Environmental advocates across the nation are applauding the announcement of the new federal carbon pollution guidelines that will address climate change, protect public health, and grow a clean energy economy. Rules that have been in the works for years were announced Monday morning that seek to reduce carbon emissions by 30% from the power sector below 2005 levels by 2030.

“With today’s announcement, the EPA is taking a big step toward cutting carbon emissions from the power sector that will decrease our impacts on the climate, have positive impacts on public health, and provide a framework for cleaner energy generation into the future,” said Michael Churchman, executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council. “This plan will help clean up unregulated pollution at power plants while creating the certainty the energy sector is looking for to invest in the future.”

(photo by Black Warrior Riverkeeper)

As many of us suffer through the final clouds of Alabama pollen, the lure of getting outdoors is irresistible, particularly with the plethora of outdoor events, festivals, and concerts. In addition to good times, such events can also produce large amounts of trash. However, with a little bit of planning and conviction, anyone can easily host a near-zero waste event. 

Montgomery, AL, March 19, 2014:


21st Annual Green Tie Affair on Thursday, April 20th, 6:30-11:00pm.

Get Your Tickets Here!

Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM will host an "Issues & Ales" event concentrating on sustainable development and Birmingham's future Wednesday, Mar. 12 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at WorkPlay at 500 23rd St. South.

The evening will focus on what Birmingham is doing, and what Birmingham's experts and residents think it should be doing, to improve the environment as the City continues its current revitalization. Lee Ann Macknally, President of Macknally Land Design, will be the keynote speaker, followed by Dr. Fouad H. Fouad, director of the Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A panel discussion facilitated by WBHM's news director Rachel Osier Lindley will follow Macknally and Fouad's remarks. Panelists include Michael J. Churchman, executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council, Natalie Kelly, founder Kelly Green Marketing and Consulting and publisher of My Green Birmingham, Auburn University's Ben Wieseman and Stacie M. Propst, Ph.D., Executive Director of GASP.

Volunteers and staff will be on-site to unload your vehicle for you. Please have your materials organized by type to ensure quick and efficient unloading. For example, do not have a can of paint in a box full of electronics. Please make note of the materials we will be accepting. Any items not on this list (i.e. lawn chemicals, antifreeze, mercury-containing devices, etc) will not be accepted and will have to leave the site with you.

We believe all Alabamians have a right to a clean and safe environment.  Our goal is to empower citizens to help make that right a reality for each of us.  The AEC gives voice to citizens & groups interested in protecting our rights.  We focus our efforts toward sustainable living by reducing our impact on global warming; expanding our work in recycling; and growing education and environmental literacy efforts across our state.

AEC originally served as an initiator and clearing-house for environmental issues in the state and continues to participate in a now larger environmental movement.  We are proud of the role we have had in shaping the movement in the past and are excited about continued participation in the future.

Now Hiring: Executive Director

Accepting Applications: Recycling Center Operator


The Alabama Environmental Council is the oldest statewide nonprofit environmental advocacy organization in Alabama. We began before the first Earth Day, before the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, and before there even was an Environmental Protection Agency. It began in 1967 as the Alabama Conservancy by a group of dedicated individuals sitting around a kitchen table. Alabama's environment owes a debt of gratitude to these early environmental leaders.


We are a statewide, non-profit leader engaging citizens toward sustainable living and stewardship of the environment.  Our mission is to organize and empower Alabamians to preserve the environment in a manner that is mindful of current and future generations.

From the low and gentle mountains of the north to the pure white sands of the coast, we breathe Alabama's air, drink Alabama's water and depend on Alabama's land.  We recognize the positive link between a strong economy, a clean environment and a healthy, proactive citizenry. By working for a healthy environment with an emphasis on educating Alabamians on efficient and renewable energy, and improved waste reduction practices, we provide a voice for Alabama now and for the future.


  • Educate and advocate for environmentally sustainable policies and practices.
  • Be an effective and respected environmental voice for our stakeholders and others.
  • Maintain a fiscally responsible and stable organization with an engaged Board of Directors, adequate staffing, and an active volunteer and membership base.

Short-Term Objectives:

  • Be market-leaders in recycling resources and education; operate a best-practice drop-off model
  • Find ways to make the Downtown Recycling Center self-sustaining. Replicate at other location(s)
  • Set-up and operate a restaurant/bar glass-recycling program
  • Create education campaign to improve existing and implement additional curbside recycling pickup
  • Educate citizens, corporations, and communities about how to live more sustainably.
  • Create and implement a work-plan tracking system for involving staff and  maintaining focus on the short- and long-term objectives

Long-Term Objectives: 

  • Celebrate the history and success of the organization
  • Leverage our effectiveness by developing partnerships and collaborating with like-minded organizations
  • Work to improve local and state legislative/regulatory environmental policies
  • Implement a marketing campaign to increase awareness and grow our state-wide presence
  • grow membership
  • secure additional revenue through additional gifts and new programs
  • Form chapters/clubs/satellite groups to further carry out our mission and goals
  • Become the best source and “go to” in AL for sustainable living and environmental stewardship
  • Develop education campaigns to carry out our mission and goals
  • Use appropriate advocacy to support our environmental sustainability policies.
  • Work toward a visible, measurable increase in statewide recycling

Long-term Strategic Vision in Three Program Areas 

Improved Waste Reduction

Alabamians have meaningful opportunities to lessen their impact on the waste stream and energy consumption through reducing, reusing and recycling. Alabama has an infrastructure built around waste reduction and industries that process materials locally providing employment opportunities and a healthy economy. Industries in Alabama are motivated to be good neighbors using innovative methods to transform waste products into valuable resources to be used in the industrial processes.  

Alabama has waste reduction practices that provide opportunities and incentives for reducing, reusing and recycling its waste products. 

Key Strategies  
► Educate citizens about existing and growing opportunities to lessen their impact on the waste stream.   
► Work with leaders statewide toward creating policies that require citizens, businesses and industries to implement solution oriented practices to reduce waste.  
► Support the growth of sustainable industries that process recyclable materials transforming waste products into reusable resources becoming economic drivers for local and state economies. 

Efficient, Renewable Energy

Alabamians are aware and informed of the critical impacts of global warming and are engaged in lessening pollution that causes climate change.  Alabamians work proactively toward minimizing our eco-footprint which will lead to decreased affects on the biodiversity that is our unique natural heritage.  We recognize a change in perception about climate impacts among Alabama's citizenry and see movement toward more sustainable, clean energy production.   

Alabama will have a more diversified energy portfolio with reliance on clean renewable energy and efficiency and conservation, resulting in lessened effects of current and future climate change and the serious worldwide impacts.   

Key Strategies  
► Highlight the impacts of global warming and advocate individuals, businesses, state and local governments to reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency and increased dependance on renewable energy generation.  
► Build a politically influential groundswell of support for policies that reduce global warming pollution and encourage more sustainable energy generation and use.   
► Advance climate-friendly transportation, development, and land use issues that grow our economy.

Environmental Literacy and Education

Alabamians increase their awareness, knowledge, and concern for the environment and learn to use this understanding to preserve, conserve, and utilize the environment in a sustainable manner for the benefit of present and future generations. Alabamians have multiple opportunities to engage with the environment in a meaningful way and create an atmosphere that encourages individual participation and community collaborations to help solve large and sometimes complex environmental problems.    

Alabamians will understand and live by the axiom: once we know better we can do better. They recognize that they are the change they need to be in their communities  

Key Strategies  
► Provide environmental education resources to professionals and educators to increase environmental literacy of children and adults.    
► Collaborate with similar organizations to help others understand the economics of sustainability and learning about how our actions in Alabama are affecting others around the world.   
► Promote business and industry participation in programs to increase environmental literacy. Demonstrate the correlation between a clean environment, quality of life, and a thriving economy.


President, Executive Committee
Vice President
Secretary, Executive Committee


Interim Executive Director
Energy Project Manager
Americorps Service Member
Recycling Center Operator


The AEC appreciates and depends upon volunteers to help support our non-profit mission. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, event planning and execution, mailing campaigns, event recycling, database work, and recycling center help. To be added to a contact list for when opportunities arise, email Volunteer@AEConline.org.



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We work closely with many local, state and national environmental organizations with a presence in Alabama.  Click on a topic to see which other organizations are working to make a difference in our state.


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The Glass Recycling Pick-Up Program is growing! In just the first month of operation, the program recycled over 6 tons of glass from Birmingham bars and restaurants! The next time you visit these establishments, be sure to thank them for recycling.



Our Business Paper Recycling Program helps these businesses, schools, and organizations to recycle hundreds of tons of paper. The next time you visit these establishments, be sure to thank them for recycling.