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Many Small Steps

from Ecology Action Alliance

Ecology Action Alliance is a network of individuals who are committed to make the changes, large and small, in our lifestyles that will allow us to live in a compatible way with the resources of our planet.

There are no dues, there is no age limitation for membership. To become a member of EAA you must choose at least three “Small Steps” from this list to begin doing immediately. Add at least one step each week until you are living the most ecological lifestyle you can.

  • I will recycle whatever I can through my municipality.

  • I will buy snacks and other foods in a degradable (paper) container whenever possible.

  • I will avoid buying/using clothing which requires dry cleaning.

  • I will choose food and other products in the most ecological packaging available (paper, cotton and glass as opposed to plastic)

  • I will not buy/use Styrofoam products.

  • I will not buy/use aerosol cans.

  • I will start/expand my garden.

  • I will reduce/eliminate toxic pesticides in my lawn and garden.

  • I will purchase clean renewable energy through my electric utility (

  • I will join a gardening club.

  • I will establish a bartering relationship with a neighbor (childcare for knitting lessons?).

  • I will set a radius (2 blocks/2 miles?) and make a commitment to walk everywhere I need to go within that radius.

  • I will choose one day each week to refrain from driving.

  • I will buy/repair/use a bicycle.

  • I will make a serious and sustained effort to carpool and combine driving errands.

  • I will patronize my neighborhood merchants.

  • I will repair and reuse major appliances whenever possible.

  • I will donate or find a use for items I no longer wish to use whenever possible (Volunteer Action Line of the United Way is a good source for recipients).

  • I will patronize the used goods market whenever possible.

  • I will buy/utilize hand powered appliances and tools whenever possible.

  • I will become an urban livestock keeper! (bees, eggs, poultry).

  • I will copy this list and encourage one person each week to become a member of Ecology Action Alliance.

  • I will share magazine subscriptions with friends or a library.

  • I will reduce/eliminate toxic cleaning supplies and replace them with non-poisonous cleaning supplies at my home/work.

  • I will make a sustained effort to turn off appliances and lights that are not in use.

  • I will encourage retailers and manufacturers to reduce/simplify packaging material.

  • I will contract for a home energy audit (contact your utility company for details).

  • I will use natural light and ventilation (windows!) whenever possible.

  • I will encourage parents to use reusable supplies for diapering and washing their babies.

  • I will use my/my children’s “artwork” as stationery when writing to relatives.

  • I will use simple measures (massage, tea, and rest) when dealing with common ailments.

  • I will ask friends to consider natural products and materials when choosing gifts for me.

  • I will order and use catalogues specializing in cotton clothing and natural materials.

  • I will bring my own cloth or paper bags for shopping trips.

  • I will eat the most wholesome and unadulterated diet possible.

  • I will support businesses that promote an environmental awareness.

  • I will buy/request organic food at food stores and restaurants.

  • I will join/contribute to an environmental group.

  • I will buy/use recycled paper whenever possible.

  • I will ask my grocer to carry local/organic produce.

  • I will ask my grocer to carry alternatives to Styrofoam products.

  • I will lobby my political representatives to make environment a priority issue.

  • I will petition my civic groups (school, business, congregations) to conserve, recycle and consume responsibly.

  • I will enjoy moments outside each day.

  • I will learn about the vegetation and wildlife in my area.

  • I will study and be a resource in my community for one aspect of the environmental agenda (solid waste, conservation, the charitable network, ecology legislation, whole foods, alternative healing...)

“Many Small Steps” is used with permission. It originally appeared in Andrea Cohen-Kiener’s Claiming Earth As Common Ground; The Ecological Crisis Through the Lens of Faith. Available in PDF Format.

People think it’s one defining decision.
It isn’t; it’s one small step for each decision.

Denny Lyon “Stepping Thru Life”

Poems From A Spiritual Heart

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