Happy New Year!!! We begin our 2012 Sustainable Year!
I apologize for this double size blog, we need to say a few words about the format and practice framework:
Whether you are an experienced eco-advocate, sustainability practitioner, a beginner or somewhere in between; we can all move the dial towards a more sustainable world from wherever we are in our daily choices for consumptive behaviors.
The objective is for us to become aware of our current practices, explore new ones and integrate them into our lifestyles. We could transition into being less of a consumer and more of a steward that utilizes a resource for a time, returning or repurposing it into another resource.
Ready for the fun? Each exercise will have three parts:
• “The What” and “Why”, a summary of the week’s challenge
• “The How”, some suggestions
• “The Deep Dive”, for those who wish to learn more, links to relevant content.
Some of us are long-term learned practitioners, others of us intend to be but do not know how, and many of us think we know how but don’t, and some of us need to learn more about systems thinking.
Understanding the full impact of every decision we make on the quadruple bottom line is a deep dive. Every product and service uses resources, has a lifecycle and an opportunity for repurposing or up cycling. So just eating a burger could take you down a rabbit hole of discovery as to it’s real cost ($200) on the environment and the planet!
Now that you have calculated your water and carbon footprint as well, start a Sustainability Practitioner Journal or Diary or digitally save it for comparison throughout the year, you will need this data for other exercises and to measure your progress.
TerraBluTeams Exercise Week #1:
We start 2012 with a benchmarking and waste management awareness exercise. You have all that wonderful holiday trash (from last week’s preparation) and this week we want you to concentrate on two of the “4 R’s”, Reduce and Recycle. If you already do it, take it to the next level!
Can you create less than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) or 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of waste trash per week per person?
If you completed your “preparation” for the TerraBluTeams challenge we had you collect your trash, which you weighed and measured to gain awareness of how much waste you bring into your home with the choices you make every day.
Did you know the EPA tells us the average American produces 1130 pounds of trash a year, 51.36 pounds per week (about 1,060 pounds of CO2 equivalent)? We are all at different places in our consumptive habits. You can gauge where you are and see how skillful you become throughout the year at reducing the planet’s GHG emissions with your personal strategies.
Are there ways you could be reducing or recycling your footprint by using your own shopping containers, buying local at a CSA, purchasing food and goods that are (or their packaging is) more earth friendly? Could you lessen your contribution to the local landfill by composting for your garden or initiating a composting program like we did in Ipswich, MA? Can you leverage your influence with your local grocery store to carry organic products from manufacturers whose packaging is biodegradable?
The Deep Dive:
Find out about our composting pilot program in Ipswich, MA, here.
TED talks about recycling here. (10 minutes)
Learn more about State composting regulations here.
Learn more about composting from the EPA here.
Educational recycling video for kids here.
Misconceptions about plastic recycling here.
Plastic bag recycling here.
New “Blest machine” that recycles plastic into oil here.
Outsmart your waste here.
Please fell free to comment and let us know how you are doing or if you find any tips and tricks we should know about! Virtual engagement policy here.