It often seems as though there are a couple of types of people in the world when it comes to making sustainable choices: those who are getting on the band wagon at their own pace and looking for the basics (recycle, use CFLs, turn the water off when you brush your teeth) and those who feel a little “yeah, yeah – I’ve done all that – now what more can I do?”
Regardless of which category you place yourself in, allow me to introduce Practically Green. Learn more here. Hop on over to the website and take a quick quiz – promise, it’s pretty interesting. The fantasticos over at PG are even making some tweaks to the quiz itself to eventually take into account whether you live in suburbia or midtown, whether you’re a nuclear family or flying solo and countless other adjustments. In the interim, it’s a pretty darn good starting point. You’ll find yourself with a ranking and a list of challenges or action items as well as badges to improve your standing.
When I first took the quiz, I felt momentarily smug over my fairly green rating… until I saw that the PG folks had 415 recommendations for me to do better. Four hundred. And fifteen. In essence, that’s one of the great credits to the team at Practically Green – there is no ultimate achievement, no crowning glory. It’s a daily (if not by the minute) challenge for us all to do a little more, try a little harder, make an adjustment here and there.
To me, the site seems like the perfect challenge to take on as a family. There are badges to hold the attention of the small ones and challenges to hold the attention of the competitive. You could even challenge your neighbors (or neighborhood) to a green, uh, duel using groups. Best of all, PG is not preachy and it isn’t time-consuming. If you’re blogging, or reading blogs, or tweeting, or sneaking guiltily away for a few minutes on Pinterest… you have time. Check it out.
And, I’m delighted that I made the acquaintance of one fabulous Sarah Finnie Robinson over at PG’s Boston-based management team earlier this year. We’ve been scheming together to take over the world and become green BFFs. This resulted in Sarah asking me to share a guest blog on Practically Green, and it will be on the PG blog tomorrow (October 5) – how cool is that? I’m quite smitten with Sarah – she’s witty, full of big ideas and hello – worked at The New Yorker.
So, help me show a little love in return – check out the Practically Green site, take the quiz, explore all the neat things they’re doing such as product guidelines and check out their amazing advisory board, including one of my writing idols, former House & Garden editor-in-chief Dominique Browning. I’ve got an entrepreneurial/greenie crush on the founder of Practically Green as well: Susan Hunt Stevens. She shares my idea that if buildings have LEED and appliances have Energy Star, people should have a rating and challenge system too. As an aside, there’s a similar premise for businesses – check out my friends over at GreenPlus to learn more!
Then, challenge me to a green duel. Because honestly – we all win that way.
Be sure to connect with Practically Green on Facebook, Twitter and via the PG Blog. And, check out this coolness: the PG team is at the SXSW Eco Conference in Austin, Texas (*jealous!*) this week and have launched an eco-conference mobile app!