Overcoming barriers to sustainable living

CORVALLIS — Interested in ways to improve the quality of life and reduce your negative impacts on the environment? An easy-to-read booklet, "Living Sustainably: It's Your Choice," is available online and in print from Oregon State University Extension.

The guide identifies three barriers to living sustainably in the U.S.: the time crunch, too much "stuff" and disconnection from nature and spirituality. It also suggests ways to overcome them by using a "triple-win" system when making lifestyle changes.

Sustainable living is defined in the booklet as "a life that is deeply satisfying, fulfilling and appealing because it is socially, environmentally and economically responsible."

"The decision to live sustainably is intensely personal," said Viviane Simon-Brown, OSU professor of forest ecosystems and society and one of the book's authors. "Some people make changes to save money, others to protect the environment and still others to allow more time too pursue other things in life.

"The result," she added, "is the same — a more sustainable life, community and planet."

The triple-win effect — which balances social, environmental and economic values — can lead to benefits such as a better quality of life, improved health and strengthened communities.

The booklet is available online at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/EC/EC1614.pdf. Copies can be ordered from OSU Extension Service for $3.50 plus shipping. To order, e-mail a request to puborders@oregonstate.edu or call 1-800-561-6719.

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