Starting a sustainable lifestyle isn't difficult, but to many it can seem daunting. That's why Jonathan Davis started GreenPosting, an online community, rating center and news source for sustainable living in Portland, Oregon.
Jonathan wasn't always in the business of e-sustainability. In fact, when he first started out in Portland, he was working in the mortgage industry, at a job he eventually lost.
"There is a tremendous amount of greed associated with it [the mortgage industry]," he said. "I became very introspective on what I wanted to associate myself with, and that feeling of wanting to be more active in the community and doing more environmental stewardship resonated with me."
So in May 2008, some months after he was let go, he decided to start GreenPosting. He'd had the idea for the company some months before when he went online himself to try and find a resource for sustainable information in Portland. When he realized it didn't exist, he knew he'd caught onto something.
"It struck me like a ton of bricks, like a thunderbolt coming from the sky and I couldn't get it out of my head," he said. "That day I got the idea, I bought the domain name. Everything kind of naturally fell into place. I thought that was a very, very good sign."
Jonathan thinks of GreenPosting as "a way for people to stay connected to sustainability at a local level in Portland and help generate ideas for people and communities across the nation." But in the beginning, he didn't know if it would really catch on.
"It was definitely nerve-wracking, and exciting, and scary, and I had no idea what was going to happen. I didn't know if it was a good idea or how the community was going to accept it," he said. "But I started talking to people and putting myself out there in the community and I felt that there was excitement for it."
Aside from articles, a directory of sustainable business, and a calendar of events, GreenPosting has expanded into consulting and partnering with other organizations to continue spreading the message. They've worked with UC Berkeley's alumni association summer camp as their sustainable consultant as well as helping to start a nonprofit called the Bicycle Business League.
Jonathan realizes not everyone is so invested in sustainability as to start a website devoted to it. However, he believes that anyone can start small and work their way up.
"Look into your own micro environment at home and work to see what habits have been created to see what can be tweaked," he said. "Sign up for renewable energy through your energy provider, try bicycling or walking, support local businesses, and volunteer doing something you want to do."
After all, he wasn't raised with the mindset he's come to hold. "I started there and now I'm getting the ball rolling for an ecoroof for the condo complex I live in," he said. "Start small and let it build. It's not rocket science, it's a mindset. It'd be easier not to pursue it, but its more gratifying to."
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