Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Randy Moorman, and learn more about his efforts to live sustainably:
What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?
I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana in the suburbs and some of my fondest memories are playing with my friends at the neighborhood pond, catching tadpoles and turtles. I always had a connection with nature and had this deeper sense in me that we have to care for the world around us. It is such an amazing world! My fascination with wildlife in particular led me to study ecology as an undergrad. Through my studies I learned about the loss of biodiversity and global warming.
After college, I went to Nicaragua as a missionary with my church. There I saw firsthand how social injustice was the cause of much of the environmental damage in Central America. The extraction of resources such as logging, mining, and the use of toxic pesticides threatened both the environment and Nicaraguans. That experience led me to a career in environmental activism and to work for a more sustainable society. Today, I am passionate about the work I am doing with Eco-Cycle, a non-profit Zero Waste organization based out of Boulder, CO.
Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, conservation, involvement with the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance, etc.)?
My husband and I shop locally, including farmer’s markets and thrift stores. We also try to cut down our use of fossil fuels by being a one car (hybrid) household and we compost our food and yard waste in our backyard composter. Recently, I have been giving Zero Waste kits as gifts to friends and neighbors. These include things like reusable straws, utensils and to go food containers for eating out as well as bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner bars and beeswax food wraps. These kits can be found on the internet (in our online store!) or at some of the Zero Waste stores in the Denver metro area.
Many of us are doing our part to further sustainability in our community but we also have to push for systemic change. As a resident of Arvada, I am a member of the Arvada Sustainability Advisory Committee and we recently worked to pass an organized waste and recycling hauling ordinance that will automatically give every home a recycle bin. This one step will have a tremendous impact on increasing our community’s recycling rate and reducing our environmental footprint.
What words of wisdom do you have for someone just getting started on their journey to ‘go green’?
Start small, don’t try to do everything all at once, or you’re going to feel overwhelmed. You can add to your actions as they become more a part of your everyday routine. You may want to start with Zero Waste—reduce, reuse, recycle and compost. These actions don’t require big investments and they make a significant impact on fighting climate change. Recycling can save up to 95% of the energy required to make new materials from natural resources and composting reduces the production of methane in landfills and pulls carbon out of the atmosphere (a climate solution!).
In fact, if we all just recycled 10% more in Colorado, we could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly 40,000 cars off the road each year. To learn more, please check out Ecocycle.org.