It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Posted on August 27, 2008. Filed under: Everyday Me | Tags: , , , , , , |

Green is the new black- we’ve all heard that before, and most of us are contributing to the green revolution in some way or another. I decided that I could do a quick 5 minute evaluation of my life and see if I was really giving the green revolution my all and see where I could contribute more. According to I have a ‘footprint’ of 11.261 tons of CO2/year – is that a lot or a little? According to the website I believe I am slightly below average, but can I do more? This post probably seems very ‘in’ and trendy but I don’t mean for it to be – I just continually hear people talking about going green and doing ‘green’ things and helping the environment. It’s not that I never thought about my actions but I never really thought of them as being ‘green’ I thought of them as money-saving for me and economical in the long-run, but they do seem green. And while I am at it – why is being green bad? There is a negative stigma attached with ‘going green’ to some folks, and I just don’t see why. If I can live parts of my life ‘green’ why would I want to live them through any other color?

Commuting – this definitely scores me major points. I commute everyday to and from work. I only drive 1 mile a day to the bus stop, then bus to the metro rail, take the metro as close to work as possible and then walk the last 10 minutes. All in all this takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way. While it is costing me time, I’m saving money hand over fist and taking a proactive response to helping clean up the air with fewer emissions. I don’t know why more people don’t take public transportation. Honestly, I spend ($3.95 +1.35 + $3.95 +.40 = $9.65) less than $10 a day for commuting to and from DC, which is a good price in my opinion. If you were to drive into the city to work at my office, you would have to pay $8 for parking a day not including your gas and wear/tear on your care – I am definitely getting a better bargain. Yes, I know I am paying the price by having to rely on multiple modes of transportation and follow different schedules which can get irritating but with the money I am saving I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Can I also just mention the entertainment that commuting provides? I will have to get into this some other time but honestly, you can NOT beat the entertainment that you experience between buses and trains. It is free and it is raw, quite frankly nothing short of amazing! I live for the drama, the humor and the human interest but it is really great entertainment – worth the extra time I have to spend using these modes of transportation.

Household – Now within my apartment the energy saving gets a bit more creative. I live alone, so I have only myself to split the bills with. While this is good in the sense that I’m creating all of the bills it’s bad that most of the appliances are silly for 1 person to have, so I cut down where possible. The first big thing I like to do is UNPLUG everything. This used to drive my roommates crazy – I unplug things like there is no tomorrow, but it does cut back! In the kitchen I always have my coffee pot, toaster oven and other small appliances unplugged until they are physically in use. My cell phone charger is a big energy-waster and thus remains unplugged when I’m not actually charging the phone. I keep my laptop, printer and paper-shredder all unplugged when they are not in use, and while these may seem so minor I really think they help in the long run. For one thing it definitely makes me feel like I’m reducing my electric bill at the end of each month. Also, those energy saver light bulbs really do seem to improve the bills. Their initial cost is pretty steep but I think they are worth the additional money.

Shopping/Groceries – This is the only place that I think I could do a lot better in. I need to start buying more of my products locally. I do buy vegetables from local farmers markets when possibly, but I am lazy in that sense and still just mosey over to the food store when my cabinets are empty. Also, I have spent a lot of money purchasing those handy re-usable bags but seem to always forget to bring them to the food store with me, which is irritating. In this area of my daily routine I would definitely try to make a better effort to remember the bags that can be reused and also try to buy more produce and other goods at the local markets when possible.

I didn’t think I was doing poorly, but then I read about other people that are doing a great job at this and I feel like I’m not doing enough! On the TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus 8 this family has 8 children and she still buys local and organic – how?! This amazes me! If this woman with so many children to watch after and take care of can buy locally and organic most of the time how can I, responsible for only me, not be able to handle this and live up to the challenge? It gets me every time. I really do try guys.


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