We made it through the twelve days of overconsumption! We received no gifts for ourselves and only two gifts for our two year old our son — both beautiful books that he will keep and cherish for a long time. I feel like a Scrooge, but I am always relieved to get through the holiday without a pile of packaging to recycle and another pile of stuff that I know will end up in a landfill within the year.
We didn’t do as well in other areas as we did on reducing our consumption, though, so that means we have lots of room for resolutions and improvements. I’m making three resolutions:
- Waste less food: Over the holidays we ate out a lot and went to a lot of holiday parties. There’s so much food, so much drink, and so much fun to be had consuming it all. Unfortunately, I forgot to take that into account when I was cooking. I had to throw out a container of split pea soup that went bad in our fridge, and it broke my heart a little to think of all the effort that went into growing those peas, transporting them to my home, not to mention the time that went into cooking them. I hate wasting food. There are major campaigns in Europe focused on wasting less food, but none here in the US where we put even more of our food in the trash. I already compost what I can, but I’m going to follow my own advice and start labeling food with the date so that I remember to eat it before it goes bad.
- Get my elected officials to act: The holidays always remind me that I love being around friends and family! I already go to rallies for action on climate change, but I’m going to invite friends to go to them with me in the hopes of getting every one of those rallies into a newspaper story. I’m also going to meet with local government leaders about what can be done about climate change. If I can line dry my cloth diapers for years, then they can do their part and pass some sound policies.
- Be prepared. Last year set some records on extreme weather, and even after that Congress failed to pass a bill to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. After being blind-sided by a ‘Derecho’ and rushing to prepare for Sandy, it’s time that I follow more of my own advice and be more prepared. I’m going to look into getting batteries for our solar panels as a first step. I’m going to make sure to get prepared in ways that are good for the planet.
Apparently only 8% of people actually acheive their resolutions so wish me luck! What are your green resolutions?