Constantly forgetting to recycle? Can't seem to stop driving a block to the convenience store? Does nothing seem to relax you like the smell of burning styrofoam? Not to worry. Our friends at Greenwala have laid out 12 step program for those of us sharing an addiction for decidedly ungreen practices. While it is a humorous approach to the obligatory tips post, there is some good information in there about embarking on a new green lifestyle. I especially liked the inspiration links they provided to well-known and respected sustainability gurus.
The 12 Step Program for Going Green
Justine Burt July 29, 2008 Green 101 and Green Lifestyle
Amazon Green Scene recently profiled a man named Wade in Seattle (http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/post/PLNK3H63NHNB6NWVB) who wanted to go green. He was tired of feeling guilty for throwing away all his recyclables, concerned about $4/gallon gas and wondered if people embracing organic food were onto something.
He didn’t know how to do it, though. “Man, I need a 12-step process or roadmap on how to be Green. Can somebody help me with that?”
Wade, Greenwala.com is here to assist you. Follow this program and in a few months you’ll enjoy financial and health rewards as well as peace of mind knowing you’re contributing to the solution. Keep in mind that the hardest part of a 12 step program is often step one.
1. Admit you have a problem – Take the Ecological Footprint (http://www.myfootprint.org/en/) quiz to learn about your environmental impact. The quiz tells you how many planets would be needed to support your lifestyle if everyone in the world lived like you. If your impact is more than one planet, we have some work to do.
2. Commit to finding sweet spots – Many changes you can make to help build a sustainable future also have direct benefits for you. Locally grown, seasonal organic produce tastes better and has more vitamins. Carpooling to work with someone who lives and works near you can save you money on gas and maintenance and, if there are HOV lanes on your trip, help you arrive at work faster.
3. Commit to “solving for pattern” – Rather than worrying about the many environmental and social problems our planet faces, support solutions that will address multiple problems at the same time. Raising the average fuel efficiency of American-made cars will create more jobs in the U.S., reduce the trade deficit, reduce air pollution, reduce hospitalizations for childhood asthma, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help address climate change. Wow!
4. Find inspiration – Learn about ideas from major sustainability visionaries:
· Janine Benyus - Biomimicry (http://biomimicry.net/) author who explains the lessons Nature offers about how to harness energy, grow food, manufacture, and recycle wastes.
· William McDonough – Cradle to Cradle (http://www.mcdonoughpartners.com/) co-author and architect who designs elegant, healthy buildings that are integrated into their natural surroundings.
· Paul Hawken – Blessed Unrest (http://www.wiserearth.org/) author who describes the millions of sustainability non-profits worldwide who serve as a metaphorical immune system to restore the health of our planet.
(Steps 5 though 12 tomorrow)
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