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How do you maintain the energy for change? Responses from the Sustainable Cities Round Table, 20 May 2009

Posted in Sustainable Cities Round Tables by Ferne Edwards on June 10th, 2009

The final question asked to the audience at the recent Sustainable Cities Round Table – The Energy to Change, 20 May 2009, was: “How do you maintain the energy to change for a healthier, more sustainable future?” This question provided some shining answers of how people maintain their motivation to work towards sustainability. It can be a hard road – we’ve got to pave it! – and it takes a lot of perseverance to make such changes. Find a long list of positive and heart-felt responses from the audience below. Again, the data has not been edited or analysed at all – simply written as was collected at the event.

What keeps you motivated?

    Fear, hope
    By leading a healthy life and that stopping is not an option for a more sustainable future.  Need to stand up for people and the environment.
    Collaboration, sharing, inspiration of others
    Reflection on all that everyone is doing, grow own food, drive slowly up all hills
    Desire to leave the environment in an acceptable state for the next generation
    Networking with like-minded people and sharing stories of passion and success
    Participation in innovative and experimental projects with educational outcomes
    Keep projects fun and interesting eg, practise greening our large flat roof firstly on the shed
    Motivated by the panoramic view outside the work window-seeing the smog every day
    Encouraging our friends to use their bikes by gifting with fluro decorative leg bands
    Using electricity wisely
    Use of clean transport ie bikes
    Look at packaging before I buy
    Its all about doing stuff alongside interesting people who also want to do stuff
    Its too vital not to have the energy
    Sense of urgency
    Like minded people
    Events
    Positive news on moving towards sustainability
    My sustainability job
    Working, talking and being with other committed, energetic people (especially when your own energy lags)
    My 1 yr old son
    Consider how the future will think of us knowing what we know
    The challenge and the urgency
    Re-assess town planning regulations
    By maintaining close connections with the diverse, inspired community of people who also want this change
    Climate change is a change to reform society and re-balance the terms of our relationship with the natural world
    Community support and passion
    Go to events
    Read widely
    Talk to people
    Challenge ideas, be curious, ask lots of questions, share knowledge
    Digging the vegie patch
    Thinking about the grandchildren
    Keeping in touch with like-minded people
    Sing in community choir
    Go to east Gippsland forests and pretend the worlds troubles have gone away
    Look at kids
    Connecting with others
    Seeing the beauty in everything (particularly nature)
    Volunteering
    Trying to convince people
    Do fun low energy activities eg riding bike, read and learn
    My students give me endless hope that the future will be better.  (There really is no other choice anyway.)
    Part of climate change action group
    Enjoyment of low energy activities
    Intellectual challenge
    Work as a landscape, architect/urban designer
    Necessity for a sustainable future
    I recognise that the future of life (as we know it) depends on it
    A desire to live with more connections with the Earth
    Discussing ideas and challenges with my friends so we can share the load and sustain energy
    Trying to live a healthy, nurturing personal life and allowing time to change
    Ride a bike everywhere
    The possibility of living in a zero/low emission future is so inspiring in particular when it includes social benefits and economic change
    I think of my kids and the other innocent youth, flora and fauna we share the planet with now and into the future
    Eat more greens
    Using less energy and thinking about how I use it.  Often I think “What is my small change going to do?”
    Guilt?   A good bed to rest well and get up and keep on the fight in the morning
    Having your kids come home from school and ask what youre doing about sustainability
    I gave up my car
    Maintain the vision and feed it by interactions with people who are making positive change
    Keeping in touch with others interested and active in improving sustainable behaviour and riding my bike and using time to reflect, absorb whats going on around me and generate ideas=healthy body and mind-literally have more energy
    Maintain energy by acting-the more you do, the more you can do.
    Pay off the ecological debt to future generations asap
    I look at my three children and am determined to provide them with a sustainable world
    Communicate, live, practise energy efficiency everyday.
    Buy energy efficiency products an services
    The future of technology will help in meeting our current energy challenges
    Walk the talk
    Faith
    Optimism
    Inspiration from others
    Its easier to maintain the energy to change when Im in touch with positive possible solutions rather than doom and gloom scenarios
    Maintain energy
    Connect with others with similar beliefs
    Right thing to do-morality
    Others around me-seeing wonderful things happening in the world
    I feel good about it and it is good for my health (eg walking rather than driving) and finances eg. Better insulation = lower costs
    Australia is a precious country with a variety of ecosystems and we need to protect it
    Keep paying attention to what others are doing to get ideas and inspiration
    Spending time with like-minded people and going to events like this
    I think the future will be grim if we dont
    I use less energy/recycling.
    Attend seminars to broaden knowledge about energy issues
    Hearing about new ideas and meeting people who are enthusiastic about change
    We do not have the right to live on the wealth of future generations.  We must make a difference now.

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