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Is Sustainably a Healthy Choice?

June 17, 2011


At a forward thinking energy meeting this week, the subject of sustainability came up. Mr. David Jacobs, Program Manager of the Office of Environmental Quality, City of Garland, Texas said you mean “Healthy Choice.” Knowing it was not lunch time and for the most part the attendees at the round table looked physically fit, it was somewhat elusive how David could equate sustainability with a frozen food brand name that stands for “nutritious foods that can give you energy.”

Jumping to what it conjectured to be sustainability in the energy world, at first the phrase “Healthy Choice,” seemed to mystify rather than demystify the concept.

From a top down approach, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (“DoE”), Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan refers to improving the country’s environmental, energy and economic performance and achieving targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

To a more humanistic view referenced in Anna M. Clark’s book,” Green American Style,” sustainability is the “green advantage,” which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This sounds good and shares the flavor of Winston Churchill, who said so eloquently “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Anyway what does the term sustainable” matter as long as some measurable beneficial output is achieved in terms of energy conservation. In the words of William Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet”

The main point is whatever we call sustainability; it must conjure up some model in our mind that is clear, concise and executable. Daring to go so far as to be called a quack PhD again, it difficult to get empowered to conserve energy on an everyday basis by following the three tenants of sustainability: economic viability, environmental stewardship, and public responsibility. Similar, it’s difficult for the average person to determine how much CO2 would be conserved or generated by lighting a candle instead of turning on the light. Anna gets closer to mark by turning everyday lifestyle activities into a decision making process: “do my actions today benefit both me and our children’s childrens’s.”

But like Healthy Choice’s delicious and smaller, lunch-sized meals, a thumbs up goes to David’s connotation of Health Choice energy sustainability which allows one to live better and save money by using smaller amounts of energy. If you make the effort to drive to the supermarket to purchase Healthy Choice meals, it would seem easier and more pragmatic to turn off the light when you leave the room and workplace.

In closing, pictures like this from space, which are considered to be beautiful, are in effect horrific. Sort of wasteful and silly to light up the night sky as a welcome map for extraterrestrial life forms! Would it not be better to see our earth as shown above – a healthy and vibrant life sustaining sphere?


I leave it to you to make the Healthy Choice when it comes to using limited and ever more costly resources. Let’s give our children the ability to make Healthy Choices too!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 17, 2011 3:50 PM

    Thanks for introducing a new term to the sustainability conversation. Healthy Choice….not a bad definition, actually. Concise, to the point, and more understandable than most explanations out there!

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