This report summarizes the findings of a written survey of Columbus EcoTeam participants conducted by Empowerment Institute in 1999.

Total Respondents – 121

1. Did this program help you reduce your household’s use of natural resources?









2) Do you feel closer to your neighbors as a result of participating in the program?









3) Do you feel this program should be continued?









4) Would you recommend this program to your friends and neighbors?









5) Would you be interested in learning more about similar programs sponsored by the Columbus Health Department?









6) Would you be willing to write a letter sharing your experiences with the program to the city council health representatives?









7) What was it that you found most valuable about the program?

Total 112 responses:

Becoming more aware of environrnental issues.

Knowing /acting environmentally responsible isn’t difficult

Structure of this program spurred actions.

New ideas of specific actions I could implement.

Spreading the word to others.

Did not recycle prior to program – now do have reduced waste.

Ways to save water/electricity usage.

Good ideas, lots of motivation for starting and extending good practices.

Building awareness; having a support group for change; learning more ways to cut down on waste; to become an agent for change in the cornmunity.

The way it has made me think twice before buying something, traveling, or using energy, even though I was conscious of and trying to lead an earth-friendly lifestyle before the program.

It helped motivate me to do things I knew I should be doing to help conserve, in a positive way.

Relearning valuable earth friendly skills; knowing which items are recyclable through Rumpke; group process is supportive and nurturing; opportunity to develop a cornrnunity solution to community problern/issues.

The program gave our farnily the feeling that we really can help improve the quality of life in our farnily, our neighborhood and our city.

Getting to know neighbors; and incentive to try new ideas.

Simple. well thought out curriculum – with clear objectives. Easy to follow. Really helpful in terms of knowing/learning ways to make a difference. Easily shared with families.

Opportunity to learn new ways to save natural resources – especially energy.

Learned a lot about being more responsible with natural resources. The group setting was very motivating. Got to know my neighbors.

Gave me new ideas and raised my awareness of my overall consumption and household waste.

Specific tasks and activities in the workbook prompted me to take action where I wouldn’t have(without the suggestion.

Neighbors working and playing together to create healthier homes and a rnore connected community.

Awareness about conservation and what we can actually do our homes to make a difference.

It was terrific! Some of the things I’d been meaning to do for a long time.

The workbook was very helpful as a starting point and getting input from other participants.

Building community.

The workbook was very helpful and the fact that it was neighborhood based.

New ways to reduce waste and a sense of comradery with like minded neighbor.

Quantify resource use – able to compare baseline with post program. Also, sharing knowledge and community building with neighbors.

Working together – brainstorming ideas.

Networking with neighbors.

Sharing of resources and ideas on how to consume less. I think it would be more effective for those who already know each other to meet more times over 10-12 months – gives time to follow through better and to do the seasonal things.

The cameraderie with which neighbors bonded as we helped each other achieve our goals.

Meeting my neighbors.

Support system for making changes.

The workbook was excellent. It had so many really easy things to do that I just wouldn’t have thought of myself. I also liked getting to know a couple of new people in my neighborhood and getting to know some “old” neighbors even better. It is one of the most worthwhile activities I have ever participated in.

Learning how to cut energy use and conserve resources; learning more about the environmental movement.

Learning how to make better use of all resources and cut back on waste in my household.

1 ) Realizing that every little bit helps

2) working with a group of friends/neighbors was very motivational!

The Household EcoTeam Program reveals the importance and control that consurners collectively possess in terms of managing renewable and non-renewable resources. The group setting allows for collaborative problem solving and provides incentive to participate and carryout planned actions.

The feeling I got that small steps make a difference. It was not overwhelming.

The structure of the program helped us make a commitment to a motivated team and gave us the support we needed to translate our latent good intentions into positive actions with concrete results.

The well designed program book was a great resource. I continue to consult these materials as I add earth-friendly practices to my life..

I did not particularly enjoy this project. I think partly because our team was too small – only three families stayed in the team. Also, the other two families were already very eco-minded. I ended up feeling guilty and therefor defensive of my family’s lifestyle choices. If the team had been larger there would have been a broader range of views represented.

The stats provided; the support of the group; the sharing of ideas.

It helped us cut back on resources and save money.

Reducing our trash by 50%!

The new ideas – I thought I was doing a lot, but this gave me ideas I’d never thought of and of course the camaraderie.

The awareness.

I found it was a real eye opener – a lot of unnecessary waste was discovered.

To save the environment by not only doing pour part but to share our enthusiasm and inspiring others to do their part as an environmentally conscious society.

Being reminded of the goodness I used to do that I need to continue with my husband and family.

Meeting my neighbors, learning simple ways to make a positive difference in the environment.

Good suggestions on reducing waste and improving energy efficiency. Good reminder of basic principles of environmentally sound living.

How far we have to go to reach a sustainable earth.

Specific suggestions of small changes that can make a big impact. Also, a great way to get to know our neighbors.

1) Raising my environmental awareness.

2) Increasing sense of community/neighborhood.

Creating awareness and providing sustainable solutions.

Making new friends and relearning Eco Practices.

Information in addition to booklet: brochures, news clips, etc.

Book to keep for further reference. Neighborhood relationship building.

Getting information about community resources; getting ideas about new actions; getting to know neighbors.

Awareness – my wife and I have been recycling, composting etc., but we found new ways to increase our participation. Meeting people from down the street and becoming neighbors.

Meeting my neighbors and learning about them. It was great, because I learned that other people nearby had similar values and interests. Also, I learned that Columbus has nice family neighborhoods.

Community and community activity. Eco-awareness.

Meeting people in neighborhood and having encouragement to change our lifestyle to be more aware of environment and our consumption.

Meeting and getting to know those in the neighborhood. The non-altruistic nature of the program – even small steps are rewarded.

Working with people.

Educational – was very ignorant on my personal impact to the earth and just how much of a difference I can make.

To discuss the topics in a supportive group, each participant sharing in facilitating meetings and suggestions to consider practical.

Meeting with like-minded individuals and sharing information and stories with each other. Making progress on conservation and being encouraged by others.

Knowledge of how to conserve. Real savings.

Sense of community. Some awareness of our use of goods and awareness of overzealousness and waste.

Sustainability is such a buzz word these days. Our family had an intellectual grasp of the concept, but we had no idea of how to adopt it a s a way of life. The EcoTeam program taught us how to do this.

The book gave a lot of good ideas that were not difficult nor time consuming to do. Also, getting to know neighbors better. Feeling of community.

Helpful suggestions on how to better manage a household and live in accordance with environmental principles.

The amazing amount of resources saved, pollution reduced. A drop in the bucket is a drop in the bucket, but seeing the numbers and the realization that it takes individual “drops” to fill the bucket in the first place , changed my thinking.

Sharing ideas with neighbors who have common concerns for our community and environment.


Recycling, using less, shopping better, saving energy.

The opportunity to build a sense of community in our neighborhood and to focus that neighborliness in a constructive direction for our households and for the environment. It is an all- around winning situation. Great program.

I learned a lot of valuable information. It provided a support group in which making life changes became easier.

The support and encouragement to follow up on items.

Getting to know our neighbors better, developing a sense of community, mutual encouragement in living a healthier, more responsible lifestyle.

A fact-based approach to analyzing personal recycling habits. Requiring modest research on a specified topic by each meeting host. The obvious use of adult learning theory incorporated into the design of ecoteam materials.

Meeting with others, meeting my neighbors.

Building communities, friendships, expansion.

Good ideas, getting to know neighbors.

All aspects good.

The community building aspect was the most enjoyable surprise. Having the support of our neighbors to help us stay on track is wonderfully helpful.

Community awareness, joy of sharing.

The relaxed structure. The structure kept me in focus. But the deadlines were not oppressive. A “gentle push” to get things accomplished.

Connecting with my neighbors.

Sharing ideas with others about conserving resources.

Suggested actions. Community building feeling. Money saving actions.

Becoming more involved with my neighbors. Conserving water and built a compost pile. More aware overall about conserving resources.

The fact that we alone can make a huge difference, just in making small changes.

Getting to know my neighbors. Making incremental changes to help the environment.

Community building, encouraging and raising the environmental consciousness of those who are as yet minimally committed to environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

The knowledge gained about recycling and composting.

Seeing the impact of one house or a small group of houses, globally.

Sharing ways and means of responsible consumption and waste production and recycling.

Meeting and making new friends.

Learning about environmental/recycling/health programs in my neighborhood.

Taking the time to think of solutions so that reducing waste becomes built in the system of a household.

Sharing of knowledge and building community.

The community building, finding out what people do occupationally to swap services/goods, realizing commonalities with children/childcare, realizing this doesn’t have to be overwhelming – but fun and interesting.

Furthering my personal knowledge of environmental issues and learning more ways to help preserve the environment.

Community building by getting to know like-minded people in my neighborhood. Also, sharing ideas and things that people are already actually doing. Also, reminding me of the commitment I have to the environment.

Recycling, taking better care of major appliances, energy saving lights, free worms for composting from team member, sharing tools and other items with team members, meeting my neighbors.

I want to save money with environmental practices and help build community while saving resources.

This program creates awareness – some I was previously aware of, others not. I think it worthwhile as a reinforcing tool.

The actions I took as a result of the program. Going from knowledge to action was very encouraging and empowering.

Update on info about resource since first becoming aware of these methods in the mid-80′. For instance, driving 55 mph is most efficient but in addition driving with the windows up on the highway helps even more. Also, helped me find more places to recycle the more difficult stuff like type 5 and 6 plastic and ways to avoid getting it in the first place (don’t get Styrofoam containers from restaurants).

Psst! Save the world; pass it on
Family Circle: No More Trash!
Waging the Waste War Neighbor by Neighbor
EcoTeams gather to enjoy life more with less
EcoTeams gather to enjoy life more with less
The Cool City Challenge: Getting a Low-Carbon Lifestyle to Catch On
Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyles