Sunday, February 11, 2018

Home, green home

Our home is their home too....

I'm standing in front of a classroom of students, talking about the environmental benefits of organic agriculture or electric cars or fuel-efficient cars or vegetarian diets or recycling or even turning down the thermostat a few degrees, and the usual refrain begins -- "We can't do that!" "It costs too much money! "It won't work at my house" and my favorite, just because it's honest, "I don't want to!"  The students think I'm going to back down, but I'm thinking, "Now the fun begins!"

The conversation now gets realistic.  I explain that the goal isn't to green everything.  It's about taking a good, hard look at your lifestyle and figuring out which sustainable changes will work.  Start with the low-hanging fruit.  We can all bring reusable bags to the grocery store, recycle glass, paper and aluminum, drive a little less.  No problem.  Then choose one activity that's a little heavier lift, but still sustainable.  Can you eat one meat-free day per week?  Can you commute via carpool or public transit?  Can you purchase a hybrid or electric car?  Would you consider adopting a child when increasing your family size?  It's interesting to hear the changes students can and can't make as they try to reduce their environmental footprint.

That's why I really enjoyed Elizabeth Leamy's recent article, "How to be green without giving up life's luxuries."  She explains the pros and cons of various lifestyle changes and leaves it to the reader to decide what's doable long-term.  Check it out and post here about changes you've decided to make!

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