Every Day is Earth Day: Making Sustainable Explainable

 

Thank you to Wynne Coplea for sharing this article with our readers! There were many great exhibits and messages at the 25th Earth Awareness Fair, and we look forward to seeing you all next year.  It’s important to remember that every day is Earth Day… if we make conscious choices! What is sustainability and how can we make sustainable explainable to others?

Sustainability is a way of seeing, a way of valuing and understanding the total effect of our choices, starting with buying habits. Any item or service we buy can be considered with these questions:

  • Do we really need it?
  • Where did it come from? Was it responsibly sourced?
  • How will we use it ?
  • How will we dispose it when we’re done with it?

All of the effects on planet and people are a part of purchase and use decisions when sustainability becomes a way of life. Thus, sustainable action is often defined in terms of the 3Ps: Planet, People, Profit.

This isn’t to say that we should pre-research every little item at every store! Nor is it to say that we must live sparsely…sustainable values cause us to ask what impact will my choice/s have? If we can live with enough and without taking too much, we are doing our best to live sustainably. Making reasonable efforts to follow through on conscious choices and live in balance – that’s sustainable living for individuals. For community and businesses, sustainability means setting goals to reduce resource use, adopting new policy that is eco-conscious and measuring performance/outcome indicators.

Common, conscious choices and questions to ask for personal sustainable living include:
– Do I recycle as much as possible even if it means saving an item until I reach a recycling bin later?

– Do I think before I buy (pre-cycle) and try to buy only recyclable containers/items?

– Do I save energy by using CFLs or LED lights, timers on devices, shut off anything when not in use?

– Do I conserve water, shut off the tap while brushing my teeth, use timers on irrigation?

– Do I buy local? Try to purchase items and services that are produced near to home?

– If I don’t find environmentally responsible products, do I ask the store manager or supply chain?

– Can I build/remodel with energy conservation and green design in mind?

Check out the new Sustainability Camps in August ideal for kids ages 11-14.

Sustainability Camp_Details

If you are consciously taking these actions, you are practicing stewardship and making sincere efforts to live sustainably! By thinking and acting locally, we truly do make an impact globally. Thank you for doing your part to take care of our little piece of the Earth in Springfield and Sangamon County!

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