How to Think of Your Home
BECOMING AN ECO-CHAMPION IN YOUR HOME
We invite you to become an eco-champion in your own home. Everything you do helps, but we implore you to do more than just a few token actions. Listed in this section of our website are many actions you can take. Do as many as you possible. You will need to work at this to develop discipline and to change your mind-set.
Lack of discipline is the main problem with those of us who believe that we are under environmental threat but who do not act on it in significant ways. The American Psychiatric Association says that the main reason for inaction is “habit.” We become accustomed to actions that reflect our collective mentality—what everyone does and what we have always done. And it is hard to change. There is much you can do with products and technology to reduce your ecological footprint. But there is also a lot you will have to change by the choices you make and the actions you take. Discipline leads to a change of lifestyle. Embrace it!
“Environmentalism is much more than a discipline. It is a way of being.” David Suzuki
TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR HOME AS A CONTAINER:
Step One: Identify everything that comes IN the house:
- Water, electricity, natural gas, food, mail, purchases, packaging, and so on.
- Refuse: Imagine what you could avoid bringing into your space, such as plastic bags, food from a distance, meat, junk mail.
- Reduce: Think of what you could lessen, such as natural gas, electricity.
Step Two: Then Identify how it is used.
- Is food wasted? Is electricity squandered through unecessary lighting? Is paper treated as precious? Is heat lost through leaky window frames?
- Now consider how you would treat everything as if it were rationed, as if it were limited and in short supply.
Step Three: Now identify everything that goes OUT of your house:
- Food waste, paper trash, water to be treated, carbon dioxide through the chimney, garbage to the landfill
- What can be reused, recycled, recycled, composted?
- Consider how you could have as little waste as possible that goes to the landfill, as little emissions from your chimney, as little water as possible to the treatment plant. And so on.
Step Four: Follow the guidelines in these files covering most areas of your life at home.
- As you work through the files, note what you already do, what you can begin to do immediately, and what you plan to do as your commitment unfolds.
- Do not be overwhelmed make changes and keep it going.
- Perhaps you may want to keep a journal ordinary of your actions.
OUR HOME IS CONNECTED TO EVERY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE WE FACE IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
You are on the grid:
- electricity comes into your home from the nearest coal-fired power plant
- Water comes into your home from water treatment plans
- water goes out from your home to wastewater treatment plants
- natural gas enters from excavation or fracking contributing to global climate change
- Food is transported from a distance and refrigerated
- Foods come in from farms using pesticides and herbicides
- Meats come from animals that release methane into the atmosphere
- Plastic comes into our space in many forms
- Food waste and garbage goes to landfills
- Carbon dioxide spews from our automobiles and lawn mowers
- Toxic cleaning products and treatments on your lawn go into the watersheds and waterways
- Paper reduces forest land.
- Fill in the rest!
The point is we have choices every day in our own homes that either contribute to the problem, minimize it, or restore nature.
WHAT WE DO IS IMPORTANT. TOGETHER WE CREATE A COLLECTIVE IMPACT.
However, I have also heard scientists say that even if we do all the large-scale actions, it will not be enough—unless also change our lifestyle at the personal level across the board. Personal actions change our mind-set and are critical for societal change. As we take actions, we will hit some thresholds when caring for the world around us becomes part of the culture. And together we make a difference.