To start things off, here are 10 easy things I promise to do as the old year turns to new:
1. Local Heros. I'll support the local economy. That means choosing more in-season, locally grown produce and shopping the mom and pop stores.
2. Recycle. I'm lucky enough to live in a city with a robust recycling program, but how about when I'm out and about and it would be so easy to throw something recyclable into a convenient garbage can? I promise to hang on to things until I find a recycling bin.
3. Reuse. Instead of blowing through lots of single-use, disposable packaging, I'll use (and reuse) glass and metal storage containers.
4. Reduce. Do I really need more? Do you? Instead of throwing down the plastic to buy more stuff I'm going to take a minute to consider needs against wants. And I'll go in for homemade instead of mass-produced.
5. Compost. No more tossing dead lettuce in the garbage. I'll learn how to maintain a compost pile in a corner of my little garden and I just might go the extra step and get a worm bin! In a few months, my plants will love me. (Bonus: turning over the compost pile speeds up the process and gives me an aerobic workout!)
6. Bag It. Paper or plastic? How about fabric? I'll keep sturdy fabric shopping bags hanging by the back door. Now I have to remember to put them in the car!
7. Wash Wisely. I confess I'm guilty of washing my car in the driveway, adding toxic runoff to the ground water. But no more! From now on I'm taking my wheels to a car wash that recycles water.
8. Clean Green. No more toxic chemical cleaning products in my home. I'm switching to baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water for surface cleaning and biodegradable detergent for the laundry.
9. What's on the Label. Fair trade? Organic? Locally-produced? I'm going to learn what those terms really mean and why they should influence what I buy.
10. Park the Car. By now you know I have a car. It's wrenching, but I firmly resolve to consolidate my errands into fewer car trips, walk when possible, dust off my bike, and take the bus when I go downtown.