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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Small steps or giant leaps: how do you make green changes in your life?

Dog jumping off a pier

Credit: iStockphoto

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When it comes to greening your life, how do you prefer to make changes? Are you a small steps kind of person, making small improvements every day? Or are you the kind of person who goes for a giant leap with a project that drastically changes your life, then waits a while before making another big change?

I thought that most of our G Challenge readers would be on Team Small Steps, and I know that's my own style. It seems like our little challenges are best suited to people who want to test the waters and try an idea out before committing to a major change. But then I realised that anyone can do these, even if they prefer bold moves to small ones.

Team Small Steps might do things this way:

  • make Meatless Mondays a part of their regular meal plans
  • keep a mug at work to avoid using takeaway cups 5 days a week
  • take the train to work 2 or 3 days every week

Team Giant Leap might do the same things differently:

  • go vegetarian for a month, or make the switch permanent
  • swear off takeaway cups forever, so that they use a proper cup or go without their coffee
  • sell the car and replace it with a bike

I don't think either group is better than the other, they're just different approaches. Team Small Steps might not look like they're doing anything flashy, but they're forming lifelong good habits that accumulate into a sustainable life. Team Giant Leap is more likely to find their change unmanageable and revert to their old ways, but when they find the right project they make enormous cuts to their environmental footprint all in one go.

And both groups are able to help other people in their community to realise the benefits of sustainable living. Team Giant Leap inspires us all to try harder, while Team Small Steps shows us how to make it work on a day to day basis.

We need both types if we want to help save the world! Which one are you?