Archive for the ‘Measuring Progress’ Category

Day 78 – Share Ideas

Elk Calves Sharing Water

We all need a little help from our friends!  One way to help each other go green is to share your ideas.  Through sharing, we can learn from each other, talk through issues, and move forward together down a more eco friendly path.  Here are some ideas to get your gears turning:

1.     Host an eco-friendly party.  Tell people that your party is eco-friendly and set an example by using reusable plates and utensils, by serving locally grown food, and by using natural decorations.  Read eco tips from books or make up an eco-education game.  Use the opportunity to share what you’re doing with your friends.
2.     Talk to your supervisor at work about making your work place more eco-friendly.  Bring some suggestions or e-mail some links and be the leader by starting to implement eco-friendly practices.
3.     Comment on blog posts.  Do you like the post content?  Do you have more information about the topic?  Maybe you disagree with something.  Start a dialogue.  Share your ideas with others!
4.     Tell people that you appreciate the eco-conscious efforts that they’re making.  They may not realize they are being eco-friendly, but they probably will take the appreciation…and the credit!  “I’m glad you’re serving our coffee in reusable mugs.”  “Thank you for riding your bike today instead of driving.  This saves carbon emissions and helps the planet.”
5.     Be the voice for the planet.  Whatever event you are planning, volunteer group you’re leading, neighborhood block party to which you’re bringing food, or person at the checkout counter at the store to whom you’re talking, be the voice that shares your eco story with others.  “I am brining my own bags because…I think we should consider using real plates instead of paper…I made this chicken casserole with organic and locally grown food,” etc.

Day 70 – Stick With It

Hook and Loop Tape

Are you overwhelmed yet?  By day 70, I’m sure it can be a bit like trying to run a marathon after not training (not that I really know what that’s like, but you get the idea – it’s hard.)  It’s hard for me just to keep up with writing about this stuff every day let alone trying to live greener myself.

Here’s the thing…just keep working at becoming more eco-conscious!  If you get overwhelmed reading posts every day, then change your e-mail delivery preferences to once a week and pick one thing to work on each week.  Add a new eco habit the next week, and so on.  If that’s too tough, then really concentrate on one thing for a month and then add the next action, etc.  Habits are hard to change.  I know this from my personal experience.  Yes, there are things I can improve.  Yes, there are things that I write about that I can do better.  I’m not perfect either, but the key is to try

For me, writing about these things is a reminder that I can improve.  I enjoy the challenge.  If I fall off the eco band wagon, I jump back on as soon as possible.  You can too.  There is no winner or loser.  We all lose if we don’t take action and we all win if we can all change our lives to be more eco friendly.

So, go out there and get ’em, Tiger!  Stick with it.  Let me know how you’re doing.  What are your successes?  What are your challenges?  We’re all together on this journey.

Day 7 – Setting Green Goals

Calgary Wooden Staircase with 167 Stairs

 

When I went to Calgary during the summer of 2008 for my board of directors training for the American Society of Interior Designers, I climbed these stairs!  To plan for this, I determined online how many stairs there are, found local outdoor stairs, and practiced so that when I arrived, I knew I could do it.  

A good goal is one that is measurable.  “I want to become more green over the next year,” is not really a good goal.  How will we know if one year from now we’ve achieved this goal?  A better alternative is to say, “In one year, I want to decrease my carbon emissions by 3,000 lbs,” or, “By June 20, 2011, I want to reduce my gas and electric bills by 10%, use only my own bags at the grocery store, choose organic and locally grown foods whenever available, and replace at least one errand in the car per week with walking or biking.”  Now we’re getting somewhere! 

You may just be learning about going green or you may be realizing that you’ve already been environmentally conscious for years, but if you want to make progress and feel like you’ve achieved something, consider your green goals and write them down including the date and then look at them throughout your eco journey. 

To help you get started, check out the Household Emissions Calculator on the US EPA’s website: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html  If you’ve already got some goals in mind, go ahead and write them down!  If you don’t, give yourself some more time to learn about your options.  Consider subscribing to my blog so that you can learn more ideas on how to become green.