Monday, December 28, 2009

How Do You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

I find that I’m better at keeping my New Years Resolutions if I make them when I need them. Sometimes I even make them in the middle of the year. That way I usually come up with something specific and quantifiable and stick-to-ble rather than going with a vague resolution on New Year’s Eve like “lose weight.”

Sarah Eliza of Devastate Boredom has an even better idea. She makes monthly goals. She breaks a huge task – Green Living – into much more manageable tasks each month. Start using reusable shopping bags one month, make and use cloth napkins another month, etc. Those little green things do add up. Recently she won the Salada Tea Green Spotlight because of her green monthly goals! How cool is that?

Another little trick I use is to call my new hope-to-be-habit a New Year’s Goal rather than a New Year’s Resolution. I realize that it’s really just a matter of semantics but I’m better at meeting goals than keeping resolution. Maybe it’s because I do a lot of project management stuff at work.

Either way, if I call it goal, it seems I stick to it better. And let’s face it, I’m the Green Mom who colors outside the lines (I say this with love my friends but you know as well as I do that I’m a little left of center even in the green living world), so why should my contribution for this month’s Green Resolutions blog carnival be any different?

Here are my Green Goals for 2010. (Wow! 2010 sounds so sci-fi space agey futuristic. Which reminds me - WHERE ARE THE FLYING CARS? I’m feeling a little cheated science fiction community, really.)

1. Green my Health & beauty aids. I have weird skin. Sometimes only the most expensive kissed by organic angels product will keep my skin from breaking out. Other times, it’s only some horrible petrochemical concoction from the dollar store. Now that they are more options available I need to switch those few remaining conventional products over to something a little more earth friendly. For example:
  • I need to find a moisturizer that will help Husband’s dry and cracked winter skin. I want a permanent replacement to the petrochemical based stuff that we keep going back to because it’s the only one that seems to work for him - Ew. 
  • New shampoo for me that deals with my flaking scalp. This is a new development and the itching is driving me crazy! My current shampoo isn’t cutting it. I look longingly at the nasty chemical-laden dandruff shampoo for sale at the drug store (but don’t buy it.) Help!
2. Plant an organic landscape full of companion plants. Yeah, the front yard still looks like this.

This is embarrassing. Help her.

I have a raised garden bed full of organic peat and top soil and without concrete. I have no idea how to design it. Time to call in a pro. Any ideas on where I can find a local organic landscaper?

3. Blog about how I’ve ditched most of my disposables. I focus on using reusable options as much as possible going back to the days when green was just a color. So much so that it’s difficult to find something new to ditch when another blogger offers a challenge! Some may think that I’m a complacent or not so greener than them person. I am. I’ve just been doing it a lot longer than most so my outlook is a little different. I think about everything that comes into my home – hard. I really need to blog about those things more often.

4. Get back to our low waste ways. We had a family member in the hospital for a week. And it’s amazing how something unexpected can throw a wrench into your low waste systems. Basically I drove around a lot more than I normally do during that week and lived on pudding in a cup and fake sushi in a plastic box from the hospital cafeteria (the only two things I could choke down. When I get upset or anxious I can’t eat.) which I couldn’t recycle at the hospital (they only took plastic bottles) and didn’t save and take home for recycling in my bin. We’re doing a few more semi homemade meals lately and as a result I tossed three small grocery store size bags of trash away this month instead of our usual one (although to be fair one bag was mostly fabric scraps from sewing Christmas gifts.) Time to get back to the one tiny bag of trash a month.

6. Find a better tumbling composter. We used a low cost homemade compost bin to see if we could make composting work for us. It did. However after finding dog vomit slime mold in our composter last spring  it made me realize that we need a composting solution that encourages easy mixing, like a tumbling composter or the Naturemill composter of my dreams. Yes, I dream about the Naturemill compost bin because I want one so bad. I think this means that I need to get out more.

That wraps up my green goals/resolutions for 2010. What are your resolutions? How do you plan to keep them?

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This post is part of the Green Mom’s carnival hosted by Non Toxic Kids where our topic is Green Resolutions. Be sure to check it out on January 1, 2010!