Moving beyond sustainability
Sustainability is a word that can be both peculiarly vague and intimidating at the same time. Many fail to see how their actions can contribute to this noble overarching concept. Now Summit County is beginning to take this issue on in a new program.
The new Thriving Lifestyles campaign, courtesy of the Summit County Health Department, debuted last week and seeks to educate and inspire citizens to do more not just to sustain, but to thrive. The program, which is based on a comprehensive guide, was created by Public Information Officer Katie Mullaly, and features tips, resources, quotes and more on how individuals can thrive.
Mullaly, who is excited about Thriving Lifestyles’ future impact on Summit County, spoke about the program’s origins.
"What I started to do about a year ago was look into issues of community sustainability and personal sustainable actions. I wasn’t able to find a comprehensive program that really brought in all the components of sustainability which are environmental, social and economic," Mullaly said.
The guidebook offers five key components to thriving that are all interconnected. They fit together as puzzle pieces, which is Thriving Lifestyles’ logo, and include: (1) health, (2) economy, (3) family, (4) environment and (5) community.
Mullaly hopes individuals can find small, personal things in the book that are achievable and make a difference. Doing so, she believes, is crucial to fulfilling the ideas of sustainability.
"People are kind of tired of sustainability," Mullaly said. "The word is getting misused, overused—it doesn’t necessarily represent what it was originally meant to be anymore."
Accompanying the five components of Thriving Lifestyles are 10 areas of life pertaining to both where and how people can thrive. These areas delve into more specific actions individuals can take to thrive and are interconnected with the five components. They include:
An example from the book from the ‘Home’ section shows how to manage both one’s energy sources and usage. Information on heating and cooling, water usage, cleaning products and more is also included in the section.
Mullaly wishes to partner with groups such as Summit Community Solar, the Park City Foundation and the Park Silly Sunday Market as well as local growers, health clinics and businesses. She says Thriving Lifestyles could utilize local businesses to provide sponsorship dollars for book costs.
The program could also reciprocate by holding Thriving Lifestyles talks within the workplace. Such a move, Mullaly said, would also serve to bolster the local economy.
"If we have happy employees and happy consumers, we have a happy bank account," Mullaly said.
Though Thriving Lifestyles will not have a grand kick-start event, Mullaly says the program will start out with small events with local partners, talks in classrooms and an online and social media presence.
As well as having a Twitter and Facebook page, Thriving Lifestyles will be starting an ‘iTHRIVE/weTHRIVE’ program in which individuals or families e-mail in 10 tips from the book that they did.
"I hope to see this become something that everybody talks about and everybody’s involved with," Mullaly said. "Let’s get this conversation started and get this information out there."
For more information on Thriving Lifestyles, visit http://www.thrivinglives.org.
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