Everyone can turn a deeper shade of green

This blog is dedicated to all those looking to deepen their green--whether you are making a commitment to a greener lifestyle and need help taking the first steps or whether you're already a practicing tree hugger who is looking for practical advice on what steps to take next. Over the years, I've heard all the good intentions and all the excuses. I've also seen my fellow environmentalists sabotage the good intentions of others. I am making a commitment to you, dear reader, wherever you fall on the spectrum, to help you take the next steps to fulfilling your commitment to the earth, to your health, and to your well-being. Stay tuned for articles and interviews.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How green am I?

I recently came across an interesting blog post “Is yourgreen blog harming our planet?” The author includes a short quiz and the questions revealed things about the blogosphere that I never really thought about. For example, bloggers get free stuff to review on their web sites—that never would have dawned on me, but the irony of anti-consumption consumption is pretty amusing. I have an addiction to books, a yarn fetish, and I can’t seem to part with clothes until just before they come back in style. I do use my electronics until they are gasping for life and then try to recycle them. Other than my yarn habit, I’ve dedicated myself to consuming less, repurposing what I have, and clearing out what not longer serves me. It’s not an easy journey. I’d take a photo of the closet in my office, but I’m not quite ready to be that honest.

I read this blog quiz a few weeks ago and I keep turning it over in my head. There are probably as many ways to go green as there are green bloggers. Notions of “right” or “the best” may not apply. There’s also more than one way to measure impact. Is my impact restricted to my own behavior? Is my impact most profound when I get other people to change their habits, even if it’s something simple, like printing on both sides of a sheet of paper or getting paperless bank statements? Is my impact most profound when I motivate a group of people to lobby for policy changes? 

I hope that most green bloggers are striving for change at each of these levels of engagement. 

That brings me to another question in the quiz that brought into focus what I think is probably a shortcoming of my blog. She asks “Where does the electricity that powers your computer come from?”  Oops. My computer is my primary tool for writing this blog and my electricity comes from Duke Energy. They are the ones who just bought out Progress Energy and have created quite a stir as the Progress CEO, who was supposed to lead the joint company, resigned leaving the Duke CEO in charge. No idea what’s going to happen with that, but Duke Energy has had a Green Power program in place for a number of years. I’ve gladly used my free CFL bulbs, but my husband and I don’t pay the extra bucks to ensure that some of our energy comes from renewable sources. Why? Mostly because I don’t trust the company’s claims about how the money is spent. Is that rational? Probably not.

So here’s what I’m going to do. After a little injection of guilt from a fellow blogger, I’m going to make a stronger commitment to thinking about the energy that fuels my blog and I will make greener choices from the available options, continue to reduce my energy use, AND, if the existing options are unsatisfactory, I will lobby for change. I’ve said it publicly and I hope my two readers will ask me in December if I’ve followed through. Deal? 

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