Many of us start thinking about resolutions as the New Year approaches, so I want to dedicate this week’s blog to that topic. We often resolve to lose weight, eat or drink less, quit smoking, or be better people. Sometimes we stick with these for a while, others are failures from conception. Last year I resolved to try something attainable, something that I could easily track the progress of, something that might in a very small way contribute to the greater good…..I decided to get a new coffee mug.
What? A new mug, you balk. Yes, a new mug and the vow to use it daily when I purchase my coffee beverage of choice nearly every day. I thought this would be a tangible reminder of my efforts to follow better the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra; I thought this would be easy; I thought this was finally my ticket to a successful resolution. I failed miserably.
I did find the perfect mug that was responsibly made in China, well insulated, and of sufficient size for my caffeine needs. I began taking it to the coffee shop and found that I even got a discount for bringing it, which was encouraging. Things were looking good for a few weeks until I started forgetting it, losing the lid, leaving it in the dishwasher, car, or at work – you get the picture.
So here I am again staring down the barrel of another New Years, but this time I am going to make it work. I am redoubling my efforts to use my mug and avoid unnecessary paper, plastic, and (worst of all) Styrofoam products. I have also made certain to equip my car with several reusable bags or totes to minimize my needs for any other disposables. Furthermore, I will continue to recycle vigorously; to compost even more kitchen and yard waste; to consume more locally sourced foods and beverages (I have dusted off my beer growlers and plan to start filling those instead of buying canned or bottled beer as stores begin to offer draft as an option).
There are so many things we can do to make a small impact on our environment and our consumption, and you can’t possibly do them all. But perhaps identify a few new and easy ways you can make a difference this holiday season and get started right now. If we all do a little, the impact can be enormous; we have only one Earth, and the responsibility is ours to preserve and protect it for future generations.
Here are a few links which have some great ideas for going green. The last two are focused on ways we can work locally here in Maryland to help save our bay: