Year of Doing More

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, per se. Statistically speaking, almost no one sticks to them, so why set myself up for failure? But, I do love the clean-slate feeling a new year can bring. The opportunity to start the year off on the right foot, with the right energy, intent and mindset — that’s something I can wrap my head around. In fact, at about this time each year, I like to think of a theme for the following year — an overarching philosophy that I can apply to many different areas of my life. 2008 was the year of Finish What I Start, 2009 the year of Put Myself Out There. I think in 2010, my theme will be Good Enough is Not Enough. In case you’re wondering how you ended up on a self-help blog, don’t be alarmed: I swear this has something to do with being environmentally friendly. I happen to believe, as I’m sure many of you do, that the environment may be the most urgent issue facing civilization today; without Mother Earth on our side, we’ve got nothing. And, as you’ve read this year, I do a lot of things in the name of sustainability and greening the planet. But, is it enough? Am I really conserving till it hurts? No. I could do more, and I know it. So, here just a few ways I’ll try to implement Good Enough is Not Enough in the name of the planet in 2010:

Recycling plastic bags

I justify my enormous plastic bag stash by figuring that I reuse some of them for lining trashcans, padding items for shipping and other chores. I also request that cashiers not give me a bag whenever that’s practical. But, what about all the bags that inevitably end up just sitting around in a drawer? As I wrote back in August, there are drop-off bins at tons of stores where I could take plastic bags to be recycled. Time to start doing that.

Paying more attention to where my food comes from

Food politics have been all the rage the last several years. I’ve read books and seem films like The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food, Inc., and their message of eating a local, low-meat diet to help protect the planet (not to mention yourself) has had an impact on me. I’m already a pescetarian, meaning that I don’t eat red meat or poultry, so I’ve got that going for me. But, is that only good enough, or is it really enough? Probably the former. So, this year I plan to join my local CSA (community-supported agriculture) program, which allows city residents to buy local, seasonal, organic produce and cheese directly from local farmers. I’m also going to pay closer attention to where my seafood comes from, and try to cut back on my seafood intake altogether since overfishing has become such a big problem for marine ecosystems. That’s just two things – imagine how many other ways I could be pushing myself harder to do more than the bare minimum! I’ll be thinking about it as the year progresses. What are you going to do in 2010 to help make the planet a better place?