"I CHANGE the way we frame sustainability to include social, economic and ecological systems as we work to achieve well being for all, forever."
—Lyn McMurray, Edgewood College Sustainability Leadership Graduate Program Coordinator
At the heart of my concern about climate change is my admiration, awe and need for the natural world. Being comforted by the trees of the forest, being inspired by the majesty of mountains, being humbled by the power of a river. These things give me inner strength and a broader perspective. I am constantly amazed at the ability of ecosystems to adapt and heal, and am disheartened by the injury inflicted through everyday actions that have unnecessarily become a normal way of being. I try to consider how I am contributing to injury and how instead I could contribute to healing – not only for the environment, but for all life. Environmental problems at their root are social problems, so the injuries we inflict on one another need to be healed along with the planet that sustains us.
As I make choices in my life – both daily choices and long-term choices – I try to see through the lens of contributing to health – for myself, my family, my community, my world. I am deliberate about making habits out of daily choices I can make, so they seem less like choices and more like the way I live. I walk or bike when taking my kids to school and when going to work – I've made this a habit not only because it is good for the environment, but because it is good for me and my kids, too. I'm careful to take care of things so they last longer, and take advantage of our neighborhood listserv where community members trade and sell things they don't use anymore. I also frequent our local farmers' markets to support locally grown, organic foods. I encourage friends and community members for things we can do together to make a difference rather than expecting others to be able to make the same choices I do. We all have our own ways of contributing to the health of our community and our planet – and we all need each other to make a difference.
Cool Choices is an online ‘game’ where you can encourage others in your organization or community to make choices for a healthier planet – there are many options to choose from and it is done in a "team effort" positive way!
The Northwest Earth Institute has discussion guides and resources. The guides offer a range of sustainability topics and provide many examples, tips, discussion questions to move talk into action.