ECO LQ (Lifestyle Quotient): What life stage were you the "Most Eco"?

It’s often difficult to keep up with the Jonses on all this “Good Green Citizen” stuff. For the majority of us out there, we can’t possibly give all we got, but we can do things in our everyday life to make a difference. Where we are in our life, how old/young we are, where we live, and what we do – all factor in to how we can contribute (or at least minimize our impact) on the planet. Don’t get riled up if you can’t give as much as Gates, or buy eco-islands like Leo. Do the best you can where you are at. It makes a world of difference…

So how can you see if you are a good green citizen? Administer your own ECO LQ Test!

Below, I listed a farily comprehensive list of the “green” stuff I have done since I was a young girl. What’s interesting is that I have lived in three very different areas in my life: a rural Pennsylvania town, a college campus, and a big city. I obviously have become more aware of my impacts as I have aged, but even the stuff that I do now (i.e. take public transportation + walk), would virtually be impossible to do if I still lived in PA. Conclusion: Do the best you can where you are at.


And on that note, I’d love to hear about other Eco-Chick reader’s Eco LQs. Look at some examples I’ve given below and write down what you do (or don’t do) and post them here!

What I do in my everyday life NOW – (NY, NY):

  • Buy eco-friendly clothing, often times from local designers at a local store
  • Buy organic food at local store, often travel to green market
  • Will only buy enough food for the week; will rarely waste food
  • Bought 6 houseplants today at the Green Market
  • Take public transportation or walk everywhere (haven’t driven a car in 4 years)
  • Recycle (paper, glass, cardboard, plastic, and aluminum)
  • All furniture in house is used or was found on the sidewalk
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs (at least in my room)
  • Charge cell phone on solar power, or when charging from wall outlet, I will take the charger out when not charging
  • Have plastic on our windows to help prevent heat from escaping
  • Will rarely turn on main heater, may use a small heater for localize heating
  • Buy fair-trade tea or sometimes chocolate. I don’t drink coffee, but if I did…
  • Mainly use organic beauty and personal care products
  • Will try to eat out at locally-owned restaurants
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products
  • Use environmentally-friendly detergents
  • Shut off water when not using it
  • Use a water-saving showerhead
  • Shut off lights when not in use
  • Give to charity
  • Socially active workplace

What I did in my everyday life at COLLEGE – (Ithaca, NY):

  • Buy eco-friendly clothing
  • Rarely bought organic, but got fair trade teas and bought locally
  • Rarely wasted food
  • Recycled
  • Used public transportation and walked everywhere
  • Shut off water when not using it
  • Shut off lights when not in use
  • Active in the community
  • Socially active in workplace

What I did in my everyday life at HOME – (Northeastern PA):

  • Clothing – I got a lot of hand-me downs and handmade clothes, but bought a lot of new stuff too
  • Grew our own fruits and vegetables
  • Cut our own firewood (sustainably) to heat our house, used natural gas
  • Bought food in bulk about once a month
  • Recycled
  • Composted food scraps
  • Had plastics on windows in the winter months
  • Shut off water when not using it
  • Shut off lights when not in use
  • Give to charity
  • Active in the community

And…my vices: too much air travel, and leave my computer on alllll dayyyy loooong.

About Summer Rayne Oakes

One Comment

  1. I think I was def. most eco as a child…though I try harder now! When I was a kid we ate from our huge garden ALL summer and fall, the meat we ate came from the farm down the road (except for that lamb my grandma loved from New Zealand), and we drank from well water (which was oh so delicious). I took public transporation to school (the big yellow bus!) and rode my bike the rest of the time. A great night was dessert+The Muppets, and I was passed out by 9pm. And my grandma kept the house COLD in the winter- never over 65 (which I still do, actually). We composted madly, and the birds/dogs/cats/raccoons ate what we didn’t.

    Negatives from when I was a kid: we took a lot of tropical vacations and cruises, and I flew to Australia numerous times. The house I lived in was probably too large for just two people, and we had to drive pretty far distances to do anything (grocery store was 40 minutes away).

    In college I drove A LOT. All over upstate NY, Massachusetts, Vermont, all the time. I would hop in my car and drive for two hours just for fun. So bad. But I did walk to class! I was a recycling Nazi in my house in college- I don’t know if anything would have been recycled without me. I was vegetarian. That’s about it.

    Now, I am the Eco Chick so I am perfect (ha!). I still own my car even though we don’t need two, and I only hang my clothes out to dry when it’s nice and I have time (20% of the time maybe?). I even occasionally dry-clean my clothes! I hate that I do that. I take longer-than-necessary showers and I often have two computers going at the same time. I still love to travel, and my house is so old it is completley inefficient in a variety of ways.

    I still keep the heat low, recycle crazily, buy only eco-friendly house cleaners/clothes/gifts/bath products, I have four adopted animals, am still vegetarian, am really focusing on buying locally, drive only when I have to, take public transportation and walk to school, eat out of my garden (it’s still going with winter greens!) and turn off lights immediately when I’m not using them. I use a human-powered mower to mow the lawn, and wash my clothes in cold water (or at the most warm). I bought a new efficient dishwasher and run it only when full, and I use only recycled paper products for everything (and I have cloth napkins for daily use).

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