It is a new year, and with that comes the obligatory list of resolutions, though I think of it more as goal-setting, which is something everyone can benefit from. Setting goals is a great way to get organized, prioritize what is important, self-reflect, and manage your progress.
Here is my self-reflection: since having our first baby, I have become zero-lazy. Gah, this is more like a confession! Not that I completely neglected my plastic-free, zero-waste priorities, but I definitely could have done better. I made the excuse that, with a new baby, I did not have the time to fully commit to the lifestyle. This is a great time to re-focus myself because of two reasons:
- When I return to work it is going to be even more challenging, so I need to lay the groundwork now.
- I want to teach my child to be waste-less, and not wasteful. I want her to understand environmental responsibility, and love every piece of the natural world. If I don’t model these things, what will she learn? And I need to own my passions, to show her how she can do the same.
Goals, ladies and gentlemen! Measurable goals! It was clear to me what my focus should be because, my friends, sometimes we have to acknowledge our own weaknesses. As poopy as that may feel sometimes, it is the best way to grow. My goals are based on my weaknesses in the last months:
Mhm! I need to refuse more! By that I mean refuse excess packaging, namely PLASTIC packaging #yourplasticsucks:
Do not accept freebies just to be polite (Canada, what have you taught me?!). If your friends are doing it, it doesn’t mean you have to (who knew this could still apply at 30); i.e. no, thanks, I don’t want a coffee because I don’t have my mug with me (and yes, it does matter if it’s just the one time). Refuse to backpack on other people’s garbage; i.e. my husband is not zero-waste, so I shouldn’t use his yogurt and pretend that is a waste-free act (cuz it ain’t!).
Refusing requires some discipline because it is so tempting to have that extra latte or if you see a tasty treat or some impulse-buy so attractively arranged on a shelf. I stand by the fact that companies will not change their packaging ways until more of us say NAY NAY #leaveitontheshelf. Practice your nay nay!
I need to measure this in some way, so starting in February, I will set weekly goals to forego plastic packaging. If I plainly say “Refuse all packaging”, I would set myself up to fail.
So let’s say February 1 – 7: refuse any new plastic packaging (exception: medication, though I do not foresee myself needing any).
And not indoor exercise, but move in nature. Nature is a dear friend, and I do not visit her enough, even though she is very close by. I want my child to have a relationship and connection with nature so she is more likely to make choices that will benefit the natural world instead of damage it. I want her to see a flower and stop to look at it, but not feel the need to pick and take it. I want her to understand the wrong when she sees garbage on the forest floor, or plastic waste on a beach. So I need to model these things and involve her.
So let’s say January 22 – 29: spend time outside every day for at least ten minutes (exception: if it’s colder than -10, I’d rather not expose baby skin to harsh temperatures. Also, if we are still ill, pick and choose days based on weather conditions, as we are just experiencing our first seasonal illness). Bonus: take a bag with you and pick up garbage.
Those are my starting blocks! Updates to follow…
My fellow eco-warriors, have you set any goals for this year? Share them!
And here pictures of trash where it shouldn’t be – in nature.
Great blog, Nadine! I decided to set myself on a shopping diet this year: except from necessities like food, toothpaste etc. I’m only allowed to buy 1 thing per month for myself. The January thing was a calendar…
I hope that I will be able to train my resisting skills by these strict rules, because otherwise I will always find an excuse to buy unnecessary stuff…
That’s a great idea! I was thinking of doing a “buy no new clothes” goal, but decided to focus on these instead. A shopping diet is a good idea for everyone! I hope you achieve your goals 🙂
Nay nay nay! Living in the city, I really do want to get out more outside the city this year.
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I just started on my zero waste and plastic free journey, but I can already tell its going to have a lot of ups and downs! I’m going to have my second kid in February, and I’m hoping I will be able to stick to my guns with the whole “no plastic” thing. Its just so hard to go grocery shopping in a way that avoids all plastic, and it requires a lot of prepping, making from scratch, etc., which I doubt I will have time or energy for in the next few months.
My biggest personal goal for 2018 is to buy all our dried goods monthly from the 100% packaging free bulk store in town, which means a lot of planning ahead. A community goal I have set for myself is to join a local environmental group or club and participate in a clean up.
Thanks for your comment. That’s a great start! Prep is a big part of it and I have struggled with our new baby and still managing to DIY a lot of things. And I have to say, it’s hard to keep babies plastic free! I did what I could, but at times I just accepted it because, as you know, when you’re a new parent you need to put your mental well-being first – for me that sometimes meant opting for a “convenient” crappy plastic option. Luckily I was able to keep mostly balanced with what was important to me. You got this! I hope you achieve your goals 🙂
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