2013107In my favorite Doctor Who Christmas special, aliens use blood control to put billions of people worldwide teetering on the edge of rooftops and the Doctor challenges the alien leader to a sword duel for the planet. Like the Doctor we all need to take a stand for the planet. The real challenge is this: We’re using our limited resources on the Earth too fast to support our growing population and economic development. Yet many of us walk around like we’re under alien mind control not doing much about it.

But how can the average person make a real impact on this global threat? There are steps every human being is capable of taking. I am an early-adopter of many green living strategies even though I’m blood type A+ and should be susceptible to “alien control”. As an early-adopter, I’ve experienced the steps toward more sustainable living. Here are the steps as they occurred for me and how they can work for you:

  1. Get inspired. Find the Doctor in your life to inspire and motivate you. The major spark for me came from a “consumer conservation” course offered at my workplace. Beyond strategies to conserve energy, water and materials while saving money, the instructors shared green living strategies that worked for them at home and work. Look for people events and organizations that embrace green. Connect with people who are actually doing the kind of projects that capture your imagination and see how they make it work in real life. In the Austin area, AustinEcoNetwork.com is a great place to start.
  2. Get others on-board. The Doctor always has a companion, or two. Get a friend, co-worker, or family member on-board with you. I was so excited after the consumer conservation course, I
    shared the eco-projects I committed to tackling in the course with my husband. Through this sharing, my initial goals actually grew bigger and grander. I started with goals of buying wind energy and a hybrid car, and ended up with solar panels on my roof and an all-electric car! Share your dreams of a greener home and/or workplace. Other people may surprise you and help you achieve something even greater.
  3. Figure out how to make “green” work for you. The Doctor is always hatching crazy plans that seem impossible, but work. A fully electric car at first seemed out of reach. When we looked at our driving habits and found AustinEV, it became possible. Even when we had lead acid batteries in the car, it still was our primary vehicle
  4. Share results. The Doctor’s traveling companions eventually end up going back to “ordinary” lives, but they learned through their extraordinary experience with those around them. Our duplex transformed into a green home was on the Texas Solar Energy Society’s Austin Cool House Tour in 2010. We’ve shown our car at the Renewable Energy Roundup in Fredericksburg, TX multiple times and at several other events as well. Share what you do for the planet and help others get how they can do it, too.

There’s no big red button to push that will release us from walking around as though controlled by aliens. These four steps above are the best way I’ve found to build awareness and spur action on the sustainability issue. Let’s do it for the planet . . . and one another. We’re all on this rock hurtling through space together!