Start at Home: Sustainable Homestead

Behavior change needs to happen to shift cultures.  Living in a more sustainable life on a personal level can translate to a different perspective at work.  In fact, some companies such as Wal-Mart encourage employees to create personal sustainability goals.  I’m pleased to introduce Laura Peterson as a featured blogger who will periodically share her ideas and perspectives for sustainable living.  – Diana Rivenburgh

Developing sustainable business practices would be more effective if linked to personal sustainability – the practices we use at home.  Sustainable living is penned in the NY Times, Dilbert Cartoons, and Good Housekeeping. It’s as ubiquitous as the Internet. Yet, there are many people who have yet to commit to such a lifestyle. Why?

It may be a lack of understanding or a lack of applicability.  Some may view those who are living “green” as activists. Dear Reader, I am not an activist. I am simply a woman who attempts to reduce her and her family’s use of natural resources while making healthy choices. After all, sustainable living is fundamentally the application of lifestyle choices and decisions that consider the ecological, societal, and economic.

For the past several years I’ve been discovering ways for our family of three to implement ecologically and economically wise and healthy choices into our life and living spaces while being mindful of societal impacts. We live by a few simple rules:

  1. Is there a simpler version? (THINK: Do I need another gadget? Are more ingredients in my dinner really going to make it better? Do my children need so many THINGS?)

  2. How far do I have to go?

  3. Would you eat that?

These three simple questions encompass a plethora of sustainability concepts. Axioms like, “You are what you eat” and new pitches like, “Eat Local, Eat Fresh,” are simple reminders of ways to be green. But, it doesn’t really stop there. These blogs on personal sustainability are geared to a typical person, not the activist. You will find creative ways for you to implement sustainability into your every day by shifting the way you approach your life and your living spaces.

 Step one: Take inventory… of garbage.

Take note of everything you put in the garbage can and recycling bin.

Take note of everything you spend money on today.

Take note of every thought you have that is negative, deflating, or otherwise destructive to your mental health.

Take note of every action you evoke that is hurtful and mean-spirited.

At the end of the day go through your list and try to actively delete one thing, thought, and action from the list.

      Laura Peterson draws on her mix of talents to transform both the physical space and social structure of communities and organizations.  Her expertise in sustainable living and living spaces draws on her eclectic background in green building, community development, running a Not-For-Profit and her consulting expertise in coaching and organizational development. 



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