Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

The Perks of Accountability

High-five-time_gallery_primarySometimes personal motivation to do the little things just isn’t enough. It does a great job of getting you psyched up and jazzed about an idea, but that inner enthusiasm can fade, chipped away at by the practical limitations and strains of everyday life. It’s easier to give up when we’re on our own about something because we know that we’re only letting ourselves down. We can make up for it later, and nobody else will have to know we gave up.

If, on the other hand, we are accountable-that is, we are involved in a joint effort with people we know who will feel disappointed if we give up on something, it becomes much more difficult to let slip of a goal, to ease back into familiar comfort and routine at the expense of the glorious idea we felt so ready to pursue not long ago. This principle, I think, can serve us very well when it comes to living green. Everyday things like shower duration, leaving lights on, turning off the heat or AC, carpooling, etc, become infinitely easier to stay on top off when we’re in it together with someone (quite literally when it comes to carpooling). Even though we all know that being environmental is of universal benefit, it’s easier to lose touch on the importance of it if we don’t have a direct link. It’s pretty much like everything else in life; harder alone. While some certainly manage living green without any direct support, I would suggest forming a pact of some kind with a roommate or friend in the hopes of having as green a life as possible.

While I usually find competition annoying and unhealthy, some light competition here in the spirit of earthly well-being could be a fun and effective way for competitively-minded people to keep the idea rolling. See who can take the shortest shower, do laundry the least amount of times over the course of a few months, or use the least gas in a week, maybe. If you’re less competitively driven and more motivated by ideals, try playing a game in your head where one more person gets to enjoy a lush green landscape in the future every time you commit a green act. My imaginary person’s name is Mayberry. She has blue hair and plays the ukelele while perched on a tree branch. How could we deprive the world of her majesty?


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