Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 68: Consider Peace and Practicality

In making these small and big changes, we've been considering pocket and planet a lot in this experiment. We even named the blog after the two greens: pocket-green and planet-green. But what we've been kicking around recently when we talk about this is a quadruple bottom line. (Whoa - all you guys that thought the triple bottom line was the goal, take that!) To planet and pocket we've added peace (includes simplicity?) and practicality (includes convenience and sustainability for the long haul).

Any "green" action can be measured in terms of this quadruple bottom line.

What about selling the car? Originally, we chalked that up to a pocket and planet win. But does it bring us peace and simplicity? Is having one car sustainable for the long haul? Not sure yet.

Selling the car has had some unintended consequences. We have become more cooperative about our schedules, since we have to coordinate about transportation. I have shopped a lot less since I don't have as much access to stores. This is a great side benefit.

What about something like baking bread instead of buying store bread? Also a pocket and planet win, but isn't it a hassle to make bread all the time instead of just buying it? No, no, no. This has been one of the most pleasant surprises of really committing to making bread. It's been completely easy and stress-free. It fits perfectly into an after-work activity slot. Any night that we're at home can be a bread night. I can start a loaf while making dinner and by bed time, it's done and ready for the next day. Peaceful and practical.

You might recall the shampoo debacle from Week One. While it was technically cheaper and eco-friendly to reduce shampoo use, Tony's experiment to reduce it to near ZERO turned out to not bring peace and not be sustainable at all. Sure, we might have been able to see this coming, but we ran the experiment anyway. Similarly, running barefoot turned out to be great for pocket and planet, but was basically unsustainable in the long run (highly imPRACTICAL) due to cold, discomfort, crappy road conditions and any number of blisters.

I'm calling this the new quadruple bottom line: pocket, planet, peace, practicality. I'll try to measure our activities in terms of this new standard from now on. Hopefully it will be instructive to our readers as to why a particular practice is or is not something we've decided to do for the long haul.

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