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What does sustainability mean to you?

Wednesday, May. 6, 2009

Sustainability to us is a lifestyle that incorporates healthy changes to help promote a longer life for the earth. It does not just mean using a cloth bag at the grocery store, it also means buying from the organic, local farmer. Sustainability arches over what we consume, what stores we support, and the daily decisions between biking or driving to class. To us, sustainability is a way of thinking because it encompasses a way of life.

I think what has struck me most about this class is how big of a difference little changes can make. Last month, I made it my houses goal to reduce the amount of water we use each month because with 10 girls the water bill can be pretty high! We were able to reduce our bill by $15 this month and it was just because everyone tried to take shorter showers. We didn’t do anything drastic, we just were more conscientious and it had huge results.

Something Rose and I have talked about before is how much little actions add up over time. When we had been working with our high school (until they decided not to compete this year) we had been focusing on the small changes that would help reduce waste in their school. For example, we tried to get them to compile a list of goals or helpful hints to be sustainable that they could read over the announcements every morning. We wanted each month to have a theme, for example “Reduce Waste” one month or “Save Energy” the next. Each day during these themed months we wanted to students to make announcements about easy takes that would help accomplish the goal. For example, during the “Reduce Waste” month they could encourage everyone to get a permanent water bottle to reduce the number of plastic water bottles the school consumes.

Over all, I feel as if sustainability is a way of thinking and making small decisions to help improve the quality of life for yourself and those around you.

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