Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SWOT Analysis

This weeks CTWW challenge is to do a SWOT analysis regarding your green living. This was quite difficult so I looked into Green-Steve's blog for some inspiration.

My Strengths:
  • Knowledge. Through this blog, my master and my interest in finding out more on the green subject, I have gathered quite a lot of knowledge about green living. There is of course always time for improvement and learning even more. I agree with Steve that the blog acts as a reference on green issues and for me also as a constant reminder not to slack on these things.  Additionally, the more you learn the more you realize that the option that seemed most environmentally friendly at first glance might not be so (see Steve's point number 3 on electric cars)
  • I rarely eat meat nowadays, I do eat it but I try to avoid it. However, sometimes I wish the meat-less options in restaurants were better and more, not that we eat out very often. I also try to lessen my dairy intake, which is why I'd prefer to learn how to make my own green juices instead of smoothies.
  • I've also stopped shopping so much, I try to keep the shopping to what I need and try to look for environmentally friendly options, like organic, fair-trade etc. 
  • We are fairly good at recycling, except for one weak point: plastic packaging!
  • I think we have become better in saving energy during the year, no appliances are on unless in use and lamps are off when not needed. I usually also plan it so that when I take the car we do several errands in the same go.
  • We have also lessen our food-waste to almost nothing
My Weaknesses:
  • I agree with Steve that the periods when I am busier, the lack of time makes me make less environmentally friendly choices. That's why I'm all for a society with less stress.
  • As Steve stated "not having a meat-eating pet" as a strength, I guess me having a dog is a weakness. Although, he does eat some scraps of us and I think it is a bit unfair to include innocent animals in this. Yes, I'm very much weak for animals and especially this one:
  • Technology use. I have to use my laptop for school but I do idle by it way too much. I also have a smart-phone which is not all that environmentally friendly but my excuse it that I bought it before I became such a environment-nerd.
  • Country-side living. We live on the country-side which according to some is not environmentally friendly, however, I've read different takes on that. In any case, we are dependent on the car, even if I take the bus to my lessons it's about 5-6 km to get to the bus stop, which is fine biking in the summer but not so much in the winter. Good news is that I only need to go to school an average of two-three times a week and my husband works from home. It wasn't really our first choice either to move here but as we couldn't find anything else when we needed to move, it is what it is. Now we are fine here for another year until I graduate and I would very much not like to move for such a short period of time until we know what happens after that.
  • As I said under Strengths, we could recycle plastic better.
  • I should give much more feedback to restaurants, stores and politicians when I see things that I don't agree with. I just always feel so embarrassed to trouble them, however they should be serving me not the other way around
  • Well I do hope that when I graduate we have the opportunity to organize our life in an even more environmentally friendly way. Let's see how that goes...
  • I'm trying to get the most out of my study-life, there are heaps of opportunities in Uppsala. Like the CEMUS courses -one of which I'm taking now-, the transition town group and we have also just started a local group for sustainergies -a group working to connect students and companies when it comes to sustainability issues. I hope to write more about that another day. Also joining all seminars and lectures I can on sustainability issues.
  • I agree with Steve that pressure from friend's in certain situations might push me to act in a less environmentally friendly way. I have to become stronger in standing my ground.
  • Perhaps the financial point that Steve points out could also be a threat if we would suddenly have to cut costs: it is not necessarily so that we can afford organic. However, a lot of green living does save you money as well (less shopping, less energy use, own food-garden).
Action Plan:
  • We can of course try to live as environmentally friendly as possible all in this system but I see it more and more as such that it is only to a certain degree we can act on our own. So what we need is for the system to change. So, I will definitely try to be much more open about that and give feedback to different institutions and share my views. Additionally I will also keep learning and correct things when I find we are still not as environmentally friendly as we could be.


  1. I agree with you ... I don't think having a meat-eating pet is a weakness. The problem with meat consumption isn't the amount our pets eat but the amount that humans (over)eat. If we went back to a diet which only occasionally included animal products, we wouldn't have such a problem. I also think that the benefits of having a pet far outweigh any environmental impact. I guess it boils down to the fact that there is no way for us to have a zero impact so we look for ways to get it as low as possible.

    Hm ... Country living could be considered both a weakness & a strength. Yes, car use is probably up but you probably have better opportunities than most to grow your own veggies, make use of rainwater & solar energy, etc. If you minimize car use as much as possible, then you're probably more on the plus side.

    Wonderful analysis ... thanks for sharing it with us. I didn't read this in time to get it in today's wrap-up but will include it next week. :-)

    1. Thanks for your comment as always! I'm so happy you agree with me on the pet subject, our dog is such a joy in our life, I would feel so bad thinking he is a minus to the environment:)

      Don't worry about the wrap-up, just a big thanks for tweeting it! I've been tot busy to make it on time:)

  2. Hi Cat, I'm glad my post gave you some inspiration.

    I wasn't really telling people that they should have pets, I enjoy the company of a dog as much as the next person and your one looks particularly cute. What's his name? I would like to know if it's ok to put a dog on a low meat diet though. Agree with SF, to a degree but dogs and cats do eat meat every day - maybe one dog per household should be the limit?

    1. Steve, thanks for your comment and ones again for the inspiration, great analysis you did! I do agree that there is some room for debate on the pet subject. Our dog (who's name is Faro) help us with our food scraps to some extent but there are foods that we eat that aren't particularly good for dogs, I think our's has gained a bit of extra weight eating our scraps, but surely dogs can eat vegetables as well! Broccoli and carrots are for example good for them:)

      One dog per household could maybe be an idea,however, if the household does not have kids I think they should have the right to have more dogs.

      We've also been thinking of getting our next dog from a shelter (yes, I think there's gonna be another one sooner or later ;) ), there is just so many good dogs already without a home so no need to get a puppy. On the other hand there are some problems with getting dogs from shelters as well so it is good to get to know the dog well before making decisions and get to know a shelter that you can trust. However, I guess there is always gonna be more puppies no matter if you decide to buy them or not.

      Tricky subject! :)

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