As we come to the conclusion of the Energy Diet, it’s time to look back on our efforts and try to identify the main take-home message for each one of us.
Unexpectedly, through I have introduced several practical changes in the way I interact with my environment, I have mostly grown on an intellectual level – that is, on the way I think about the way I interact with my environment.
These past 8 weeks have made me start to question the smaller details of my footprint on this planet, and feel the urge to go back to the data, to the published literature, to help me quantify my actions and find the greener alternative to existing habits. Simple questions such as Week 5’s “mattress pad, hot-water bottle or cherry-pit bag?” or Week 6’s “yearly, monthly or daily contact lenses?” have marked a turning point, for me, and have led to several other queries (which I have not blogged about).
The additional reading I have done to answer each question as it occurs has, in turn, widened my global knowledge of the way our way of life impacts the planet; and that, of course, only fuels more questions and doubts.
And I’m loving it.
What I have achieved…
I made the decision not to update my Progress Bars until this last week, so that I could properly appreciate the changes I have made over the last two months, and hopefully use them as a motivator to continue working towards a greener Me.
Having just completed the update, I have come to the conclusion that my time on the Diet has been a personal success on the practical side as well, having reached the following milestones:
• “Home” – 75%
• “Transportation” – 65%
• “Water use” – 45%
• “Food” – 50%
• “Waste disposal and reduction” – 59%
• “What you buy” – 62%
While the numbers may look somewhat low (and there is certainly still a long way to go), there were some tasks which were not applicable to my case (such as eliminating a “second freezer”, or introducing changes in a garden or yard), while others were simply not feasible at the moment, from a financial point of view – such as replacing the car, buying new electrical appliances or remodeling the toilet.
Excluding these unmeetable goals, my progress hovers at around 75%, which is quite satisfactory. The remaining 25% of tasks will be the ones I’ll be working on, on my own, over the upcoming weeks.
I am looking forward to continuing this growth process I started with National Geographic, and becoming a more responsible citizen of the World.
Post scriptum: Oh, yeah, and I’m writing this post under the new energy-saving light bulbs I installed this week…