreasing energy usage. Shops have combined shipment orders to decrease transportation emissions and packaging and have committed to donating 10 cents from the register for every customer that skips a request for a single-use bag. Funding is collected quarterly and is split between Sustain Hudson initiatives and a nonprofit selected by all participating businesses. Shops also sell reusable “Support Local, Love Hudson” bags that shoppers can use when they are out and about. On the second Tuesday of every month the participating businesses offer a promotion for anyone who uses that bag.
Photo by La Rue Marche
Sustain Hudson has also installed bike racks and has created both pollinator and communal “Grow to Share” gardens where passers-by are free to pick the fresh herbs and produce at their leisure.
As for the future of Sustain Hudson, social media coordinator Katie Fredrickson says that they hope to create more educational sessions on topics related to sustainability as well as experiences with art through murals and sculptures around town to enhance the beauty of downtown and establish out-of-the-box ways of approaching real issues. In addition, the organization is working to implement recycling bins throughout the city, and hopes to install solar-powered charging stations along the pier, and a rapid charging station located off of exit 2 in Hudson.
“Sustain Hudson incorporates what is going on here, how they can use it and what is going on elsewhere,” Fredrickson says. “It is exciting to be a part of the beginning and see the change happening through excitement and promotion.”