Terra Friedrichs

Doing What I can...
...to Conserve & Preserve the Environment
...to Promote Social Justice

Global Impact Starts
with Local Action

In Acton, my hometown, I hope that we can develop a Townwide "Energy Policy" which would include long and short term goals.  I believe that we can save money and be more ecologically responsible and healthier by doing things like:

- investing in making buildings and equipment more energy efficient
- encouraging people to adopt a "no-idling" policy
- promote walking and sidewalks, as well as more naturesque stone pathways
- encouraging community gathering spots within walkable distances from housing, for shopping, dining, etc
- encouraging smaller historically appropriate houses built near public transportation
- encouraging the use of "green building"
- encouraging "work-at-home" strategies

I believe that we can do a comprehensive "energy audit" using mostly volunteer resources.  The Outdoor Lighting Committee in Acton has already volunteered to help do most of the technical work, if the town staff can provide a short list of numbers.  The League of Woman Voter's local "E-Team" is thinking about way that they can guide such an effort.

Working-At-Home Saves on Fuel

My company is focused on finding work for "virtual workers", so that we can earn a fair wage, while working out of our homes.

This allows an incredible reduction in the use of the car.

I had been commuting and traveling a lot in the early part of my career, and I was determined to think of a way to get paid without using so much fuel.

Sustainable Logistics for Disaster Relief

The Citizen Action Team's logistics process allows reuse of household, office and contruction supplies not wanted in our region, by shipping pallets in the "empty spaces" of the transportation system to other regions that desparately want/need these items.

The organization's online database (see link below) allows for a great reduction in transportation by targetting relief supplies directly to people that need them.

The Citizen Action Team was presented an award for "Innovative Use of Technology" for the development of the Relief Database.

"All Things Green" Database

The Relief
Database (see link below) has a category for "All Things Green". It's a reference site for listing of groups that help recycle, reuse, and encourage/support sustainable trade and personal

Thank you, Debra Simes, the League of Woman Voters' E-Team, Ann Sussman and Jim Snyder-Grant and "Green Acton"! in Acton, Massachusetts for providing "green sources" for this database!

Click here to go the listing for "All Things Green"...

Sustainable Societies

Leaving a sustainable planet to the next generation should be a high priority.  I believe that social justice is part of a successful formula for a sustainable socieity, because people that are struggling for food often can not put much personal effort into sustainabile practices. 

In my ideal world, people would not think of skirting their social duties.  To dump trash into the ocean or to pollute the water we drink would be considered a heinous crime.  We would each use only what we need and share what we don't.

I believe that each person should spend x hours a week and y% of their income helping others, who either can not help themselves, or someone that's having trouble getting by.  Giving selflessly to folks who will never repay the favor, is a reward unto itself.  If we all chip in, we can get a lot done. 

Sustainability can be Affordable  

I believe that social and environmental sustainability can be accomplished in a fiscally conservative fashion if we accept the fact that it is our duty to live in a sustainable fashion.  Most of the effort is of a personal nature...one of changing habits and doing a bit of thinking.

Clever, affluent peoples are smart enough to develop techniques for how the world as a whole can be ecologically sound and socially just.  We can help economically underserved communities find ways to live comfortably and safely, so that we as a human race can survive in all of its wonderful diversity.  And we can do this all while making money, if you need more money.  Already, the alternative energy market sectors are becoming the most fiscally and socially exciting venture
groups in the world. Virtual workers are improving productivity for companies.  And "green" versions of products are proving to be cheaper to produce.

Social Justice can be Economically Smart

If we are smart about how we construct our lives, our communities and our governments, we can build a society that is both just and economically viable.  I believe that if we are smart about how we spend our charity/government monies, that we can get a LOT more done for the $. 

A Simpler Life

It is both easier and less expensive to live a simpler life.  We do not really need so many "things" in our lives.  As we simplify our lives, we find that we have more time for those that we love.

If we, as societies blessed with financial fortune can learn to abstain from excess, we will have more to work with in terms of creating a more sustainable world.  If we work to create less waste, by finding ways to recycle, reuse, and refuse, together as one community, we will have much more money and time to work with for altruistic pursuits.

My personal "carbonations":

Reduce Carbon Footprint

- Reduce Fuel Usage.
Every year, I try to reduce my carbon footprint by 10%. I know it's not much, but it's what I can do, and so I've been pretty successful at it over the past three decades. 
- Light bulbs.  I am just starting to try the squiggly bulbs.  I have serious problems with my eyesight and So far, so good.  I've tried them in the hallways and no problems yet.  Next stop...work areas.
- The furnace was replaced a couple years ago and is now one of the highest efficiency models.  We use gas.
- All appliances have been upgraded to high efficiency, except for one...which is on its way out.

Buy Local, Organic

Buy Fair Trade

I try to buy local, organic and/or fair-trade. I try not to buy "mined" materials if possible.  For jewelry and the trappings of vanity, I prefer to buy old jewlery or that made by hand by fair trade merchants.

In the food world, "local trumps organic" as they say, but I avoid high pesticide produce, even if it's local.  I shop at Debra's Natural Gourmet in West Concord.  She does a great job at examining the products and their materials and manufacturing/handling process before she offers them in her store. THANK YOU DEBRA! 

Yes, locally made, fair-trade, and organic goods are more expensive, but I consider part it part of my duty in life to support sustainable, responsible businesses.  It's healthier for me on many levels. And it's healthier for the planet. 

It's my small vote for an idealistic vision.

Vote with My $

It is one of the things I do as "charity".  It's not tax deductible.  But then do we have to get $for all matters of the heart and soul?  Do you get a tax deduction for every pleasure you consume? I vote with my dollars, and I vote for sustainable societies. And my enjoyment comes from knowing that I buy local and buy from producers that pay fair wages.

I want to be a responsible steward of our resources, all of our resources.  Talent, $, the environment, our peace and good will.

Recycle, Reuse, Refuse: 
- I try not to need new things. I try to repair it, and use it til the last possible thread is bare.  If I have to have it, then I recycle the old instead of throwing it away.
- I'm a mad recycler of packing material.  Please contact me if you have some that you don't know what to do with.
- I keep databases of recycling organizations for virtually any type of useable item. 

Diet is one of the most important ways we can support a more sustainable planet.  By eating one less meat serving a week, I'm told that you can save hundreds of pounds of carbon waste a year.

- I'm primarily vegetarian, although I eat seafood, cheese and honey.  I've started eating meat, to support only local sustainable production streams.
- A growing part of my diet is raw, fruit, veggies, and nuts.
- I eat primarily organic, but try to eat locally produced food whenever possible
- My friend Kitty Luna also eats primarily organic
- Scott, my partner in life, is an organic farmer and chef, who develops incredibly delicious, easy, veggie-oriented recipes. In the summer he grows most of his food himself...including like 10 different types of greens.  He's recently figured out how to grow greens all year round.

Household Cleaners:
- I use all biodegradable household products, except I can't get my dishwasher to work right with organic cleaner.  HELP!
- Anyone that helps me around the house gets specific training about why they can only use certain products in my house and why they might want to consider using them in theirs.

Personal Products:
- I use primarily organic shampoos and simple, soaps and cremes from ecologically responsible fair-trade suppliers. 
- My laundry detergent, fabric softener, and "bleach" are bio-degradable and mostly organic.

Office Supplies:
- We use paper made from recycled content
- We recycle all ink cartridges and better yet, have reduced printing considerably in recent years.

- I buy notecards, clothes, and other household items from fair-trade craftsmen whenever possible to support sustainable manufacture and social justice
- We reuse and recycle so much that we've gotten down to one trash bag a week for the two of us.



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