My green resolutions for 2014 – what are yours?

So, tonight the rain is pouring down again. The UK is being bashed by yet another storm – I’ve lost count of how many we’ve had in the last few weeks – and I’ve been feeling a bit eco-doomish. Perhaps it was seeing the World Bank report looking at a 4 degree warmer world – which is where we are headed by 2100, apparently, if we keep churning out CO2 emissions at current levels. And the current series of crazy ‘extreme weather events’ isn’t helping. As I write, around the globe it is either too cold (US), too hot (Australia) or too rainy (most of Europe). It makes me sad that, according to thousands of climate scientists, it looks like our legacy is going to be more flooding, less food, more extreme droughts, more typhoons. You’re welcome, future grandkids!

It’s easy to slide into gloom – the problem is so big, the powers that be are dealing with it so slowly; what’s the point of me recycling, composting and turning off lights, it’s just a tiny drop in a huge, polluted ocean? So much easier to focus on the details of my garden, pouring over the seed catalogues and planning for summer, and forget the bigger picture. But then I give myself a talking-to. If we all give up, or ignore the problem, things really will get gruesome. And if our actions encourage those around us to make changes too (from our family and friends, to our policy makers or the companies we buy from), why, then, that’s when things can really start to happen. 

So rather than give in to gloom – or denial – I’ve made 12 Green Resolutions for the year. Nothing earth-shattering, just some little changes I can start working on right away.  And, in the great blogging tradition of posting my plans so that I actually have to follow through, I’ve listed them here. In no particular order, here are my Green Resolutions for 2014:

1. Calculate our household carbon footprint – and plan to reduce it. There’s a starting point here.

2. Change our electricity supplier to one using renewable energy.

3. Compost all our food waste.

4. Learn how to grow and store more winter foods.

5. Look after the soil – grow comfrey! (Great for making plant feed and compost).

6. Make sure all the lightbulbs in the house are low energy ones.

7. Support a green campaign or organisation.

8. Wean myself off using the dryer and hang out the laundry (if the rain ever stops).

9. Join or start a local green group.

10. Keep shopping bags in the car – otherwise I often forget them (hangs head in eco shame).

I will report back. What about y’all? Any green resolutions for the year? If you fancy joining me, I’d love to hear your plans – do share them here or post a link.


10 responses to “My green resolutions for 2014 – what are yours?

  1. Love your resolutions. Hanging up clothes on a clothes horse and drying them inside works too. I never use our dryer so we always have some clothes hanging up. My resolution is to try and improve my bee friendly flowers selection in our little back garden.

    • Thank you – I love your resolution, that’s one I’m trying to work on too. Good point about the clothes horse. I do use one, just not often enough. I used to be better at this, but the little kids in my life seem to get through lots and lots of clothes (the joys of mud!), and I’ve become a bit lazy, I confess. I thought if I put the dryer on my list, it would give me a reminder to try a bit harder!

  2. It’s always interesting doing Carbon Footprint surveys,but they never cover people who might be growing a lot or even some of their own food. this surely must be a way of reducing your carbon impact, These surveys also never take into account that some people simple do not have waste that can not be composted or re-cycled. I enjoy doing them every one seems to have a different criteria,but they do make assumptions on peoples way of life.

    • Thank you for visiting, and commenting! That’s a really interesting point about food growing…I think for me, the main motivation to do a survey is to make myself think a bit more about my travel and energy use choices – I tend not to focus on these topics as I’m just not as interested in them as I am in growing and gardening! So even if the survey is just a rough snapshot, I hope it will prompt me to think about some of my choices a bit harder. That said, I wonder if there is a survey out there that properly considers recyling, food-growing etc…it would be great to have a really accurate carbon footprint survey that takes account of such things, as you say!

  3. What a great list an inspiration to make more changes. I’m going to take a stack of bags out to the car today! I always kick myself when I decide to call in at the shops en route home – great for saving mileage but bad for bags.

    I understand that being a vegetarian is the single biggest factor in reducing your footprint, so if you aren’t you could always consider ‘Meat Free Monday’ with your family, or something like that. 🙂

    • Hello, and thanks for your comment! Glad you liked the list, I’m sure others would have different resolutions – I just thought I’d try to work on those things this year. I read the ‘bag trick’ somewhere, I cannot remember where, and kind of kicked myself for not having thought of it! I always used to have bags stashed under the pram, but now my littlest one is four and our pram days are behind us, I never seemed to remember the bags when we went shopping. So far the car trick seems to be helping!

      Meat Free Monday is a great idea. We do eat meat, not in huge amounts and not each day, but having a special meat-free day sounds like a great way to remember to reduce consumption. It’s things like this that help me change my habits (a bit like the bags!). Thanks, and best wishes, Lucy

  4. Pingback: Comfrey – the super-food for plants | alder & ash·

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