“I believe that change comes from personal conviction, from leading a more biblical lifestyle, not by Christianizing a nation. If we become called to Christ, we will build an effective nation through personal ethics. When you lead a life of purity, when you respect your wife and are good to your family, when you don’t waste money gambling and womanizing, you begin to work for better schools, for more protection and safety for your community. All change, historically, comes from the bottom up.”Palau's quote struck me not for its evangelical message (although its worth noting that his “old-school” evangelical approach is rapidly disappearing in today’s increasingly reactionary evangelical community) but because I heard myself in the approach. I, too, believe that change comes from personal conviction, from leading a more sustainable lifestyle, not by forcibly “greening” a nation. Self-improvement and local impact will eventually ripple out to affect policy at the national level.
Given this “begin with yourself” approach, I am always on the look out for ways to minimize my ecological impact. Unfortunately, for those of us living in the United States, Europe, or much of Southeast Asia, some of the positive lifestyle changes are very difficult to implement. I have yet to give up all my cell phone or computer, for example, or to better insulate my windows. I don’t really need a phone or a computer; in New York City there are plenty of public payphones and “cyber cafes” where I can purchase time. Yet despite my best intentions, I remain unwilling to sacrifice these modern conveniences.
At any rate, I came across this very straight forward list of ways you can help be a more environmentally friendly consumer and thought its simplicity merited a link. The base message: buy less and keep it for longer.