Who doesn’t want to strive to be a bit more sustainable nowadays? Sustainability has gained momentum, for sure. Some of the most respectable companies that have growth and profitability as goals also factor in externalities1These costs on society may be positive or negative as the quote below by Grist indicates. and the quality of life2Note, this is not synonymous with “standard of living.” of employees and stakeholders to achieve said growth and profits.
One mile on a bike is a $.42 economic gain to society, one mile driving is a $.20 loss.Grist magazine
Interview: Kai Ryssdal, host of “Marketplace,”3It’s a nonprofit news organization on a mission to raise economic intelligence and Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia
I think there are no absolutes. There’s no such thing as sustainability. It’s just kind of a path you get on and try — each day try to make it better.Yvon Chouinard, interview with Fast Company magazine
How to “Be the Change”
On a more personal level, citizens can put in place legislators who will put forth progressive policies to help achieve better outcomes for their respective communities.
Be the change you want to see in the world.Quote ascribed to Mahatma Gandhi
We particularly like to reference the policies instituted in Copenhagen, Denmark regarding bicycling (virtually eliminated vehicle street parking; imposed meaningful taxes on purchase and ownership of cars; relatively expensive gasoline; bike tracks separated by physical barriers – not simply painted lines and sharrows).4You know when you see a painted bike symbol on a car lane? That’s a sharrow. Also, individuals may choose to be the change they want to see. For some examples: bike to work or to do local errands, plant a garden, eat more foods that require less resources to generate, and – well, as the infographic below illustrates – learn how to compost (click image or here to enlarge).
So, we’ll leave you with something from Gardener Scott about composting:
Compost is amazing. Compost is magic. Compost provides nutrients to plants, improves soil structure, recycles yard waste, creates very beneficial biodiversity, and much more. Understanding how composting works and how to do it is a good way to begin using it. With some science and some how-to, Gardener Scott explains compost and discusses some of its many benefits.From Gardener Scott‘s YouTube video (below)
Note: We published the original version of this post on 2013-08-10.