The conservationists with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment are celebrating the group’s 40th anniversary by adopting a new name: EcoAction Arlington.
The group made the change official on Earth Day, April 22, but executive director Elenor Hodges says the rebranding has been in the works for the last year-and-a-half or so.
“We’ve moved a little beyond just working toward a clean environment,” Hodges told ARLnow. “1978 was a different time.”
Those behind the newly christened EcoAction Arlington have worked for decades to organize environmentally-focused community initiatives, like programs to help people save energy at home or move to solar power. But Lydia Cole, the group’s communications manager, felt the organization just wasn’t reaching younger Arlingtonians and needed a bit of a change.
“People who’ve engaged with ACE in the past were part of the baby boomer generation, or Generation X,” Cole said. “Now, there are lots of millennials, lots of young professionals in Arlington, but we’re not getting many of them. So that was our focus in how we approached our new name. They’re going to be the future.”
The group’s leaders first started mulling a name change in earnest as they worked to overhaul the organization’s strategic plan three years ago. As the group charted out a new direction, Cole says it also wanted a name that better reflects its goals.
“ACE definitely spoke to who we were and some of what we do, but it didn’t speak at all to how we go about doing it,” Cole said.
Cole worked together with a graphic designer to brainstorm possible new names and logos, and compiled a list of about 20 or 30 possibilities. She says they even convened a focus group to sort through some of those options to whittle down the list even further.
Ultimately, the group’s board of directors opted for “EcoAction” because it conveyed their desire to focus on “action-oriented events and activities” centered on the environment.
For example, in the coming months EcoAction will be launching a drive encouraging people to use less plastic in their homes. By the fall, Hodges also hopes to start working with Arlington restaurants to convince them to abandon plastic straws. With those new programs and the new name, she aims to pull in a younger crowd sooner rather than later.
“Just being able to find us more easily, I think, will help, as well as increasing opportunities to get involved,” Hodges said. “If picking up trash isn’t your thing, we’ll have options for you.”
Photo via EcoAction Arlington