Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Since childhood, I've been a fan of making resolutions on January 1. I'm not so deluded as to believe I'll keep all my resolutions, but I do find January 1 a good opportunity to take stock of what I should do differently in my life.

For 2009, I want several of my resolutions to be environmentally motivated. The problem is that I'm already doing almost everything it's practical for me to do. The easy resolutions, like giving up plastic carrier bags, were made ages ago and are already being kept.

Here are the resolutions I've come up with thus far. I'd welcome suggestions for others:

Eat at least one potato each day. This may sound like a strange resolution, but potatoes are one of the few foods I can get that are grown locally and sold without any plastic packaging, so replacing other foods with potatoes will mean a reduction in the amount of fuel used to transport my food and the amount of plastic packaging I throw out.

Wake up earlier each morning. I have electrical lights on for hours each evening, then use blinds to block out the sun most mornings. I could reduce my consumption of electricity by getting up earlier.

Plan elevator trips wisely. Taking the stairs isn't feasible where I work, so I ride elevators many times each day. My resolution is to plan my errands so that I go only once or twice per day to any given floor instead of riding up and down repeatedly.

Write more letters. I make a lot of consumer decisions on the basis of packaging and other environmental considerations. It's time I wrote to more manufacturers to tell them why I've switched to or away from their products.

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