Practically Green is a fun Boston-based website that helps guide people to lead more sustainable lives. The first time a person logs onto the website, they are prompted to take a survey about their lifestyle habits. After conducting the survey, which takes about 10-15 minutes, the website provides a rating and a personalized “action plan” with steps to take in order to become more sustainable. After the initial log-on, Practically Green creates a profile for each member so that they can track their progress and earn “badges” if they make multiple green lifestyle changes in a particular category. The home profile also asks new questions that were not in the original survey, which can either help raise your score, or be added to your action plan. The website makes it easy to see what people should do to go from “Barely Green” to “Wicked Green”.
The company was started after its founder, Susan Hunt Stevens, did a complete green home and lifestyle makeover to help ease her infant son’s environmental and dietary allergies. Stevens was inspired by the LEED criteria for green buildings and design, and thought to herself, why isn’t there a list of green lifestyle criteria for people and their families? She then worked with environmental and energy experts to create the assessment tool (the survey described above) to measure how lifestyle choices impact the earth and human welfare in four categories: Energy, Health, Stuff, and Water. Each question in the survey falls under one of these categories, and the goal of the action plan is to help minimize environmental impact in the Energy, Stuff, and Water categories, and minimize chemical and hazardous material exposure in the Health category.
As people check off tasks on their action plan and gain badges, there is a sense of accomplishment that motivates even more action. Practically Green can also connect to both facebook and twitter to help spark communication among members and engage the non-members who haven’t yet taken the survey. The website also has a blog that shows fun ways to incorporate Practically Green actions into daily routines and reviews different products and suggestions. Practically Green is a great way to get some insight if you want to be more sustainable but aren’t quite sure what you should be doing or how. There are plenty of things besides purchasing a natural fiber area rug from Merida, that can make your home healthy and green and your impact minimal, so check out Practically Green to find out what!
[Cameron Bruns is a regular author for MeridaHome.com, a premier source for distinctively designed natural rugs with a conscience for sustainability. Merida was founded on and is committed to a tradition of integrating the finest quality natural fibers with innovative textile design and floor covering style. Our commitment to sustainability is also exceptionally important in the design and production of our large area rugs and one we promote each and every day.]