A meeting of the Charleston Green Committee can be a lesson in just how many ways there are to approach the concept of sustainability.

The committee was created by Mayor Joe Riley to create proposals, by next summer, to help Charleston respond to the threat of climate change.

Responding to climate change generally means reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which means burning less fossil fuels, so the conversation eventually turns to conservation and efficiency, but there are lots of ways to get there.

Tuesday the committee heard from nonprofit groups, many of whom have agendas of their own.

A group from the College of Charleston was focused on recycling, proposing a ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam and requiring bars to recycle. The group suggested that creating a huge pile of trash on Marion Square could make a point about recycling.

The Coastal Conservation League focused on land-use planning and transportation, because well-planned communities mean less time spent in carbon-spewing cars and trucks.

Another group zeroed in on the goal of reusing building materials from demolition jobs; the Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas made a pitch for electric cars; and the Charleston Area League of Women Voters noted that a study is under way on whether area school districts should require "green" building standards for new construction.

The next meeting is Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. at James Island Recreation Center, 1088 Quail Drive. On the Web: www.charlestongreen.us.