How I Got Started in Sustainability

I like to save money. Some might describe me as a “extremely frugal.” That’s how this all got started. I wanted to save on my monthly bills so I bought some of those energy efficient light bulbs. Then some drapes for my windows to keep the heat in at night. Then I started a little garden to grow some fruit instead of buying it at the store. These seemed like such easy ways to save money. I had to learn more, so I enrolled in the Environmental Biology Class at my local community college (http://www.clark.edu/academics/catalog/descriptions.php?dep=BIOL&fdep=Biology ). I took the class with Professor Martin at Clark College. She was a great instructor and I would highly recommend the class.

Sustainable Craig in backyard

The material in the classroom just wet my appetite so I started watching related documentaries on Netflix. Some of the first ones to really motivate me were No Impact Man, Food Inc., and The Lazy Environmentalist.

One day I saw a video on TED about a 14 year old kid in Africa who built a wind turbine to bring power to his village. He did this using scrap material and by following pictures in a library book that was in a foreign language. (Here is a link to the video http://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_on_building_a_windmill.html). Talk about inspiring! That was the tipping point for me.

I was tired of watching other people do all of this inspirational stuff within their community while I sat on the sidelines, but it seemed so overwhelming. Where do you start? What information could I trust? Then I realized these were everyday people just like you and I, but they were making a difference and getting in the mix.

So I got to it. If some 14 year old with a library book could change his village, what could an army vet with a college education and the Internet accomplish? I guess we’ll find out.

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