Some items for your how-to-be-green list: Recycling bin? Check. Al Gore-approved lightbulbs? Check. Reusable grocery bags? Check. Cancel your vacation plans? Ch... wait, what? Christie Aschwanden thinks lots of enviro-friendly folks are getting off too easy, she writes at Slate. They grab on to all the relatively simple things but think nothing of hopping on a plane and turning their teeny carbon footprint into a canyon. Why? "When doing the green thing requires actual sacrifice or a substantial change in lifestyle, well, that’s where most of us draw the line."
Flying doesn't bring with it the same "environmental shame" we tend to bestow on, say, drivers of Hummers, but it should, writes Aschwanden. To make the point, she eschewed long trips for a year and never went beyond 100 miles of her house. Doing so "helped me understand that contentment can only come from making the best of what’s around me, rather than constantly seeking the perfect location or set of circumstances." Give it a try, she recommends. You'll help your wallet, your stress level—and the environment. Click to read Aschwanden's full column. (Read more green energy stories.)