Happy New Year!
A nice crisp new year is laid out before us, all clean and inviting, like a brand-new sketch book. I think this is a common feeling, which is why the new year’s resolution is so popular. This year I’ve decided that announcing my New Year’s Resolution in a post may help me KEEP IT, so here goes!
This year, my resolution is to seriously minimize the amount of plastic that we use. I’m talking really tackling the problem! I decided to break it down into steps for several reasons. For one thing, I want to follow through, and I figured that gradually stepping up with the resolution would help carry it further through the year. Also, I’m hoping it will help each change become a habit before I tackle the next. This way it will allow for real change, and also decrease the chance that I will feel like I’m fighting a loosing battle.
At this point, I’ve identified several areas that need addressing.
1. Plastic bags. Now, we certainly have cloth bags, and I’d say we are pretty good about using them for our grocery shopping, but somehow we still wind up with quite a few. I think these are largely un-planned purchases, stopping in to get something unprepared, or from a store other than a grocery store, when we aren’t thinking about it. But I’m pretty sure that with a few relatively simple measures I can get this under control! A subcategory to this might be to also see if there is a way to deal with the situations where we NEED plastic bags – cat litter, for example and see what can be done about that.
2. Food storage. Normally we are pretty good about not buying plastic wrap. (this is a hold over from when I was a student and refused to buy something that would eventually get thrown out…) But that being said, we reuse whatever plastic bags we’ve accumulated to deal with leftovers and lunches. So, as that supply will hopefully dry up, this needs addressing. We need more environmentally friendly ways to pack food for lunch and handle leftovers. A greater range of container sizes, or other solutions.
3. Food Packaging. Avoid packaged food, or find ways to reduce the packaging by buying in bulk. Pay attention to what plastic can be recycled and avoid anything that can’t. Make more things at home from raw ingredients so that less packages are necessary.
4. Other Packaging. Reduce or eliminate plastic packaging that comes into the house. Similar to above, only dealing with all the non-food things.
These groups may prove somewhat unwieldy, and I may end up breaking them down differently as I tackle them, but this is a start. I plan to update you on my progress, mostly for my own sake. Wish me luck!