Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Green (St. Patty's) Week: Join the Pursuit

If I knew now that “green” is only the color that you wear on St. Patrick’s Day, I would have felt self-conscious less often.

“Going green.”  “Being sustainable.”  Nope.  Sustainability is social, economic, and environmental health.  Pursuing sustainability is an all-inclusive opportunity.

Sustainability starts with you, your opportunity to shape and your health to build.  Pursue it, bit by bit, mistake by mistake, habit by habit, and learn.

I have a car.  Driving to work takes 5 minutes.  Biking took 8.  I biked.  Then I learned that one of my favorite professors walks to work everyday.  Now, I walk to work.  25 minutes.  I listen to the radio and learn.  Biking was my “gateway” transportation.  I don’t even bike for recreation.

Making food from scratch is good.  Sitting is bad.  Extended sitting takes years off your life.  Good:  I walk to work, and I take time to stand and cook my meals! 

I’m more capable as a cook now.  I eat less meat because of it.  When I do, I vote with my dollar and buy from cooperatives when possible, businesses that exemplify sustainability. 

I talk about sustainability, its complexities, simplicities, and parodies.  I talk to students about it because I know that any student, no matter what they study, can be passionate about sustainability in their careers.  That’s good, because what makes for a happy professional?  Being passionate.  Here’s your chance.

When I walk to work, I say “Hello” to people.  I smile.  I gain social skills and friends.  We are creatures that mimic what we see, and when we see aesthetics, attitudes, and actions around us that say, “Sustainability is important,” our behaviors change.  We all change, bit by bit, and the pursuit gains speed! 

Join the pursuit:  Try something new, and be well!

Eric Holthaus
Energy and Waste Steward
Luther College
U of Iowa '09 BA Geography
U of Illinois '11 MA Urban Planning

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