We started with 2 questions: What is Sustainability? and Who decides how we live?
At ASPI we have to define sustainability all of the time - when designing new projects, when repairing/replacing old technology, when working with school children. With our mission, every time we make decisions, we need to ask - Is this sustainable? By what definition?
When working with children, we use the concept of living in a way that we could continue living and everyone could be living in 10 years - 20 years - 100 years - or even 1000 years.
Who decides how we live? We are all influenced by many things, but the main categories we discussed Tuesday evening were: Family and Friends, Teachers, and Media. The only issue with dividing these into separate categories is that as people, Family, Friends, and Teachers are all affected by Media.
Our Sustainable House-Holding workshops focus on quality of life - ours, others', and the ecosystem's. Much of media will tell us of the Stuff we deserve, the Stuff we would enjoy, and the Stuff that will make us happy. Our overview workshop begins with Stuff - we do need to be safe and healthy. Most of us would argue that we need to continue learning, and we need entertainment. How can we achieve these things with the smallest impact on the environment? ASPI workshops provide hundreds of ways to address very practical issues - stop using paper towels, we've a solution for any situation you find yourself in need of a paper towel - to the very emotional and most difficult - how do we celebrate holidays with minimal impact on the environment - we have great discussions about the importance linked to all aspects of the holidays.
The general workshop also address Energy, Food, and Water. Our other workshops are very specific to one topic within house-holding: Green Cleaning, Growing Your Own Food, Preserving Food and Bulk, Green Budgeting and Household Inventory, Sustainable Holidays, and Sustainable Childhoods. We did a trial run of these workshops in 2014, and added them to our offerings this year. Community, church, or school groups can request the whole series (on a regular day - first Thursday or every Wednesday) or just one for a topic that is particularly interesting to the constituents.
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