Happy Green New Year! ?>

Happy Green New Year!

I don’t know about you, but every year I make a New Year’s resolution only to break it a few months later. I have a feeling the reason is because I always set the bar too high. You know, like work out every day, avoid eating sugar, or not spending as much time on Facebook.
This year I am making a resolution that I hope will be easier to keep – a sustainable resolution (pun intended).

My 2012 Sustainable New Year’s Resolution:
Get rid of plastic bags

I hate plastic bags. Hate, hate, hate them. I know they have a purpose in many peoples’ homes (like to pick up animal poop or line garbage cans) but that doesn’t change the fact that I hate them and don’t want them in my home. So my goal is to figure out how stop using plastic bags. And because this could be difficult, I am going to start it in shifts, focus on one type of plastic bag to start with: those we use to get bulk items at Winco.
We buy a lot of our dry ingredients in bulk at Winco so we can avoid the plastic packaging. But for things like flour and sugar, we still have to use a plastic bag. And while we do reuse them many times, I would rather avoid them altogether.
I still need to figure out a game plan, but I think the first step is to ask Winco if they will allow us to put bulk items in containers other than plastic bags, and then find big enough containers to accommodate the amount we buy.

If Winco won’t allow us to use other containers, I would be open to shopping at stores that do. So, that’s where you come in. Do you know of any places that allow you to bring your own containers for bulk items? I’d prefer something in NW or SW Portland or the surrounding areas so it’s convenient and I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Because this is probably a resolution not many people are willing to make, I thought I would make a short list of “green resolutions” you could make for 2012:

Sustainable New Year’s Resolution Ideas for you:
  1. Carry a reusable bag to avoid using plastic bags. I keep a Chico bag in my car and in my purse. That way, when I go to the store I can avoid getting a plastic bag. If you need plastic bags for things like picking up dog poop or lining trash cans and don’t want to avoid them, try using your reusable bag half the time. I know many of you have tried this but seem to forget them when you get into the store, so having a few stashed in your purse is a great way to make sure you’re never without them. And, over time you’ll remember them.
  1. Get your morning coffee or tea in a reusable mug. If you remember even half the time, this would be a great resolution to start. And most places give you a $.10 discount for using your own cup!
  1. Start composting. If you have a backyard, this is a really easy resolution to keep. You can buy a fancy compost bin or you can just start a pile in your backyard. If you commit to this resolution, you’ll decrease your garbage dramatically, I guarantee it. Josh and I take our garbage out maybe once every three weeks because without the food, it’s not so stinky! You could even start vermicomposting if you’re really ambitious!
  1. Drive less, walk (or bike) more. If you live within a few miles of work, try walking on days you don’t need your car. Not only will you get a bit of exercise, but you’ll also save gas and reduce the emissions from not driving your car.
  1. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones. I know you may not like the light that is put out by energy-efficient light bulbs, but there really are a lot of options available that give off good light while saving energy. Here’s a list of the different types of bulbs that you can use around your house.
The great thing about these ideas is that they don’t take a lot of effort. Sure, you may not remember to carry your reusable bag with you every time, or be able to anticipate every trip to the coffee shop, but it’s the mindset that matters. Every time you remember to bring that reusable bag or mug with you, or every time you walk instead of drive, you’re changing your habits just a little bit for the better.
Happy New Year!

One thought on “Happy Green New Year!

  1. Hi Kelly, my name is Perry and I'm reaching out from LUSH Cosmetics. The manager at our Portland store, Jordan, said you were interested in doing a vlog segment at LUSH. Opportunities like this have to be cleared by PR first. Can you e-mail me at psun@lush.com? I'd love to discuss this further with you!

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