21 Actions For 2021

Sustainable living is important because it ensures future generations a habitable world they can enjoy. But what does it mean to live sustainably and what exactly are we trying to accomplish? 

A sustainable lifestyle attempts to reduce our impact on the environment by altering our methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet to reduce our emissions; reducing the amount of waste we produce and throw away to conserve resources; and taking other actions to enhance and protect our remaining natural areas to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

Every little change we make as individuals adds up to big changes for the world. And these big changes are going to impact how future generations live here.

That’s why we have created a list of 21 Actions for 2021. These include steps we can all take in our individual lives as well as throughout our community that put us on a path to sustainable living.

Week 19 Recap: Utilize Shared Community Resources

A lot of our actions have been related to how we accumulate and reuse “stuff,” because consumerism is at the root of many of our most severe environmental problems. We advocate refusing, reusing, borrowing, giving directly to others, and buying secondhand because recycling just isn’t enough. Another way to cut our accumulation of stuff and the manufacture of new materials is to utilize our shared community resources. We don’t have to own everything ourselves when we can borrow or rent it from a local resource. An added bonus is that we don’t need extra space to store stuff we won’t use frequently. During the week, we will be highlighting some of these local community resources.

NRV Bike Kitchen

The NRV Bike Kitchen is a non-profit community organization that repairs and distributes donated bicycles at low cost to disadvantaged individuals without the social or economic capital to find one elsewhere. Access to affordable transportation for low-income individuals makes trips to work, school, and medical appointments possible. It fosters self-sustainability, promotes independence, and permits spending on other household essentials. Operations were restricted by COVID, but they have been back part-time since June. They are located in the Christiansburg Habitat for Humanity ReStore.


Millstone Kitchen

The Millstone Kitchen is a shared-use facility whose mission is to empower and support food entrepreneurs in launching their dream businesses. Available for rent by the hour, the kitchen is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. Starting in April 2020, Millstone Kitchen pivoted to respond to increased food insecurity in the midst of COVID-19. Thanks to an overwhelming response in donations from the local community, they were able to launch a program connecting low-income families, at-risk individuals, and homebound seniors with prepared meals. Millstone Kitchen is located in the newly renovated former elementary school at Prices Fork.


Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.

Albert Einstein

Public libraries may be our greatest community resource, providing everyone with needed access to books, but also to music and movies and programs for all ages. Now many of those resources are available online, but it’s hard to beat the feeling of reading an actual book and not everyone has easy access to online resources or actual books. The MFRL system has responded to that need by bringing books to the community. So, find your way to the library, either the brick and mortar one, or the rolling one, and check out a good book.

MFRL’s Mobile Library Schedule can be found here


Blacksburg Transit

Blacksburg Transit is the Town of Blacksburg’s public transportation provider and can get you almost anywhere you need to go. They offer fixed routes that run on an established schedule and and designated route and shuttles to community events. BT also has demand response services that will pick passengers up and drop off passengers where they need to go. Reservations are required for this service. BT Access is available for persons with a temporary or permanent disability who meet the criteria established under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Routes and Schedules

Hours and Service Information


16 Frogs Project

The people who established the 16 Frogs project put together a great way for us to learn about art, nature, environmental protection and Blacksburg’s history. Finding the frogs is a fun, free, educational activity for all ages.


Coming Up…

Week 20 starts tomorrow! Join us as we talk about reducing home energy use. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to see daily updates.


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Done reading the most recent post on 21 Actions for 2021? Check out our archive of actions to continue learning and taking action!

Week 20: Home Energy Use

According the the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average home in America consumes about 11,000 kWh (kilowatthours) per year, which accounts for roughly 20% …
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Week 15 Recap: Choose Reusables

As we look to implement last week’s action to reduce single-use plastic, we talked more this week about how to accomplish that by choosing reusables …
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Week 15: Choose Reusables

Last week’s discussion about reducing our reliance on single-use plastic was a great introduction to this week’s action – Choose Reusables. Decreasing (or eliminating) our …
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Week 12 Recap: Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are many benefits to recycling, including …
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Week 12: Recycling

According to the National Institutes of Health, 94% of natural resources used by Americans are non-renewable. Through recycling, we not only save these resources, we …
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Week 11 Recap: Cut Water Use

We are fortunate in our area to have access to abundant, clean water for household uses, agriculture and recreation, but that doesn’t mean we should …
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Week 11: Cut Water Use

The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact less than 1 percent is available for human use. The rest is either …
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Week 10: Reduce Food Waste

The FDA estimates that 30-40% of our food supply is wasted and the EPA estimates that in 2018 about 68% of this wasted food (that’s …
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Week 9 Recap: Eat More Sustainably

Throughout the week we shared tips from Brenda Springer, Sustainable Blacksburg’s Treasurer and a member of the Blacksburg Farmers Market Board of Directors. Meatless Monday Go Meatless …
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Week 9: Eat More Sustainably

While shopping for groceries, eating sustainably can often be one of the last things we think about. Our focus may be on getting the most …
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Week 8 Recap: Buy Smarter

Since consumption is at the root of our environmental issues, our choices can make a difference. When we’re talking about “buying smarter,” we mean looking …
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Week 8: Buy Smarter

When we initially hear the term “Buy Smarter” our minds tend to think about buying good quality products (at least mine does) but that is …
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Resources for Sustainable Transportation

By Cat Woodson Sustainable Transportation Resources Carshare/pool RIDE Solutions A Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Agency dedicated to expanding the efficiency and life of the roadway network and reducing the …
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Week 6: Sustainable Gift Giving

We all love to give and receive gifts, especially when they are presented to us in shiny paper and sparkly ribbon, but gift-giving creates millions …
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Week 5: Spend Time Outdoors

Studies have shown over and over the immense benefits of spending time outdoors – both for us and also for the earth. However, according to …
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Week 4 Recap: Volunteer

This week we highlighted many different ways you can volunteer around Blacksburg – activities that help the earth as well as activities that help each …
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Week 4: Volunteer

This is a special week for us and for the Earth. Earth Day is this Thursday (April 22nd) and there are a lot of activities …
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Native Tree Giveaway!

Plant SWVA Natives and Sustainable Blacksburg are partnering to distribute native oak and red bud trees in the New River Valley this spring. Both trees …
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Week 3: Native Plants

We touched upon this briefly last week but Adding Native Plants to Your Landscape is such an important topic we want to dedicate week 3 …
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Week 2: Lawn & Garden

Use Sustainable Practices in Your Lawn or Garden Photo by CDC on Unsplash It’s that time of year where we awake from our winter hibernation and head outside to start …
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Week 1: Support Local Food Sources

Support Local Food Sources Photo by Katie Jowett on Unsplash We’re kicking off our 21 Actions for 2021 with Supporting Local Food Sources. One of the {many} awesome things about …
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