Simple steps to help create a greener world

The folks over at the New American Dream do a great job of taking a complex topic and turning it into easy, actionable steps for jo(anna) consumer to take to “live consciously, buy wisely, and make a difference.”

This summer, they launched a simple and extremely effective “going green” campaign for folks like us whos lives are so busy/crazy that we can barely make it out of the house in the morning. The campaign, called Carbon Conscious Consumer gives us one task per month, and asks us to spread the word through our network of contacts. Here is what we have done so far, along with tasks for a few upcoming months:

July 2007: Buy locally at least 1 pound of food per week. This was easy peasy. I have been shopping at the farmers market each Saturday since May – even when i don’t feel like getting up to make sure I can get in. When I do make it, I am reminded of the wonderful abundance that Virginia has to offer.  I will have to get creative and figure out what to do during the winter months!

August 2007: Downshift your Driving – Carve out one car-free day a week. For me this is mostly Sunday’s or Thursday’s. This is particularly difficult when it is 100 degrees outside and we REALLY don’t want to walk anywhere.

September 2007: Junk Your Junk Mail – Use online forms to eliminate most of your unwanted ad mail. I can’t wait to do this. Being the techie that I am, I have trouble managing anything on paper – so often times junk mail seems to pile up here and there around my house.

October 2007: Break the Bottled Water Habit – use a non-toxic reusable bottle for water on the go! And a high-quality filter in your home. Ok, I confess that I am a bottled-water junkie. This will be tough for me to change, but I am committed and have begun researching high-quality water filters for my home…

November 2007: Clean Green – Cold wash your clothes and choose the no-heat dry cycle on your dishwasher. I do this mostly now anyway. Mainly because I have a beat-up old dishwasher and I am afraid to turn on the heat-dry function. I probably wash one load per month in warm water just because that’s how I was taught to do it by my mother.

December 2007: Bring Your Own Bag – Neither paper nor plastic when you take part in “The New BYOB.” I have started to do this lately – I purchased some cute Trader Joes re-usable bags… so I am off to a good start.

All of these things are easily doable, even a caveman can do it!

Won’t you pledge to do this and spread the word?

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