The Straight Scoop on Shale

A project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund

Sustainable Economy Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help League of Women Voters chapters and others work with communities to explore and implement clean economy strategies.

Educational programs and activities outlined in this toolkit will help increase awareness of the diversity of sustainable economic development already underway in communities.

The tools will help your League/or other community group generate and respond to community interest to develop clean economy strategies and sustainable alternatives to fossil energy economics.

The civic participation activities will engage the public in creating their vision and taking part in helping to implement their ideas.


“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  (From the report “Our Common Future”)

The Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future (also known as the Bruntland Report) – was presented to the United Nations General Assembly in 1987 by WCED Chairman Gro Harlem Bruntland

The 1987 report (p 16/17) also states that, “sustainable development requires meeting the basic needs of all, and extending to all the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for a better life.”  And “such equity would be aided by political systems that secure effective citizen participation in decision-making.”

“We do not pretend that the process is easy or straightforward. Painful choices have to be made. Thus, in the final analysis, sustainable development must rest on political will.”

Today, the 2030 international Agenda for Sustainable Development contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015.

The SDGS “recognize that ending poverty…must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our forests and oceans.”

In working with your community, keep this perspective in mind.  Creating a sustainable economy is about windmills and solar panels, but it’s also about much more than that.

The “tools” in the Sustainable Economy Toolkit, many of which are samples from LWVPA’s own work with communities, show how community members have identified sustainable development sectors and strategies that include renewable energy, but go beyond this to address agriculture and food systems, transportation, sustainable building construction, entrepreneurism, the arts, workplace development, broadband (in rural areas), riverfront recreation, eco-industrial parks and green chemistry, land stewardship, mine land reclamation and more.  All of which create jobs – and we advocate for placing greater emphasis on clean job creation.