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My Resolutions for 2012

Now, we’ve come to the portion of the New Year when we all lay our cards on the table and declare our intentions for personal improvements in the coming year. While some resolvers are content to toss out some vague generalities of “exercise more” or “eat better” I want to make a four concrete declarations of specific steps I will take to better myself and my environment in the coming year.

  1. Add no debt to my credit card. This blog is about our unhealthy habits of consumption and we all know that America’s hunger has not grown cash-in-hand. We, as a nation (both publicly and in our own homes) have financed a gluttony that, unchecked, will lead to our eventual collapse. So for me and my family, barring some unforeseen catastrophe, my resolution is to end 2012 with a “previous balance” of $0.00. This may mean planning for vacations, foregoing unnecessary purchases or (gasp!) sticking to a budget, but a good regimen of fiscal “diet and exercise” should get me to my goal.
  2. Use more transit, instead. When I first considered this resolution I realized that one of the ways I could fulfill the promise would be to take more unneeded trips on the bus and then declare with smug satisfaction that I had kept my resolution to “use more.” But “more” is not the point of this exercise, we’re shooting for a smaller impact on the world. By adding the word “instead,” I promise to replace at least one trip each week, that I would otherwise have taken in my car, with public transportation. This could be a commute to the office or (more challenging) a trip to the grocery store.
  3. Buy locally. Here in Omaha, we have seen farmers markets sprout-up throughout the city over the last few years. In an effort to reduce the spread of my footprint, I plan to get more of my fruits, veggies and market items from local growers and producers who market their product in an environment of accountability: face-to-face.
  4. Take action in my community. Decisions are made by those who show up, and this year, I plan to be more present in my community. I am going to show up at the polls. I will show up at neighborhood association meetings. When there is an open meeting for a civic board that approves actions that affect our community, I’m really going to try to be there. We tend to get the government we demand, and our insistence must extend beyond sending an e-mail to an elected official or writing the occasional letter-to-the-editor. Our actions must be public, and this year I plan to be a visible part of the change I want to see in the world.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. Let’s make 2012 a monumental year for making our lives and our environment more pleasant and sustainable. If you want to publicly declare your resolutions for 2012, leave them in the comments below. We always appreciate your feedback. Best of luck to us all.

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Comments (2)

  1. Cat Sunday - 01 / 01 / 2012
    #1 and #3 are very important to me. I commit to those. Thanks for posting! Well written... we all need to consider each point seriously.
  2. G. Alicia Monday - 02 / 01 / 2012
    I pledge to, when at the farmers market, grocery store, or other notable place of consumption, buy only what is needed. The words "discount" and "sale" often provoke us to make unnecessary purchases in the name of a deal. In the end, however, we are mere pawns in the game of consumer psychology. So. Consideration...careful deliberation...thoughtful mental weighing of options...before placing an item in my cart. This is my resolution, and I invite others to do the same!

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