Hi everyone! So rather than setting lofty, ambitious New Year’s resolutions I knew I’d forget about, I decided to do what I’m calling a 12 month challenge. Each month I’m choosing one manageable goal, and by the end of the month I’ll have a new habit. By the end of the year, I’ll have twelve new habits! I had originally chosen tasks that were personal to me, but have since adjusted them to target something more important: the environment.
I won’t bore you with the alarming climate change details. We (society) need to change, end of story. And while I know these twelve challenges won’t fix the climate change problem, I do think they will help. Yesterday I put up a poll on Instagram asking if anyone wanted to join me on the 12 month challenge and amazingly, 91% of you said yes!
So although I’m inviting you to a party that has already been going on for three weeks, I’m really excited you’re coming! Here are my first four challenges for the year (you can adapt them to fit your own lifestyle). In April, my plan is to revisit these challenges and choose my next four. I’m not setting all twelve now because I want to gauge how easy or difficult they will be, and adjust accordingly.
January: No single use coffee cups
This has traditionally been my largest source of disposable plastic. No more! I have a a great thermos I carry with me now and although it can be difficult sometimes (I wanted coffee yesterday but hadn’t brought my thermos so I didn’t get a coffee at all), it’s made me much more aware of how much plastic I had been using. If you’re not a coffee drinker, choose a different type of disposable plastic to cut out.
February: Eat less meat
If you’re already a vegetarian/vegan, you’ll need to find another challenge for this month. I, however, am not a vegetarian so my goal for February is to eat less meat. Goals are only goals if they’re specific and attainable, so my goal is: I will eat meat 5 times per week. I know this still seems like a lot still, but currently I’m eating meat about 10 times per week, so this is still a big improvement. Choose goals that force you to stretch, but can still reasonably be achieved.
March: Shampoo and soap bars
Another source of unnecessary plastic use is shampoo, conditioner and soap bottle, however there is also a great alternative: bars! There are a few benefits to using bars: 1. reduce your plastic consumption, 2. you’ll save money because they last so long, 3. you can bring them traveling without worrying about the liquid volume restrictions. I used to use Lush Shampoo Bars and they were wonderful. To be honest, I’m not sure why I stopped. I have this as my March goal because I think by March my current bottles of shampoo, condition and soap will be empty. Rather than buying another bottle, I’m going to buy bars.
April: No plastic cutlery
I think this one will be a hard one for me, but I’m up for the challenge! My plan is to keep a set of utensils (including a metal straw) in my backpack/purse so I always have it handy. When I grab some food or snacks during the day, I can say no to plastic cutlery. The reason I think it’ll be challenging is that I have to remember to take them out of my bag, clean them and put them back in. A small price to pay for a better planet though!
So those are my goals for the first third of the year. I’ll provide periodic update on my progress both here and on my Instagram, so be sure to follow along.Find more on Instagram