Ideally, the Reston of the next 50 years will have fewer cars, more bikes, greener homes and more people buying local.
Those were some of the topics discussed on Saturday at Sustainable Reston's "Looking Back, Moving Forward," conference at
The event was the kickoff of a three-year initiative by Sustainable Reston. The group wants to move the community into the 21st Century "fostering stewardship of natural beauty and maintaining a vibrant, resilient economy."
The advocacy group's goal is to have 12 percent of Reston residents sign a pledge to make sustainable changes by April of 2012.
Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins says the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force is highlighting sustainability as it looks toward the future. She points out that Reston was founded in the 1960s on principals of smart growth and community.
"[Founder] Bob Simon's seven principles all align with sustainability," she said. "Bob was so ahead of his time. The future will depend on a wide range of choices."
A Sustainability Champions Panel discussion at the event highlighted some choices individuals can make for a more sustainable community.
* Nicole Wynands, a program specialist for League of American Bicylists, outlined how Restonians can walk their kids to school, condense car trips, and consider commuting or running errands by bike.
* Kelly Daly, a member of Reston's REACT Energy Efficiency Committee, talked about changes homeowners can make, such as getting rid of invasive plants, swapping thirsty lawns for native plants and conducting an energy audit to lower electricity bills.
* Bethany Bezak of Wetlands Studies and Solutions spoke about how offices can make the work environment more energy efficient.
* Eve Thompson, president of the Lake Anne Merchants Association, talked about the impact of buying local.
Buying local was also the theme of speech. Shuman, an economist and author, says supporting local merchants saves jobs, reduces the carbon footprint, supports the local economy and is one of the key's for a sustainable community.
"Locally owned businesses contribute to economic well being," Shuman said, citing a study that shows $100 spent at a large chain store put $13 back into the local economy. The same amount spent at a locally-owned store put $45 back into the local economy, he said.
Sustainable Reston also gave out its third annual Sustainability Awards Saturday. The winners:
Gold Individual Youth Award: Noah Krob, 13, for his enthusiasm for his backyard vegetable garden.
Gold Individual Adult Award: John and Fran Lovaas. The Lovaases founded and manage the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne.
Silver Individual Adult Award: Ben Perchik, for his work on the board of his residential cluster.
Gold Small Business Award: Linda Fuller/Lake Anne Florist, for her attention to buying items from local suppliers for her shop.
Silver Small Business Award: Keith and Paul Hartke/National Realty, for loaning out their parking lot weekly to the Wednesday Smartmarket Farmers Market and operating a Community-Sponsored Agriculture group.
Gold Civic Group: Friends of the Reston Regional Library, as their annual book sales keep books out of landfills, put books into the hands of less fortunate communities and generates money to help the local library.