It’s always a surprise that each week often begins with some sort of a call to Eye-Opening Resolutionsaction for me — from situations where I least expect it. I’d been given the assignment to write about my green resolutions for this year and had spent the entire evening stressing about what to say. I set my blog worries to rest temporarily to focus on other work, and my top three resolutions found me. The choices to bike rather than drive, to Tupperware instead of paper bag it and to forgo meat once a week were inspired by work. My eyes were half-shut when my boss opened the office microwave and spilled his coffee — right into the crevice that my rearranging had created — at 6 a.m. on that Monday morning. As a relatively new administrative assistant eager to prove my organizational and creative merits, I offered up a solution I thought would be the best idea (and as simple) as the notion to slice bread. “Let’s set up a paper towel rack,” I said, less sleepy then and maybe, in retrospect, a tad more perky than the situation called for. But, my idea turned out to be disposable. He basically told me that he couldn’t let me set it up out of principle — or rather, his entire family’s preference to use rags instead of paper towels and containers instead of paper bags — in order to be less wasteful. After jumping into a program called Green Dolphin for their elementary school-aged daughters, my boss and his wife have become big advocates of recycling, reuse and other environmentally sustainable practices. This effort includes everything from Trash-Free School Lunch Tuesday to Walking to School Wednesday. Hearing about the small changes that my boss’ family makes every day got me thinking about my priorities in the environmental sustainability department. In other words, I realized that I have been so focused on big changes (e.g., legislation, corporate practices) that I have lost sight of the answer to one simple question: What can I do every day to be mindful of my footprint? Here are my top three, taken straight from my boss’ kids:
  1. Bike to work one day a month and walk to do my errands once a week (As for nixing a once-a-week work effort, I live relatively close, but get up while it is still dark outside).
  2. Bring my lunch in Tupperware.
  3. Forgo meat once a week.
Knowing that it will take an incentive to get me to break my routine, I asked my boss what his kids get for doing green things. “Green circle stickers,” he laughed. “Maybe I’ll stick to gold stars,” I answered, laughing too. I am serious about my resolutions, though; they are very small changes for a very real result of being more mindful of my use of the earth’s resources. For more New Year’s resolutions, check out writer Jessica Bates’ steps to staying eco-friendly locally and getting the most out of her community.