Mark Metcalf

Small behaviors, big change

By - May 19th, 2011 04:00 am

The rock climbing wall at the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park. Photo by Nicole Peaslee

Okay, so maybe “saving the planet” is a bit dramatic, but most can agree that we’d all like to reduce our carbon footprint. Whether that’s growing your own food, using less water or maybe even driving less, many are looking for simple, accessible ways to stem the effect of things like climate change and dwindling resources.

“It’s all about behavior change, and it’s about [creating] a different paradigm,” says Ken Leinbach, Executive Director of the Urban Ecology Center. “Every decision you make – whether it’s paper or plastic, whether it’s buying a car, whether you’re buying a tomato or growing something — you should consider the environmental impact of that decision. It’s really that simple.”

That sentiment is reflected in every aspect of what the Urban Ecology Center does at both its Riverside and Washington Park locations — from the use of sustainable building practices and materials at each center to the programs offered. At the heart of the UEC’s mission is the desire to connect people with the nature around them in an effort to foster environmental stewardship and create real, sustainable change.

Both centers work with neighborhood schools to instill this sense of ecological responsibility in students from an early age. Whether it’s through nature hikes, canoeing, rock climbing or working in urban gardens, the UEC’s education and outreach programs work to give kids (and adults) a better understanding of their environment, and in turn, an incentive to protect it.

To complete our series on sustainability and environmental stewardship, Ken Leinbach talks about the UEC’s mission and how simple choices can truly make a difference.

Listen now:

(Windows Media Player)


Learn more about the UEC here.

Subscribe to these podcasts through iTunes here.

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