Step 2: Creating healthy, ecological lives

Checking out the potato crop at an organic farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Once you are rooted in your home territory and are armed with the intimate knowledge of place, you can begin to change your own life. You can discover how to lead a healthier, more fulfilling, more intentional life that is in greater balance with the natural world that sustain us all. 

If you analyze your personal impact on the planet—your “ecological footprint”—you will probably find that the biggest impacts are in four areas:

  • Housing—The operation and maintenance of your home.
  • Food—Growing and shipping your food from around the world.
  • Transportation—Living a high-mileage life powered by fossil fuels.
  • Stuff—All the rest of the consumer items that fill up your life.

The average American has a huge ecological footprint. Indeed it's estimated that if everyone lived like people in U.S. we would need the equivalent of five Earths to supply all the resources and energy. 

This Live section of the website attempts to frame a range of perspectives about your impacts related to home, food, transportation and consumption. And then it provides the best possible guide to the choices you can make about better ways to live.

Beyond the practical tips, this is a discussion about values—about what it means to live a satisfying life. Many people are realizing that, once a baseline standard of living is achieved, greater consumption does not bring greater happiness. The good life is really about connections to other people and nature, being part of a nurturing community, dignified and purposeful work, and physical health and security.

It's exciting to discover how the path to this good life can also be the path to reduced environmental impacts. Come on the journey!

This section of the site will be updated frequently, as we come across new information and recommendations. You can help by sending suggestions here.

10 ways to stay cool and save

10 ways to stay cool and save >

See these tips to beat the heat and save money.

Eco-friendly landscapes

Eco-friendly landscapes >

We look inside two local guides to native landscaping and their benefits.

Ten water saving tips

Ten water saving tips >

We're at the shore of Lake Erie, but we still have good reasons to conserve