Archive | January 2011

Forced to Be Green

There is nothing like a true test of your ability to practice what you preach. If living a more sustainable lifestyle is important to you, what changes are you making so that the world is a more sustainable place? Quite frankly, there are few things about my lifestyle that say, “I want to be green.” Sure, I recycle, and I have replaced nearly every light bulb in my apartment with CFLs. We even use those reusable bags at the grocery store each week.

But, my wife and I are far from models of sustainability. We live in the suburbs when it is affordable to live closer to work. We tend to eat at restaurants quite often, resulting in a lot of packaging waste. We still occasionally shop at Wal-Mart (although we prefer Target). Carpooling and mass transit were hardly a consideration for us.

Until now.

On January 4th, I was in a rear-end collision that resulted in my car being totaled. By last Saturday it was towed away and, now that my rental has been returned, my wife and I are now down to one car. I jumped head-first into the new-car shopping frenzy, test driving some really nice vehicles, running all kinds of numbers, inhaling that new-car smell (which is really just a concoction of chemicals that we have no business putting into our bodies). But, we reached a place where we knew it was wiser to take our own advice—and Dave Ramsey’s.

For now, we will make the sacrifice by changing our work hours, communicating about when we’ll need the car during the day, and forgoing the “come and go as I please” mentality. If not for being greener, it will be a tremendous cost savings for us.