Our mission and focus
Our mission is to make available information, resources, services and networking opportunities for everyone interested in exploring ecologically sustainable ways of thinking, living and interacting in our world community. We do this through educating individuals and families to integrate sustainable living methods into their lives. Through the information, resources and services we provide we encourage you to adopt personal sustainable development. We believe that it is by the actions of individuals and families that change happens. Therefore we strongly support the ethos of SIMBY - Start In My Back Yard. Not only does SIMBY create change, in and of itself, it also provides a model for others to create change.
Our focus is not a narrow focus on the standard areas common to talk of sustainable living. Our focus is much broader and covers all topics that contribute to sustainable living. For example, we discuss issues related to our need for a healthy body, such as nutrition, lifestyle, non-toxic products for use in the home, garden and industry, along side issues related to social connection with family, people, food, and all of nature, and issues related to the physical environment such as fossil and alternative fuels and energy sources, transport alternatives, urban planning, and the IT industry.
With this broader focus we demonstrate that living sustainably leads to a physically and spiritually fulfilling lifestyle. Recognition is given to the spiritual aspect of all elements in the ecological system in with we all participate, and of the crucial role we play in determining the make-or-break of this system. We have the power to continue our head long rush to destruction or to take action and turn around the damage we have inflicted so far, and work for a successful outcome for all life on the planet.
What we do
We provide motivation and opportunities to mobilise people in their economic roles - as consumers, business people, and employees. We aim to harness economic power, that is, the strength of consumers, businesses and the market place, to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Consumers have ultimate power. If we do not purchase goods and services that are not based on ecologically sound practices, those goods and services will not survive in the market place. It is up to us as individuals and consumers to stand up and take action.
Some of the services we provide act as a platform for local green businesses and local people to interface. We strongly support the development of strong bioregions, and encourage local communities to become self-reliant. The focus on bioregionalism leads to social, environmental and economic sustainability and connectedness.
We seek to repair the disconnection that has occurred in the last 50 years. By supporting movements such as the Slow Food, Slow Travel, and Slow Cities movements we are supporting renewed and increased connection in different areas of our lives.
We explore some of the ethical problems associated with the quest for the sustainable use of resources. The solutions to these problems must be based on. We work to eliminate abusive, unjust practices and to create healthy, just and sustainable practices.
Through the information, resources and services we facilitate the empowerment of people to take personal and collective action. Issues we cover are not restricted to those of environmental responsibility. We also cover and promote issues of social justice. We see these two sets of issues as interlinked in a complex web and if we are to achieve a sustainable world our quest must incorporate both.
We are committed to sharing the results of research and development of sustainable practices locally and globally. Often it is the lack of knowing how, that stops people from taking actions to live more sustainably.
Who we are
Footprint Choices is a family run enterprise that is dedicated to supporting social and environmental responsibility. With 12 family members spanning three generations, we are committed to working together to make a difference - to the community, the planet and to the health of all beings that inhabit the earth. We also believe that enjoying ourselves shouldn't be an after-hours activity.
We all share a common ethos and we each bring to Footprint Choices a range of qualifications, skills and experiences. Together we represent the views and experiences of three generations who have grown up in three distinct time periods each with its own issues for sustainable living.
Here we are in chronological order:
CL Claridge (BA, MLandResSt., PhD). CL has qualifications in natural resource management, psychology, permaculture, and empowerment processes. She has, for many years, worked in international development, supporting government organizations, non-government organizations and community members to define their future development and to build sustainable systems of agriculture, education, and community development. She is also committed to supporting parents and children to build relationships based on a deep connection. She holds parent education courses and counselling sessions, and has recently written a book on parenting. Her main role in Footprint Choices is as researcher/writer.
Leon Blanchard-Claridge is in his sixth decade of wonderful life experiences. His main role at Footprint Choices is as marketing specialist, although there are many other skills he utilises in the business, including sub-accountant skills. He has long been interested in sustainable homespun solutions to the common problems of housing, food and recreation. He has a strong interest in Asian and South Asian cultures and the cooking and music of these regions. He is interested in promoting the values of good nutrition as a key step towards good health and wellness.
Justin Claridge is an environmental scientist with 10 years experience. He has a Bachelor and Masters degree in Land Resource Science and is currently working for a consulting company. The career he has chosen is a reflection of his interest in the natural world and environmental issues. In his work Justin deals with a range of environmental management issues on a regular basis including flora and fauna, land condition and water quality.
Jeromy Claridge is a senior environmental scientist for a large international environmental consulting company. On a daily basis he is involved in environmental investigations and has expert knowledge in natural resources sciences, water sensitive design, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental management and a host of other environmental elements.
Tristan Claridge (BA, MNatResSt) has always displayed a keen interest in natural and environmental processes leading him to undergraduate study in geographic sciences and environmental management. More recently Tristan has focused on social processes that govern participation and environmental management. He completed a Master of Natural Resource Studies that focused on the role of social capital in environmental management. Tristan is motivated to gain a better understanding of the social processes that result in beneficial / destructive behaviour toward the environment. At present Tristan is the chief web developer for Footprint Choices.
Megan Claridge has a Bachelors degree in digital design and is now applying what she learnt at university to the graphic and web design in Footprint Choices sites. Since becoming a mother to Charlie, late last year (2004) she has become ever more environmentally and health conscious. She believes that we need to live more sustainably, not just for ourselves but also for generations to come.
Charlie Claridge was born in December 2004. Charlie enjoys going to the beach and interacting with nature. She also likes to entertain her family at meetings (a great distraction). Charlie's mum and dad are feeding her an organic vegetarian diet that she loves. Her favorite foods at the moment are banana and rice noodle.
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