Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Richard Crane, and learn more about his efforts to live sustainably:
What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?
The beauty of nature inspires me. It is amazing how beautiful our country and Colorado is! When I worked for the National Park Service, I saw some amazingly beautiful places. I’ve also noticed how easy it is to destroy what we have. The consequences of pollution are enormous and long lasting. As our country’s population has grown, I’ve seen less wildlife and more damage to our environment – which is disappointing. If we continue on with our current trajectory, we will harm ourselves, our country and our children. I want the next generation to enjoy the benefits of a clean country that values the environment.
Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle at home (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, or conservation)?
Our family tries to keep it simple and fun. Starting with the thermostat, we lower it while sleeping and when we are away from the house. We’ve installed LED lighting throughout our home. Trips are combined when using the car and doing errands on my bicycle is really rewarding. We use the light rail and buses for transportation. Our family composts and recycles. We limit our use of single use plastics. We also support reuse stores for household items and clothing.
What do you think is the biggest roadblock for people trying to practice a sustainable lifestyle?
Letting convenience drive your decisions. A sustainable lifestyle takes more thought. It is easier and more convenient to use an item once and throw it away rather than to recycle, reuse it, or refuse it in the first place. We must rethink how we use and consume things. Instead of bagging your groceries with plastic bags from the store, take reusable bags in with you each time. This action can take a while to implement, but once done, you’ll never shop without a reusable bag.
What have you done over the years to support the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance and sustainability in the community?
I got involved with the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance by volunteering at a zero waste event. I am an engineer and have always made design decisions based on energy consumption. It seems like over the last 5 years our country has leaned into using plastic one time as the standard, rather than the exception. I want to change that. As a member on the Board of the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance, I realized this is a good place to influence the community where I live.
What inspires you on a daily basis to continue practicing sustainability?
The environment, our future, and our children. Our current consumption of energy, plastics, and waste does not secure a future for any of us.
What words of wisdom do you have for people just getting started on their journey toward a sustainable lifestyle?
Start doing something, no matter how small your effort is. Everything you do towards sustainability does make a difference. Vote with your pocket book. Don’t buy things that are not sustainable. If you don’t like the packaging that a store is using, don’t buy it, and talk to store management.