That’s the phrase that comes to mind as I sit back and reflect on my new role as a dad. Our first child was born a little over a week ago (and in case you are wondering, is not the baby pictured here) and just as everyone has said all along, it’s been a truly life changing experience! It’s amazing, challenging and unlike anything I’ve ever faced before.
One thing is for sure – being suddenly responsible for the health and well being of a little human definitely has a way of inspiring focus and action. At the risk of sounding cheesy (and borrowing a line from “As Good as it Gets”), it makes me “want to be a better man”. Unfortunately, being a ‘better man’ doesn’t necessarily equal being a more envionmentally responsible man!
With new changes come new challenges. In the case of taking care of a baby, many of those challenges seem involve struggling to maintain some semblance of eco-responsibility. During the last year I’ve made great strides on the environmental front. Let’s quickly review some of the improvements:
Greatly improved composting/recycling efforts
Decreased garbage output (largely due to the above efforts)
Reduced water consumption (outdoors & indoors)
Decreased power usage (turning lights out when not needed etc) and installation of power-saving devices (CF bulbs, energy efficient furnace etc)
Increased usage of eco-friendly products (for cleaning etc)
Since bringing the baby home there seems to be increased power usage, increased water usage, increased garbage output, and increased use of products I wouldn’t consider eco-friendly!
Oh well, I guess there’s no point being too hard on myself. I’m only just getting the hang of being a new dad – being an eco-friendly dad will come with time I’m sure.
On the positive side, it should provide me with a new subject to write about here on the blog! lol
I’m not proud of it, but the fact is I still have not managed to wean myself from the (bad) habit! I have other bad (eco-unfriendly) habits too, but that’s all you’re going to get out of me here!
I think it’s safe to say that even the most environmentally-responsible among us have areas to work on when it comes to greening up our lives. As I’ve learned in the past year (since we started EcoSherpa), the deeper in you go, the more guilt you feel about your shortcomings.
Thankfully there is place we can go to unleash our eco-sins…for all the world to see – and do so without any worry of being judged or criticised!
It’s called True Green Confessions.
Aside from confessing your own sins, you may also find that reading others confessions helps provide some peace of mind. It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that all the other ‘greenies’ are way more responsible than you, but a visit to this site is a great reminder of the fact that none of us are perfect.
Some may claim that a site like True Confessions will only serve to foster green laziness. After all, when we think everyone else is way more responsible than us, there is more pressure to clean up our act. Once we realize the ‘truth’, some of that pressure may subside.
Perhaps others would even suggest that the site goes so far as to glorify eco-sins by making it fun to talk about them.
I don’t personally subscribe to either one of these notions. I think it’s a really cool concept for a website. It’s great to be able to share our woes without any fear of being judged.
Plus, I don’t think it’s meant to be taken too seriously!
Here are some sample confessions, in case you are curious:
“I don’t recycle cans because I am afraid it will attract bugs.”
“I drive a big old Armada and I freaking LOVE IT!”
“I tried giving up toilet paper, but I think the flannel squares I cut out of an old sheet gave me an infection.”
It should be mentioned that not all the confessions are from people who feel guilty about their own eco-shortcomings. There actually seem to be quite a few complaints about others who are perceived as not making enough effort (in the eyes of the person making the confession). I can definitely relate to some of those frustrations too.
Anyway, be sure to check out True Green Confessions, and unload some of that green guilt you’ve been bottling up!
Damien from ViroPop sent us an email not too long ago, letting us know about his new weekly environmental show called ZapRoot.
The video above provides you with a sneak peek of the show! While I’m not sure about the recycled-sex-toy concept , I do think the overall ZapRoot approach has a lot of potential!
I definitely agree that green should be FUN!
Here is some info about ViroPop and ZapRoot in case you are curious:
ViroPop: Environmentalism Made Fun
Okay, let’s get this straight. ViroPop is NOT a new virus-flavored soda. And ZapRoot is not a show about bombarding plants with laser beams.
What is ViroPop then? Well, you could think of it as a salad. It’s green, sure, but also cool, fresh, crisp and tasty. And full of surprises. And good for you.
ViroPop is the first network on the Internet to treat the new environmental pop culture with a sense of irreverent fun. Long dreary powerpoint presentations…be gone! This is the happy Green Revolution.
And ZapRoot is ViroPop’s flagship show.
ZapRoot is a quick weekly zap of usable news that goes straight to the root of some of the most intriguing environmental issues of the day—like what to do with those old plastic dildos you’ve accumulated over the years. ZapRoot has an answer complete with illustrations. The show is produced by independent film maker Sarah Szalavitz and Damien Somerset, a genuine, card-carrying Tree Hugger who has had it up to here with the over earnest, pompous, we’re-all-gonna-die stuff coming out of the Green movement lately. We’re earnest too, but he believes there is a fun pop culture sprouting up all over the green world and we want to celebrate it.
I’ll certainly be interested in checking out future episodes!
For most of my life I’ve been trying to find a way to somehow combine my ‘green’ passions with the entrepreneurial spirit that has burned within. I’m now much closer to realizing this dream than ever before, but there is still much work to be done!
One of the things that definitely keeps my optimism high is the vast number of green businesses that seem to be out there these days. One of the challenges however is trying to keep track of all them, and determining which ones are really green.
Thankfully, someone has taken it upon themselves to creat a blog dedicated solely to the topic – LivePaths.com
Taking a quick look at some of the front page headlines – “Recycle Your Rabbit”, “How to Sell Elephants’ Poo For a Living”, “Keep Your Money in a…License Plate?” – certainly makes me want to read more!
Here is some info from the LivePaths ‘About’ page:
LivePaths blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources. This isn’t “10 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet”. We only review real, working businesses, so you can investigate, emulate, learn, partner, do business or simply buy from them to help close the loop.
LivePaths seems to be a pretty new site, but one that certainly holds a lot of promise! I definitely recommend you check this one out!