Friday, July 31, 2009

Turn ... Turn ... Turn ... A New Season

This is a big transitional time for me -- it's the last day of a job I loved, and in a few weeks I'm beginning a job I'm excited to begin loving as well. Of course, these times in life always inspire self-reflection, and so I've been considering the past, present and future. I'm lucky to work in a field where I get to make a difference for kids and make small in-roads to making our country better.

Of course, this much self-reflection leads one to consider all aspects of one's life, and so I've also been thinking about the big changes that have come about due to this blog. Eight months ago I began this project with the idea that I could make small, "light" green changes to reduce my environmental impact, and to write about it in this space. I began by trying to recycle more, bring my reusable bags to the store (I still have trouble with that), and try out some greener cleaning methods.

Those small steps began to snowball, however. What I've found, as I hinted in this post, is that one can't stay light green for very long. As I learned more about my impact on the earth, the changes in my life began to get bigger, and my green began to get darker. I've realized that anyone can do these things too - though I know many people who like to maintain a state of willful ignorance when it comes to what changes they can make. I think that by making one small, deliberate change after another, folks may find that after a few months their lives have changed from light to darker green as well.

Here's how mine has:

1) I've reduced my consumption, by celebrating "No-Buy Months" every third month (though I was sort of a failure in July.

2) I've renewed my commitment to recycling in my home. I now recycle more than I throw away.

3) I've cut back on using paper towels and napkins.

4) I've transitioned to using vinegar and baking soda for much of my cleaning.

5) I've radically changed the way I eat at home, cutting back on processed foods and buying products that contain only recognizable foods in the ingredients list.

6) I've discovered the joy of writing for friends and strangers, who give me great ideas in the comments section.

This is not to congratulate myself, but to look at where I've been and think about what might be next ... hmm ... what green adventures await?

1 comment:

Amber Mann said...

That's a pretty serious list of accomplishments. You should be feeling very successful!! Congrats.