In 2019, Pittsburgh’s Etna borough was named the world’s first certified EcoDistrict community. Etna is also a special place for Veni Mittal who is the former energy audits associate at Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh. Veni has spent countless hours volunteering in Etna, supporting community-driven sustainability projects, and conducting energy audits. Her work has empowered Etna residents to be more energy-efficient while also saving money on their energy bills. For Veni, encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle is about more than a climate solution; it is building community power, caring for the well-being of people. Veni came to Pittsburgh from India, and despite her background in environmental engineering she never dreamed that she would find a community like Etna. The heart of Veni’s motivation to address climate change comes from the love and respect that people showed her at Etna, which helped Veni realize what a community could be and accomplish together, to feel a sense of belonging.
— Tuesday, March 22, 2022