Going Green, Practically

As a blog writer for ENN I am always looking tools for helping me to reduce my carbon footprint. While reading the Sierra Club Home Blog I read an interview with Susan Hunt Stevens, the founder of  Practically Green, a website designed for people who want to live more sustainably but aren’t sure where to start. Being that the site was free and I had somehow already found a way to flub my “easy green New Year’s Resolutions”, I decided that there would be no harm in exploring the site.

Upon joining Practically Green I was given a quiz of potential “green actions” to take around the house.  Each action is given a points value, along with a detailed explanation of its importance, directions on how to complete the action, and green products that can help you complete the action ( a little  commercial but a website needs funding). You are then given the opportunity to mark the action as completed, skip the action or, set the action as goal. If you choose to set the action as a goal you are given the opportunity to schedule a completion date, allowing you to complete the goal in a timely fashion that best fits you. After completing the quiz you are given the opportunity to choose additional goals/actions which are grouped by category under the Actions tool bar.

What I like about Practically Green is it allows you to make changes at the pace that works best for you. Unlike some websites, where users are encouraged to make instant pledges, Practically Green understands that many changes cannot be made in a day. Practically Green’s design reflects that not all changes are equal or easy to make right away.  Another aspect of Practically Green that I find helpful is that it can be programmed to send email reminders of support to you.

Unlike RecycleBank, which I wrote about last September, users of Practically Green cannot earn physical rewards for their points earned from pledging. Instead, Practically Green works like the Boy/Girls Scouts and allows users to win badges with their points earned. Like Recyclebank, it allows the user to link their accounts with Facebook and to become members of the websites larger community. Personally I am not a fan of these features but other people might find these features motivational.

Whether you just use the website to set green goals for yourself, or take advantage of the websites full range of resources, Practically Green is a great tool for anyone who wants to lead a more sustainable lifestyle but knows they will need support.

Green Checklist via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Monday, March 4th, 2013 at 21:19
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