I’ve never been one for new years resolutions. I’m not a fan of America’s competitive culture and keeping up with the Joneses has no appeal for me. At best, resolutions felt like just another way to make everyone feel like they’re failing at something.
In the last few years though, I’ve found a way to make resolutions work for me. Instead of making large plans, my lists these days are more about shifting small habits, slowly, a few at a time. I’ve found that by swapping a few old routines for fresh new ones each year, these new patterns tend to stick, and accumulate. A few years ago I switched to natural cleaning products. Another year, I stopped using paper towels. Skip forward a few years and I switched to bar shampoo, eliminated aerosols, and started making my own cleaning products. All of these things would have seemed like more of a sacrifice if done all at once. But when you slowly add them up – you forget what life was like before in the best possible way.
Things have felt hard, the last few months, and I have to believe that a large group of people making small changes can help. It matters, the small choices we make.
In the spirit of transparency, realness, and also, encouragement, here is my unedited list for 2017.
- Start using Terracycle. (Terracycle is an amazing mail-in recycling company that takes waste that local cities usually don’t have the capacity to recycle.)
- Write/call my congresspeople and senators.
- REALLY start using reusable produce bags more. I’ve owned them for over two years, but forget them more than I would like to admit. ( I like these.)
- Switch to a menstrual cup.
- Take a reusable mug to coffee shops. I use this sturdy fella.
- Download and use the Countable app to make my voice heard.
- Add adapter to faucets to conserve water.
- Purge household of unnecessary items at least one time.
- Use up beauty products, simplify. I’m very guilty, here. I’m a beauty product lover.
- Quit using plastic straws.
- Refill beer growler for gatherings, when possible.
- Buy in bulk at least once a quarter, bringing my own containers.
- Pay for -and read- real news. (I subscribed here.)
- Read at least 10 books.