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Local group offers series on seeking a sustainable lifestyle

By Joe Knight Leader-Telegram staff | 0 comments

A group of local Quakers are inviting area citizens to an upcoming discussion series “Choices for Sustainable Living.”

The series will involve reading the writings of various experts and authors on topics that include sustainability and food, transportation, and community, and then getting together for discussions. The writings are put together by the Portland, Ore. -based Northwest Earth Institute.

Cheryl Lochner-Wright, Eau Claire, is one of the organizers. She hopes the sessions will bring together people in the community to exchange ideas.

“I have done a couple of the Northwest Earth Institute courses, and I find that the course materials are very good, but beyond that, I’ve found that being in a discussion group with other people I get a lot more out of it sharing their ideas and perspectives than if I just did the reading on my own,” she said.

The Lochner-Wright family had taken some steps to minimize their energy use. They get about half of their electricity from solar panels on the roof. They heat with a natural gas and a stove that burns wood pellets. They have a programmable thermostat that turns down the heat when they are sleeping and when they’re not home. They have a vegetable garden and belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) that provides a box of locally grown produce every week during the growing season. They have two cars, both hybrids.

They have a television, computer, dishwasher — the usual electronic appliances you find in a typical American household. They save some energy while living a fairly typical American lifestyle. Their kids complain about reduce television viewing hours compared to their peers, but that is as much a parenting decision as an energy saving decision, said Doug Lochner-Wright, Cheryl’s husband.

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