This spectrum shown above is a good tool to help one understand where they personally are.
Personally, back in September 2006, I was firmly in the red area. I was shocked into action from the red end of the spectrum through to the light green within the span of a few months, then finally over a longer time period to the dark green end.
Although I have experienced a real paradigm shift in behaviours, beliefs and personal reality, sometimes I loose that optimism which comes with green, and go to a much darker place. Those who follow this blog regularly would have observed this in my writing from time to time. It happens to us all I think, but then I snap out of it with some self reflection or meditation.
I believe that it isn’t until we measure something objectively, that we can truly improve upon our performance.
Anyway, that is where I think I am on the scale, where do you think you are? You don’t have to share if you don’t want to, but it would be great if people self reflect a little, and draw a line in the sand so to speak. While you are at it, have a think about behaviours you could be doing better or start to move towards the greener end of the scale.
Join in, the waters fine. The more the merrier, I say. What would be really interesting would be if we did this again in six months time. Who is up for the challenge?
I think Im at least a couple of steps behind you still, I grow alot of my own food, keep chickens and get veges from a CSA group. I Reduce Reuse Recycle wherever possible and very rarely buy anything new. I refuse to have air con, switch things off all the time etc etc. I also run the Garden Club at work and try to teach my students about sustainability BUT I drive everywhere and we have a pleasure boat – not Green at all.
However we are moving to acreage next year 10 mins walk from the town so I will get a bike and shopping trolley and make some improvements.
I think I hover between green and yellow. Sometimes I regress and that has a lot to do with energy levels (just wan to take the easier path). Living right slap, bang in the middle of a high consumerist environment can sometimes make it difficult to pursue a greener life but mostly I try to ignore the ‘guilt’ feelings of not buying what is not needed.
Good post. I feel most times that I am in the “yellow, green’ area, but striving to do better. I have reduced, reused and recycled for many years, as well as walked or biked to work every day-even in winter. I don’t live to shop, but when I do, I like good quality that lasts. I also like to add the fourth “R” – repair. I feel far too much gets thrown away because people don’t want to fix things.
We live in the Canadian north, so we do heat our homes mostly with natural gas and wood heat. We have added better windows and more insulation over the years, so that we use less energy for heating. I have not made the leap to solar at home, although we have a solar panel on our truck camper so we never have to plug in. It has been so enjoyable, that we are consider the move to some solar at home. I am not much of a gardener, but I try to find local produce to can and freeze. As well, we try to watch our water consumption.
The truck is our only vehicle, as my husband finally saw the light and sold his car. Now he uses an electric bike in the summer and the truck sparingly in the winter.
Our middle son is full on green. He has a mobile home trailer with solar panels and rides his bike even in winter. He has a set of studded tires for it.
Kathy P. says
I’d put myself in the light to medium green range. I have a good-sized garden, CFLs and LEDs, eat local, drive “efficiently” (grouping errands, etc.) freeze garden produce, buy very little that’s new but when I do, I focus on quality so it lasts. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” The big area that’s missing for me are alternatives – heating (I use gas), electric (typical grid dependent), water (on a well, with a pump), hot water (40 gal. gas tank heater). All of those are sort of a sticky wicket for me – they just seem like huge, expensive hurdles to address.
Thanks for this post. I like the idea of measuring. I’d never thought about where we were on a scale before and I’m pretty pleased to look at it like that. I’d say we are well into the green, but not as organised as I would like. Eg. We hardly use air con but not because our house is set up well. We just suffer through because I’m determined not to be wasteful. And we have chooks for eating, but I struggle with it so we’re up and down with it. And while trying to grow most of our veggies, I’m still not a great gardener. So I guess I’m saying I’m dark green at heart and trying to master the skills we need but in reality we’re medium green.
I feel we are well into our journey; solar hot water and panels ( got a $1600 cheque from the company last month for 11 months of feed-in)22500L water tank for the garden, chickens, and our bill for fruit and veg has gone from about $2000/yr to about $300 and falling. We make our own beer, wine, cheese, preserve, dry and freeze our produce.I have always made most of the family clothes and furnishings and most of our furniture is home made. Have finished all our underfloor insulation and now DH is retrofitting our windows with double glazing.That is our last really big hurdle.
Next year we will add soap making. We live on a suburban block and are just ordinary people. Love your blog Gavin and have read every post.
never enough. That’s how I feel. But I keep on going and hope that if I add a few more things each week/month/year that eventually I’ll be further down the track and that’s the best I can hope for. Being ‘there’ is a long way away for a variety of reasons.
I would have to put us in the medium green area with some lapses right back into the yellow at times. Most of our yellow moments though are in regards to food and happen because of moving. Still doesn’t make me feel better though. Still and all, hopefully within 12 months we can say we are at least solidly medium green, if not dark green and heading darker still.
Brilliant post too. Was good to sit and think about it all.
Gavin Webber says
Thanks everyone for sharing. It certainly makes my day when I see people reflecting upon their own journey, and thinking about further changes that they could make.
Keep up the great work. No-one said that this lifestyle was going to be easy, just extremely satisfying! x