Are you a Solution Seeker?
Solution seekers are people who are concerned about the effect they are having on the environment and are seeking ways to minimise and/or neutralise that impact.
If you fit into this category then your next question might well be: Where do I start?
There are so many solutions in so many areas that it is hard to set priorities and develop a course of action.
Also, the suitability of the solutions you choose is dependent on a number of factors for example:
- The age and design of your house
- Availability of alternatives in your region
- Cost-effectiveness of the solution
- Your budget
- Efficacy of the solution for the environment
The age and design of your house (as well as it’s position and the nature of the land it sits on) will make a difference to the solutions that are most suitable for you. Newer houses are likely to be more eco-friendly but even so there will still be ways to increase their energy-efficiency.
There are eco-friendly solutions that will save you money and will pay for themselves many times over (rechargeable batteries are a good example). And there are solutions that will cost you money, that you will not recover, but they help the environment (much organic food is an example of this).
Solutions are not always easily available in every area. However with some time and effort (and possibly extra cost) you should be able to get whatever you want wherever you are with perhaps only a few exceptions.
Your budget – money and time!
Some solutions – like recycling rubbish or taking short showers (rather than baths) – are simple steps that you can take without spending money or time. Then there are solutions that are complex and will require much more research, planning and money.
Efficacy of the solution
The positive impact on the environment that each solution provides does vary. For example buying a more energy efficient car may mean you use 25% less fuel to get to work (and therefore have 25% less carbon emissions). If you carpool with just one other person you will EACH save 50% which is much better. Of course in this case you could implement both solutions and save even more. The point is that it is easier, cheaper and more effective to carpool (or walk, bike, bus or train).
Another problem for solution seekers is that the solutions are often well hidden! And you need to know where to look to find them. All of these factors are just a few of many that will influence your course of action.
Where to start
So, the question still remains: Where do I start?
A good place to start is Econation (www.econation.co.nz). Econation has been set up to help ‘solution seekers’ make the right decisions by informing you about the issues and then presenting a range of strategies as well as third-party solutions in each category.
The Econation Way
Once you have accepted responsibility for your individual environmental impact and have decided to do something about it (congratulations) then a way forward would be:
- Learn about the issues and the solutions (Econation is a great place for this)
- Draw up a plan of action using The Econation Way as a guide – setting priorities and goals
- Start implementing the plan step by step
- Congratulate yourself each step of the way!
The Econation Way is a checklist of solutions. It provides a guide to the cost-effectiveness, efficacy and ease of the solution. It will also give you an indication of where you sit now in terms of eco-friendliness.