How the Program Works
Five to eight households—an EcoTeam—meet seven times over a four-month period and use a step-by-step workbook to create a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Choosing from a series of practical actions, the team supports one another to reduce waste, use less water and energy, buy green products, and encourage others to get involved. More than increasing awareness, the Green Living Program enables people to change the way they live – measurably.
- Using this handbook, you take action to develop sustainable lifestyle practices in five areas: garbage, water, energy, transportation, and consumption. The sixth action area, empowerment enables you to help others take action for the planet.
- You can do this program either with your household family members or as part of a peer support group of friends, neighbors, co-workers, or members of your faith community or civic organization—an EcoTeam. A good size for an EcoTeam is five to eight households. Doing it with other households is recommended as it strengthens motivation to complete the actions and is a lot of fun.
- In either format, the program is designed to be completed in seven meetings that take place every ten days to two weeks. Different team members run the meetings using scripts located in the support section of this handbook. Meetings last 1.5 to 2 hours, with several hours needed between meetings to take the selected actions. If you do the program as an individual household and live with others, turn your household members into an EcoTeam and adapt the meeting scripts accordingly. If you live alone and choose to do this on your own, use the program’s suggested time sequence to keep you motivated.
- In the team program, the first meeting—Team Building Meeting—you review each of the program elements, build a team, schedule the remaining meetings and choose people to lead them. During meetings 2 to 7, team participants report on actions taken and describe their action plans for the next section. The team provides support and inspiration for everyone to carry out their plans.
- Before each meeting, read all the actions from the related handbook pages, fill in that chapter’s Sustainable Lifestyle Assessment (Section 7) and decide which actions you will take. Then transfer your “will do” actions to the Action Log in the beginning of each section and decide when you will take the actions. If you live with others, discuss your plan with them to get their ideas and participation.
- Each action you take has a point value based on effort or resources saved. To keep track of your accomplishments, after you have done each action, check it off on your Action Log and fill in the “after program” column of the Sustainable Lifestyle Assessment.
That’s it! Have fun as you improve life on our planet.