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.