Elizabeth Kelch

Living simply and sustainable, and writing about all of lifes adventures.

A Journal on Sustainability

“Go ahead and use the cloth napkins” Mother Nature will be happier for it.
Cloth napkins feel luxurious, and you get to that know using them is good for the environment.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi

“Go ahead and use the cloth napkins” Mother Nature will be happier for it.
Cloth napkins feel luxurious, and you get to that know using them is good for the environment.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi

Value living cleanly and simply and taking our power back
Straws Lined Up All The Way To Jupiter

Remember when you were a kid and you got your hands on a crazy straw. For me, it was a big deal. It was such a cool toy to play with. Kids love playing with those straws and even learn some science when they use the curly-q straws, watching the liquid go around and around and up and down.

Skip forward to adulthood. You’re in a restaurant, the server brings water or the drinks you ordered and sets a pile of straws on the table. Do you use the straw?
The Last Plastic Straw project http://thelastplasticstraw.org/ is working to galvanize folks in a crusade to urge modifications to restaurant convention and provide straws on request, instead of with every drink. According to http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/no-straw-please/, “Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States.” Those straws would line up to the sun and back over 48 times, every day! In restaurants worldwide, patrons expect there will be a straw or stirrer in every beverage served. Most of these straws go in the trash, and even the unused one do.
As the powerful citizenry we are, we have the influence to fix the model of extreme waste. It will be easy and simple for us. The hard part will be remembering to say
“no straw, please”.
Sustainability is less expensive

Everyone is concerned about cost. There’s a reason we call it the bottom line. As a consumer sustainability is a better choice because it simply costs less money to live sustainably. Living without a wardrobe full of clothes is simply cheaper than buying something pretty every time you need something to wear. Reusing glass jars to store leftovers is simply cheaper than buying new plastic containers. Reusing cloth napkins is cheaper than buying paper ones. You get the point here. As an individual, the money I’ve saved on hair and skin products alone could feed communities in developing countries. As a society, maintaining the traditional value of doing things ourselves, doing them naturally, and enjoying the benefits reaps rewards beyond what commercial culture could ever give us.
Researchers at universities around the world have found sustainability can be marketed to today’s highly cosmopolitan consumers using global, rather than local, environmental benefits. Consumers have gotten the message that the world is a global economy and promoting sustainability with global messages can show people how living without is doable. The researchers also show consumers can be effectively persuaded to back local environmental schemes by triggering their local identification. Folks have also gotten the message that charity starts at home and are motivated to support money-saving, sustainable activities like gardening, both at home and at the community level, living minimally and local wildland cleanup. These items are all cheaper than many of the alternative activities people might partake in.
With all of our pockets feeling fairly tight these days, there are plenty of opportunities to not spend money and support sustainability.
Consider also the non-monetary costs. How stressful is your home full of clutter? How much history and culture is lost as the people of Polynesia have to move because their losing the island homes to rising water?

Grinstein, A., & Riefler, P. (2015). Citizens of the (Green) World? Cosmopolitan Orientation and Sustainability. Journal Of International Business Studies, 46(6), 694-714.
Why Should We Choose Sustainable Behaviors

Sustainability means
  • shaping society and human activity so the world, its inhabitants and its markets are capable of providing for the essentials and expressing their maximum ability in our time

  • safeguarding biodiversity and natural ecosystems

  • planning and acting for the ability to continue these standards for generations to come

Environmentalscience.org, who’s “mission is to be the most reliable and expansive advocate for environmental science education and careers”, presents an article about what sustainability is and why it's important www.environmentalscience.org/sustainability.  In its advocacy for education and careers in this area, they have drawn attention to the broad base of fields sustainability covers, demonstrating that it impacts so many areas of our lives. The organization’s article reports “sustainability” is the study of how natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything it needs for the ecology to remain in balance”.
If we keep doing what we’re doing, will we be able to keep doing it forever. I’ve said this before and, at the same time, wondered if it sounds a bit cryptic. As I think about the way we use the resources we have, and the resources of our children, and their children, and their children, etc, where does it end? Painfully, because we as a side society didn’t plan ahead. Instead of in a gentle, orderly fashion because we recognized there would be an end to nonrenewable resources and transitioned ourselves before it got to be an emergency.
People always talk about wanting better for their children, then they had. What about your children’s children and their children etc, Do you want better for them too?...How will you make that happen? The earth, nature, our environment is not given to us by our parents but loaned to us from our children.


S ustainability is ethical

Within the business and organizational studies fields, there is much discussion of sustainability in ethics and the relationship between them. A researcher, Stephen C. Betts at William Paterson University, studied these and the associated pertinent choices and insinuations. Betts recognizes the instinctual perception of sustainability in ethics are closely associated and he argued any foundation for ethical decision making requires sustainability be one of its chief categorical interest or understood products. When individuals act according to their own self-interest, without regard for the common good, they exhaust or destroy the resource making it unavailable for all and Betts use this idea to consider “some ethical philosophies, perspectives or frameworks, such as utilitarianism, rights and justice, and explore their relationship with the basic ideas of sustainability.” He determines protecting the common resources needs to be a definitive intent of business ethics. On this point, most people and businesses agree, however the difficulty comes in defining the resource in common and establishing what requires sustaining.
Common resources are things like our forests, deserts, and oceans, however some people believe jobs and the status quo are a common resource. It is shortsighted to work to preserve a current state, even though that current state has a clearly defined end at some point in the future. This short but in this disregards the common good for future generations.

Betts, S. C. (2009). AN EXAMINATION OF THE INTEREDEPENDENCE OF ETHICS AND SUSTAINABILITY: WHY SUSTAINABILITY IS THE ETHICAL CHOICE. Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings Of The Academy Of Legal, Ethical & Regulatory Issues (ALERI), 13(1), 15-20.