I hope you still have the euphoria that comes with the new year. The idea of new beginnings, starting fresh, creating positive change are all great places to start. I don’t think we need an arbitrary point in the calendar to feel like making changes in our lives, in our homes, and in our influence and impact on the world. I don’t necessarily believe in resolutions for the new year. But, sometimes the psychology and peer pressure of it all can be just the catalyst we might need.
The ideas, the resolutions, the hopes and dreams… those are all just the beginning. Where the story ends, whether in triumph, utter failure, or somewhere in between is the real heart of it. Getting started can be easy or difficult, but it is really the continuation that takes support, determination and heart.
So, I encourage you to find whatever it may be to keep you going with your goals for this year and beyond. Change is hard, continuing is harder, small beginnings and failings are to be expected, but doing nothing is unacceptable. Apathy worse than any failure.
“We may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.” ~Helen Keller
1. Reducing plastic consumption. I mentioned on my new Facebook page that I believe that plastic will be the next big huge enormous task that the green community will need to tackle. Yesterday. Anyone that believes in the health of their children and the health of their environment needs to make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of plastic that they buy and use, intended or not. This I will change.
- Have you heard of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Plastic accounts for 90% of all trash in our oceans and every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Plastic in our world’s oceans does not biodegrade, but just breaks down into smaller pieces making it extremely difficult to clean up. Plastic harms oceans, beaches, its inhabitants and all those who rely on them for recreation, food, and livelihoods.
- Plastic recycling is misleading. Plastic is actually difficult and expensive to recycle, and are most often made into new secondary products that are completely unrecyclable. Recycling does not reduce the creation of new plastics. Plastic recycling also does not necessarily reduce the amount of plastic destined for landfills (and our oceans).
- There are toxic effects of some plastics. Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and cause a whole host of health problems even in small doses.
- Plastic production sustains our dependence on oil by its very nature.
2. Reusing and repurposing. We live in a disposable society. I won’t argue with its convenience. I intend to be more thoughtful in my purchases and more thoughtful in what I eliminate. We spend too many resources and too much money buying things we don’t really need.
I know there are many things that I could have reused with a little, or a lot, of work and chose not to. This I will change.
3. Buy local. This one sounds easy and can end up being difficult. Buying local products keeps more money in the local economy, supports local families, and often promotes a higher quality of goods and services. Buying local produce that is in season also has many benefits including, fewer transportation costs in terms of dollars and environmental, supporting local farms and farmers, and more.
Supporting local businesses is something that benefits us all. This I will change.
“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” ~Albert Einstein
I believe in making change. I believe small changes make a difference. I don’t believe that change must be all or nothing. Keep beginning and failing. I will keep trying to make this world a better place for my children. I will change for them.
What are your green goals for the year? What eco-friendly changes might you be willing to make?