The goal, to live more green and resilient. To live more within our ecological and economic means.
This link will take you to more about the G and R Neighborhood Initiative.
Resilience has become a familiar word.
We all know we are overdue for a large earthquake that could leave the Pacific Northwest disrupted for months and even longer. That's not all. Economic, technical, public health, social, political and environmental uncertainties are already familiar topics in the news. Each could disrupt our transportation, food, health care, communications and energy systems by themselves and even more so in combination with others impossible to predict.
From Babylon to the present, few civilizations have side stepped natural or human caused disasters and disruptions. In our modern lives, just about everyone depends on products and services that have complex itineraries from distant source to our own homes. Our comfort and convenience is far more fragile than most people think.
Creating green and resilient homes and lifestyles lead to many benefits. Green approaches can mitigate the severity of disruptions, build community cohesion, improve public health and even help create jobs. Here's how.
Green approaches emphasize taking care of more needs closer to home. Lifestyles that are less resource intensive and more supported by local products and services are less dependent on distant sources so are less vulnerable to disruptions.
Green homes and lifestyles leave a smaller eco footprint which mitigates climate change. They reduce individual and families' cost of living and can free up personal time for community involvement.
In Eugene, the city offers a variety of programs for building safety, security and resilience at home, the neighborhood and in the community. Neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Watch, Mapping Your Neighborhood, CERT Training, neighborhood matching grants and city volunteer programs all empower citizen initiative.
These are all excellent programs to build safety and security. They have already benefited many thousands of people in Eugene. Taken together, they offer trainings that include class room sessions, emergency skills in simulated conditions and professional support.
Even more, these city programs can serve as social ice breakers. These programs make it far easier for people to meet and find common interests. Along with new resilience skills and ideas that provide focus, neighbors can hatch out more ambitious projects to build safety and resilience together.
Churches, mosques and temples can play a vital role to create resilience. Their values of service to the community, care for the natural world, modest lifestyle and social uplift are perfect ideals for living more green and prepared. Schools, scouts, businesses, non profits, ad hoc groups can all help build green and resilient homes, neighborhoods and community.
When there are enough green and resilient projects in place near each other, its time for a site tour. Invite neighbors and friends for a show and tell of front yard gardens, edible landscapes, rain water systems and fences down to inspire them to do likewise.
Creating green and resilient homes and neighborhoods rebuilds civic culture, reduces our eco footprints and supports a local economy. Greening our lifestyles improves public health and make us less vulnerable to disruption. These actions bring out our positive potentials and talents for common cause. There has never been a better time in history to make our homes, lifestyles, neighborhoods and community more green and resilient. And its fun!