Belated resolutions

In thinking about approaching 2016 I had random scattered thoughts for things I would like to do or change. As I prioritized the hustle and bustle of the holidays as well as the chillaxing family time, I am just articulating my thoughts now.

My thoughts on own 2016 resolutions are as follows:

  • Eliminating the use of single use plastic bottles – It is easy to grab a single use plastic chocolate milk bottle when at Kwik Trip or a plastic soda bottle from a vending machine, but transitioning to carrying a reusable water bottle with me to ail my thirst will improve my bottom line and waistline. When I need a soda, I will choose an aluminum can or to fill my reusable at the fountain machine. I can do the same at Caribou or the hockey rink when I need something warm. Part of what is driving this desire to mitigate any use of plastic bottles is my disgust over Nestle and the way water is becoming privatized. In the midst of California’s historic drought, Nestle Waters (the largest bottler of water in the world) continues to draw water from the San Bernardino National Forest and other public lands around the world. Their permit for San Bernardino expired in 1988 and yet they continue to take the water uncontested by the Forest Service. I would encourage you to take a few minutes and watch the top two videos on this page and think about how you can reduce giving in to single use plastic bottles.
  • Getting Fat II – As I mentioned in my previous post, I purchased a fat tire bike and have been riding it quite a bit. For 2016, I have decided to set an annual goal for miles ridden of 1,000. I plan to track this on my band and it will give me the flexibility to not ride on some days and ride more miles on others. I am all geared up for winter riding, night riding, and have even used my bike for one errand so far since I now have a lock.
  • Volunteering – My schedule allows time for volunteering and working on different causes. For 2016 I plan to streamline those efforts and focus more in areas where I feel I am providing a valuable impact. Sometimes my passion and persistence to help an organization in need has resulted in a one sided effort where I end up cajoling the organization in to accepting help. That is frustrating and I need to put my energy in to places that are appreciative and desiring help.
  • No plastic bags – Our family owns plenty of reusable shopping bags. For 2016 my intent is to not use a single disposable shopping bag to get items home from a store. If I forget to bring reusable bags, I will need to just carry stuff or go get the reusable bags. I have been at 90% on this effort, but my goal for 2016 is 100%.

I am certain I am missing some items I thought of previously and will likely still add some other 30 day challenges to the year.

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Resolutions

It is that time of year when about 46% of people start thinking about New Years’ Resolutions. Of those, about half of the people typically keep their resolutions. Another recent study revealed the surprising fact that people who do not make resolutions are less likely to achieve them 🙂

Here are my thoughts on eco-friendly options for consideration.

  • Commit to not using plastic bags from retail stores.  Taking a re-usable bag in to the store is really pretty easy once you establish the habit.  Leaving a stash of re-usable bags in the grocery getter is typically a helpful strategy and some stores (like Target) give discounts for using your own bag.  If Chicago, Austin, Seattle, and most recently California can impose bans and regulations on plastic bag use, it is clearly an achievable resolution.
  • Stop buying bottled water and use a BPA free re-usable water bottles or an at home filtering pitcher.
  • Re-program your thermostat and commit to being 1 degree less comfortable.  In the heating months having the house slightly colder also burns more fat J
  • Drive a little slower on freeways
  • Use less water – if you have an irrigation system, as opposed to having it run daily have it run twice a week and for slightly longer cycles; your lawns roots will learn to dig deeper in to the soil for water and be healthier in the long run.  This can also include showering faster, only running the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads, etc.
  • Bring your own mug to your favorite coffee shop
  • Unsubscribe from junk mail, phone books, junk e-mail, etc.
  • Use less electricity by making your computers power management settings more aggressive, eliminating vampire devices by putting them behind a surge protector you turn off when not in use, etc.
  • Shop local and second hand; and to avoid the Craigslist killer always meet the seller in a public parking lot with cameras during the daytime
  • Buy in to Community Supported Agriculture or similar programs that support local farmers and force nutrition in to your home.  Here is the one we recently joined.