New Years Revolutions

More water.  Less gluten.

More walking.  Less driving.

More blogging.  Less procrastinating.

More hiking. More dancing.

My friend Trayc calls them revolutions, instead of resolutions, which I really like.  Like most folks, I always begin the year with at least one big goal.  Last year I vowed to use less disposable plastic, and that shifted everything about the way I interact with the world of commerce.  It became a one woman revolution…much more than a resolution.  I wound up meeting many new cool people, learning lots of new things, having lots of frank discussions about product packaging with all sorts of vendors and getting some to change to greener packaging.  I started purchasing alternative products from great local vendors who are not using plastic in their packaging.  I stopped buying and using a lot of things altogether, because I didn’t want the disposable plastic it comes in, and realized that I can actually get by with a lot less “stuff” overall.  My carbon footprint is a little lighter, and I now look at the world in a different way.

I can also still do better.  Check out this photo:

These are the plastic caps I collected over the course of the last 12 months.  Fourteen and a half ounces (I weighed them)…nearly a pound of plastic caps, indicative of all the plastic bottles that continue to come through this house.  Some were grandfathered in (plastic containers that were in the house before I moved in with Stan), some were impossible not to get (how do you get a prescription medicine without a plastic container?), some were ongoing conundrums yet to be solved (deodorant, dental floss), some were plastic caps I collected while walking on the beach (tiny penance for the rest).  They cannot be recycled in our recycling bin because they are not #1 or #2 plastic, but I can drive them to the local recycling collection center and drop them off where they say they will be recycled (hmmm…).  It was an interesting exercise to see how much plastic managed to sneak in, despite all my good intentions.  But I bet I cut it down by 75% of what used to come into this house and office.

So now it’s January 2012 and I’m shopping for this year’s revolution.  It hasn’t come to me yet, which is partly why I’m writing my New Year’s blog on January 9th.  But I’m looking for something transformative, from which I can learn and live in a more positive, healthy way.  All the usual suspects have been considered:  I should meditate, lose weight, etc., etc.  But the white flash of realization hasn’t hit me, so until then I’ll keep searching for inspiration.  The word “fun” keeps coming up for me.  I’ve often advised people that we’re supposed to be having fun in this lifetime, and that each day we should simply think of the most fun thing we could possibly do, and do it, and use that as a mandate for our day-to-day living, which in turn would shape our entire lives.  For me, the next New Year’s Revolution will certainly have a fun quotient, I’m sure.

What’s your revolution?

Happy New Year.  May your year be filled with positivity and goodness and healthy living and joy.

Documentary editor with a heart of gold. Seasoned PBS documentary editor, writer, producer and story consultant, specializing in social issue films with a bent towards changing the world.

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