Thursday, January 22, 2009

APLS Carnival

The MIND GAMES edition.

As I outlined in my own contribution to this month's carnival, I have a very bad habit of offsetting the things I'm doing well against some of my less sustainable behaviour. In need of a little help, I asked you for the mental tricks you use on yourself to help you make the right choices, even when they make life a little harder. And you didn't disappoint!


"Fake it until you make it", suggests Beany. Her first attempt at this mind trick earned her a nice juicy raise and compliments from her boss - and her latest bout of faking it has turned her into someone who really does like to ride her bicycle.

RJS of GoingGreenMama acknowledges the hefty responsibility of thinking "beyond yourself to the generations ahead of you [...] and maybe all you wanted was a clean toilet!" She tries to prevent those little one-off slip-ups by thinking about the impact of the world's combined little one-off slip-ups.

Meanwhile, new contributor Steph finds that her mind games (or "sleight-of-mind" - I am so stealing that) have evolved as she has taken more and more steps to make her family's lifestyle more sustainable. From a starting point of concern for her children, she has progressed to considering the global impact of all her choices.

Betty Black turns the topic on its head with a fascinating post about her life-long struggle with food. She has found that considering her impact on the planet gives her an extra incentive to eat well - for, as she says, "what is good for my health is also good for the environment".

Farmer's Daughter looks to role models within her own family for inspiration. As she strives to follow the example set by her grandmothers and great-grandmothers, she also makes the difficult decisions with one burning question in mind: "Would my parents be proud of me?"

Kellie Brown acknowledges that there are times "when logic and reasoning and willing myself to do something don't work". Luckily, she has a whole arsenal of tricks. From remembering inspirational quotes to channeling another awesome grandmother, the common theme is sacrifice in the name of future generations.

Green Resolutions compares her own choices to those made by her real-life and on-line friends, and realises that the difficult decisions are sometimes easier than they initially seem. As she says, "If they can do these things, why can't I?" Remember kids, peer pressure is great - as long as you have the right peers!

Education was the key for Green Bean. After reading and watching documentaries about the hidden costs of consumerism, her "stomach hurt whenever I thought about buying something new". Coupling this guilt with the removal of her biggest temptations, she has ditched her bad habits and, as a bonus, reclaimed more time for the most important things in life.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper has a fun, if unusual, muse: Mary Poppins. Taking inspiration from the line "Find the fun, and snap, the job's a game", she's turned thrift store shopping into a challenge, and takes pleasure in the creativity of finding new, greener, solutions.

From Mary Poppins to MacGyver! Ruchi is another APL who relishes the challenge of living sustainably. As she tries to find ways to make do with what she already has, "my competitive streak would take over and I had to [make my computer] last out two months, and another two months, and another two months, and another two months."

CuriousAlexa describes herself as "a recovering perfectionist" who often finds herself paralysed if she thinks she won't do something perfectly on the first try. She has developed a range of tricks to help push herself past this "analysis paralysis" - and has already ditched the shampoo aisle of her local supermarket.

Another first-time contributor, Citizen Green, acknowledges that it takes time and practice to reverse those bad habits - but prefers to focus on the positive, and doesn't beat herself up when she slips a little bit. "Talk to yourself when you live green and tell yourself you are doing a great job!", she says.

Greeen Sheeep takes us on a tour of her local supermarket with shopping list, to-do list, and pet peeve list in hand. Her mind may wonder "Why do I even try?", but her trick of visualising the superior aspects of a sustainable lifestyle reminds us that the rewards are worth the effort.

Crstn85 is another APL who uses a range of mind games, including trying to live up to the expectations that her friends have of her. As she says, "would I be willing to admit that I turned the heat up a few degrees to my friend who I am constantly badgering to lower her thermostat?"


Thanks to all of this month's contributors for another stellar carnival - as always, I feel like I've learned a lot! Stay tuned to the APLS blog for news of next month's topic...


  1. Thanks for hosting - can't wait to dig into these posts!

  2. Just starting to make my way down the list - all good so far. Thanks for hosting this month's carnival. You did a great job of putting them all together.

    Off to read more!

  3. Thank you for hosting. GREAT topic and wonderful summary.

  4. Ooo I'm first! :)

    Thanks so much for hosting.

    BTW, I'm still puzzling over the Douglas Adams reference. Even though I'm a fan.

  5. Strictly in order of receipt - fair's fair!

    The Adams reference is from the Salmon of Doubt - a posthumous collection that his friends and family pulled off his hard drive(s) when he died. THere's some really good stuff in there, and this one just made me laugh - "Why Z?" "Well, Why Not?" When I thought about starting a blog it was a case of "oh what the heck, why not?" and it just seemed like a good choice of name...

  6. Sorry I couldn't think of anything appropriate for this. I think I was just brought up this way and always have thought that way so new stuff just gets added. Or changed a little as necessary.

    Setting up a pattern of behaviour is really the key. This makes things into a routine and that gets remembered. I'm still working on the rest of the household though :)

    Summer is busy round here, but I will try to post for the next topic.

    viv in nz

  7. I'm not anonymous - I'm knutty knitter - it just won't recognise me!!

    viv in nz

  8. Great job with the synthesis, Cath! Thanks for hosting. :)

  9. Thanks so much for hosting! It was an informative (and fun) carnival!

  10. Thanks for hosting - I can't wait to make my way through this month's topics!

  11. No worries Viv - I've had the same problem with the last couple of topics (I'm not American, hence no Thanksgiving tradition, and I don't have kids)... Not everyone is going to be able to relate to every month's topic!

    Everyone else - you're very welcome, and thanks again for your contributions!


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