The tree is down but I haven’t put away the decorations because that would involve the shed and it is COLD across the country this week! Some indoor time has allowed me to do what many recovering revelers are also doing – making New Year’s resolutions.
Two hints to keeping your resolutions are: write them down and broadcast your intentions to others. So here are my Zero Waste resolutions, in descending order of difficulty:
1. Pay more attention to what I buy.
This is not easy to admit, but Zero Waste is not always on my mind. Especially when I’m dealing with something I feel is both IMPORTANT and URGENT (thank you Stephen Covey). When my kid’s skin is super dry and I’m out of lotion, my first thought is: get to Walgreens and get some lotion. NOT: take lowest-emissions transport and find locally-sourced lotion in a recyclable tub. I hope this year to make positive Zero Waste decisions as ingrained in my mind as I would on deciding what doughnut to buy (maple with bacon, no wavering).
2. Meal plan or grocery shop on a designated day.
Related to number one, most of my Zero Waste fails come from running to the grocery store without a plan or shopping list and therefore, without my reusable containers. If I can routinely meal plan and then shop on the same day, each week, there’ll be less emergency trips to Whole Foods. Less peanut butter containers in the trash because I forgot my mason jar. Fewer shredded cheese bags to toss because it’s four thirty in the afternoon and dinner feels like a pipe dream.
3. Approach a local fast food joint about reusable cups.
I know, I know. What am I doing eating fast food? It’s a terrible weakness. Maybe not EATING fast food should be the resolution… Anyway, I am continually denied permission to use my own reusable cups when I go to a few places in town that only offer the disposable variety. I want to talk to some managers to find out what is behind the excuses – is it the health inspector or is it ignorance? If you won’t let me use my own cup, can I bring in my own water? If I don’t score any Zero Waste victories here, I hope to at least bring about a little more awareness.
4. Transition back to cloth diapers.
Ugg. The more I think about this, the more I believe this resolution should be up at the top. It won’t be easy at all. My soon-to-be two-year-old is the source of MUCH waste in my home and short of not feeding her anymore, I think moving her back to cloth diapers could be a quick way to lower both my guilt and the amount of curbside trash I wheel out every week.
And perhaps motivate me to restart potty training.
5. Learn to make homemade protein bars.
I started running again sometime ago and sometimes I need something in my stomach besides three cups of coffee. But Cliff Bars, Lara Bars, Luna Bars – they all have loads of sugar and they all come in wrapping. Actually, the sugar doesn’t bother me so much, but the waste has got to go. I think I’ll call on Alton Brown again on this one…
I think these resolutions are clearly defined and obtainable; two more criteria for successful goal reaching. People often start blogs with the idea of creating for themselves public accountability. And although that was not my first intent, I think a healthy dose of “crap…people are paying attention” will help me succeed. This spring we’ll see how I did.
Happy New Year everyone.