“Sustainability” has become a marketing buzzword in today’s business world. While a movement toward sustainability is a positive thing, the concept has unfortunately been co-opted by businesses willing to “greenwash” their products and/or services, presenting them as being “good for the Earth”, or even just “less harmful”, while often being anything but.
The Gaean Way℠ embraces true sustainability as defined by the EPA:
“Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.”
Kindle Groups encourage each other to educating themselves about sustainable living, and try to put personal sustainable practices into action. These include:
- Buying local, particularly food through CSA programs.
- Buying clothing, furniture and appliances from thrift stores, rather than new.
- Recycling plastic, metal, and paper appropriately, as well as composting of organic materials.
- Engaging in cleanup projects of local parks, trails, etc…
- Encourage the use of bicycles, public transportation, and ride-sharing.
Hearths practice all of the above, but also:
- Retrofit their houses with environmentally friendly insulation
- Install passive solar and PV systems
- Install efficient LED lighting
- Change out inefficient furnaces and water heaters for heat-pumps and on-demand systems
- Landscape the yard with Permacultural gardens
- Change out asphalt shingles with green roofs, and use catch-water systems for watering the garden.
- Use extensive ride-sharing.
- Make extensive use of Permaculture for producing food, medicinal plants, attracting pollinators, etc…
- Build water systems that use rainwater for filtering into drinking water, and reuse water as many times as possible.
- Reclaim chemical-saturated farmland to deep, rich organic soils.
- Build with local, environmentally-friendly and/or recycled materials in designs that require little or no supplementary heating and cooling.
- Sequester carbon through hugelkultur (burying of wood in the soil for fertility), and creation of bio-char in wood-gas CHP systems (possibly even using exhaust in greenhouses).
- Utilize solar, wind, and biomass for local energy production.
- Encourage succession of ecosystems from grassland to brush, and brush to forest.
- Reduce transportation needs by providing for most, if not all, necessities of life locally, including on-site employment.