138 139 “A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION…” “The 2nd thing that makes the platform special is the action menu,” says Espinola.“Communities are able to look at this menu that provides various poten- tial actions for the community to take.” The actions BrandyandMike help coordinate in- clude eight different categories: communityaction, communitybased food system,energy,greenhouse gas,health andwellness,local economies,natural resources and planning and land use. “Theycan pickand choose the actions from the menu,”continues Brandy,“but theyhave to do the twomandatoryactions (forma green teamand to create a green teamaction plan),and then theyhave to pick two priorities in one of the eight categories. Once they’ve done the projects,we have a certification deadlinewhere theywill provide information on the action they’ve taken,and provide a short narrativewith supporting documentation that wewill reviewwith a group of partners and experts whomayhave insight into these areas.” As a goal evolves into a certification,which pivots to a technical assistance program,the lieutenants of sustainability inMaryland lookbackat their progress. “The success of the programstarts with the champions of the programs,”echoes JennyBeard,Communications Manager. The commitment of the team at Sustainable Maryland ensures the success of not only the program, but an entire state’s commitment to true action in sustainability. So how do you start a conversation on Sustain- ability? You just do. SUSTAINABLE MARYLAND CASE STUDY Communities far and wide are interested in recycling.When a Styrofoam Recycling company approached Sustainable Maryland to gauge interest with local communities, the team sprang into action. First, a mention in a newslet- ter was followed by a discussion panel at a local summit. After the day was done, not only had Sustainable Maryland gotten commitments from 10 mu- nicipalities for Styrofoam recycling, but through a contact at the Department of Housing and Community Development, they also secured a pool of funds for the program.