I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. They help me to feel excited about the clean slate and possibilities the turning of the calendar brings. But then when real life gets in the way of all those good intentions, they just become one more thing to feel bad about.
But I have some green resolutions I want to make this year and I’m not going to fail. Why? Because all my resolutions will be specific, success will be easy to measure and each one will require only a small amount of start-up work to keep them sustainable all year long.
Oh, and then there is the most powerful motivator of all: guilt.
So here are my five personal New Year’s “Eco-lutions”:
1. Start composting. My husband and I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. And constantly throwing away those scraps and peels is starting to gnaw at me. I don’t have a garden, but my area has many community gardens that I’m sure could use some compost. Once I purchase a bin and find out where and how to donate the compost, I’ll be set.
2. Unplug electronics. I’ve been working hard on this (I had to convince my husband that we really didn’t need the power-drill battery plugged in indefinitely), but there are many areas of the house where this just isn’t working. My plan is to buy a few of those power strips where two of the devices can be “always on” when you turn the rest of them off.
3. Convince the neighbors to cut back. This one is going to be tough. I live in a condo complex, and everyone pays a set fee every month for utilities. So if anyone were to start saving electricity, it wouldn’t reduce their bill a dime. That’s not very motivational. But if we all cut back and started saving the complex hundreds of dollars a month, some of that money might start coming back to us. My goal here is to work with the managers to figure out just how much money we could collectively save if we all made a few changes. Then, let the convincing and measuring of savings begin
4. Get a rain barrel. Again, I don’t have a big garden, but there are plenty of other uses for excess rainwater. I do have several plants that get very thirsty in the summer, and I’m sure we can share it with the neighbors.
5. Switch my lightbulbs. Finally, and probably the most pathetically, I need to replace all the light bulbs to CFLs. Can you believe I haven’t done this yet? Well you probably would if you knew me and how much I hate to let things go to waste. I’ve been waiting for the old bulbs to burn out, but it’s taking too long. It’s time for me to move on.
So, now that I’ve told you all about my eco-imperfections, what changes would you like to make in the New Year and how do you plan to succeed?(Image Credit: Archie McPhee Seattle/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.)