From: Beth Buczynski, Care2
Published January 2, 2014 07:30 AM

New Years resolutions worth making

We started 2013 with the best of intentions, fired up about lifestyle changes that were going to make our homes leaner and greener, but somewhere in the middle, life happened.

I still think eco-friendly New Year's resolutions are important, and I still make them every year. But this time, I'm going to skip the fluffy stuff like "compost more" and "grow your own food." You know all of that already. And depending on who you are and where you live, some of that may not be possible.

This year, let's get real. Let's think about what really matters, and let's not sweat the small stuff. So you can't eliminate paper towels or go car free. So what. Neither of those things is going to stop global warming or slow the extinction of honey bees. For every one of us that remembers to bring our reusable bags, there are 1,000 people who don't give a crap. While these "small changes" make us feel good (at least when we remember to do them) what we need is a massive overhaul of our entire society.

This year, let's resolve to participate in more meaningful behaviors. Things that will make us feel proud on our deathbed, not just in the grocery store check-out line. Behaviors that increase joy, relationships and access in our communities, rather than ostracizing those that can't participate.

And finally, let's not be content to just be "one of the aware." Yes, we realize that the system is broken. Yes, we read articles about issues and sign petitions. But this year, let’s do more. Let's be the organizers, planners and volunteers. Let's take a stand and spread the word. As the quote goes, let’s "be the change" not just talk about it.

7 New Year's Resolutions for an Eco-Friendlier 2014

1. Share — The gift economy, collaborative consumption, the sharing economy — regardless of what we call it, sharing is on the upswing in our world. After decades of me-me-me consumption, many of us have had enough. People all over the world are opening their hearts, minds, homes and garages and learning how to share again. In doing so, we're slowing resource consumption and helping our neighbors make a little cash. We're also remembering what it means to be a community of humans, invested in each other’s success and interested in each other's stories. Learn more about how to save money, time and resources through collaborative consumption.

2. Attend — When's the last time you went to the meetup of a local environmental organization? Or a city council meeting? Or the screening of an indie documentary? Between our busy lives and the time-suck of social media, we've exchanged conversation for poorly worded emails and thumb-upping someone else’s viral image. This year, let's go do stuff. Let's talk with people. Let's argue, debate and expand our minds. When we accept a Facebook event invitation, let's actually make an effort to go, instead of changing it to 'maybe' at the last minute so we can watch five hours of Netflix.

Goals image via Shutterstock.

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