Feeling Guilty about not being “Green” enough? So are we……..

I decided to start Greenliness.com with my friend Art Arquilla to take a strong interest of mine – making the world a better place and having less impact on the environment – and help others do the same.

I knew from just cursory reading of books and web resources that there were simple things you could start with that could make a big difference. And I thought a website dedicated to educating people about this would be of great benefit.

I can be lazy when it comes to being green – lots of good intentions, but many times a lack of follow-thru. Sound familiar?  I recently attended the kickoff meeting for the Green Chamber of San Diego County, where CEO of Stone Brewing Greg Koch gave a rousing presentation that really matched my sentiment – that most of us are not perfect “green” citizens of the planet. Greg yelled from a bullhorn, “If you have used or purchased a plastic bottle of water, say “I have sinned”. If we hadn’t ridden our bike to work, if we rode in an SUV, if we didn’t know the source of every bite of meat we ate, we were sinners! (See Greg’s video).

So here’s the deal – rather than feeling guilty about all these things, let’s take a measured voyage toward having a positive impact. As my friend Gerry Rose says “Slow and Steady Wins the Race.”


It can be complicated, or not…

I’ve visited two Consumer Electronics Shows in Vegas (CES), looking for products to sell, and both times the feeling I came away with was bewilderment. How “green” were these products claiming to be green? I don’t want to downplay the switch to less harmful materials that many manufacturers have done, but still, wouldn’t the best thing be to stop buying these products and live a simpler life with less resource-using, energy-wasting, stress-causing possessions??? (Hat’s off to Greenpeace, though, for their never-ending pressure on manufacturers to clean up their acts – Here’s a link to the Greenpeace blog from CES 2010and their Guide to Greener Electronics).

Also, when XYZ Company comes out with a new product using better materials and less energy, is it better to replace your current widget with the new one, or is it actually “greener” to keep using the old widget due to the environmental impact of throwing out the old thing? One reason I love the concept of theTricklesaver products we feature on our site, is because you can save energy without having to throw out your existing power strips. An add-on energy-saving device with nothing sent to the trash.

So how to keep things simple?

At greenliness.com we’re focused on just five areas with our products and information. They are:

  • Reduce energy use
  • Use less water
  • Eliminate/reduce the use of plastic water bottles
  • Provide Green education / information
  • Replace commonly-used products with items that use more sustainable materials

Products are categorized this way, and blog entries are categorized this way. My brain is categorized this way!

Future blog entries will focus on the simple things you can do increase your “greenliness”. And these simple things may often have nothing to do with what we are selling on our website.

For example, I have a challenge for you this month that does not take any more effort than your normal trip to the grocery store. When you get to the aisle where they sell paper products, like paper towels and toilet paper – instead of getting the standard stuff, reach for products made out of recycled materials. The cost is comparable to the standard products, at least it is at Ralph’s and Vons, where I shop, and you will make a huge difference to the environment (Read my blog post from 10/03/09). Come on, you can do it! The recycled toilet paper is not made from used toilet paper! Balance your Starbucks in your left hand, reach up with your right, and pull the pretty package that says 100% recycled into your cart! Simple! No extra effort. You have earned one checkmark on the road to greenliness!

IN CONCLUSION, I hope by keeping things simpler, those of you who are “sinners” like me can reduce your guilt and start on a slow and steady path toward leading a less environment-impacting life on the planet.

Please leave a comment here or email me regarding how you feel about what I have written – let our community know what other simple things are out there. Have a product you think fits on greenliness.com? Please let me know about that too. Keep the conversation going.

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