Last Year’s Earth Day Resolutions: How Did I Do?

Last year I made some Earth Day Resolutions, and now it’s time to see how I did.  Did my resolutions motivate me to go greener . . . or did I fail to meet even the simplest goals?  Let’s review.

I resolved to switch to eco-friendly cleaners.  Yes!  I did it.  I switched from conventional laundry detergent to Biokleen-and discovered that Biokleen was not only better for the environment, but better for my pocketbook than the cheapest conventional product on the store shelves.  Read about that here.  I also started using so-called “eco-friendly” dish soaps.  (And I wrote about why dish soap is bad for the environment, reviewed several eco-brands, suggested alternatives to liquid dish soap, and found a way to conserve dish soap while washing dishes.)

I resolved to sign up for renewable energy from my power company.  That was easy.  I’d been procrastinating about doing it for a long time, but after publicly resolving to do so, I logged on to my account online, clicked a button, and it was done.

I resolved to buy carbon offset coupons when I took airplane trips.  Did I do this?  No.  Ugh.  Well, now I have something for this year’s list.

Okay, so I made three goals, one was extremely easy, and another I forgot about entirely.  I will borrow Joy’s famous phrase to alleviate some of the guilt: “Progress, not perfection.”  Stay tuned for another list of resolutions I may or may not be able to keep!

Comments

  1. Good job so far! Remember the good you have done and just work on the rest. I think all of us eco nuts can get a bit depressed knowing no matter how much we do there is always more to be done. 🙂

  2. Ok, I have to wonder why on earth you added carbon offsets to this list. If you’re looking for some post topics, I’d love to see you tackle this one. I have yet to be convinced that carbon offsets are anything but a feel-good way to do nothing. Al Gore is a good example of someone who is a champion of environmentalism, yet burns more carbon than I ever will in my lifetime. Yet, he buys carbon offsets so somehow he isn’t hurting the environment anymore? Um, no, I’m not buying it. I like to know where my money is going and what it is doing. For the same reason I don’t just throw money at a charity without carefully researching it beforehand, I’m not going to buy carbon offsets without a very, very clear knowledge that my money is actually going to help reduce carbon emissions. I am unconvinced it that is the case.

  3. I think you’ve done great; small steps have huge impacts over the course of a year. I like the organic approach of incorporating small changes, this is something we can all manage! I’m going to follow your fine lead and make some green resolutions of my own on Earth Day, because reading your post made me realise that I haven’t taken a good look at where I can make improvements for a long while … it gets busy sometimes!

    BTW, I have baulked in the past when offered carbon offsets from airlines, mainly because I think it’s kind of gimmicky, and really shouldn’t they be bearing this responsibility and making serious endeavours to green/offset the negative impact of their airline travel, instead of using it as a marketing tactic to improve their image at our further financial cost? Just a thought …

  4. Ana, I don’t know if you read my post a long time ago in which I had a little crisis about air travel. My whole life I’d thought of traveling as some great and noble pursuit–it expanded my horizons, exposed me to other cultures, etc., etc. After I read that book about reducing my carbon footprint, I felt like nothing I could do would ever make up for even one airplane trip! Obviously the environmentally conscious choice would be to give up travel altogether. Since I am not willing to do that, I thought buying some carbon offsets might at least make up for my eco-sins. So yeah–it was a way to make me feel good while not changing my habits! And I didn’t even do it!

    As for whether or not the money spent to buy those carbon offset coupons does any good–I don’t know. You’re right that it would be foolish to spend money to alleviate my guilt and “offset” my air travel if it didn’t actually go to a good cause.

    Raquel, I have never been offered carbon offset coupons from the airline! I do think airlines are trying to go greener by designing more efficient planes, maximizing the efficiency of their routes, and making sure flights are booked (among other things). So that does make me feel better about flying. This is the one area where I feel it would be hardest for me to change.

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