Friday, April 12, 2013

The Sustainability Dozen: how to live more simply

What is today's prompt?
Friday, April 12, 2013
How do you interpret the words "live simply?"
Here's what I use for myself and teach my students to live more sustainably, the Sustainability Dozen.  Since I've identified three natural resources I'm concerned about as energy, food, and water, I'm going to organize each item by these categories.  It turns out that all twelve pieces of advice fit under three categories fairly easily.

  • Walk, bike, or use public transportation whenever possible.
  • Drive an energy-efficient vehicle.
  • Reduce car use.
  • Insulate your house and plug air leaks.
  • Use energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, lights, and appliances.
  • Use renewable energy, especially wind and direct solar.
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Reduce meat consumption.
  • Buy locally grown food.
  • Buy or grow organic food.
  • Don't use pesicides on your garden or lawn.
  • Use water-saving appliances and irrigation methods.
It turns out that the 7:4:1 ratio of suggestions in each category matches the ratio of uses of each label on this blog to the total of all three.  Counting today's and yesterday's entries, I've used energy 199 times, food 119 times, and water 20 times.  The total of all three is 338.  199/338=0.59, 119/338=0.35, and 20/335=0.06.   0.59*12=7.1, 0.35*12=4.2, and 0.06=0.72.  After being rounded to the nearest whole numbers, the answers are 7, 4, and 1.  The math says that these suggestions match my priorites, and I agree; they do.

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