Being more sustainable…

News and analysis by Dan Telvock, Investigative Post's environmental reporter

Sustainability is the new big thing.

Although it is a long-term approach, sustainability makes a clear connection with the environment, the economy and how we live in the world.

What level of social responsibility do you take to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

To see sustainability on a local level, check out this interview that Kristen Kaszubowski, the social media assistant for GrowWNY, did with  Aliesa Adelman, a sustainable design coordinator at Wendel Companies.

One portion of the interview that struck me was when Kaszubowski asked how one could be more sustainable in their daily practices.

Recycling is one way to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and Buffalo has struggled with getting its recycling rates up. One of the reasons the recycling program has struggled is the lack of a comprehensive—and persistant—education program that targets neighborhoods that have historically not recycled.

Adelman points out in the interview that education is critical when it comes to sustainability because most people don’t know how to live “greener.”

Here’s what Adelman said:

“We’ve all seen campaigns on turn off the lights, how to weather strip and improve the performance of your house, and a lot of change comes from education. The more we can educate ourselves on the opportunities there are, and share them with others, the better we are able to get the word out on what to do and how we can do it.

“Much of what I’ve run in to is that it’s not that people don’t care about being more sustainable; they just don’t know how to go about it. So, helping people become more educated, that would be number one. That is over-arching with anything.

“I think in looking for ways to improve today, let’s say with travel, try looking for carpooling opportunities.

“We have carpooling resources here in Buffalo, but a lot of times people don’t know about them. So it comes back to the education component. Or taking a look at some of the other programs out there let’s say for doing a recycling program like ours.  There are a lot of resources available; it is just a matter of getting to know them.”