We have been following Vanessa Farquharson's website Green as a a thistle, where she has been writing about the challenge that she took on in March: " Each day, for an entire calendar year, doing one thing that betters the environment. The idea is that everything I do, I keep doing (so if I switch brands, it's a permanent switch; if I turn down my thermostat, I keep it down), so that by day 365, I'll be living as green a lifestyle as it gets." It started off easy but she is up to day 217 and notes on the blog that it isn't always so much fun. She writes about her experiences to date in the National Post:
The first move was a simple one -- switching to recycled paper towels -- but gradually, the environmentalist in me came out of the closet and started getting a little extreme. Within the first few months, I had sold my car, unplugged the fridge, turned off the oven, constructed a compost bin for my balcony, traded Kleenex for handkerchiefs, began following the "If it's yellow, let it mellow" rule and so on.
green living shouldn't be so absolute. So many different factors contribute to our carbon footprint, and we all live our lives in completely different ways with completely different priorities, so there's no point in drawing a solid line between the hardcore environmentalists and the cop-outs.
People shouldn't feel as though they have to choose between living out the rest of their days in a hippie commune in the middle of a hemp crop with a composting toilet and living in a stylish urban condo with his and hers sinks. There's a big grey area in the green sphere, and so the most sensible thing to do is to simply be aware of what you eat, drink, wear, use and do on a regular basis, then decide what can be reduced and what can't, without obsessing over it. So go on a shopping spree, but maybe walk there and bring a tote bag; indulge in an ice cream sundae, but make it an organic one with fair-trade chocolate sauce -- and save a bite for me.