Ecological Protection in Practice
In January of 2008, Solheimar joined the Ecological Protection in Practice project, a national effort organized by Iceland’s Environmental Protection Agency. The project aims to support and encourage people to adopt more environmentally sound lifestyles in a gradual process at a customizable rate of change to make the transition easier. About 700 Icelandic households have already been involved with the project. Municipalities with the most participants, as of early 2008, were Bláskógabyggð with 12% of its population participating and Hveragerði with 9%.
As stated on the Environmental Protection Agency website, participants work in groups wherein 5 to 8 homes compose each work group. An instructor monitors each group and provides manuals and workbooks containing advice and tracking forms for recording progress. The instructor conducts the first and last meetings of the groups, but the groups operate independently for most of the project, only consulting the instructor as needed. Five topics are covered in the books: waste, energy, transportation, shopping and water. The meetings are used to examine current operations in the homes and figure out ways of improving them. There is one meeting per subject and each meeting takes a maximum of two hours.