When my girlfriends and I get a rare slice of time to hang out sans husbands and children, the topics of conversation remain largely the same: husbands and children. But the last time we were together we also spent some time talking about the varying degrees of green within our circle.
I have one friend who is hardly green at all. She recycles only when it is convenient, or in other words, when she happens to be standing next to a recycling bin. Talking with her about why it is important to live a green life, I walk the fine line between encouragement and preaching. She's usually open to making more informed choices, but has a tough time committing if the practice is too difficult to incorporate into her normal routine.
I must say, I understand where she's coming from. I also find it difficult to do every green thing I would like to do. For example, I would love to plant a vegetable garden, but find the idea of adding an extra chore to my daily routine daunting.
Another friend in our circle beats me with her green efforts. She eats organic food, cleans only with green products, and is a very creative recycler. This is the friend who introduced me to Seventh Generation when I was searching for a safe cleaning option to use in my home when my daughter was born three years ago. I am always impressed by her constant attention to conservation. She's great about not wasting energy in her home, no light is on unnecessarily; the air conditioning is kept super low and her family knows to dress accordingly.
The best thing about her green stature is that she does it because she truly cares -- both about her family and about the future of the planet. I envy her conviction!
I'm in the middle in the group, the one who is always striving to be more green. I swear by my favorite Seventh Generation products and spread the word every chance I get. I conserve energy as much as possible and recycle even when it's a pain. But I know that there's a lot more that I could do to incorporate green living into my family's daily life.
What tips have you picked up from those super-green friends out there? And what ideas do you share with those who are less green?