Net-Zero Hero: Amy Stansbury

Photo of Net-Zero Hero Amy Stansbury

I’m helping make Austin Net-Zero by: offering the Austin EcoNetwork as a way to stay informed and get engaged.

Portrait of Amy Stansbury

Austin is green and we all want to keep it that way! As a community, we’re committed to reaching the target of Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which will ensure a safe, healthy, vibrant Austin for many years to come. Here’s the story of how one person can make a difference.

Meet Amy Stansbury, Editor in Chief for Austin EcoNetwork. If you are already an Austin EcoNetwork subscriber, you know about the fantastic work that Amy does to keep us all informed about sustainability issues, events, and jobs in our community (and if you’re not a subscriber, you should sign up today)! One of the biggest ways that Amy contributes to Austin’s Net-Zero goal is by encouraging civic engagement to advance sound sustainability policy and action. We spoke with Amy about her commitment to Net-Zero, what her toughest challenges have been, and what advice she has for others looking to live Net-Zero. Read more below.


what inspired you to take action?Amy Stansbury working in her office

I'm a 26-year-old local government nerd. With my job, I see the immense impact that City Hall has on each and every one of us living in Austin. I see the effect that it has on our environment, our transportation infrastructure, our parks, and our energy, our water. I also see how few people actually participate in making these big decisions, and worse yet, how few people even know that they're being made at all.

That is why I love working at the Austin EcoNetwork. I get to spend my days connecting people to their local government, teaching them how to get involved, and inspiring them to take action. Austin is an amazing place to live. In this city, we have a real opportunity to lead on many of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world today. We can be an example and an incubator for new and innovative ideas that can be shared with cities far and wide, but only if we all get involved and know what's going on in our local community. That's what I get to do every day at the Austin EcoNetwork.


how did you do it?

At the Austin EcoNetwork, I educate and inform Austinites about local environmental issues that matter to them. I do this by writing blogs, publishing our weekly EcoNews email newsletter, and producing videos and podcasts. I also cohost a weekly environmental talk radio show on KOOP 91.7 FM called Shades of Green.

The idea behind all of this is to take the big issues of the day and make them as easy for people to understand as possible. I like to think of myself as a translator, demystifying the jargon-y language favored by politicians and scientists and sharing the information in a way that everyone can understand and appreciate.

Too often environmental news is told in a way that makes the problems seem unrelatable and far away. At the Austin EcoNetwork, we flip that script on its head by constantly thinking up new and creative ways to tell local environmental stories that really connect and resonate with people.


What's been the toughest part?

The most difficult and exciting part about my job is figuring out new ways to engage young people in our local community. All too often young people are missing from conversations about important issues like climate change or transportation, even though we're the ones who will be most affected by the policies. That's why I work hard every day to figure out new and innovative ways to engage my peers and empower a new generation of Austinites to get involved in their local community.

AEN letters plus Amy Stansbury working

Have there been any unexpected benefits?

The thing that I have liked most about reporting on local environmental issues is getting the opportunity to meet so many different passionate and creative people right here in Austin. Nearly every day I have the opportunity speak with someone new who is working on an amazing eco project, from action on climate change, to urban farming.


What advice do you have for others?

This is your community! It's up to you to make it better by getting involved. Whether you're passionate about climate change or composting, there is an opportunity for you to make a difference here in Austin.

And if you don't know where to start, subscribe to the EcoNews or attend one of our Civics 101 talks.

Civics 101 is our newest initiative, designed to teach millennials in Austin how to participate in local government. Now is the time for you to make a difference in your local community. We can help you get there!

"This is your community! It's up to you to make it better by getting involved." quote overlay on photo of Amy Stansbury against a graffiti wall that says "Love"

To learn more about Austin's Net-Zero Goal, view the Community Climate Plan.


Share your Net-Zero contributions with us on Twitter or Facebook and use #NetZeroHero. If you know a Net-Zero Hero who should be recognized for their efforts, send your nomination to