In honor of the old Green as a Thistle, here are the changes that Vanessa made during her green year that is still relevant today. I also added my own and made the list universal and not stuff that can be applied in Ontario, Canada only. Use this list to get some ideas to green up your life!
Once upon a time back in 2007, Vanessa Farquharson was influenced by the Inconvenient Truth and wanted to see if she could make green choices without resorting to being a hippy.
I’ve been having a sock problem. I’m low. I can’t seem to find them when needed and I seriously think I only have 3 pairs in rotation at this point. I’ve been saying several times over the last few months that I need to buy more. The money spent will relieve my insanity!
So, when I got the phone call, the only thing that ran through my mind was socks. I need socks. I won’t make it without socks. So I threw handfuls of my husband’s socks into my book bag. I stuffed them in. I didn’t think of any other essentials besides deodorant, toothbrush, brush and some shirts.
And that’s how I ended up stranded in Tennessee with one pair of pants, one pajama pants, 7 shirts, pajama shorts and a million socks. The second day down here, I bought flip-flops.
So, last year was an adventure… A lot of stuff happened and didn’t happen and oh my gosh was it a giant stress-ball of a mess.
But anywho, I started off the year with a goal that I KNEW I would be able to keep. I decided to read 0 books in the year 2017. I burned myself out in 2015 and 2016 reading 50 and then 39 books in a year.
All I did was READ! So, I wanted to know what it felt like to not have a reading goal and to not put pressure on myself.
But, as all New Year resolutions happen to be, it was a complete failure. I am a true reader at heart. I ended up with 26.5 books (I read one that crossed into the new year). I guess it’s 26 books. That’s what I could find on reading lists, OverDrive history, Twitter book storms and alert emails.
I actually have no clue what the true amount of books I read last year because I didn’t track it AT ALL. I literally gathered this information up last night. My goal was 0 and that meant I didn’t have to waste time in tracking.
But that was a lame idea since it made me go on a giant scavenger hunt. But alas, here are the books I read and the data.
- How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company – Angela Brown
- Why We Get Fat – Gary Taubes
- Starch Solution – John McDougall
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- You Were Born Rich – Bob Proctor
- Lean and Clean – Hannah Howlett
- A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah Maas
- The Mindful Entrepreneur – Joel Gerschman
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan – Allan Dib
- All About Them – Bruce Turkel
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Sprint – Jason Knapp
- Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holiday
- An Automatic Millionaire – David Bach
- I Will Teach You to be Rich – Ramit Sethi
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School – Jeff Kinney
- Don’t Pay For Your MBA – Laurie Pickard
- How to Make Money on YouTube – Adelle Ramcharan
- What the Witch Left – Ruth Chew
- The Millionaire Mind – Thomas J. Stanley
- No Excuses! Brian Tracy
- The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
- 25Days – Drew Logan
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
- This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better – Neville Medhora
- A Model for a Better Future – Kim Alexis
Want Some Data?
Here are some charts that show some data on the books. The first one shows how many books I read each month.
Jan: 3 Feb: 2 Mar: 2 Apr: 0 Ma: 0 Jun: 2 Jul: 2 Aug: 1 Sept: 4 Oct: 2 Nov: 4 Dec: 5
It’s cool to see that I read the same amount of books in Nov and Dec than last year.
The second chart shows the percentage of physical, audio and digital books.
My goal this year? To create a better system to keep me in check with my reading. I don’t have a number. Just a super long list.
Over the years I have radically reduced by possessions, consumption and waste. I have been interested in being green and saving the environment since I was 14 years old. I use to make information packets to pass along to my family to get them to recycle. I read books on how to be green, making natural products and reducing my carbon footprint for fun. This topic is very important to me.
Since then, I have grown to be very environmentally conscious. People and businesses are waking up and changing. Products are being made from recycled material and are energy-efficient and businesses are striving to be sustainable. These are all good things, but we can do better.
Today is spring, and although I am writing this while there is snow on the ground, the weather is about to get warmer and the flowers are about to bloom. And, people are about to get the urge to start spring cleaning.
The warm, fresh air somehow invokes the thought of cleaning within us. Every year, many people get out the cleaning supplies and get to work deep cleaning their lives. I have the urge to clean, too. I want everything to be clean and tidy, so I can spend more time outside.
That’s why yesterday, my husband and I spent an hour and a half deep cleaning our space. Only an hour and a half? Not including laundry, yes. But, before I have purged the items that didn’t play an important role in my life, cleaning like this would have meant a whole day.
Being a minimalist lets me spend less time on doing things I dislike. Spring cleaning is now a breeze. Let’s take advantage of the new season and deep clean our lives.
I’ve been thinking about all the topics that I want to write about, and I decided to start from my roots. In the very beginnings of this blog, I did a post on my shoes. I had 13 pairs of shoes. I was saying that I would soon pare them down — which I did — but I also made some excuses for a few of them. One example were my Ravens slippers. I said that these slippers didn’t count because I wanted everything that supported my favorite football team.
But, they do count. And, I no longer have them. In fact, I no longer have any of those 13 pairs of shoes.
And, that’s okay.
This is going to be my year. I’m still feeling the hype of the New Year, but for the last month, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, unorganized and completely disoriented. I’ve been letting work and passion projects slide as I reach to play my favorite game all day. I made list after list to try to be productive, but I felt pressured every morning to do everything on the list. And, when I feel pressure, I completely turn off.
Work was constantly on my mind and I thought I never had time for myself. I felt guilty for having time for myself when there’s work to be done.
I knew I needed a structured routine. I needed to wake up at the same time and get things done. I needed order. I was craving order. So, I started researching morning routines.
I started keeping track of the books I read in 2015. That year, I read 50 books of my 52 goal. So close! In 2016, I strove for the same goal. I had plenty of free time and a library full of books at my disposal. I could do this.
By the end of the year, however, I realized that I didn’t want to read all the time. I actually wanted to do other things and work on other goals. I love reading and I didn’t want to force reading into being a chore. I wanted it to be a fun, leisure activity that it has always been for me since I was a little girl.
So, I didn’t end up meeting that goal and that goal is no longer a goal of mine. In fact, this year, 2017, I planned on reading no books at all! I failed already on that, but I just wanted to tell myself to read whenever and not because I needed to.