As with most things, going green is a matter of two steps forward, one step back (at least, that’s been true for me). In the past several months, I think I’ve been in a one step back phase. Partly, I’ve been slipping because I’ve been so busy. When I don’t feel like I have time, I’m more likely to take shortcuts. Another big problem was the move itself. Moving broke a lot of my habits and I haven’t made the effort to reestablish them.
Since I last wrote about it, I haven’t ridden my bike any significant distance. I still haven’t made it downtown without a car, despite the bike and the bus stop at the end of the street. It’s been hard to get motivated now that the weather isn’t as nice. We did get a very nice bike bag as a wedding gift, however, so I feel better about taking my laptop along. I haven’t wanted to carry it in a backpack or on a rack where it could more easily fall out or be subjected to the elements, so I’ve been driving.
I’ve also been eating out more and cooking less. The fact that I’ve been busy has contributed, but so has Maggie’s recently busy schedule. When it’s just me for dinner, I’m much less likely to put effort into it. I’ve gained some weight since we moved and I think that’s a lot of it.
It’s a little thing, but I also haven’t been line-drying like I used to. There is a laundry line here, but it’s in the back yard. To get there from the laundry room, you have to walk through six out of the eight rooms in the house! It’s so much easier to just turn around and toss my laundry in the dryer.
The past four months haven’t been a total disaster, though. Not only have we been recycling more than ever, we grabbed stuff that my family was going to throw away (a carpet, styrofoam) and brought it back here to use or recycle (their city won’t accept styrofoam).
We’ve also managed to bring our electrical usage down quite a bit from apartment living, to about 80% of what we were using before. That’s about 70% of what it was when we first moved in, so removing lights, putting in power strips, and using CFLs have really made a difference. It helps that our heat and stove are gas too. So far, that hasn’t saved us any money (the electrical savings have been offset by the basic $12/month we pay for gas connectivity) but I expect it will now that it’s gotten cold.
Maggie has done better as well. She recently got a backyard composter and has been using it consistently. That’s reduced our garbage some (it’s not as persnickety as our worms) and gotten us thinking about soil amendments for planting next year.
Winter is a good time to take stock and evaluate where you are and where you’re going. This his been a crazy year. We bought a house, got married, had the best business year ever, and I’ll (hopefully) get my degree in just another couple months! We also managed to make a lot of progress on our goals, even if I slid back some as the year went on.
Now I’m ready to start thinking about how I’ll do better next year!