As I was flying home from our recent trip to California, I reflected on how our vacations have changed in the last two years. Our most recent trip involved two 4+ hour flights, and countless miles of driving between LA, Big Sur, Yosemite and San Francisco. This is in stark contrast to our past adventures, that have traditionally been mostly foot- or paddle-powered. A large part of the change has been since the birth of our daughter, who is now 17-months old. She was a challenging sleeper as an infant, and we weren’t feeling up to braving a tent, so our vacations became more car and hotel based. Next year we’re returning to the canoe, I hope!
Aside from making for a different vacation experience, this type of travel also has a much higher environmental impact. This caused me to start reflecting on the many other ways that my life has become “less green” since my family expanded. Citing a decrease in time, energy and alertness, I have made many small concessions to my green philosophy. Taken as a whole, I’m not thrilled with my new, larger footprint. While I shop at the local organic store when I’m nearby, I more often buy my produce, meat and dairy from my local big chain super market, meaning very little is local or organic. And while I work from home so don’t have a car-based commute, I do drive my little one to lots of places that could be transit accessible if I planned for it. Countless other items add up – increased reliance on plastic bags, running the dishwasher everyday, buying more packaged food, etc… etc…
The point of all of this is that I have decided to make a change. As drastic change has never been my style, I will do this one small step at a time. I will make one “green resolution” every day, and stick to it for the rest of the year. Some may be big changes, but many will be small. And I have every intention of taking advantage of things I already do – why not take credit for the hours I spend hanging laundry instead of using a dryer? Or sweating all night instead of having air conditioning?
And perhaps most importantly, I will blog about the process. Because I work outside the home, am raising a toddler, recently sold my house, am shopping for a new house in a new city, and shopping for a second car (eek!), some of the blog posts may be very short. And others may be longer. I will compose them in my head as I wash dishes, hang laundry, play with my kid at the park, or go for a run. And I will write them on those rare occasions that my kid naps and I don’t, or when I have sufficient brain power left at the end of the day.
PLEASE feel free to send along your suggestions for “green resolutions”, as I’m sure there will be days that my creativity runs out! I look forward to the next year of returning to my previous state of green, and I hope you enjoy reading about it.