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Here’s to a Healthier 2009 for the Planet

January 3rd, 2009

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I set goals of things I want to get better at each year. I usually make financial, health and environmental goals each year (and usually my environmental and health ones are the same, what’s good for the planet is also good for me).

Last year my environmental & health goals were:
1. To eat more locally & sustainably.
2. Replace regular items with more environmentally friendly alternatives when they needed replaced.
3. Reduce the amount of toxic products used to cleaning our home.
4. Grow some of my own food.
5. Reduce the amount of garbage we produce.
6. Become more conscious of our water usage and find ways to use less in the home and in the garden.
7. Reduce the amount of electricity that we use and find ways to do without electric items.

I was able to make great steps on all of these goals. We started buying food from the local farmer’s at the farmer’s markets, we started drinking raw organic milk from a local farm, and we purchased our poultry from a local farm as well.
farmers-market1fruit-stand1
turkey-tractor
We also grew a good amount of our own food, which is as local and sustainable as it gets! We probably were able to grow about 10% of our own food this summer.
basket-of-tomatoespeppers
This year started replacing items in the house with environmentally friendly items as they needed replacing and we will continue to do that this year. We were able to reduce the amount of garbage we were producing to 2 bags a month (we’re hoping to get that down to 1 this year). We accomplished this by trying to buy items with less packaging and by recycling and composting much of our waste.
rain-barrels
We also built a rain barrel system to collect rain water for our outdoor water used. We were able to reduce our city water usage in the garden to almost 0 with this system. We also line dried our clothes this summer in our efforts to reduce our energy usage. We were also able to not use our air conditioner as much since it was a cool summer. Overall we were able to reduce our water and electric consumption by about 20% (our natural gas usage was down as well).
line-dried-laundry

This year my goals are very similar:

1. To eat more locally & sustainably, particularly learning to eat more seasonally.
2. Replace regular items with more environmentally friendly alternatives when they needed replacing, paying particular attention to personal care products.
3. Learn to make my own environmentally friendly cleaning products and to find even better green alternatives than the ones I’m using.
4. Grow even more of my own food, hopefully around 20%, use more heirloom plants in the gardens.
5. Reduce the amount of garbage we produce to 1 bag per month.
6. Reduce the amount of water and electricity that we use.

I’m already working on a few of these. I have been reading a few books about green beauty products and I am replacing our personal care items right away (more on that next week). I have been researching making my own cleaning products and I already have used a few (vinegar works even better then my non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner). We are replacing our toilet tissue with Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue, 2-Ply Sheets, 500-Sheet Rolls (Pack of 48)and we are trying to use more rags and towels instead of paper towels.
seventh-generation-toilet-tissueseventh-generation-toilet-paper-back
This year we’re also hoping to plant a few fruit trees and vines and to build a few more raised beds so we can grow even more of our own food. We’re also going to focus on using more heirloom vegetables and plants in the gardens.
raised-beds
We’re also going to keep trying to reduce the amount of garbage we produce by continuing to buy things with less packaging, buying second hand, or not buying things at all. We are going to switch to World’s Best Cat Litter because it’s compostable (you can compost the litter itself and the cat urine, all other goodies go in the garbage). This will not only reduce the amount of garbage we produce but it is a much more environmentally friendly product than the cat litter we currently use.

So what about you? Do you make resolutions or goals for the coming year? (notice the new poll today)

2 Comments to “Here’s to a Healthier 2009 for the Planet”
  1. Nourishing New Year’s Resolutions Carnival on January 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    [...] Chiot’s Run, Here’s to a Healthier 2009 for the Planet [...]

    Reply to Nourishing New Year’s Resolutions Carnival's comment

  2. deedee on January 24, 2009 at 12:20 am

    keep me updated on your successes. i’m always open for new ideas, especially around the house with all of the kids and dogs running around! i haven’t done as much research as you have, but have you tried any of shaklee’s cleaning products? they have one that you can use as windex, and it also cleans grease off of your stove and even your grill! it’s also great for getting dog slobber boogers off the walls! (better than magic eraser!) i’ve had my tiny bottle for over a year, and i still don’t need to buy more. email me sometime about your composting as i’m very interested in learning more about that.

    Reply to deedee's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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