Friday, April 18, 2008

Going 'Green' in moderation

If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.
- African proverb

Well, it has finally happened. I am making my own baking-soda-vinegar-water cleaning solution at home to scrub my tub and sinks. It would be a lot easier and faster just to use Vim or Ajax, but the "greening of Julie" is starting in meaningful baby steps. Did I say baby steps? I know a lot of PR and ad agencies are making public announcements about their eco-friendly habits and policies in their offices, but before I decree a "green edict" at my own office I better practise what I preach. It's kind of like recommending a blogging tactic to a client when you've never blogged yourself. Better walk the talk first.

Our family is undergoing some simple changes that are easy to adopt - like switching to low-energy lightbulbs, turning off lights and TVs, buying only rechargeable batteries and reducing waste. I've also bought my daughter a Klean Kanteen for water. We recycle like crazy.

Still, I drive a 4x4 (it's not a big one) and the lease comes up at the end of the year. I will be looking at something more economical and green. But I still need a vehicle that can haul huge cans of tuna and bathroom tissue from Costco, as we seem to go through a lot of the stuff!

I think adopting a greener viewpoint and putting it into practice should happen in small incremental steps. In my opinion, going green is akin to dieting. If you want to drop 10 pounds, don't cut out bread, pasta, rice, butter and sugar all in the same week. Most people who try to do everything all at once, usually have a relapse after one whiff of nonna's sugo Bolognese! If you are too strict with yourself, you'll be deprived and meaner than a snake by the end of the first day of dieting.

Likewise, on your first day of going green don't try to retrofit your home with solar panels. The cost is astronomical and you should probably start with a small compost in your backyard – with or without the earthworms! The Green Living Show is coming up in Toronto (Clinton is back .. does this guy have a house in Toronto?) and I'm sure there will be loads of earth-friendly advice to be had.

Moderation is key; and making wise, easy-to-adopt solutions that you feel good about will eventually lead to making a difference. Yes, even one person can make a huge difference on our big blue beautiful planet.

Celebrate upcoming Earth Week for the rest of your life.

1 comment:

Paul Zanettos said...

If you had the opportunity to check out the Green Living Show, you probably ran into the canuHome, a joint effort between George Brown College and the CMHC. (you can read up on it here: In short, the concept of the canuHome underscores how designers and manufacturers, your clients, should be doing most of the heavy lifting as we become more environmentally aware. 4X4s shouldn't have to be gas guzzling monsters. Air conditioning units shouldn't have to use tons of electricity. Our collective greening, as consumers, should only be moderate. If we have no choice but to use less, we will.