I have, for many years now, tried in various ways (cloth napkins, cloths instead of paper towels, cloth diapers, drying clothes on a line when weather permits, dryer balls when weather doesn’t, diy reusable baby wipes, reusable women’s products, cloth bags, turning down the thermostat, avoiding bottled water, a metal cup for take-out coffee/tea, eating vegetarian several times a week, using CFLs, not idling the car over 30 seconds, composting, green binning, recycling, taking transit, walking, buying local foods, using vinegar for many cleaning needs, no gift wrap, "No Junk Mail" sign on my post box — they work in Canada for Canada Post junk mail, using air dry in the dishwasher, running dishwasher at night, making my own yogourt to use less plastic, sweeping not spraying sidewalks, disposing of batteries and electronics properly, freecycling) to live conscientiously.

But recently I got an itch to do more and started looking around on the Internet to find resources for living lightly, greener, and fairer. I have come across some excellent resources (check out the links page) and some very interesting blogs in my virtual travels.

Three Canadian enviro-blogs spring to mind:

  • No more garbage – It might have been the article in the Globe and Mail on Sarah and Kyle that started this itch in the first place! (a little extreme for me, but inspiring nonetheless)
  • Envirowoman’s plastic-free quest (again, extreme)
  • Green as a Thistle who is making a (surprisingly not permanent, as she keeps referring to day 366 when she can do X again) unique environmental change in her life every day for a year

The idea behind Green as a Thistle (many of the changes are less than inspiring) was so inspiring that I have decided to take my own similar, albeit watered-down, challenge. (I justify my approach with the fact that the above bloggers do not appear to have children. And while children make the whole exercise much more worth doing, they also tend to make it more challenging. I have 2, when I started this challenge they were 7 months and 2.5 years old.) So, I’m going to try to take on one new permanent green/fair/conscientious practice every week (or a couple per month). I’m not going to be an extremist because, while no impact man is inspiring, his task is a bit too daunting for the average Joe (or Joelle). I actually want to do things that anyone might do – if they gave it some thought and a little effort.

It’s all about baby steps.

(Oh, and "weekly" is more of a very loose guideline than a rule.)

August 2013:
Wow, I can’t believe I started this blog and challenge over 6 years ago!

I am no longer actively looking for new weekly or monthly challenges, but unconsciously adding to the list instead. Once you start to make a habit of living greener, cleaner, and fairer, it all just blends in with the rest of life. Therefore the posts are no longer challenges but interesting tidbits and general life.


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