Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Things I've Learned in 3 Years as a Green Blogger

The Conscious Shopper heads into retirement.

This is my last post at the Green Phone Booth. In fact, it's my last post as a blogger for the foreseeable future - I have two more years before my "maternity leave" ends (my baby will start kindergarten and I will need to get a job), and I'd like to wrap up a few other projects before my freetime dwindles to naught.

I write this with a bittersweet sense of nostalgia but also with a very tiny voice in the back of my head shouting, "Wait! No! There's still so much work left to do." But the truth is that in three years, I've pretty much already written everything I have in me to say about how to go green. I started out on this green journey feeling overwhelmed and alone, and now, although I wouldn't say I've got it all worked out (safe and eco-friendly sunscreen, anyone?), I'm satisfied with where we're at.

So what have I learned in three years?
  1. It's okay to spend a lot of money on food. But it's nice to find ways to save money on groceries as well. (Also here, here, here, and here. I am the Conscious Shopper afterall.)

  2. Luckily, sometimes the greenest path is also the cheapest.

  3. This is not a race to see who can singlehandedly save the planet through their self-sufficiency.

  4. Do personal changes matter? Yes, yes, yes!

  5. Rebuilding strong communities is essential to saving the planet.

  6. When you can have a strawberry any time you want, you take the strawberry for granted.

  7. There is a green hat to fit every head.

  8. The 80/20 rule for going green is essential for avoiding moments of extreme guilt and over-thinking-it.

  9. Sometimes people can be really, really mean. But they can also be super super nice, and it's the super nice part that has kept me blogging for three years.

  10. We need to vote and get involved in our local communities and live mindfully and get outside. (If I write it as a run-on sentence, it only counts as one thing, right?)
Thank you all for reading my thoughts and tips and soapbox ramblings over the years.. What a beautiful community we've got here at the Green Phone Booth!


brendie said...

well good luck with any future endeavours. ps my sunscreen....i bought a bag of zinc powder and mix it to a paste with moisturizer, step son burns very easily and he puts this on ears, nose, neck and keeps a shirt on, works very well even when horseriding all day. oh and eat tomatoes. Im lucky, im white but just go olive and rarely burn, but i often where a hat which helps heaps

Willo said...

Best of luck on your future endeavors. Thanks for the lessons!

Green Bean said...

Honestly, Erin, this post brought tears to my eyes. I've seen lots of bloggers retire - many from this blog itself - and you have handled this with such class, responsibility and honesty. I will really really miss everything you bring to this blog. Your viewpoint, your dedication, and all the behind the scenes stuff that you do. Best best of luck with your future endeavors and, please, if you ever feel an itch to say something, pop in for a guest post.



Brenna @ Almost All The Truth said...

"There is a green hat to fit every head."

This I love and is one of the reasons I have enjoyed reading so many green bloggers, like you, that take on this attitude with pride.

Good luck with your new endeavors. Perhaps one day, you'll be back! ;)

Abbie said...

Going to miss you, friend! But I totally get it :)

robin said...

Oh noes :( You will be missed!

Jenn the Greenmom said...


You are, and have been, one of my true heroes in the World of Green, and just because you stop blogging doesn't mean that's going to change in the slightest. So be well, be happy, and bon voyage, my friend!


Condo Blues said...

Erin - best of luck to you! I live by the 80/20 rule too but thanks to you, that's what I call it. In fact, I invoked you yesterday in a conversation about green living...

Lisa Sharp said...

For sunscreen I love Badger.

I'm so sad to see you live. You have been one of my favorite bloggers. Hope you will stay in touch. *hug*

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

What an amazing distillation of wisdom. I want to know what those projects are that you are embarking on. I'm going to enjoy reading through these posts you've linked to. You'll be missed.

SustainaMom said...

Erin, I will miss your inspiring and comforting posts so much. I have so appreciated your honesty and your willingness to tackle tricky topics to help the rest of us find our way on this green journey. I wish I'd "met" you earlier. It is hard to undo some "unconscious" decisions after they've been made, but my family is working to become ever more conscious of the decisions we make and our impact on the Earth.

I wish you the best and hope you pop in to let us know what you're up to!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Green Bean - Your comment brought tears to my eyes. :) Thank you for inviting me to be part of the Booth!

@Jenn - Right back atcha.

@Condo Blues - Awesome! That's so sweet.

@Lisa - You too!

@Betsy - Nothing really interesting - finally organizing our gigantic box of photos and papers, finishing up some craft projects that I've neglected for a couple years, that kind of thing.

@Jaime - Thanks so much. I'm sure I'll still be around in the comments.


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