5 New Year's Resolutions Part 1 {Going Green}

I realize that I'm a bit early, but I decided what my New Years Resolutions are going to be. I've decided I'm going to implement them now, rather than waiting until Jan. 1 08.

Resolution 1 {Going Green} Part 1
So, my first resolution focuses on the environment. Part one is to not use ANY plastic bags. I've been very good about using my two reusable Whole Foods bags over the last year, which is where about 90% of our groceries are purchased. I also have been sort of good about using my two reusable Target bags, which is the other main source of plastic bags in our home. However, after reading this article about the effect plastic bags are having on our ecosystem I have realized that I have to do better.

The Plan:

I find that Whole Foods is extremely welcoming and encouraging of the use of reusable bags of any kind. Every time I use my Target bags at Target I have to explain, but they oblige. I thought that a bag branded with the store's logo might make the checkers more accommodating, but I have found this to be only partially true. I have used my bags at a couple of other grocery stores and big box stores, but every time I say "I brought my own bags!" the employees look at me like I'm crazy, and often I end up sacking my own groceries, since the bags don't fit on the plastic bag merry-go-round (although I have tried, then they really look at me like I'm crazy). This is slightly discouraging, but I've decided that I don't care. If I have to bag my own groceries or explain 500 times, that's fine- it's worth it.

Another issue is clothing and home decor shopping, where I have honestly never before used a reusable bag (unless you count when I exchange something and make them put the new item in the old bag, which seems to somehow insult workers as well). I have decided that my Method reusable bag that I got for free by buying Method Cleaning products (thanks Stellarmom!) will be my new go to non-grocery shopping bag. And I WILL use it everywhere I go.

The last and most difficult part of this plan for me is the take-out food aspect. We get take-out a lot, which produces a lot of trash, often in the form of styrofoam boxes and plastic bags. But it is quite difficult/impossible to prevent this when ordering/picking up food from a restaurant...which is a good intro to New Years Resolutions 2...{to come}

Find out more about Plastic Bags here.

Resolution 1 {Going Green} Part 2

Part 2 is to recycle, despite the difficulty in doing so. New Orleans does not have a recycling program. However, there are locations where you can drop off certain recyclables once about every six weeks. I tried this before, but the recyclables took over our small kitchen, and I gave up. However, I am going to find away to make it work.

The Plan:

There is a man who picks up the aluminum cans we collect at work to recycle for a small profit. So, I can take th aluminum cans to work which will reduce the amount we need to store until recycle days. This just leaves our other main source of recyclables: our water bottles. Yes, I do realize that the really green thing to do would be to drink tap water instead, but the water in NOLA is gross, even filtered. It was not good before Katrina, and after the whole city sat in water, which eventually drained into our water source, I cannot believe that it is safe to drink. So, we will stick with bottled water, but I have switched us from Dasani to Ozarka. Ozarka has redesigned their packaging to use 30% less plastic. Next, I need to find a way to store these water bottles until the recycling days come around, and then I have to take them.

Locate Recycling Sources in NOLA here.

Want to join me? It seems to me, if we just change small things like this, we can slow the impact we have on our environment. I'm adding a counter in the sidebar to track my progress regarding the use of the plastic bags. I think this will be good motivation to use the reusable bags.


Unknown said...

Hi Jessica -
Ran across your post - great ideas! I too plan to make the environment one of my New Year Resolutions in 2008. Drop by my site sometime, I'm always interested in sharing ideas with like-minded folks.

Have a great New Year!


Anonymous said...

this is awesome, J2. I admire your dedication...

Unknown said...

I am totally in!!!!!

I think that if we can keep implementing SMALL changes throughout the year we will make a HUGE impact!!!

Jessica said...

I agree...we can do it!

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