Earth Day: And Beyond!

29 Apr

Earth Day Banner

At the beginning of the month I asked two questions:

1. Why do you want to go green?

Some of the reasons I thought of were to save money, to help someone else, because you just love the planet, or just because it’s the cool thing to do.

My Earth Day challenge to shorten the length of my showers made me realize that there was a better way to ask the second question:

2. What are your most abundant and least abundant resources?

I still think it’s important to understand what you have and don’t have to help you go green, but I realized that knowing you have an abundance of something doesn’t necessarily mean you are willing to give it up.

After many many years of talking about the environment, I’ve realized that it’s impossible to live a planet-friendly lifestyle without giving up something. It may be the extra money you spend on green products, it may be the time you spend schlepping stuff to the recycling center, or maybe it’s the satisfaction of buying what you want when you want it.

So my new question is this:

2a. What are you willing to sacrifice?

When I started thinking about how to shorten my showers, I realized pretty quickly that I was unwilling to give up taking hot showers. I could make some concessions like taking a bath on the days when I come home from work freezing cold and in need of warmth. But I was still taking long showers.

I wanted to be all scientific about tracking my shower times, but I failed pretty hard at that one. Mostly I would forget to start or stop my stop watch at the beginning or end of my shower, and because I wasn’t rigorous enough to record the date when I did manage to get an accurate time.

My data for March (kinda) looked like this:


A (very) rough estimate averages my shower time before I started the challenge is 30 minutes per shower. (I told you they were long.)

As I started the challenge in April I didn’t have much success in shortening my shower time. Even if I tried to be super efficient I only shaved off a few minutes of my time. This was frustrating, but I realized that I was spending a ridiculous amount of time messing with my hair. Ironically, I think I spent more time taking care of my hair in a single shower than I did in all of the days between showers.

And that’s when I realized that my hair was something I didn’t mind sacrificing.


So I got it cut.

I’m really enjoying the new haircut, and I could tell even before I managed to accurately time my shower that I was spending less time in the shower. My (again, very approximate) data for April looked like this.


I plan to continue this challenge beyond April. Just because I failed hard at keeping track of my shower times in April doesn’t mean I can’t be better about it in May. Our planet is facing some serious environmental problems, and they aren’t going to go away if we only spend one day a year thinking about them. This is one way I can make a difference, and I will keep on trying.

I am hoping that you have also found a reason to go green, a way to go green that fits your lifestyle, and that you are willing to sacrifice something to do it. Please, feel free to share them here or leave a comment under our Earth Day Giveaway before tomorrow to enter to win some eco-prizes.

Stay green my friends!




6 Responses to “Earth Day: And Beyond!”

  1. El Andy April 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    love it Robin! You keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

  2. Sandy May 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Whoa!!! Love the look. It wouldn’t be my first thought for going green, but I’m glad it works for you. Congrats to you and April for keeping your Earth-month commitment. You have both given us a lot to think about. Not sure I’m ready to sacrifice my ice tea just yet though.

    • aprilinautumn May 2, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      I can’t remember where someone said to give up iced tea! I’m certainly continuing to drink it.

      • wanderdrossel May 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

        I harassed my mom for buying cases and cases of iced tea in plastic bottles the last time I was home. Apparently I’m still losing that battle.

  3. Sandy May 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Yeah, but I feel guilty every time I buy more.


  1. Earth Day: All In One Place | Without a Map - August 27, 2014

    […] April 27, Earth Day: For the Love of Nature April 28, Earth Day: A favorite Resource April 29, Earth Day: And Beyond! April 30, Earth Day: Recycling Wrap-up April 30, The Earth Day […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s