Friday, December 31, 2010

Conscious Shopper Challenge Year End Review

We did it! 52 weeks of challenges to go green without going broke, and we've finally reached the end! Thank you so much to all of you that stuck with me this year. I hope it's been a productive year and that you feel a little bit greener than you did at the beginning of the year. If you'd like, you can go back and re-calculate your carbon footprint to see if your score is any different.

(But for the record, I think those calculators are extremely inaccurate, so even if your score hasn't changed, I'm sure you've still made a difference and you should pat yourself on the back.)

As I said when I started this challenge, my goal was to reassess my green side - to "make sure I'm still committed in some areas and push myself a little farther in others." I hope the challenge has been as helpful for you in that way as it has been for me. I have a much greater awareness now of the areas I'm doing great in, and I know what I need to work on next year.

Below is a complete index of the Conscious Shopper Challenge. I hope you'll take a minute to add in the comments how the experience went for you, what areas you can check off as a Marathon Runner, and what areas you plan to work on next year.

See you in 2011!

The Conscious Shopper Challenge Index

1) Calculate your carbon footprint

Challenge #1: Trim Your Waste-Line

2) Keep track of your trash for a week
3) Switch to cloth bags
4) Start using a reusable water bottle/thermos
5) Green your household cleaners
6) Dispose of your disposable paper products
7) Go green in the bathroom
8) Green your diapers
9) Reduce packaging
10) Start composting
11) Recycle everything
12) Pack a waste free lunch

Challenge #2: Energize

13) Change your bulbs
14) Get a home energy audit
15) Save energy through heating and cooling
16) Save energy when cooking
17) Save energy when washing dishes and laundry
18) Slay your vampires
19) Upgrade to energy star
20) Support renewable energy

Challenge #3: Water Down

21) Reduce your indoor water use (Part 1)
22) Reduce your indoor water use (Part 2)
23) Reduce your outdoor water use (Part 1)
24) Reduce your outdoor water use (Part 2)

Challenge #4: Travel Sustainably

25) Walk
26) Bike
27) Keep up with your car maintenance
28) Use public transportation
29) Learn to hypermile
30) Upgrade to an energy efficient vehicle
31) Travel sustainably over long distances

Challenge #5: Non-Consumption

32) Avoid temptation
33) Buy used
34) Reuse/repair
35) Start a swap network
36) Have more fun, less stuff
37) Observe an ecosabbath

Challenge #6: Green Your Grocery Bill

38) Shop smart
39) Learn to cook
40) Eat less meat
41) Eat seasonally
42) Buy local
43) Buy organic
44) Plan a garden
45) Limit your special occasion foods

Challenge #7: Beyond Your Front Door

46) Vote
47) Bank sustainably
48) Get involved
49) Get to know your neighbors
50) Plan an act of eco-service
51) Give to charity


robbie @ going green mama said...

Erin, I know I hadn't participated in these as much as I'd liked to have this year, but I appreciate all the effort in bringing ideas to our attention. It's amazing how many small things can ultimately make a big difference.

happy new year!

Green Bean said...

So organized! Thank you for making it so easy to incorporate these ideas.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Hi Erin,

Could I add something to your carbon footprint calculators list? If someone wants to really know what their carbon footprint is and is willing to put a ton of effort into finding out, my husband and I have developed a spreadsheet for doing a personal or household carbon audit. It can be downloaded here. It's much more accurate than the ones you have listed so would enable people to really see the carbon impact on making the changes urged in your challenges, but it's also much more hassle to do, too!

Thanks for all your work in preparing the challenges!

--Heather in New Zealand

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

Heather - Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet. I especially love that you have it for Open Office for us Linux users!

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

What a great resource!


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