Warning: snarkiness ahead.
My basic line is that there are lots of ways to be green — that is, to consciously try to reduce your impact on the planet, use resources more wisely, think about the effects of your actions, or care about the earth and its future. I respect that some people choose very different paths than I do in promoting sustainability, and I have tons of respect for the people who get out there more than I do and canvass, call, write, agitate, and activate (or whatever the verb is for what activists do). Plenty of people have smaller footprints than I do, try harder, and do more. Plenty don’t, are but are working hard to get there.
I really try to be fair, patient, and tolerant, but I fail more often than I let on. And although I don’t rant much on here, I have to say that certain types of ‘green’ behavior or ‘green’ blogs drive me quietly but absolutely crazy. (Note the Quotes of Scorn.) Regular programming will continue after I’ve gotten the snark out of my system.
Let’s talk about green blogs. I have one. If you’re reading this, you might have one, too. Everything we do has an impact, including blogging, and including green blogging. Does the amount of planet-saving mojo we create balance out the impact? Or are our green blogs quietly wrecking the planet along with everything else we do as first world citizens?
Here, for your pleasure and enlightenment, is a totally unscientific and unapologetically snarky quiz to find out what kind of impact your green blog has on the earth.
1. How much time do you spend on your blog, promoting your blog, or schmoozing with other bloggers so they’ll become your faithful readers?
a) 0-2 hours a week. I blog when I remember to.
b) 2-5 hours a week. I put some time and effort into promoting my blog.
c) 5-10 hours a week. I might be slightly obsessed in getting my page rank up.
d) 10+ hours a week. Whatever it takes to get companies to contact me for reviews.
2. Where does the electricity that powers your computer come from?
a) 100% renewable energy. I live off the grid and rigged my laptop to run on solar panels.
b) 50-99% renewable energy. I tried hooking my computer to a turbine, but it didn’t work out.
c) Less than 50% renewable energy (but my energy provider gets a little juice from solar or wind).
d) I have no idea, and don’t really care.
3. How many product reviews do you do each month?
a) 0-1. But mostly 0.
b) 2-3 on an average month (less than 1 per week).
c) 4-5 (at least 1 per week).
d) 5+ or as many as I’m given the opportunity to do. I heart stuff!
4. How many of them are for products you genuinely need and can’t find a local, lower impact solution for?
a) All of them (or n/a, since I don’t do any product reviews).
b) Most of them, with the occasional fun, green-ish one thrown in.
c) A few. But I’d review an eco-cupcake holder made from recycled plastic if I were given the chance.
d) I’ve never thought about the products I review that way.
5. Would you get green blogger business cards and/or stationery?
a) No way. Think about all the dead trees that went into those things.
b) They’re cute, but I don’t think they’re necessary.
c) I have the sweetest blogger cards printed in soy ink on 100% recycled paper.
d) Have you seen my laminated glitter business cards?
6) How do you feel about green blogger conventions?
a) The whole phrase is an oxymoron. Flying out to promote my blog and have ‘green’ products sold to me is not low impact.
b) I wouldn’t go to one unless it were in my town or within a short drive.
c) They’re OK. I picked up some great swag at the last one.
d) If a company sponsors me to go, I’m there. If it has green in the title, it must be eco-friendly, right?
Mostly As: you officially have a low impact green blog. You might also be just a little on the self-righteous and curmudgeonly side. Oh well — sustainability first!
Mostly Bs: your blog is pretty low impact, although you don’t have a do-or-die approach when it comes to reducing your footprint. Depending on how many people read your blog and take something away from it, it’s possible that the beneficial impact of your blog outweighs its use of resources.
Mostly Cs: You’re heading into the territory of the quotation marks, as in the ‘green’ blogger. You may have other motives for blogging, such as generating income or getting cool free stuff. You still think you can achieve greenness through buying stuff.
Mostly Ds: You think green is a nice color. But your blog is not low impact by any stretch of the imagination.
How’d you do? I’m mostly As and Bs with the occasional C. (By the way, if you’re not sure what percentage of your power comes from renewable energy, it’s easy to find out through a quick web search. My provider gets about 30% from renewable sources.)
It’s completely impossible to quantify how much good my blog does in educating or reaching out, but it is easy to see what kind of resources go into it. Is it worth it? I have no idea. But I do think that a green revolution starts with consciousness, conversation, and real, meaningful change, and our blogs are one place to begin.
Do you think about the impact of your green blog? What are some ways to improve it?