- Build an energy-efficient public transportation network among small towns and cities. I have a difficult time imagining this in rural Iowa. We walk or ride bikes when we can, but winter is almost here!
- Learn to cook simple, nutritious meals (consume less meat and fats, add more fruits and vegetables, decrease amount of waste). Because I don't eat or prepare red meat, we have a lot of vegetarian meals. I do eat poultry, but I always use less in a recipe than it calls for. I think our family eat more fruits and veggies, especially in the winter, but we make every effort to not waste food.
- Use fewer kitchen appliances. (Cook only once a day, cut food smaller to decrease cooking time) This is an interesting suggestion! I do try to group baking projects together to decrease oven usage, and I'm starting to use my crock pot more.
- Live without disposables, set up community systems for repair and recycling, reduce waste. I definitely want to do better with this. It often seems easiest to me with a baby to use disposable products, but I need to look for places where we can improve. Currently, we recycle aluminum and newspaper, but I recently found out there's a place in our area that will accept glass and "shiny" paper as well.
- Plant home and community gardens. We've had a lot of success with our garden, and highly recommend it!
- Value family ties and friendship above making money. Yes, so vital! One of the things I appreciate about my husband is that having a lot of money and possessions is not important to him.
- Build simpler, less expensive church facilities. I'm intrigued by this suggestion right now as our church has plans to build in the next couple of years.
Of course, any nation or group of people could offer suggestions for improvement to another. I share this list merely as a challenge--it is not meant to tear down or exalt anyone, but to say, "We can all do better!"