Green Resolution Grades

Having a blog with thousands of loyal readers is a great way to feel accountable for those Earth Day Resolutions that sometimes fall by the wayside in the midst of raising a family.  I’m happy to report that we’ve made some progress toward accomplishing our green goals for the coming year in just a few months.

Green groceries:  B+    

We struggled with finding reasonably priced organic produce without driving all over town.  Thank goodness for our CSA!  I have to admit that some pieces of random produce have perished in our fridge but it has provided a wonderful variety of veggies and fruits that usually make it into our menus.

Eco-friendly transport:  A

We just purchased a 2001 Honda Civic to replace the 4 Runner we had been borrowing for the last eight years.  The Civic’s average gas mileage is a whopping ten miles per gallon more than the 4 Runner and I can almost feel the lighter carbon load while I drive.  As if the fuel efficiency wasn’t enough, this particular Civic happens to be forest green.  It was meant to be! 

Energy efficient lighting: C

I have replaced about half of the lights in our home with compact fluorescents, but we now have two halogen light fixtures in our home.  I’m pretty sure they aren’t the most efficient bulbs but I do love the bright light they provide in our tiny kitchen and dark hallway. 

Potty training:   I

That’s an I for incomplete.  Roscoe now tells me right before he performs a bodily function, but doesn’t want to do it anywhere near a toilet.   We may need to break down and buy a more exciting potty to inspire him to help us out on this one.  Still, he’s quite young so we may just hold out and hope that his tiny bladder makes enough progress to get him in training pants someday soon. 

If I manage to overcome my last hurdles on these resolutions I may just have to set a few new goals for the months to come.  Change is a slow and overwhelming process, but it’s nice to look back and see that we are indeed making green progress.  It’s clumsy and imperfect, but we are stumbling in a forward direction.


  1. Good work so far, Joy!

    I am especially impressed with your “green lighting” goal. I have a few incandescent bulbs here and there, like in the basement or on the porch. The quality of the light indoors bothers me. I also don’t like that most compact flourescents come in non-recyclable hard plastic packaging. I saw some bulbs at Fred Meyer that come in brown paper packaging, so I can’t use that as an excuse anymore. I’m also a little worried about the fact that the compact flourescents contain mercury, a neurotoxin. So they have to be properly recycled or they can have horrible side effects. I dropped a bulb I was installing and it broke . . . that had me worried.

    ANYWAY, good work!

  2. Way to go Joy on all counts! I will be way impressed if Roscoe is potty-trained before 2!!! I’m not sure what the reigning wisdom is, but my pediatrician always made a big point that we not make a big deal out of potty-training because of the psychological implications for later in life. I don’t know if there is any truth to this, but it could be the reason why both my kids were 3 before they were potty-trained!

    Rebecca, the most recent bunch of compact fluorescent bulbs I got at costco were packaged in recyclable cardboard, the light is warm and soft, and they go off and on like an incandescent with no delay. Many people have been very surprised when I lifted the lampshade to show them what was underneath as they didn’t believe me that the bulbs were fluorescent. The technology on these bulbs has really improved in just a few years. They are also even more compact so that they fit anywhere I would put a regular bulb. I really have just stopped buying incandescents and as each bulb burns out, it gets replaced. NOw I have a big pack of fluorescent bulbs and I”m running out of spots to put them – they don’t seem to burn out!

    As far as the mercury – just make sure you completely clean up any breaks or spills and don’t eat it, you should be fine. Mercury is mostly an issue if you ingest it, I think.

  3. That’s good to know about the bulbs, Eileen. I actually am switching over . . . I just haven’t been that enthusiastic about it!

  4. One more thing I noticed about the fluorescent bulbs. In my daughter’s room she has a plant by her bedside table and the plant is actually growing towards the light instead of the window! It is closer to the light, but still, I have never seen a plant do that.

  5. I like that you made potty training a green goal. Man, I remember all those annoying pull-ups (so bad for the earth) but Cedar trained so late. It was obnoxious. I think if I had another baby, I’d try something different, or look for cloth like pull-ups.

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