Green Recap: October

Man oh man, this month just zoomed right on by! I seem to remember in my last recap promising to make bigger changes, and now I’m suddenly realizing that perhaps I’ve inadvertently ducked out of that. However, I did start restricting my dryer use in a big way and am now taking Navy Showers, so those have surely gotta count for something (and in case you were wondering, the morning shower routine officially sucks now).

Another big switch was using the Diva Cup, a post that garnered almost 60 comments from women — OK Greenpa, and men — everywhere, who weighed in with their invaluable advice, feedback and questions, which I’ll be asking the Diva girls tomorrow.

But I think my favourite change this month has been smiling at someone different every day. As a person who’s naturally pretty shy, I’m not too comfortable initiating contact with random folks on the street, but there’s no better feeling than having a total stranger smile right back at me, and feeling like I made a difference in his or her otherwise average day.

Also, there was the decision to turn down the temperature on my water heater, which caused a bit of debate as to whether or not this would lead to bacteria breeding and Legionnaires’ Disease. At the time, I’d lowered it to 110 degrees, but upon further research (albeit with not so consistent results), I’ve now turned it slightly back up to 120 degrees, which seems to be the most common recommendation from the green-minded folk about what’s eco-friendly yet safe.

On a more personal note, I’m officially two-thirds of the way through my challenge and feel for the first time that I might actually, truly be able to do this. (Cue swelling orchestral music) There was always some doubt lingering in my mind; from the very beginning, a part of me thought I’d have to give up, and pull the plug on the whole thing when it got too difficult. But now, I really think I could finish it, and finish strong.

Admittedly, I’m starting to get pretty sick of all the green talk, and I’m most definitely sick of letting it mellow, signing various online petitions and air-drying my socks (yes, it’s only been two weeks, and your point is?). But at the same time, I know that I’ve got enough support and enough inner momentum to keep going.

The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend about which changes I think I’ll keep doing after this challenge is done and which ones I’ll scrap. It’s a question I often get and usually my response is that I’ll keep up at least half the changes and gradually let go of the others. Then, out of nowhere, I heard myself saying that I probably won’t plug my fridge back in. I couldn’t believe my own ears — nor my mouth — but upon further reflection I realized that living without a fridge has become completely doable. In fact, if I turned it back on, I’m not even sure I’d know what to put in it besides champagne (and yes, I’m totally going back on the local-alcohol-only rule).

I can’t say anything for sure, but the fact that I’d even consider not plugging my fridge back in surely counts for a lot. In the mean time, happy Halloween! Stop reading this silly blog already and go trick-or-treating.

4 Responses to Green Recap: October

  1. Britta says:

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been a loyal reader for awhile and not sure if I’ve ever commented before. I like to see what people think are “worth it” and how different experiments are going. I just wanted to let you know your blog is appreciated, and it’s given me new ideas, and the motivation to do others (hankerchiefs, turn down the water heater and many more). Thanks!

  2. Greenpa says:

    Hooray on the fridge of course. 🙂

    Really, truly- that’s an action that could have very significant impacts- and a place where YOU can be a major major help. Obviously, people tend to just blow me off, when I tell them you can do without a fridge – I’m a known whack job (since I live without a fridge) – and to quote someone I know, “that’s just crazy talk”.

    The fact that you were initially so sceptical; like everybody else- but have found that it’s really so painless- is HUGE.

    YOU could be responsible for a lot of folks cutting their home electricity use by 10%!!

    That’s an enormous change. Go, tell it on the mountain. lol.

  3. limesarah says:

    I’ve been doing some research to see if we could turn off the fridge, at least in the winter, and get a chest freezer. CSA shares really need a fridge to keep them fresh. At least…they seem to. Any ideas on how to keep large quantities of produce fresh until you eat it?

  4. emily says:

    What I’m not so sure about with the fridge is milk products. I have to drive to get to the nearest grocery store (bad urban planning), and don’t want to make that run three times per week. I’d prefer to do it once.

    What option outweighs the other–no fridge but potentially more driving, or (not at all filled, as warm as safe) fridge and less driving? When I have a choice, I’ll get one of those tiny ones people use in dorm rooms, or that Germans use all the time and just tuck under the countertop!

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