Have you ever seen a documentary or news story where someone claims some seemingly minor occurrence changed their life? Well, after years of rolling by eyes at other people’s life altering events, it happened to me! I happened upon Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man book, which I read, then his blog, and finally I watched his documentary and had that life-altering moment. Queue eye roll. I know. But, I was really impressed by the changes he made, mainly the reduction in household waste. So, that’s been thrashing around in my head for over a year.
The idea of a blog kept dogging me, not a year-long project like No Impact Man, but just something to help me look at the world differently and make more conscientious, green choices. I wrestled with the pros and cons. The cons were: more time in front of the computer; and adding to my carbon footprint by having a server somewhere host my blog/email. The pros were: hopefully finding a way to live a lower-carbon emission lifestyle without giving up everything.
Several people and things gave me a gentle shove forward.
First, I couldn’t find a first-hand account of someone trying to reduce their carbon emissions in the US, I did find Green Steve’s blog (very readable – love the way he looks at both sides of most issues, like buying local food), which is based in the UK. And, although it’s great, it’s not from the viewpoint of an American girl, which I have to say is going to be A LOT different.
Second, would I have enough fodder for at least a year or more? I mean what if I found out how to reduce my carbon footprint in a few months and be done with it? This is the question my friend and fellow blogger, Joy, who writes a fabulous food blog, posed to me just a few weeks ago. Well, would I?! Green Steve’s blog just celebrated it’s first year, so I figured that was a good indication that I might find enough carbon-footprint related things to research and discuss for a year or so.
Third, I bought How to Live a Low-Carbon Life by Chris Goodall (also from the UK, one might think the UK cares more about reducing carbon emissions than our fabulous US) and wanted to try out some of his suggestions and “talk back” to the book, so to speak, on points of issue.
Here’s a preview of the types of struggles I have reducing my carbon emissions (among other things, I’m addicted to Amazon’s instant gratification)…. I bought How to Live a Low-Carbon Life used from Goodwill in Seattle instead of having it shipped new all the way from the UK and was feeling pretty good about that. BUT I really wanted to read it right away so I bought the e-book from Amazon (think server farms drinking down energy like a thirsty athlete on a hot day). Yikes.
Fourth, I’m volunteering for a number of nonprofits right now, two of which conserve land: Bainbridge Island Land Trust and Great Peninsula Conservancy‘s Kitsap Forest & Bay Project. Hard to work for land-conserving nonprofits and not try to be as green as possible, right?
And, finally, I found a green server (guilt alleviated) – woohoo! It took a little research. There are a handful of hosting companies who buy renewable energy credits, but as my friend Joy says “that’s like phoning it in.” I totally understand that hosting companies can’t just put up a wind turbine farm in the middle of downtown, but I found a hosting company, AISO, that powers their servers with their own solar panels. This blog is on their servers.