I’m always surprised when I hear someone say they don’t know how to live greener, or that they’re so overwhelmed by all the possibilities, they don’t do anything at all. In my mind, a person can always do something. In March, a fellow environmentalist and I launched a blog, Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet (ecowomen.wordpress.com).

Our mission is to show people the easy changes they can make to live a greener life. Whenever I blog about something on Eco Women, I try to test that tip first, whether it’s switching to nontoxic cleaning products; ditching plastic produce bags and using my own cloth produce bags; or even recycling my daughters’ old pairs of Crocs. Every time we do something new and it sticks, it feels great. Not everything works—eco toilet paper, for example, didn’t go over too well—but I’m not going to beat myself up over that one failure when there are so many other things I’m doing—and still so many more tactics to try.

Jennifer McDonald Brecht

(aka Recycla; below)

Charlottesville, VA

In the summer of 2005, I thought I’d been living a fairly green lifestyle. But then it hit me: Peak oil isn’t going away.

I knew I had to do something. I called on my previous involvement in permaculture to launch the Portland Maine Permaculture Meetup Group (above; portlandmainepermaculture.com) in late 2005. Since then, the group has grown to more than 250 members, and its activity shows no sign of abating. In about two and a half years we have successfully created both virtual and real communities in which people are making changes to reduce their environmental footprints.

Members include everyone from yoga instructors to elected officials, all of them interested in doing what they can with what they have. With permaculture, we are creating things like edible perennial ecosystems and low-impact homes and gardens. We’re building local resilience to live a truly sustainable and abundant life in the face of whatever challenges may come.

Lisa Fernandes

Portland, ME

This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.

Making strides toward living a greener life
Everyday people share their eco accomplishments - both big and small.