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Tis the Season — to be Green!

Yesterday was Earth Day. That must mean it’s time for my annual rallying of the green troops. I’m sure I don’t need to tell everyone that it’s not enough to think about the environment just one day a year, that Earth Day is just an opportunity to bring our focus back to things green and to maybe learn a few tips to implement in our daily lives. I feel kinda cheezy doing the standard Earth Day blog, but then again, I do like cheeze…….

It just happened to be coincidence that this week the weather warmed up enough to enable comfortable biking to work. After my bike’s long winter’s nap, I find I am thrilled to be riding again. I’d forgotton how exhilarating it is to ride a bike. Seriously! I won’t say I feel like a kid again, but there’s something about it that’s surprisingly freeing. Maybe it’s the freedom of the open road, expressed by bikers of the motorized kind. It’s also being in direct contact with the planet, not stuck inside a metal box with windows and tires. The wind in my hair (or at least the part that sticks out from under my helmet). And it’s way more fun than going to the gym.

My point is not to wax poetic, though. It’s to encourage everyone to dig out his or her own bike. Don’t have one? I got my pretty cool mountain bike for $75 on craigslist, and you can too. Check out various route options — maybe you’ll find one that’s more pleasant than another. Get yourself a nice cushy gel seat, a couple of folding baskets, and you’re set!

If your agency has a wellness plan, take advantage of it. I get paid to ride my bike!

And of course, there are all the other easy things to do to go Green: change to compact fluorescent lightbulbs, recycle as much as possible, REDUCE as much as possible (so you’ll have less to recycle), start composting your yard clippings, use green cleaning products, and so forth. Every little bit truly counts.

And remember: be the change you want to see in the world. You want to see more people being environmentally minded? Lead by example. You don’t have to be preachy or get on your soapbox (that just turns people off). Just use whatever opportunities come your way to let people see what you’re doing in your own life. You never know whom you might influence. For example, I had a coworker tell me that my monthly Green Team newsletters and the things I do myself have encouraged her to implement more green behaviors. Yay!

One person at a time. That’s how we make progress, whether it’s protecting the environment, stopping genocide, or changing government – whatever. So get your little green heartlight going, and let it shine for all the world to see.

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Wow. Get paid to ride a bike. I’m down. I try to walk as much as possible around Tampa. Which can look crazy but gets me some exercise/helps the environment/saves some money.


You should see about getting a Wellness program started at your office. I can show you ours, if you want. Basically, the Forest Service did some study that showed paying people to exercise was worth it because we are happier, healthier, and take fewer sick days. Each forest implements it their own way, but the standard seems to be you can either get money (for gym fees, for example) or paid time off (to go to the gym, or bike, or whatever). Sometimes you can go half and half time and money. For us, if you take time, you just have to match it with your own personal time. So, if it takes me 30 min to ride to work, then 15 min is paid. Pretty cool huh?

Paulette Neal-Allen

Tricia – we have to have our bike to work week in June, here in Colorado. If we had it in May, it would probably snow on us. Don’t laugh, I still remember the Mother’s Day a few years back when our Praise Band did the comtemporary service acoustic – because with the snow causing so many tree branches to fall on power lines, the church had no power that day 🙂

I just posted a pat-myeslf-on-the-back quick blog post, but I rode my bike in to work today for the first time this year, too. You’re right – it DOES feel sort of free. Well, when I’m not huffing and puffing up a hill 😉