The Sustainable Journey

Have you ever heard people complain about Leonardo DiCaprio and his private jet trips? Critics certainly like to point out that famous people have these expensive, carbon-emitting toys, but still preach the magnitude of climate change. I get it. I understand the fiery response to the hypocrisy. But I also understand that criticisms like this can ostracize people from doing what they can. It makes people think “well, I’m not going to be perfect, so why bother trying at all? I’ll just be judged on my shortcomings and not my successes.” Granted, normal people’s shortcomings are not usually emitting tonnes of carbon on one 28 minute flight. Ours are more like “this one time, I saw Holly having a cocktail on the patio with a straw. A STRAW! and not a wilting paper one. A real plastic one. Like, old school. Can you believe it? Hypocrite.”

And this is exactly what the sustainability community cannot afford to do right now. Leo has something that most of us don’t. Influence; the hearts and ears of millions of people. It may be the greatest asset he can offer in the fight against climate change and towards a more sustainable world (other than running for president…. eh, Leo?). So, I, for one, am pleased he is putting his influence towards this topic, despite being unable to give up some of his guilty pleasures.

For a more down to earth example, a few years ago, I was part of a small group called “Citizens Combating Climate Change” that was eventually absorbed into a far more effective and larger group called Citizens’ Climate Lobby. We had only a few members starting out, but each of us had our own skills and comfort zones, whether it was political lobbying, public speaking, design/marketing, small group education. The goal was the same for all of us- literally to solve Climate Change- but what we were able to comfortably and effectively contribute varied.

So, like Leo, and my climate change combating friends in Florida, our contributions and the tools we put to use are going to look different for everyone. What comes easy to one may be the hardest thing in the world to another (Leo may have a sentimental attachment to that jet, ya’ll!). Each person is on their own sustainable journey. My intention with this blog is to chronicle some of the practices I’ve implemented that may give you some motivation & creativity to pursue your goals, as well as add a touch of tender tolerance that hardcore sustainability can lack. I’d rather more people start small and build their sustainable efforts, than only a few sustainability addicts exist. So this is a blog for the rest of us, that aren’t perfect, but aim to be better.

The hope is that:

  • The Guilty Granola feels welcoming, and not off-putting to people looking to expand their sustainability practices.
  • this will encourage me personally to continue to challenge myself on my sustainable journey. With your support, a little luck and continued discipline, maybe someday I will just be a granola, instead of a guilty one.
  • this will help spark some ideas for other guilty granolas to implement and turn into habits, and we can open up the discussion and share ideas about how to be better, without judgement.
  • we can remind each other that going green is a sustainable journey. You don’t reach sustainable overnight (and I would argue that as humans, in this modern world, it is very hard to reach sustainable at all, but that’s for another time).
  • we can find a way to transform our guilt into empowerment, and use it to inform our decisions as we strive, together, to reduce our negative footprint on this world and improve our eco-consciousness.

So, welcome to The Guilty Granola. If you are here, you’re probably one of us. And we’re so pleased you are.

The world needs more guilty granolas.

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