I’m starting to wonder if “going green” is a little like going on a diet? They are both “the right thing to do” without question. Overconsumption (calories or energy) is wasteful, a little hoggish. But it feels so good and it’s so convenient to overindulge. Whether it’s comfort food or driving around in circles to find a parking space close to our destination, we are a culture and a society accustomed to having as much as we want: adequate supplies of energy for our industry, bodies, homes and vehicles.

Much like trying to lose weight, good intentions are not enough. Another similarity between dieting and going green is the value of a support system. When your partner wants to drive through McDonald’s and you were thinking SlimFast for dinner, it undercuts your resolve. But, when he remembers to bring home another compact fluorescent light, it helps us replace one more bulb. Having our neighborhood group meet monthly has been terrifically energizing and reinforcing?#34;serving much the same support group function as Weight Watchers.

Our local block activity, and this blog, are dedicated to the “95 percent of the population that wants to be 5 percent green, not the 5 percent of the population that wants to be 95 percent green.” So we should think about small, incremental and sustainable behavioral changes?#34;replacing light bulbs, acquiring a rain barrel, conducting energy audits, walking and biking instead of driving?#34;as the equivalent of cutting calories and exercising more energy-responsible behavior. Granted, old habits die hard, but even small changes can make a difference: in our profile, or our planet.

So form a group on your block with other people interested in going greener. And keep track of your progress (just like counting calories, or keeping an exercise log). Little things add up.

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