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The NOLS Community Weighs Its Green Consciousness and Takes A Closer Look At Environmental Initiatives

by Joanne Kuntz and Jim Sherwin

And the Survey Says...

Part litmus test and part educational tool, this e-mail survey was administered to help find the pulse of green thinking within the NOLS population. As the NOLS Environmental Sustainability Initiative gains momentum, we want to start a dialogue among members of our community. We know there are no absolutes, and there is always room for improvements, so we appreciate the candidness and depth of the responses; each and every answer helps guide our progress.

For survey responses to other questions, click here:

Question 1: How do you define green in the context of environmental lifestyles?
Question 2: Do you think NOLS is green?
Question 3: Are you green? Why or why not?
Question 4: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. What ever happened to those first two 'R's? What do you commonly reduce and reuse?
Question 5: What or who inspires you to be greener?
Question 6: What is your source for green news and strategies for reducing your impact?
Question 7: Has NOLS changed your green perspective? How?
Question 8: How do you measure the impact of green behavior?

Question 1: How do you define green in the context of environmental lifestyles?

Conserving in some manner. Whether it is recycling, buying a vehicle that is good on gas, car pooling, riding bikes or walking to work etc. – NOLS Staff

As an effort to consume less, pollute less, consider the Earth and inhabitants other than humans. – NOLS Instructor

Having the least negative effect possible. Example: Patagonia wants to offer cotton clothing but decided that if they couldn’t use organic, then they wouldn’t offer. In the grocery store, it doesn’t necessarily mean buying organic, for if the fruit is traveling from New Zealand to CO, greater environmental harm will be done than if some pesticides were used to grow the fruit closer to home. Or eat something different that time of year that is produced closer to home. Green means making analytically informed decisions. – NOLS Instructor

Making decisions in my life that support sustainable communities, local economies, spiritual well being, and ecological health. – NOLS Instructor

I think “green” is a mindset. It's being consistently active about reducing one's impact. – NOLS Staff

Leave no trace outdoor behavior for sure. And leave as little trace as possible elsewhere. – WMI Instructor 

Green= sustainable= no net degradation of the environment when it comes to carbon cycling and other resources. – NOLS Staff and Instructor 

Making choices in how you spend your money and sacrifices in your lifestyle to leave a smaller footprint on the planet. – NOLS Instructor 

Touch the earth lightly, and move on. – NOLS Instructor and Board Member

I would define green as being ever mindful of the way one's behavior impacts the world's natural resources. – NOLS Staff

Green is low impact behaviors. – NOLS Staff

Simply trying to live more simply. – NOLS Instructor

One could be said to be "green" if invested, in an ongoing way, in learning about the socio-ecological tradeoffs involved in the amalgam of individual, personal, decisions. – NOLS Instructor 

Such a concept is becoming a cure all catch phrase. A "green" lifestyle is not merely an environmental choice but also social choice to live a life that honors and values the natural world as the source of all life on Earth. In recognizing the interconnection of these two worlds and the how one's choices are both influenced by and further influenced these realms makes lifestyle choices sustainable. – WMI Instructor

Making daily choices from the options you have to leave less impact on the earth, and if the option doesn’t exist, thinking about inventing the option. – NOLS Staff and Instructor 

Do your best to live sustainably, Keep learning and researching what to make changes for the green society, Influence others. – NOLS Instructor

1) Stay at the bottom of the food chain as much as we can. Eat less meat and more organic food. Have your own garden for vegetables. 2) Drive less. Ride bikes, take public transportation or carpool. Carpool to the crag or to the powder snow. Get used to drive small, fuel efficient car, especially putting chains on in the mountain and stay away from 4WD. 3) Support local business. Go to farmers market and get your grocery that way. 4) Don't build a new home. Acquire a land with an old home and work with it. 5) Make your home energy efficient. Install solar panels, maintain good insulations of the walls, glass windows and doors. Use toxic free home appliance. Use recycled materials as much as you can. – NOLS Instructor

Find a connection with environmental concerns, and try practices that are meaningful in the context of those environmental concerns. – NOLS Instructor

I think that "green" refers to a conscious lifestyle, a lifestyle whose impact on the Earth has been considered and whose impact has been lessened because of that consideration. Someone who is green would also, in my opinion, have less of an impact on the Earth than others in his or her society. – NOLS Instructor 

It means to be consistently aware of your lifestyle in order to reduce the impact you have on resource consumption and pollution distribution. – NOLS Instructor 

I would define it as a lifestyle that is thoughtful and intentional. Taking responsibility for your actions, living simply and recognizing where you fail. – NOLS Staff 

An awareness of the impact of personal actions and appropriate decisions based therein. – NOLS Staff and Instructor 

Taking steps in the direction of conservation, using earth friendlier products and voting with wise purchase choices. – NOLS Instructor

Intentionally reducing, reusing and recycling the resources you use. – NOLS Staff and Instructor 

Living in a manner that treads lightly on the earth. I would like to see green take a restorative tone in the future, as I don't think sustainability will cut it in the long run. – NOLS Instructor 

Reducing environmental impact in large and small ways on a day-to-day basis. – NOLS Staff and Instructor 

One's choices reflect concern for sustainability. – NOLS Instructor 

I define a "green" lifestyle as one that is lived in such a way as to consciously take advantage of sustainable practices open to oneself, while at the same time trying to influence the dominant paradigm to be more sustainable. – NOLS Staff and Instructor 

Read on...

Question 1: How do you define green in the context of environmental lifestyles?
Question 2: Do you think NOLS is green?
Question 3: Are you green? Why or why not?
Question 4: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. What ever happened to those first two 'R's? What do you commonly reduce and reuse?
Question 5: What or who inspires you to be greener?
Question 6: What is your source for green news and strategies for reducing your impact?
Question 7: Has NOLS changed your green perspective? How?
Question 8: How do you measure the impact of green behavior?

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