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RE: Household Aspect/Impact List

Hi Karen,

Any EMS guidance on aspect/impact analysis would probably recommend an approach that includes the following steps:

1. Take an inventory of all of the household's "activities, products and services" that impact or have the potential to impact the environment:
- Activities = things we do: drive car, mow lawn, use electricity
- Products = stuff we buy and consume: food, clothing, gadgets
- Services = services we pay for: house painting, trash disposal, oil changes

2. For each of these, identify the environmental aspect(s), i.e. how it interacts with the environment, e.g.:
- uses resources, esp. nonrenewable resources
- may cause air pollution
- may cause water pollution
- may impact indoor air quality
- may create a disposal problem in a landfill

3. Develop some criteria for ranking these, e.g.:
- quantity of waste produced or emissions generated
- environmental or health impact from exposure
- applicable legal requirement
- opportunity to save money

4. Evaluate the list and apply the ranking criteria to identify the "top priority" items for the household. Involve others in the household, their perspective and priorities may vary!

Emphasize that you needn't be an environmental scientist to do this, although it's a good idea to consult readily available information to help understand the impact associated with the things we do and the items we use. Point them to calculators that show, for example, the GHG emissions associated with power consumption and driving. There's no right or wrong way to do it, but there is an informed and uninformed way. 

In the end, EMS is just a framework for organizing the information and making decisions based on a logical, systemmatic approach. Absent this approach, the general public tends to jump from issue to issue based on what they've heard most recently or have been conditioned to believe. 


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net]
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 11:42 AM
To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject: Household Aspect/Impact List


I'm working on a tool to help citizens understand their daily impacts on
the environment mostly focused on the activities that take place in
their own home.  I've been asked to attack this project as if we were
designing an EMS for a household.  Has anyone already done this and is
willing to share their information?  I know there's tons of info out
there on what the average citizen can do...but I've never seen a
"Household Aspect/Impact List".


Karen Teliha 
Community Environmental Health & Education
Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management 


Jeff Cantin
Eastern Research Group
110 Hartwell Ave.
Lexington, MA 02421-3136
781-674-7315    781-674-2851 fax
jeff.cantin@erg.com    www.erg.com
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