Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Dave Lystrom, and learn more about his efforts to live sustainably:
What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?
I grew up on a sustainable family farm until 1960 when I graduated from high school. We didn’t use pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Manure from farm animals was recycled on fields and gardens. Disposable plastic containers all but unheard of. Although some of the present-day unsustainable conveniences were lacking or not available yet, we lived happy, productive lives.
Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle at home (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, or conservation)?
We recycle most everything, compost, use cloth napkins and avoid single use containers and plastic bags as much as we can. Our home built in 1981 has extra thick wall and ceiling insulation and has a southern exposure passive solar heating. We installed a hot water solar system on our roof in 1983 and added an electric solar system in 2008. We recently purchased a plugin hybrid automobile that gets 47 miles on a charge from a wall socket. So far we have driven over 2000 miles using less than 10 gallons of gasoline. The car is fun to drive and after the Fed and State tax incentives the purchase was a no brainer.
What do you think is the biggest roadblock for people trying to practice a sustainable lifestyle?
The biggest roadblock to living a sustainable lifestyle is a lack of public awareness of how we are collectively diminishing the viability of our land, air and water. Maybe the wakeup call will be the ever more apparent devastating effects of climate change. Hopefully, before it’s too late. On a smaller scale we can each do our part in making our community more sustainable. It’s easier than you might think.
What have you done over the years to support the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance and sustainability in the community?
I became familiar with the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance in 2011. the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance was such a good fit for my wife Karen and I and we both began volunteering for various activities. Being retired and with a background in civil engineering and water resources as well as farming I volunteered to serve as the construction manager for the Buchanan Community Garden completed in 2013 and the Buffalo Park Community Garden completed in2016. I’m presently coordinating the Christmas tree recycling event at the Evergreen Lutheran Church.