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When Average Is Just Not Good Enough

2012 April 26

By Lina Younes

This past weekend, I went to the Earth Day festivities at the National Mall with my youngest daughter and one of her friends. We visited the National Sustainable Design Expo-P3 , the NASA exhibits and activities and other booths in the area. While we eagerly participated in the events, one of the activities left me somewhat perplexed. Which activity you may ask? The Carbon Footprint Estimator.

In honor of Earth Day at the National Mall and online, there were several variations of the same question “What is your carbon footprint?” While I pride myself in doing my best to go green by saving energy, saving water, reducing waste, and recycling, time and time again all the quizzes I took this weekend gave me the same grade. What is my Green-O-Rometer? How green am I? Response? Just an average Jane. Not something to be proud of in my book.

So, what were my areas of weakness? Basically, the different quizzes/activities revealed that my weakest area was food consumption. That is an area that I think we frequently overlook when we are thinking of going green. How often do we eat processed or packaged foods? How many times do we eat non-locally grown foods? Do we eat enough locally grown fruits and vegetables? In my case, those were the least green-friendly activities that I engaged in on a daily basis.

So now that I’m aware of my area of weakness, I’ll definitely make a conscious effort to improve. Not only will it be greener for the environment, but it will also be healthier for me and my family.

Are you planning any changes in your daily habits? Want to share any green plans with us? We would love to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as acting associate director for environmental education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. wade permalink
    April 26, 2012

    Possibly just as important as eating “green” is buying green. we all buy these new electronic gadgets and how we do like new cloths, shoes etc. Please look at the labels of origin on these items. you may be surprised to find origin to be mostlt China, eastern europe wher there are few environmental regs and about all they know about green is our American dollars flowing into their economy is GREEN.

  2. April 26, 2012

    Yes, less processed food is always a good idea.
    As to carbon footprint: Whether you get to your supermarket by bike or by car may have a greater impact than the question whether your supermarket sells locally grown apples or ones from the other side of the world -e.g. New Zealand -, if they are shipped, that is.

  3. Lina-EPA permalink
    April 26, 2012

    Very good point and the transportation costs?! Not a good carbon footprint! Thanks for your comments,

  4. May 6, 2012

    Really nice tips.i am happy.thanks.

  5. Lina-EPA permalink
    May 6, 2012

    Definitely. Multiple actions contribute to our carbon footprint. Thanks for increasing awareness on this issue.

  6. Home Remedies For Herpes permalink
    March 17, 2013

    ye, i’m in process to go “green” in my daily life. i’am starting to use greenbag instead of using plastic bag when i go shopping. i try to charge all my gadget just one time a day ( i think it can help save the energy consumption), and i try to reuse every thing i have if it’s possible. i hope i will be greener than that in the future, because i’am really conscious about our earth and i know that i must take the responsibilities to take care of our planet.

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