by Lindsay Vidrine
Every year, with the tick of a clock, we ring in a new calendar year signifying a fresh start and clean slate for our lives. For many, this New Year comes with strings attached in the form of resolutions – some realistic, some lofty.
This year, I’m choosing to step up the focus on sustainability in my life in several tangible ways. My mother always told me to write down my goals to help hold myself accountable and stay the course, so here it goes:
Resolution #1: A renewed focus on what my family eats.
This includes using my new Made In Oklahoma cookbook Tastefully Oklahoma to come up with delectable recipes stuffed with locally-grown ingredients.
I will also buy food from the Oklahoma Food Coop to make recipes from Clean Eating magazine which focuses on “consuming food in its most natural state.” Each recipe includes nutrition information to help create well-balanced meals while also helping to cut out preservatives and additives that seem to have become a staple on grocery store shelves.
My last tactic for this resolution is to make my own baby food for our four-month-old son. It’s amazing how setting aside just a few hours one Sunday afternoon can provide safe, chemical-free food for weeks at a time. I plan to become a fruit and veggie steaming, puree master to help stave-off food allergies and create a nutritious palate for our little man.
Resolution #2: Ditch plastic bags once and for all.
I never seem to have my canvas bags with me when I hit the check out line and by the time I get back home, I’m too focused on other things to remember to stick them in the car. This will soon change thanks to a set of Envirosax renewable shopping bags. These adorable bags roll up to the size of a cell phone and are an easy and inexpensive way to make sure a reusable bag is always on hand.
Resolution #3: Use less stuff.
Have you watched the video The Story of Stuff? It’s well worth the 20 minutes of viewing time and will put into perspective how most of the stuff we “need” typically ends up in the landfill in 6 months or less. So before I make a purchase, I’m resolving to stop and take a hard look at what I’m buying.
Resolution #4: Don’t let baby gear take over my house.
This is closely related to resolution #3, but the world of baby toys and products is never-ending. Parents and children are constantly bombarded with new gadgets to make life easier. The catch is, many of these products are only used for a brief period of time (especially for infants) and before you know it your child has outgrown it and baby gear is taking over your house. So, I’m pledging to take preventative measures before we get to that stage (and I have a total panic attack). This is going to be tricky – especially when it comes to filtering through all the things people give as gifts that have a short life-span – but I’m up to the challenge.
What are your goals for 2009? If you think about it, I’m sure there are ways to incorporate sustainable practices in some form or fashion. Don’t forget, small changes add up to make a big difference, so keep that in mind when things seem to get overwhelming.