It’s that time again, to look back on the year we leave behind and assess the good, the bad and the ugly and put our best foot forward into the year ahead. Last year, one of my resolutions was to be more thoughtful about my purchases when it comes to resources. If a product had excessive or unrecyclable packaging, I really considered if I needed the product at all. And, if I did, my plan was to look for an alternative brand with less or more environmentally friendly packaging. I tried to make this resolution a habit that will continue into the New Year.
Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.This year, I plan to turn it up a notch.
— Author Unknown
Resolution: I will try not to buy anything that does not contain recycled content this year.There are many benefits of using recycled materials; for example, recycled pulp created in the production of paper requires fewer chemicals during processing. According to the Clark County, WA, website, production of new paper from recycled materials saves approximately 40% of the energy that it would take to produce paper from virgin trees. The production of new aluminum cans from recycled materials saves as much as 95% of the energy that it would take to make from virgin mineral ore. Accomplishing my resolution: I plan to continue being thoughtful about all my purchases. Instead of buying products made with virgin materials, I will look for those same items with recycled content. By buying items with recycled content, I will be helping to “close the loop” and encourage manufacturers to use recycled materials. I will also reuse or repurpose things I already own and buy used items when possible. The details:
- I will continue writing out my shopping list for every trip to the store so I’ll know what items I should inspect to find if they contain recycled materials.
- I will reuse or repurpose things I already own, instead of buying new items, whenever possible.
- When appropriate, I will buy gently used items that will make a new purchase unnecessary, diluting the impact of its original manufacturing, transport and packaging.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
— Edith Lovejoy Pierce