What are some of your goals for the new year? I prefer goals to resolutions--goals are something tangible that I can work toward in small steps, whereas resolutions sound so final. Either you are successful and complete your resolutions, or you fail. Goals can be tweaked over time and adjusted as you change and grow.
With that being said, there are a few goals that I want to keep working on in the year ahead. One is to do more for the environment. It's all fine and good to talk and write about how important making changes for the environment are, but sometimes it's easier to talk than walk if you know what I mean. For instance, I'm starting a new branch to my writing service, focused on environmental writing. For my new venture I'll need business cards and brochures. My first instinct, of course, is to get these as inexpensively as possible as long as they still look professional. I can get 250 business cards online for under $20, including the shipping. That's hard to beat. But then I started thinking--is that the message I want to send to my clients? Cheaper is better? Not exactly. So I started calling local printers to ask about recycled paper options (none). Then I went online and started researching recycled paper options and found several. After doing some price comparisons, I asked for samples from one company so that I can see and feel the four papers I have in mind. After I order the paper, I'll need to bring my PDF to a local printer for printing/folding/cutting. All of this will cost me a lot more time and money than if I had simply ordered the cheapo business cards online. BUT what positive effect will this decision have?
1) I'll be supporting a local print shop.
2) I'll be using 100% post consumer recycled paper.
3) (And possibly most importantly) I'll be living my values.
I don't want to be one of those people who laments the fate of the planet and doesn't do much to change it.
Here are some personal goals for the new year:
1) Hang my laundry on the inside line more. We recently added this indoor clothesline to my office. It can be taken down when I have visitors and clothes dries in about 8-9 hours.
2) Keep composting throughout the winter. This is something I've not been good with in the past. It's a trek to get to the compost bins in the snow but this year I'm going to do it as much as possible.
3) Keep buying used whenever possible. Recycling is great, but it still takes energy to transform something old into something new. A better option is to use something old if possible.
4) Fix things instead of throwing them away. My laundry basket's handle broke and I was wondering if I would have to recycle it. Then I decided to try to fix it instead, inspired after reading "The Tightwad Gazette". I used a drill and made a couple of holes and then wired a paperclip through to hold it together. Feels sturdy to me!
5) Find more like-minded friends, business acquaintances and others in my community to connect with. It's great to have so much information online regarding green living. I have my favorite blogs which I read regularly, and I read magazines like Mother Earth News, Grit, and Mary Jane's Farm for inspiration. But as wonderful as all of these resources are, there is nothing like talking with someone who's on the same page as you are. It makes you feel much less alone in your journey toward more sustainable living.
6) Eating real food. For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to incorporate a lot more fruits and vegetables into my diet, along with more natural sources of protein. I have noticed a big difference in how I feel--less moody, more balanced and more energetic. This is something I definitely want to continue in the new year.
7) Making home a homestead. I have a whole list of ideas I'd like to eventually incorporate to make our home and 3/4 acre a true "homestead". I'm going to be prioritizing my list soon, and hopefully will successfully complete at least three things on the list before next fall. At the top of my list for this year? Building raised beds for the garden, building a cold frame and planting berry bushes or strawberry plants.
These are just a few goals for the new year. I've got lots of others, but these top my list. What are some of yours? They don't have to be environmentally related, share them anyway!