Condo Blues: One Small Green Change 2013 Resolution Wrap Up

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Small Green Change 2013 Resolution Wrap Up

Happy New Year 2014!

I find that I’m better at keeping my New Years Resolutions if I make them when I need them instead of making up a resolution on New Year’s Eve for the sake of making a New Year’s resolution.

During 2013, I made one small green change each month. My changes weren’t necessarily Earth shattering or big. I focused on the small stuff. The easy stuff. The hey-I-should-probably-do-that stuff.

This way, I can evaluate whether it works for me or not. I'm more likely to keep monthly resolutions because some green changes are seasonal where I live. If you look at all of those little changes that became permanent, it can make a big, huge difference.

Here's the 2012 One Small Green Change New Year’s Resolution wrap up.


Wore a down winter coat Keep. I love, love, love how warm down is during the winter! This may not work for you if you use animal products. However we eat meat and reducing waste is our family’s big green tent pole. This means we try to use products that uses all of the parts of the animal on our dinner plates.

Warm and machine washable!


Installed a water saving toilet Keep. I installed a super duper water saving  but you wouldn’t know it Delta Faucet Company toilet (1.28 gallons per flush) in our powder room. I couldn’t be happier because it works better than the previous toilet that didn’t save as much water as the Delta Faucet Company Corrente toilet.

I’m 4’11” and easily installed this toilet because everything
you need comes with it. If I can do it, you can too!


Installed a water saving showerhead or two  Keep and Replace.   I compared 4 showerheads we had around the house (don’t ask) in our two bathrooms. Three save water according to the current US guidelines. This One Small Green Change backfired in a big way because we don't like the Watersense rated showerhead and refuse to keep it in our bathroom. I reinstalled the In2ition in our bathroom (the lower left corner)and put the Niagara in the guest bathroom because I already donated the Waterpik (upper right corner) to the Restore. I'll eventually replace the Niagra with a  regular low flow showerhead. In the meantime I will apologize to every guest who has to use it.


Husband kicked the flavored creamer habit  Keep. Husband used flavored creamers knowing it is a high waste way to get questionable ingredients we don’t like to eat into his work coffee to make it palatable. He went back to taking his coffee with brown sugar and milk. It probably helps that it is easier to do since he started telecommuniting from home full time.


Planted milkweed for Monarch butterflies Keep (seasonal change.) Husband and I got a packet of milk weed seeds when we saw Flight of the Butterflies. We have a new found respect for Monarch butterflies after watching the movie and had to plant our milkweed seeds to help them out.

COSI displayed butterfly sculptures made from recycled materials as a tie in to the movie. Who knew old license plates could be so pretty?


Husband switched to shaving soap Keep. Husband has sensitive skin and used a shaving gel with its questionable ingredients. My attempting at making shaving cream was the most epic of epic fails.  I asked Husband if he would like to try shaving soap instead. He loves it! Best of all, a bar of shaving soap lasts much, much longer than a can of shaving cream.


Compost paper in a new tumbling compost bin Keep. We use shredded cardboard and paper for browns in our compost because we don’t have much in the way of grass and leaves. It works well but holds more moisture and clumps if you don’t turn your compost often – guilty. So we bought a compost nanny. The hand crank means we actually turn our compost and it is ready more quickly than our DIY bin. It is animal proof too.


Unplug from my computer, tablet, and phone more often. Keep (trying hard on this one.) In the evening I have a bad habit of reading the news and multitasking on my iPad while I’m watching TV when I should be paying more attention to Lacey or reading a book. On the days I actually do this (instead of jumping from the book on my iPad to Facebook), I have a better night’s sleep and my brain has time to chill out and not think of the 8,000 things I did that day or will need to do the next day.

Me and my gal.


Bought an Energy Star rated dishwasher Keep.  When the pump went out on our high efficiency dishwasher we did something we normally wouldn’t – we replaced it instead of repairing it. It was the best decision because we realized we didn’t like the old dishwasher because it was the wrong type for our family. Who knew?

I am a little sweet on the dishwasher. I realize this makes me a crazy person. I don’t care. It actually cleans our dishes every. single. time. we use it!



I met my weight loss goal! Keep. After starts and stops, I got off my rear, exercised, and finally lost those 25 extra pounds I was carrying around like luggage. A big part of that is due to Lacey needing several long walks a day to burn off her nervous energy. Ironically, following a lactose free diet also helped me lose weight too. There are a lot of things I can’t eat anymore like ice cream and almost all baked goods (pout) and if I do, I have weigh the potential taste verses how I know I’ll be feeling the next day. I don’t want to feel awful and usually opt out. I guess there is one positive thing to say about lactose intolerance. Go me.

The new me! I lost another 5 pounds by December. Whoo!


Made shredded cardboard mulch Keep (until summer.) It isn’t as pretty as wood chips but it was free and keeps our topsoil from eroding. We will till it back into the soil when we rework the front yard next year.


Donate items and recycle our old computer Keep. Husband cleaned out and decluttered our computer room to ready it for telecommuting while I was in the kitchen decluttering and ant proofing the kitchen. While we waiting for a local charity to email us back about donating the computer to them for parts, the rest of the pile sat for three months too.  While finishing up Christmas shopping and errands I loaded everything into the car. I donated the stuff to Goodwill. We figured if the charity hasn’t contacted us in three months, they probably don’t want our computer. Goodwill doesn’t take computers. I recycled the computer and an old motherboard at Staples. Don’t worry, Staples uses US companies to harvest and recycle metals from electronics. I checked. I don’t have to worry that someone in a third world country is ripping apart my computer with their bare hands on their kitchen table. I would prefer the computer to go to the charity, but they may have closed so this is the next best thing.

How did you do on your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions? Do you have any for 2014?

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