A Challenge from Guest Blogger Carolyn Gilles

Carolyn Gilles is a co-founder of the GreenEdge Collaborative, an event planner, and an organic chef. In this post she challenges herself and all of us to take some steps toward making our own lives more sustainable:

Be Mindfully Competitive with Yourself!

As some of you know, for the past 2+ years I’ve been studying and keeping up to date on the sustainable food situation (or lack thereof) and it has been my professional mission to share what I learn with my community. I believe that living by example is a strong tool for social change. I would like to encourage YOU to live by example with a “Sustainable Lifestyle Challenge”.

Recently, I have been studying the larger system of environmental and social sustainability. What initially comes to mind when thinking of the whole system is: What a mess! We, especially as Americans, have gotten ourselves into some serious trouble with Mother Nature. Global Warming is a hot topic right now and it’s becoming more and more fashionable to be “green.” While being fashionable can be fun and sexy, let us not forget the real issues at hand: mass consumption is out of control and has become synonymous with “a good life”; choosing leaders is a crucial part of creating a better future for our kids.

I am encouraging you to think about your consumption choices – where is your money going once you pass it over to the cashier, your waiter, or your banker? Think about the ripple effect of your actions and your wallet. In two words: Be Mindful.

To all readers of this blog, as well as the members of Green Edge NYC, for the next 6 weeks (end of August 2007) let’s take a moment each day to reflect on the choices we make and how they might affect our shared environment – physical and social.

The challenge is this: make a change in your daily life that will have astounding effects on our future sustainability. You could start taking your own coffee mug every day, take canvas bags to the grocery, rinse and reuse your small plastic produce bags, walk when you could take the bus, take the bus when you could drive, turn off your lights when you’re not in the room, unplug your appliances when they’re not in use, recycle, reuse glass jars, donate clothes, cook at home, eat less take-out, buy organic, support your local hardware store, buy less from “box stores”, take shorter showers, do some research on a company you buy from frequently, research your mayor or congressperson – the list can go on and on…

Let’s get the comment section of this blog going for discussion on how you plan to participate in the “Sustainable Lifestyle Challenge” and keep us updated on your progress.

My participation will include doing more research, walking more, and supporting smaller local businesses.


Carolyn Gilles
Food Lover and Event Planner

7 Responses to “ A Challenge from Guest Blogger Carolyn Gilles ”

  1. Yesterday I had my first ever stoop sale! For those of you who don’t live in Brooklyn, a stoop sale is a yard sale on your stoop (porch, steps, sidewalk). I had so much fun! I had some stuff that was of no use to me anymore, but didn’t want to throw it away. So I gathered it all together and moved it out to the front of the house and my neighbors got to pick through what they wanted and I made a few bucks in the meantime. It wasn’t, for me, about making a ton of money, but more about meeting my neighbors and making my “junk” thier “treasure” as the saying goes.

    Try it! It’s really fun!

  2. here’s how i plan to participate in this most excellent challenge:
    this week, i’m going to meet with a high school math teacher who wants eliminate plastic bottles from his school. i hope to brainstorm with him to find ways to engage more students in the effort this fall.
    i’m going to pass this “sustainable lifestyle challenge” onto other blogs. a great concept like this needs to spread big time!

  3. I find that I resist committing to simple but important changes, but then as soon as I do it is much easier than I expected. Getting into the mindset of personal responsibility is a big shift for the average consumption oriented American such as myself. But this summer has been good and the challenge idea is helpful. I’ve switched to reusable containers in the kitchen only, a rule of no plastic water bottles, taking my own bags to the grocery (yeah, I know, I’m a little behind here). I’ve got a long way to go, but at least I’m on the train.

  4. Susan, I wish you the best of luck, sincerely. Tackling the school food challenge is a good one! Using your knowledge or helping someone else to become more sustianable is the start to the revolution.

    I look forward to hearing more from you!

  5. Hey Shelly!

    You are well on your way to spreading sustainability 10 fold! You “get it” and that’s what will make the difference – it’s a shift of thinking – and you’re right, it’s not easy. And that’s what “the challenge” is all about and why we’re here to support each other.


  6. go people! this is great.

    i have two goals:

    1. keep bottled water to an absolute minimum
    2. start composting (been trying to figure out what method i can stick with)

  7. by the way, i’m learning that many people don’t know how they can switch their home electricity source to renewable energy; there is even an option to buy all wind power. check for a post on this later in the week!

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