I have learned how to exercise sustainably. I use a heart rate monitor when I do my cardio, and it helps me calibrate my workout. It keeps me honest when I’m slacking, and more importantly, it keeps me from burning out by overdoing it.
I’m afraid that I’ve noticed that happen. I have a habit of getting all intense about whatever it is and then overdoing it. I might either stop having any fun because I’m unprepared and ambitious, and I might need to take time out and recover, and then in the lull, I wander away to another activity.
Lesson learned, at least for sustainable exercise.
So, how to approach sustainable living? It seems tempting to create some feedback loop, a scoring mechanism by which I rate my activities: points for walking to work, points for taking the stairs instead of the elevator, points for shopping in walking distance instead of driving, points for composting and recycling and reusing and not buying. It’s just, I’m not sure what the units and the score should be.
So, maybe I need to make it simpler. Set myself a quota for doing certain activities:
- Walk up to the 5th floor office instead of taking the elevator (good for me, saves energy)
- If I’m going out for lunch, eat lunch at the People’s Food Co-op cafe instead of somewhere less conscious of the environment and local foods.
- Let myself “score points” by research as well as doing.
- For instance, I live in a wonderful old house (built 1912). It has miles of character, but it is not well insulated. I saw an insulation service truck at my neighbor’s home. What if I researched the costs and benefits of adding extra insulation to the house – said to offer 20-30% energy savings…
Essentially, I have to start small and do-able, so I can maintain the momentum to keep going.