I admit, the first thing I think when someone mentions “being green” is guilt. I add it to my long list of things-I-could-be-better-at. I drive too much. I don’t buy in bulk enough. A TV or two is always on. And so is a light in some random room – usually the one most recently occupied by the middle child.
I have too many green sins to count. And when I try to count them and work on being greener, I end up feeling even more guilty that I can’t be truly GREEN.
My uncle is a meteorologist at Cornell University. He exists in the same circles as many of the folks involved in Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth”. So of course, after the movie came out, we asked him his point of view. Is it all really true? How do we keep it from happening? What is the best thing I can do from a scientific perspective? I expected a specific answer. Avoid doing X. We output too much of Y. The biggest problem is Z. Instead, he said, “The best thing you can do is not exist.” There! My guilt. Simply existing is not being green.
So now, instead of feeling bad about my sins, I choose to feel good about my efforts. In Toronto, we have an incredible waste collection system. Black, Blue and Green. I’m reminded of the green-ness of this effort when I visit my family back in Wisconsin.
That’s a big garbage can and an itsy bitsy blue recycling bin. Paper, glass & some (specific) plastic. No green bin. (Imagine the look of confusion on my dad’s face when he visits us – I take bets whether a dirty paper towel will land in the right bin)
So when I think about my green-ness, I feel glass half full. I know I could do better. But I’m doing better than not doing anything at all.