• Simcoe-Grey Greens

Week 37: Happy New Year!

by Sherri Jackson & Laurel Hood, 52 Weeks of Climate Action

I think we can all agree that 2020 didn’t shape up to be what we expected. Despite that, there are some bright spots. Global carbon emissions actually fell by seven per cent. That’s good news. The reason they fell (less transportation, less jobs, more stoppages, amidst a global pandemic) isn't such good news. But, let’s take the good where we can. As we stand on the precipice of a new year, we can reflect on our journey since last April, when we jumped aboard the sustainability train (electric of course), and vowed to do better. How have you done so far? Are there things you could change? Are there things you are surprised by? Hopefully you have more insight and have found peace with some new ways of doing things. So let’s keep it going. It’s easier to make small changes, over a period of time than it is to make huge changes that you know you’re going to fail at. So, instead of vowing to overhaul your entire existence, let’s make some resolutions, together, and maybe we can hold each other accountable for seeing them through.

Challenge 37: Make your resolution environmentally sustainable.

This year, do the planet some good. Make a resolution from one of the four main categories: Transportation, Home Energy, Consumption (buying stuff), or Food. Look back on the past challenges and see if there are any that you wanted to try, but just didn’t get to. That’s a good place to start. Think of places where you found it easiest to make changes (maybe you actually liked walking or biking to work, or found a favourite thrift shop), and make a commitment to doing more of that. The gurus who know about this stuff offer the following tips:

  • Just pick one thing. Making a laundry list of all the things you want to change about the world will just overwhelm you. Pick one thing, and then next year, pick another.

  • Plan ahead, so you have the resources you’ll need to be successful when your resolution begins.

  • Anticipate problems, and don’t let a mistake sideswipe you. You will probably err once or twice. Don’t let it distract you from your goal.

  • Plan rewards, so when you do well, you get a gold star!

  • Make it reasonable - “saving the planet” is too broad a goal. Try buying LED bulbs, or starting meatless Mondays. You’ll get to the planet saving one step at a time!

So pick something, anything, that you feel passionate about, and that you think you could stick to. See if you can get the rest of your family involved too. You may find it easier to stay on track if all of you are on the same page. Good luck, and 2020, well, it’s been nice knowing you. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out. . Yours in Sustainability, Sherri Jackson & Laurel Hood 52 Weeks of Climate Action was created by Sherri Jackson and Laurel Hood. Sherri is a writer, speaker and musician. She is the candidate of record and communications coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Laurel Hood, is a retired secondary teacher, transportation lead for the Collingwood Climate Action Team, and volunteer coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Visit our blog or sign up at www.52weeksofclimateaction.com.

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