I’m now two months into my 12-month challenge and feeling pretty good, like maybe I could actually make it through another 300 days. However, there are only so many green products out there that I can switch to; eventually, I think I’ll be forced to make bigger and bigger changes, despite my initial intentions to take baby steps the entire way.
Let’s step into the confession booth for a second: So far, I’ve caved in once on the bottled water front. I found myself stranded at a movie theatre without my Nalgene and the management was offering free popcorn and Dasani (the worst of all the bottled waters, too). I hadn’t eaten dinner and couldn’t refuse free popcorn, but I also couldn’t ingest all that salt and starch without something to wash it down. I bowed my head in shame and grabbed a bottle. My friend graciously offered not to tell anyone, but I thought I’d be honest.
I also had some Australian shiraz the other night while at a restaurant, but only after I inquired about whether they had any Ontario wine (and they didn’t, because they have good taste). Sorry.
And, finally, I left the light on in my bathroom one day by accident, but I tried to make up for it by going about my bed-time ablutions in the dark. It was actually kind of fun … almost.
But more importantly, truly, are the successes: I’ve given away three batches of stuff via Freecycle, always to very friendly and appreciative folks; I’m generally more aware of everything I consume and discard, turn on and off, and how I travel to and fro. And there’s been so much positive response from friends, family and people I’ve never even met who read this blog — my friend Sarah has invested in a tote bag, my friend Melissa and fellow blogger Crunchy Chicken both said they were going to stop using paper towels in public washrooms, and my mom made sure the chocolate Easter egg she bought for me was organic and fair-trade. All this thrills me to no end.
If, however, I had to single out one change in the past couple months that’s accomplished the most with the least amount of effort — and that I would wholeheartedly recommend to everyone — it would without a doubt be the $6 collapsible nylon tote bag. Ever since I stuck it in my purse, I haven’t needed a single plastic bag (and normally I’d end up with at least a dozen stuffed under my sink every week between groceries and other random purchases).
I think things are going to get more difficult from here on, but now that I’m armed with tote bags, hankies and vegan floss, I feel ready for the tough stuff.