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The Wheaton Eco Scale

 
r ranson
steward & author
Posts: 33885
Location: Left Coast Canada
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It's been a few years and I've noticed a few things.

1. There is a strong need to help people lower on the scale climb up to your level... whichever level that happens to be.  It helps us feel we are in the right place if others want to join us.

2. The first instinct is to shame them for not being high enough.   This slows or reverses the journey up the scale.  This shame is usually unconscious and takes massive self understanding to prevent.

3. Kindness is by far the biggest fuel to help people find their own way up the scale.


 
Brody Ekberg
pollinator
Posts: 1051
Location: Iron River MI zone 3b
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r ranson wrote:It's been a few years and I've noticed a few things.

1. There is a strong need to help people lower on the scale climb up to your level... whichever level that happens to be.  It helps us feel we are in the right place if others want to join us.

2. The first instinct is to shame them for not being high enough.   This slows or reverses the journey up the scale.  This shame is usually unconscious and takes massive self understanding to prevent.

3. Kindness is by far the biggest fuel to help people find their own way up the scale.




This is something I struggle(d) with about my marriage. I commented a while back but don’t remember getting any responses.

Im goal oriented, have a growth mindset and an extremely motivated to work towards my ideals, which for me have a lot in common with this eco-scale.

My wife does not seem to be very goal oriented, has more of a victim mentality and has very different ideals. Definitely has not even heard of this eco-scale and I wont be bringing it up because I’m 99% sure her reaction will be ugly.

Aside from the obvious fact that our marriage is a struggle in many ways, this in particular has irked me for years. If I was alone I feel i would be busting my ass to “progress” along this scale as fast as enjoyably possible. But with her in my life I feel like I’m creeping along at a snails pace, riding the brake pedal, towing along a trailer with a flat tire behind me. She used to feel like she was being dragged along a path she wasn’t sure she wanted to go down…

Ive since realized how this was affecting our relationship, apologized and tried to explain myself. But the damage has been done, things have degraded and compounded and neither of us are sure if we will be able to make this work much longer.

I had a bit of what I cant help but call a revelation several years ago, and after gathering myself and thinking it through, I discovered permaculture and this website/community. I felt like I finally found “my people” and knew my wife would be hesitant at best, resistant at worst. I tried to explain and reason with her. I tried to get her to join me on this journey. I even tried to make a game of it. She has made changes, I cant deny that. But she does it with resentment, always looks back and talks about how much of “herself” she’s given up and cant help but feel judged and inadequate to me. I understand that, because I judge myself and feel inadequate as well. How else does one get motivated to change unless you aren’t happy with where you’re at?

I think it’s probably too late to smooth this over in any way that leads to happy progress with us on the same page. But for the sake of anyone who may read this in the future, what would you or anyone else recommend to avoid this unfortunate situation? I’m tempted to say selection of a partner is key, but honestly, we’ve been together off and on since middle school and I didnt have my revelation, discover permaculture or really have meaning and purpose in my life until my mid 20s and at that point we were already married, had moved and started a career. So selection seems too late in that scenario. This is one of the many reasons I’d like to expose middle and high school students to permaculture, so that they can realize their options and find purpose and meaning BEFORE they go to college, get married, buy houses, start careers and accumulate debt. Although honestly, it seems like college, marriage and careers are already disappearing from kids horizons as it is for other reasons.
 
Keshav Boddula
Posts: 41
Location: between USA (usually California) and India
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wow, beautiful scale! just seeing this, and 12 years before my "growing your own food (0-10)" scoring i blogged just last year*. and some nice insights delivered paul! a few that i am skeptical about though are:
(1) implication to get people to advance more gradually can be very appropriate, but sometimes it can be too slow and maintaining misguided infrastructure/ways also (there are several examples, but one is when considering less water use when needing to buy a new toilet, to buy a new eco model because it flushes with less water, rather than of course, using a composting toilet (which we know this is usually not even as best as just smartly pooping directly on the land, but)).
(2) maybe unnecessary/i'm being too technical too, but i think my disclaimer was good to "be flexible when thinking of the ideas corresponding to a score, as sometimes there may be good ideas that can be implied they are also being done in other/higher scores, or ideas can be thought of as more insights in themselves than exact correspondence to a score"

i must be around a 4/5 on this wheaton eco scale

guess willie smits shows you don't have to have a beard to be a 9 or 10!

also, i think my other blogs like "how wild" or "how saintly"** test can be interesting to consider

*https://kboddula.blogspot.com/2022/08/growing-your-own-food-0-10-scoring.html
**http://kboddula.blogspot.com/2020/05/how-wild-test-from-july-2019.html
http://kboddula.blogspot.com/2023/08/the-how-saintly-test.html
 
Jeremy VanGelder
gardener
Posts: 716
Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
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I posted that Eco Level 10 poster on a power pole here locally. It looks great! And I like the irony of advertising lower tech luxuriance on a power pole.
20231006_123358.jpg
Wheaton Eco Scale, Sepp Holzer and Permies being advertised to the world
Wheaton Eco Scale, Sepp Holzer and Permies being advertised to the world
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 1929
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
695
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I reference the idea of the Wheaton Eco Scale from time to time to help create and align a personal strategy on how to improve not only myself but my local environment for all. How can, in my own power, I act that is kinder/gentler to the earth. Good stuff.

I'm at about a three... working towards moving to that fourth level.
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