If your New Year's resolution is to live more sustainably, you may wonder where to start. For me, I think the best place is with ideas that fix a problem you currently have, minimize something you don't like to do, or maximize something you do enjoy.
For example, I have frequently explained that the gas bill around here drives me batty. Somehow, it just becomes the ultimate in paying for something that I've already used up by the time the bill comes -- yeah, I was warm one day a month ago when the heat was running full blast, but now the bill is here and I hate to pay it. So, the ideal way for me to make changes in how sustainably I lived was projects that kept my house and me warm without running up a monster gas bill.
So, if you are just starting out, here are some common goals and feelings you may have, along with some ideas to improve your life by living sustainably:
I hate paying the heat bill, but I hate being cold.
- Make hand warmers for your pockets.
- Make bed warmers (AKA "knee thingies") for your bed.
- Make a fleece (un)quilt.
- Make fleece pillowcases.
- Knit a cowl.
- Knit some yoga socks.
- Use your fireplace insert to its advantage by stockpiling wood.
- Heat with passive solar.
- Feature an artisinal cheese this way in summer or winter.
- Feature a special meat next to piles of veggies.
- Stretch the expensive food.
- Make your own Swiffer cloths.
- Stop paying to ship water.
- Make your own laundry soap.
- Snow wash your rugs.
- Get a huge bang for your buck with basil pesto.
- Keep every tomato.
- Investigate canning.
- Dry tomatoes.
- Freeze cherries for pies and yogurt toppings.
- Make yogurt.
- Bake some spoonbread.
- Make some August Pasta.
- Visit a u-pick strawberry farm.
- Think about what you buy that you could make.
- Make stock.
- Stock up with predictable sales.
- Learn to bake bread,
(Note: This is not an exhaustive 2010 index, but I did try to include the posts that attracted the most discussion here, on my Facebook page under Hilltop Communications, or in person.)
Happy New Year! Let's make 2011 even more sustainable!