WorldChanging is one of my regular reads and they cover a lot of fantastic initiatives (and some not-so-fantastic travesties), as well as having started up the Bright Green Living wiki. The latter I think is a great idea — a lot of people want to help make a difference and could do with a bit of a how-to. Personally, though, I think that environmental friendliness is analogous to software usability. If people have a reason to use some software, they’ll put in the effort to learn the little interface quirks, the shortcuts, etc, and get the best out of it. For the vast majority, however, the software needs to be intuitive and easy to use, else they just won’t bother.

I think that green living is at a similar stage to most software. To the “tree hugging hippies” 😉 out there, it is of course worth the effort to recycle, walk everywhere, build worm bins and grow vegetable gardens. However, the usability of green living isn’t good enough yet for the average person. This is why I disagree with barricading petrol stations — this just associates inconvenience with working to save the environment: surely not a winning solution?

Rather than arguing about the existence of global warming (or not), it might be more expedient to focus on the practical issues, rather than trying to convince everyone to take the moral high ground. If you make it easy enough to do something good, then less zealotry would be needed to make it happen. As an example, there’s a great kerbside recycling collection here in Bath. We park our big green recycling box in the kitchen and so the only extra effort is to wash bottles/cans/etc up and put them in the recycling box rather than chucking them in the bin. It’s EASY ENOUGH. And that’s what matters