Renew America serves as a clearinghouse for information on the environment . Renew America distributes reports, pamphlets, and books to educators, organizations, and the general public in an attempt to fulfill its primary goal of "renewing America's community spirit through environmental success." One of Renew America's major projects is the annual Environmental Success Index,a compilation of over 1,400 successful environmental programs throughout the United States. The index lists organizations involved in a variety of environmental issues, including air pollution control , drinking water and groundwater protection, hazardous and solid waste reduction and recycling , renewable energy , and forest protection and urban forestry. The purpose of the index is to disseminate information on organizations that can function as prototypes for other programs. Renew America also publishes an annual report entitled State of the States, which serves as a report card on environmental policies in all 50 states. State of the States is compiled in cooperation with over 100 state and local environmental organizations.
In addition to disseminating published information, Renew America distributes the Renew America National Awards each year. The awards are the result of a national search conducted by the Renew America Advisory Council, which is composed of 28 environmental groups. Renew America also selects a recipient for the Robert Rodale Environmental Achievement Award. Rodale served as chair of Renew America and the Rodale Press and administered the Rodale Institute , a scientific and educational foundation focusing on food, health, and natural resource issues. The awards are presented at the Environmental Leadership Conference, which also features several environmentally-oriented workshops and panel discussions. Like the Environmental Success Index, the advisory council selects recipients from a broad range of environmental programs. Past winners have included a group that assists area residents in creating community food gardens, surfers who won a lawsuit under the federal Clean Water Act ,an adopt-a-manatee program, and an asphalt recycling project.
Renew America also offers educational tools such as a community resource kit called Sharing Success, which features articles on ways to approach environmental problems and highlights special environmental groups. It was developed to meet the needs of local environmental groups and other interested activists who wanted to share successful approaches to environmental problems.
Renew America does not utilize volunteers or engage in grassroots projects itself but provides information on organizations that do. Members receive the State of the States report and a quarterly newsletter highlighting significant environmental issues. Board members include former congress member Claudine Schneider and actor Eddie Albert as well as officials from several prominent environmental organizations.
[Kristin Palm ]