Resolutions Less Typical

By Scott Anthony

So how did you do on your New Year’s Resolutions this year? Did you lose any weight? Did you kick that smoking habit and were you nicer to other people? If you are anything like me, the answer to those questions is not a resounding yes, but a mitigated result riddled with qualifications, explanations and down-right excuses. I didn’t lose any weight this year like I’d hoped - (gained eight pounds) - I was not much nicer to other motorists and I haven’t done enough exercise. I guess I should get an ‘F’ on my resolution report card (I think the ‘F’ should stand for futile) but I have a new idea for the new year.

Instead of fretting about my own failings or pondering ways to improve myself, this coming year I’m going to work on things that affect not just me, but everyone. Here’s my list, not in order of importance, because it’s all equally important and I will follow each with My Vow.

Recycle more – I have a tendency to throw things into the garbage that could go into a recycling bin. These days, nearly everything is recyclable, from latte cups to fast food bags. My Vow: I will put a box in my van and empty it into the big blue container at home.

Drive Less, Walk More – Two benefits in one here, and while I already try to consolidate my trips into town, I can do better by parking and walking whenever possible. Need batteries and Lettuce? My Vow: I will park at Trader Joes and walk to Radio Shack.

Kill The Phantoms – I read a news article the other day that had to do with power-robbers in your house. Your TV, your computer, your space heaters, your clock radios in the spare bedroom and even your Christmas decorations, all of these electronic items consume power 24/7 and it’s wasteful. My Vow: I will put multi-plugs or timers on these items so they’re easy to turn off when not in use.

Re-use Rather Than Replace – That same article reminded me that plastic jars make great screw containers, yogurt tubs are good for painting touch-up work (the lids snap right back on easily) and old 35mm film containers are great for holding spices for backpacking, seeds for gardening or to hold loose change in the car. My Vow: I will take more time to organize my garage and use those containers instead of tossing them.

Eat Lower On The Chain – If you eat more vegetables as opposed to cows, chickens or pigs, then you are saving a lot of water and reducing the amount of fertilizers, antibiotics and manure pollution on the planet. My Vow: I will eat less meat and more (gulp) broccoli.

Use Rainwater to Water the Garden – The water we get from our municipality is cheap, at least for now, but why use it if I can put a rain barrel under my downspout and get it for free? All that’s needed is a barrel a spigot and some blocks to raise it off the ground. My Vow: I will finally cut my downspout and install the barrel I have in the backyard underneath it.

I know that I will probably not get an ‘A’ on this report card by this time next year, but I will post my results because the goals mean more than flatter abs or cutting out sweets. I will be helping, even if only in a small way, to keep our home planet a little cleaner, so that the generations that follow ours might have a place to live.

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