Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day Resolutions for 2008!

Happy Earth Day! Diving right in . . .

Last year's resolutions were:

1. REDUCE PAPER/JUNK MAIL by signing up for online bill-pay, and cancelling catalogs. All of my bills are currently paid for electronically, except for my rent. Recently, my leasing office has offered an online payment option for rent -- which I will take advantage of beginning May 1st! I haven't done such a good job in the catalog department -- I still collect far too much junk mail.

2. SAVE ELECTRICITY by installing compact-fluorescent lightbulbs in every light fixture in my home. Well, I did okay with this one -- the lights I use the most often have CFs in them, but not all.

3. USE MORE GREEN TRANSPORT by getting back on my bike! Well, after I made this resolution last year, I discovered my cheap red bike had been stolen. Bummer! However, a good friend from church choir has been loaning me her second bike, and I had been biking quite a bit last summer (especially to and from work when I still worked at the store,) and a little bit this fall. Well, it's officially spring again, and the bike's back out! Woot!

Drumroll please . . . for this year's resolutions!
(A quick note -- I'm making more resolutions this year, because I need to carry over two from last year, which I'm going to expand on, plus make a couple of new ones.)

1. REDUCE PAPER/JUNK MAIL by making a list of every organization that sends me junk mail for the next month, and then contacting them all and asking to be removed from their mailing lists.

2. SAVE ELECTRICITY by finishing the CF lightbulb install job, as well as purchasing an "auto-switching" power strip for my computer. (I already unplug my television when I'm not watching a movie.) I'm going to use some of my "Bush money" this May to make a couple of green-provements. Let's stick it to GW and use his cash to rub climate change in his face, one little choice at a time!

3. CONSERVE WATER by applying the "Haiti" rule to toilet flushing, at least at home, and taking shorter showers. (Did you know that one toilet flush uses more water than one average person living in Africa uses in an entire day? The Green Book has some amazing facts.) Also in the bathroom greening department, I plan to use a two-in-one instead of a seperate shampoo and conditioner to not only save time in the shower but also in packaging, (once I use up the mountain of shampoo and conditioner I have stockpiled in my home -- does this happen to anyone else?), by choosing bar soaps over liquid soaps and body washes, (less packaging, again,) by purchasing TP in the large 12-roll packs (less packaging than the 4-roll packs,) and replacing my nylon mesh body scrubber with a natural loofah when it falls apart.

4. PURCHASE FOODS THAT CONTAIN FIVE OR FEWER INGREDIENTS. There may be exceptions to this rule, of course, but by and large, this is the year I'm going to get away, completely, from processed foods. Buh-bye packaging and fuel costs associated with processing and shipping my breakfast cereals and frozen burritos and all the other stuff I like to rely on. I also hope to frequent my farmer's market more this summer, buy as much local stuff as I can, visit a U-pick farm or two over the course of the growing season, and freeze as much local, fresh produce as I can for future use. I also want to cut my food waste down to almost zero.

5. LITTLE THINGS: research carbon-offsetting my air travel this year, continue to refuse ATM reciepts (except when I make a deposit,) encourage the children in my class to use crayons over markers (and help our admin. assistant seek out soy-based crayons to purchase in the future,) buy Dan a luggage tag (so he doesn't have to keep wasting paper luggage tags at the airport,) make sure all my cooking oil goes in the garbage (did you know most of the oil in the oceans and rivers doesn't come from major oil spills, but from cooking oil and used motor oil we pour down drains and sewer grates?), and start buying exclusively beeswax or soy-based candles (the candles I have right now have some soy in them, but are not 100% renewable.)

Why so many things this year, you ask? Well, global warming is pretty dang serious, and I'm hoping to inspire others to make big changes as well. Need some new ideas for this year? Check out GreenYour..., a new website I just discovered that offers green ideas for almost every area of life I can think of!

What are your Earth Day resolutions this year?


Anonymous said...

I never thought of making resolutions, you give me excellent ideas, thank you!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

FABULOUS old and new resolutions - happy Earth Day! :0)

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm still trying to catch up on your Haiti posts. I mentioned your name (Catherine, the Food Snob) one time and DH asked how you are doing- like you're one of our IRL friends. lol

I am so glad to see your new list. You are an inspiration, making such a difference!

I was pretty excited today to find out that the new electric bill for the month for this family of 5 is less than $30! Isn't that cool? (If you're curious, we stopped using the clothes dryer- among other things.)

I am still hoping to come across you at the Wedge sometime. (I'd be that short, black-haired, brown-skinned wobbling preggy woman- until June, at least) with three beautiful girls in tow.

Glad you're back home safe!

Anonymous said...

Oh--we will have to walk to the farmers market together this summer! Yay! Do you have a source for getting off of catalog lists? Or are you just going to contact each one and ask them not to mail to you anymore? I need to do the same!

Great resolutions, by the way!


Catherine Weber said...

Romina, thanks! I came up with this idea a couple of years ago. New Year's resolutions have always seemed kind of lame to me, because it's winter and no one wants to make any extra effort. Springtime, however? That's easier, I think. Plus, since Earth Day should be every day, why not make some changes that will hopefully become new habits? Can't wait to see what you decide to do this year!

Veggiegirl, thanks!

Hello Flo! I left you a comment on your blog today -- I just rediscovered your blog today! I envy your indoor clothesline.

Courtney, I don't have an anti-junkmail source, other than calling up or emailing companies and making a fuss. I called the Strib this morning to try and get off the "Twin Cities Values" list -- what a bunch of junk!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

HAPPY EARTH DAY CATHERINE!! Your yearly goals always inspire me, and the little things really matter, don't they. My cooking oil will now go in the trash.

Your Haiti photos are completely amazing and fascinating. Thanks for showing us a window.

When will you be in Boise? Is your brother going to The Invasion's record release concert tomorrow night at The Big Easy? Art produced the CD and will be playing guitar on a few numbers.

bazu said...

happy earth day! I learned so much from your resolutions, especially #5- I'm horrified by how much oil has gone down my drain. no more.