Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We're Doing A Lot!

Feedback is important! It helps us make choices and determine our path in life. When it comes to green living, feedback is in short supply. We recycle and conserve, hoping that our efforts will make a difference. But, in reality, the results can take years to see.

In our last survey, we asked readers to select all the Eco-friendly activities that they participate in. Twenty-four people responded. Here are the results:

Using Reusable Bags
Using Reusable Water Bottles
Washing Clothes in Cold Water
Eating Meatless Meals
Eating Beef-Free Meals
Growing Food
Leaving Your Shoes At The Door
Adjusting the Thermostat by 2 Degrees
Buying Organic Foods
Taking Short Showers
Using CFL Lightbulbs
Shopping Locally
Buying Non-GMO Foods
Hanging Clothes Outside
Using Counter-Top Appliances to Cook
Using LED Lightbulbs
Using a Push Mower

Other (6 responses):
  1. I don't like showers. I have a bath in just 3 inches of water every 4 to 6 days, and wash in the wash basin in between times. I also use reusable products rather than disposable (cloth menstrual pads and panty liners, cloth wipes in the toilet, cloth handkerchiefs, cloths instead of paper towels, cloth table napkins, etc.). I have actually adjusted the thermostat by 6 degrees rather than 2, and have also adjusted the hot water thermostat.

  2. Making art and craft from waste materials like fool which can't be recycled. Energy-saving, like switching off unused lights, chargers and appliances at the plug and sweeping rather than vacuuming.

  3. supporting eco and handmade locally

  4. I would hang clothes but am still working on my landlord to allow this, and I gave up my car as well. Good list, it makes me feel good about where I am.

  5. Note - I don't take short showers - instead, I take 2 showers a week, which is the same. Also, I don't use LED light bulbs only because I'm still waiting for my 7 year old CFLs to run out before I can do that. A big one that's missing is not owning a car. I'm at 5 1/2 years without owning a car and can't imagine ever buying one again! A complete list of my green practices is at http://ecogrrl.net/2013/05/13/ecogrrl-documented-version-3-0/ .

  6. Buying used, going 'no poo', organic lawn care

Are you surprised by the numbers?

In the spring of 2009, we talked about solutions to common green-living road blocks in a post entitled, I want to ... but (Part do ... I mean deux). One road block was about the difficulty of adopting meatless meals. Today, over 66% of respondents are enjoying plant-based dishes. Another problem involved reusable bags ... over 95% of you now use them on a regular basis.

The survey also pointed out opportunities for improvement ... things like using counter-top cooking appliances and installing LED light bulbs. Composting and buying non-GMO foods can also be improved upon. And we learned that some activities are beyond our control when landlords or community rules prevent them.

Reading through the comments, I realized that we are not only succeeding at many activities, we are going beyond expectations. For example, some people have adjusted the thermostat by 6 degrees rather than the recommended 2. Others use non-recyclable materials to create art. When taking short showers didn't appeal, some folks modified baths to conserve water. And more than one of you have given up cars, opting instead for walking, bicycling and public transportation.

My conclusion is that we are on the right path. We educate ourselves and as we learn about new ways to walk gently on the earth, we embrace them. While it may take years to fully understand the results of our efforts, we can compare ourselves to others in the green community and see that we are definitely on the right track.

Congratulation on living green!

So pat yourselves on the back ... you're doing a lot!

Image courtesy of gubgib / FreeDigitalPhotos.net