Ice storm
Did you know that 82% of Americans want to do right by the environment? But only about 16% of Americans go all out to respond to issues like global warming?

Most of the “green” blogs seem to be written by the 16%. They’re often dismissive towards the concerns of everyone else. Written by the 16% for the 16%.

If you’re like the majority of Americans (the 66%), you appreciate the environment and have good intentions about doing your part to help. But still, you hesitate.

Does this describe you?

  • You may have heard about people who give up food that isn’t organically grown, buying anything with packaging they have to throw out, electricity, and even toilet paper out of liberal guilt.
  • You haven’t gone all out. So it feels like “green” crowd looks down on you.
  • Yet if you talk about doing something “green” some of your friends act like you’ve gone off the deep end!
  • You care most about what’s good for you and your family. You’re interested in good health and saving money.
  • You don’t want someone trying to sell you a guilt trip about what’s happening in parts of the world you’ll never see.
  • You resent all the fear tactics about the coming ice age. (Oh, that was 1970, wasn’t it? It’s global warming now.)
  • But you really do care about your community being safe and healthy.

Despite my snide reference to the different scare tactics from 1970 to today, the climate is indeed getting warmer. What the 66% may not realize is that there are plenty of other, perhaps more compelling reasons for developing a greener lifestyle.

By the way, I didn’t make up “liberal guilt.” It’s in the subtitle of a book someone wrote about trying for an entire year to have no impact at all on the environment.

That’s not you. But understanding it may be more important to you than it might seem at first glance, but I can’t take space to explain it here.

Where are people in the 66% supposed to get useful information? The blog Sustainable Green Homes–named among Top 100 Green Blogs to Follow in 2013– and its weekly newsletter are written just for you.

Subscribe now and receive the free report 12 Ways to Save Money While Saving the Planet!

And just who am I to make these claims?

Hi, I’m David Guion. I was a college student in Ohio on the first Earth Day, in 1970. Students all over the country were concerned about air and water pollution.  So was I. I read about it. I could see it.

Thanks to a coal-fired energy plant on campus, soot landed everywhere. Wastewater treatment plants didn’t deal with what amounted to fertilizers in laundry detergents and other cleaning products.

Algae choked the streams where wastewater was discharged and killed all the fish. Much of Lake Erie was dead. There was no oxygen in the water. Neither plant nor fish could survive. The dead patch was growing.

Can you imagine how exciting Earth Day was? It meant people all over the country cared about these problems. It meant that something would happen. Some years later, I remember reading that the death of Lake Erie had been reversed!

Problem: we early environmentalists put all our faith in the brand new Environmental Protection Agency and other government actions.

Later in the 1970s, when I was in graduate school in Iowa, I participated in a petition drive to get the state legislature to pass a bottle bill. That seemed a great way to cut down on roadside litter, which itself is a kind of pollution. And it passed.

But there is a rub and it’s really ironic.

The most immediately obvious result of the bottle bill was that vending machines no longer offered drinks in glass bottles. They all switched to aluminum cans.

Why was that a problem? The bottling companies all washed and refilled empty glass bottles. When we bought them at the grocery store, we had to pay a deposit. We got it back when we returned the empties. When we got something from a vending machine, we drank it and then returned it to a nearby bottle tray.

The litterbugs who threw glass bottles out their car windows were throwing out money. Other people had incentive to pick up the bottles and redeem them for cash.

When all the vending machines switched to aluminum cans nobody collected and recycled the cans!!!

Municipal recycling programs didn’t exist yet. When the first ones started, they were all drop-off programs. Hardly anyone participated.

Meanwhile, the litterbugs kept littering. They just tossed cans that no one had any incentive to pick up!

My political activism had not resulted in a solution to the problem. It merely contributed to making another one. A law cannot force people to take personal responsibility. The bottle bill didn’t even give people an opportunity to exercise personal responsibility!

And the result? I slowly became soured on the kind of “environmentalism” that relies primarily on getting the government to pass laws and regulations.

But it doesn’t stop there. Much more recently, I served for three years on a university sustainability committee. That experience began to broaden my understanding of the many different aspects of being good to the environment.

Above all, it introduced me to a whole new concept: sustainability.

  • “Sustainable” practices are the ones humans can repeat indefinitely. Without either damaging the environment or running out of resources.
  • Sustainability does not pit concern for the environment against human economic activity.
  • Sustainability does not require new laws and regulations to make it work.
  • Sustainability is not imposed from the top down.
  • Sustainability empowers us all.

 

But enough about me for a while. What about you? Do you feel empowered now?

Do you want to feel empowered?

Sign up for Sustainable Green Homes News. It will let you know what’s coming on the blog, of course. But with the torrent of information available, no blog can cover it all. So expect links to other important articles.

Making sustainable choices sometimes means making different choices in what to buy. Trouble is, “green” doesn’t seem mainstream. It doesn’t seem normal. That’s why most of the stores where you shop don’t have much to offer.

Many excellent online “green” stores carry a wide variety of outstanding and innovative products. But how are you supposed to find them if you don’t already know they exist? And how are you supposed to find the stores?

Check out a one-of-a-kind virtual green shopping mall.
SustainingOurWorld  banner

Sustaining Our World is not just another online store. It is a gateway to many of the leading online stores. Think of it as shop windows in an online shopping mall.

The products available on the site are like products on display in a shop window.  They show you what kinds of other products are available inside. And the newsletter will tell you about discounts, temporary free shipping details, and more.

Remember what I have said: only 16% of the population goes “all out” for politically correct reasons. Green doesn’t seem mainstream enough for most businesses to carry a good selection of sustainable products.

The guy who wrote the book about his attempts to save the planet motivated by “liberal guilt” can’t make it seem mainstream. Most of the 16% don’t attempt that drastic a sacrifice. The mainstream can’t flow from a minority of a minority.

Here’s how you in the 66% can help: make informed, sustainable decisions based on whatever reasoning makes sense to you. Then tell your friends about the kinds of products that have helped you the most. Help make sustainability become normal!

I call myself the All-Purpose Guru. I have wide interests and the knowledge to provide accurate and reliable information on multiple subjects. I have four blogs to feed! (I’m not a generalist, though. I’m a multi-specialist.)

Before I started my online business, I was a librarian and musical scholar: author of two respected academic books and numerous articles and reviews in refereed journals.

I know how to conduct research. I know how to tell which sources are reliable for providing answers to various kinds of questions.

Other sites load up on “content” hastily rehashed from “content farms” with no sign of critical thought.

Too many business owners regard “research” as a low-skilled task to assign to their lowest paid employees or contractors. These “researchers” merely find online “content.” They’re not paid to evaluate it.

These owners and “researchers” are not librarians! They are not scholars. They have little knowledge about the difference between information and misinformation. I do.

  • You can trust my articles.
  • You can trust my newsletters.
  • You can be assured of accuracy, reliability, and the complete absence of mere emotional appeals.
  • You can count on finding all the “green” products you need or desire through one site.

Hmm. It doesn’t look very good with the form at the bottom of the page. I’ll finish with another picture:

Thistle dew. Now go back and fill out that form!

Thistle dew. Now go back and fill out that form!