Vermont Public Radio commentator Andrea Learned chimed in today with a piece called “Sustainable Waldo.”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to nudge more people toward sustainable living practices. While switching out light bulbs and recycling as much as possible are both easy ways to start that process, what comes next? … we may now need to focus on places where sustainability is hidden in plain sight… Remember the “Where’s Waldo” books? Darned if he wasn’t right in front of your nose and you didn’t see him. So where are some sustainability Waldos?
One great example might lie in urban density and community transportation planning issues… Gardening is another activity where sustainability may be hiding in plain sight.
And what about neighborhood involvement, as supported by services like Vermont’s own Front Porch Forum, which host networks of online neighbor-to-neighbor help and information. Communities built on stronger interpersonal relationships and citizen interconnections help build more long-term, sustainable views on big, challenging issues. Whether or not citizens see this as sustainability doesn’t really matter. They are responding to powerful, sustainability-promoting, shared values.
She’s got a point! Sometimes we talk about FPF’s larger community benefits… but most of the time when chatting with folks, we focus on the direct and obvious benefits… use FPF to find an affordable plumber or ride to Boston, to report a car break-in to neighbors, to sell a bike or give away a stroller.