Getting back to basics: Sustainability can be about the little things too

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 10:58.

 Having recently completed a survey of the latest and greatest developments in sustainability, which included a review of current legislature in Congress to effect policy thereto, I can't help but think how much in life is about the simple things.  The tried and true maxim ' Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' embraces so much of what we need in terms of behavior shifts that would maximize metrics and optimize outcomes. We all know policy can help shift behavior, as can economic incentives (or disincentives) like the prohibitive cost of oil and gas - but it is still the behavior of the masses that might mean most.

Here is a list of simple things that can make such a big difference to a sustainable future - keep in mind these are the 'whats'.  For the  'how's' and 'why's' we can, perhaps, enjoy some follow up posts to discuss : (these are in no particular order) - feel free to add to the list!

1.  Take steps to eliminate junk mail or encourage use of recyclable junk mail
2.  Reduce the water flow of faucets or showerheads , consider low volume toilet flushes
3.  Work to use cleaners, cleansers and detergents with 'cleaner' content
4.  Make do with lower thermostat-temperatures in the winter, higher ones in the summer
5.  Insulate the home as well as possible and then use energy efficient items (i.e. CF bulbs)
6.  Use as little petroleum-based product as possible (i.e. latex paint vs. oil-based)
7.  Use as little lead-based product as possible (i.e. unleaded gas)
8.  Carpool whenever possible, or consider the cleanest power - human (bike, walk)
9.  Explore alternative energy locomotion and power but be wary of 'hidden fossils'
10.  Adopt public and green spaces - clean them, green them, and preen them
11.  Either use less styrofoam or take steps to effectively recycle it (for ICF diehards)
12.  Recycle anything humanly possible - composting IS recycling!

These are just 12 maxims - and there are so many more - but imagine if we all strove to do what we could on this list.  We would achieve a more sustainable quality place within a much shorter timeframe.  We need to drive these in grassroots fashion through education, advocacy, and awareness.  Together we all can drive meaningful positive change!

And I could never be happier.

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Right on SKR    

#7 amazes me as of late.   First the Thomas The Tank Engine recall then the Fisher Price multi-millions of toys with lead based paint.   I find the lack of supply chain surveilance in these instances to be stomach wrenching.    The bean counters are busy counting and stacking the profits of off shoring production to Outer Elbonia and not watching close enough. 

How about the consumer products safety council?  Feeling like that council is doing a stand up job are you?    I am still counting the toys from Fisher Price in our home on the recall.  Its a massive internal audit.  So far we have inspected 2 seperate sites in Ohio  ;-) 

Nothing from China for kids here!

There is nothing we need from China for our kids here - not one thing at all - lead or not.

There is very little we need from America for our kids.

The best stuff for kids we don't need but is cool typically comes from Canada and Europe, and they outlawed lead paint decades before in America so their products tend to be safe.

Funny how kids love rocks and acorns, from nature. Now if we could just get friends and relatives to stop giving our kids all this crap from China.

BTW - kids love books.

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