Earth Day has come and gone, leaving many of us with a renewed sense of urgency about the fragile state of our planet. Unfortunately, initial bursts of enthusiasm don't have much staying power. Like the gym membership you buy on Jan. 1 that quickly finds it’s way to the bottom of a desk drawer, green goals often get lost in the shuffle of everyday routine. Make those new behaviors stick by following a few simple guidelines:
Start small. If you just realized that taking a daily 20-minute shower, eating beef often and using incandescent bulbs are bad for the environment, consider yourself a newbie. Start by turning off lights when you leave a room, incorporate “Meatless Mondays” into your weekly meal plan and shorten your showers to 15 minutes most days.
If you have already started the green ball rolling, grab copy of 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth, choose two or three new action steps that seem challenging but doable and practice them this week. Among the tasks you can include are:
Green living begins at home. Make sure your entire family is involved. Even the youngsters can recycle paper, compost vegetable peelings and turn off the water while brushing their teeth.
The next time you are having dinner or drinks with friends, don’t be afraid to drop a “green bomb”…a little anecdote about your current efforts to shrink your carbon footprint.
Create your own green support team. Weight Watchers and Alcoholics Anonymous know that going it alone can be, well, lonely. Successful behavior change works best with support of others—try looking for other sustainable individuals via Transition Culver City or even at the local . And while you're at the market anyway, why not purchase some locally-grown organic produce for some added carbon footprint shrinkage?
Jeanne Kuntz combines sustainable living with health and wellness. Learn more about successful behavior change on her website TeachingWellness.com.