Seth Herron is a graduate student at ASU studying sustainability and sustainable engineering, and a member of the Center for Science and the Imagination family. Seth is currently working with an interdisciplinary team at ASU’s School of Sustainability to launch eEcosphere, a new project designed to encourage people to take action and green their everyday behavior. We will be hosting a series of guest posts from Seth to introduce eEcosphere and discuss the importance of social networks and storytelling to building a sustainable future.
If you’re at all like me, and get yourself all hot and bothered over the health of the planet and the long-term availability of its resources, you probably find yourself saying things like: “I’m going to compost all the foods!” or “Get some dirt and seeds cause I’m gonna become a sharecropper!” or “From now on, I do my laundry like I’m in the 19th century!” or “I’m going to install a solar array big enough to power the block!”
And, if you’re at all like me, you do not do these things. Or you make a half-hearted attempt and then bail out, hoping that witnesses to your proclamations have short memories. My excuse is that I have no follow through. What’s your excuse for not being more sustainable?
Common excuses include:
- It’s too much work (to manually move something in lieu of using a machine)
- It’s too expensive (when I don’t consider the long-term savings)
- It’s not ‘normal’ (i.e. most of my friends do not do it)
- What’s “sustainable”? (I have no framework for assessing the efficacy of my actions)
- Gaah! We’re all doomed! (feeling overwhelmed at the magnitude of challenges)
Don’t be ashamed of your inaction. We can help. Enter: eEcosphere.
eEcosphere is your one stop shop web platform for sustainability. It’s an ideas aggregator and mentor all in one. Start by signing up and telling eEcosphere some issues you care about: climate change, toxics, social equity, water availability, etc. Based on your profile, eEcosphere suggests specific sustainability ideas you can act on. If you like an idea, drag it into your ideas folder for later viewing. eEcosphere will sort ideas you’ve stored according to sustainability challenges they achieve, so you can track your progress. We’ll also walk you through the steps of more complex ideas such as composting, growing a vegetable garden, or installing a solar array by providing links to and discounts on local resources. Not sure about doing your laundry with cold water? eEcosphere will get you a coupon for cold water detergent. Procrastinating on getting a home-energy audit? eEcosphere can connect you to a local business that can do it for you. Not sure where to go for a healthy, sustainable meal? eEcosphere will leap out of your computer and feed you itself. You get the idea. And all the ideas on eEcosphere have been vetted by a rigorous, peer-reviewed, framework pioneered by actual scientists.
eEcosphere also allows you to connect to others. You can educate (brag to) your friends about the innovative actions you’ve taken. You can poach ideas from your more progressive colleagues (like Jim, the DIY miracle worker). You can even team up with your buddies to set group goals, and take action in numbers.
So come check out eEcosphere. We’ll give you the information and motivation you need to set goals and actually follow through with them.
eEcosphere is a creation of ASU School of Sustainability students. To learn more visit eEcosphere.com.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed by invited bloggers and interviewees do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University, the Arizona Board of Regents, or the State of Arizona.