How To Keep Up With SustainabilityDo you ever feel like you just can’t keep up with ever-evolving world of sustainability?  You’re trying to think green and make changes for a healthier family and planet, but things are just moving too fast?  I recently replaced all of my coated (i.e. Teflon) cookware with stainless steel – only to find out that stainless steel also has its downside.  (Don’t get me wrong, stainless steel is still pretty good, but perhaps cast iron would have better.)

Sometimes it can feel like a full-time job to stay on top of current trends.  If you’re like me and you don’t have time for another job, there are still ways to stay plugged in.  Here’s how I attempt to stay connected with what’s what.

The Sunday Surf.  Each Sunday, I carve out some “me-time” away from any distractions.  This is my time to think about the week to come and dig deep for the calm and presence of mind I need to joyfully tackle it.  I like to start this session with a few moments of relaxation followed by a visit to my favorite online sources of inspiration.  These include sites like Treehugger. grist, The David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Working Group, Inhabitat and Healthy Child Healthy World.  If there are new advances in health and sustainability, chances are you’re going to hear about them from at least one of these.

TED.  When I get tired of reading, I often turn to TED for a little boost.  TED tags its content, so I typically go and check out what’s new and tagged as “green”, “health” or “sustainability”.  I love how the talks are not watered down.  You can  feel the speaker’s conviction coming through.  TED often takes me outside of the box – and I think that’s an important part of getting my head around what’s changing.

The Daily Good (by grist).  What I love about grist is it’s positive approach to reform.  It’s generally not there to guilt or chastise, but rather to inform.  That really sits well with me.  I sign up for a daily email called “The Daily Good”.  Each day I get a message that tells me about a new project or experience that is bringing the sustainability movement forward.  It’s not really a way to get up to speed on environmental issues, but it certainly is a way to keep up to speed.

Dig in.  Do you ever ponder environmental issues on, say, your drive to work?  Or while you’re doing the dishes?  I often catch myself thinking things like: “I wonder if these compostable bags really compost?or “Is it better to idle while waiting for the ferry or turn the car off?”.  This is where Google comes in.  I now try my very best to actually look up all of the things I wonder about.  I don’t hesitate.  There’s no longer a need to write these things down and then head to the local library.  It’s all right there on the Internet.  Getting immediate answers to my questions helps me stay informed where it counts most – in my day-to-day activities.

Practically Green.  I fell in love with this site very shortly after we started The Goodness Challenge.  It’s sort of a scorecard for how well you’re doing from an environmental footprint standpoint.  I started out by answering a short quiz about my habits.  The site then made  recommendations about how to improve my score.  (I remember how thrilled I was the day I became “wicked green”.)  In addition, it sends a weekly email asking if I’ve thought of “this” and “that”.  These emails often serve as reminders for me to look into new areas.  Practically Green stays current, so it helps me stay current as well.

Now, I’m still not an environmental expert.  I’m certainly not up-to-date on everything, but I do my best to keep on top of the trends.  I hope you find this useful.  And, if you have more tips, please share.  We’ll all be better for it.

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About the Author

Just a small town mom trying to make the world a better place for my kids. One small change at a time.

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