About This Blog

Sustainable Together is devoted to sharing sustainability news and success stories from my eco-innovative hometown of Port Townsend, Wash., and surroundings.

 

This blog’s distinctive focus is exploring how living more sustainably can lead to stronger ties with our family, friends and larger community.

And, conversely, how building support systems and initiating or strengthening institutions and networks can make the journey towards a more sustainable life easier and much more enjoyable. (And can lead to fulfilling leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities!)

 

Sustainable Together will:

  • Showcase sustainable cities, towns, organizations, businesses, groups and leaders, covering the topics of what is working, who are the visionaries who made it happen (and why and how they did it), and tips for how you might replicate their successes in your own community.
  • Inspire and assist readers and leaders to take actions to make their own lives and their communities more sustainable in ways big and small.
  • Report on how I am stretching my own boundaries in journeying towards a more sustainable life in the context of my already-engaged community.
  • Reflect on people I’ve met, organizations I’ve researched, conferences and talks I’ve attended, experiences and revelations I’ve had, articles I want to share.

 

Sharing the journey toward a more sustainable life is a win-win for both you and the Earth. This is contrasted with the underlying win-lose message of most environmental rhetoric, where the Earth wins only when you lose a “modern convenience” (e.g., a gas-guzzling vehicle, fast food, pre-packaged or disposable goods). I feel the focus needs to be on the very real wins of adopting a more sustainable life.

I am convinced of the benefits of living more sustainably in the context of a supportive community, some of which are:

  • Slowing down, taking more time to be with the people you love.
  • Connecting more with the natural world, its seasons and cycles.
  • Gaining physical health through eating more locally and using nonmotorized transportation.
  • Gaining mental/emotional health through close networks of friends and family—reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Sharing the task of raising children so it is more joyful than burdensome. And having those children grow up in a “village” setting with many adult mentors and role models.
  • Seeing that you can have a tangible impact in your community—that you are not helpless or hopeless.
  • Getting out of the consumer rat-race, where you feel like you never have “enough.”
  • Saving money and reducing your dependence on the cash economy.
  • Gaining more flexibility around having to “work for a living” and moving towards “living to work” at jobs you love. (If you haven’t yet read Your Money or Your Life, do!)

 

In sharing my own journey, I hope to make the case for sharing the journey. And with this interactive format, I hope you share yours!

 

A KEY DEFINITION:  SUSTAINABILITY

With regards to Alan Durning, SUSTAINABILITY means curtailing our use of things that are ecologically destructive (e.g., fossil fuels, factory-farmed food, minerals, paper) and cultivating deeper, non-material sources of fulfillment (e.g., family and social relationships, meaningful work, leisure).

Carl McDaniel defines SUSTAINABILITY as inhabiting the Earth with less harm to the planet and its life forms.

Murray Gell-Mann says “living on nature’s income rather than its capital” is the definition of SUSTAINABILITY.

Another way I think about SUSTAINABILITY is the wise use of scarce resources (including natural resources, money and time) with an eye to the future continuance of humans and other living things.