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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • The Green Space: Commitment and starter steps for greening up

  • When pondering what to write this week, one word came to mind – commitment. We may make several commitments throughout our lifetime and, indeed, rarely does an endeavor really work without commitment.
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  • When pondering what to write this week, one word came to mind – commitment. We may make several commitments throughout our lifetime and, indeed, rarely does an endeavor really work without commitment.
    Think about marriage, parenthood, educational or career pursuits, quitting smoking, or incredible achievements like running a marathon, climbing a mountain, biking long distances, reaching high academic standards, or finding the cure – would any of these be possible without commitment.
    That one word is really what it takes to do something well. Sometimes it works better to commit by starting small and then adding more as you become successful.
    This can be the key when you want to green-up your life. Since it is the new year, you could choose one thing to change in your lifestyle – one thing that would be easier for you to begin, here are a few starter suggestions:
    • Change every incandescent light bulb in your house to a CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp).
    • Purchase a programmable thermostat and program it with your Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep schedule.
    • Lower the temperature at night by 2 – 5 degrees, and add another blanket (or two) to the bed.
    • Start household recycling.
    • Convert to ebanking (with ebill paying), when possible.
    So, that was a short list because this is supposed to be easy. Do not feel like you need to choose more than one of these items. Once you have committed to one of these and it becomes easy, think about committing to adding another. Maybe you are already doing one or more, if so, congratulations! You are already on the green road of life!
    Every journey begins with a single step. We often get overwhelmed, with the idea of having to save the world. In truth that is beyond any single individual. A unified commitment of people taking one step at a time, one day at a time and simply doing the small things at hand is how any great deed is accomplished. If everybody committed to taking any one of the steps above, the impact on our natural resources, the economy, and the quality of our lives would be monumental.
    You can be the one person that makes a difference; your participation could inspire others to join in and live more green.
    It will take a unification of many to make the greatest impact on our natural resources. It can be done – do not think that you do not make a difference in this endeavor! You are the one person that can tip the scales and motivate others to follow your green example and begin their own journey to commitment.
    Lynn Youngblood is a Kansas City-based naturalist who writes for Gatehouse Media.
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