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Refresh Your Green Resolutions--Or Make One

Posted Sep 09 2008 7:38am

Gosh, it's scary to think that January was a full half-year ago! Seems like only yesterday I was layering up with Mr. Padded Blue Vest every time I went outside (oh wait, that WAS yesterday). Six months later, how many of your green resolutions that you made in January have survived intact? I've definitely cut down on car use, but I feel reluctant to accept your accolades because I'm pretty sure economics was a pretty big factor there. Yes, please put them down. There. Now, let's talk about the things we can all celebrate without feeling like we're just being tightwads. If you knocked resource-sucking (but perhaps delicious) meat out of your diet one meal a week, nicely done. If you got serious about recycling (including, perhaps utilizing your Ziplocs more than once?) in your home or at work, good on ya. If you completed a large green project like solar paneling or switched to a more fuel-efficient car, that's also cause for a few pats on the back. Go ahead: pat yourself if you need to.

Now, chances are good that there are also a few New Year's resolutions that have fallen by the wayside. More likely are the things that may have been dogging you for the last 6 months. Let's start anew and call them Mid-Year Resolutions. A few places to start:

  • Fix the things you've been meaning to fix, for Pete's sake. For me, this means finally getting around to fixing my roommate's girlfriend's bike that's been languishing in our yard for about a month. Don't ask me how, but I crashed her bike without riding it and now the wheel's more crooked than a presidential smile. There her bike sits, and there goes another green mode of transport.
  • Get your bags on. These days, when someone gives me a paper bag with my groceries, I think, "Why is this person giving me a piece of (recyclable) trash?" And more importantly, why am I walking away with it? With all the options for green bags, including the ones that your grocery store probably offers itself, there's really no excuse for not getting this one going.
  • Do something environmentally friendly that you know will cut costs, like getting a supply of compact fluorescent bulbs ready to use in your home. The initial investment can be a little bit steeper than with conventional bulbs, but you'll save in the long run. And sometimes the power companies, like PG&E, will hop on board to subsidize the bulbs or even hand them out for free.
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