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Initial Contact Questionnaire

This is the form Ways of Wisdom used when conducting the initial case study candidate phone interviews.

Number in Household:
Suggested by:


1.  Do you live in a rural setting?
a. How far is the nearest town?
b. Describe your farm/homestead.
2.  How long have you lived in Northern Minnesota? 
a. Do you live here seasonally or year around?
b. If you moved to Northern Minnesota, where did you come from? 
c. Why did you move here?
3.  How many are in your household?
a. Are there school age children and/or retirement age adults?
4. How do you make a living?
a. Are you self-employed, employed by someone else, or a combination of these?  
b. Do you work out of the home? 
c. Is your work seasonal?
d. Do you earn income off of your land?
e. Are there other ways that you try to supplement your income such as from hobbies, etc.
5.  Food systems: Do you grow and process a lot of your own food? 
a. Do you try to eat organic or have other dietary guidelines (vegetarian, etc)?
b. What are your other food sources (i.e.: food co-op, other area growers, wild foods, etc.)
6.  Energy systems: Do you have electricity?
a. Do you generate any of your own power? 
b. How do you heat your home, light your rooms and cook your food?
c. How do you save energy?
7.  Shelter systems: Are your buildings/home sustainably constructed using recyclable or earth friendly materials?
a. Is there anything innovative about your buildings that you would like to talk about?
b. Did you construct them yourself? 
c. What are your future building plans?
8.  Transportation systems: Do you drive a vehicle every day?
a. To save gasoline, do you carpool or bunch up errands to town?
b. Do you use alternative transportation such as walking, cycling, or horseback riding?
9.  Waste systems: How do you handle your sewage and gray water? 
a.  Do you recycle? 
b. What are the other ways that you consciously reduce waste (example: composting food wastes, using cloth bags at the market or buying in bulk to prevent “over-packaging”).
10.  Community interaction: Are you involved in your community as a volunteer, activist, committee member etc.? 
a. Have you been instrumental in initiating change in your community/neighborhood?
b. How do you interact with the global community?  Do you find yourself getting involved with larger issues such as environmentalism, social justice, food issues etc? 
11.  How would you define sustainable living?
12.  If you are chosen as a final participant for this study, would you be willing to share your story with others?
a. Would you be willing to participate in workshops or be open to having others visit your home in organized tours?

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