New Year Greenolutions

This post is for the January Green Moms Carnival hosted by the ever so lovely Katy Farber of Non-Toxic Kids

Thank you for hosting !!

In recent past I have made certain green strides in my business, in my sustainability practices personally and professionally. However a recent home purchase and move has had me regress a bit in the way I am doing things greenly.

My New Year Greenolutions fall into these categories:

This Old Home
seasonal draperies, especially some that are more insulating in the winter
closing off rooms not in use
sump pump 101 and basement water concerns/leakage
reduce water usage ( less showers/full laundry loads)
reduce electricity usage – I am pretty good w/ this already
move washer and dryer to the basement ( i can’t stand the look or the sounds of it in my kitchen)
A Brand New Garden
I have no garden here – the potential is limitless and quite exciting
a good look at my budget will determine what I do here
can i grow seeds ? I’ve never done that before – how? where?
container gardening may be a good start to observe how things grow with the light i have
composting
collecting rain water
regrading – errr basement leakage
turning small lawn and parkway into edibles
Car Usage
I am doing at least one long distance commute a month now. ( although in january I have 3 – yikes!)
This means more gasoline spent – more mileage on my car. I have a compact car with great gas mileage
PLUS driving about town is more necessary here than where I used to live
I am mindful about driving in clusters or trips w/ multiple purposes.
Once I feel my hands can manage a bike I’d like to implement more biking – getting a bike again is a detail too
Plastics Mission

I’d like to continue to eliminate more plastic. I think the area that needs the most work is food stuff. Foods that come in plastic that I have yet to part with. Or found alternative sourcing for.
Meeting Like Minded People

I am exploring who I’d like to hang around with here and where I’d possibly like to volunteer my time. One idea is the local farmers market or surrounding CSA’s. I am investigating the artists community here as well. I am also not making any participation decisions quickly. After years and years of volunteering I’d like to make sure I use my time in a way that moves me forward personally but also has good business connections.
Share My Thoughts
I am ever so grateful to have a platform here to share my thoughts. Check back from time to time and see how I am doing and don’t forget to comment!  Let’s share the journey and have a great green year together!
A Word On Consumerism
I notice myself recently wanting. Wanting things. Mostly wanting things for my new home. It might be curtains, a chair here or a table there. Part of it is the appearance of my home and wanting to make an impression.  I adore naked windows, but my neighbors having access to me naked….well that doesn’t seem respectful – even if they do think I am a hippie!!  As hard as I tried to find used treatments – none appealed to the decor part of me. I  used what I had in some instances and then bought new and admit that the sheers I found please me.  I somehow feel guilty.  I haven’t figured this out for me just yet. Except to say that my home is where I work and so having it be lovely is very important to me. I find myself asking the do I want or do I need this item question ALOT.  I haven’t faced that pull to shop for sometime. This year for the holidays my budget was nill. In gifting I resourced my local thrift shops and found it exhilarating when I found something terrific and useful as a gift. The costs savings was absolutely amazing.  I’d like to get to know more of the second hand shops around here. Is shopping “used” still consumerism? 

The above image ( taken by me this summer  ) has a story.  My new yard was completely overgrown. There was potential for a little path next to the oak tree.  As I was wacking away at the weeds I discovered this path stone! If ever there was a sign confirming and affirming my decision to buy this home – this was it!!  I can not tell you how meaningful this is for me.

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11 Responses to New Year Greenolutions

  1. Karen J says:

    What a perfect “My Place” marker! and what a delightful message from the Cosmos! :)

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    why thank you Karen J – I hope you had a lovely holiday

  3. The perfect blog i was searching for .Thanks for your blog.

  4. Anna says:

    I love the marker as well as those little hints that affirm life choices. I don’t think consumerism is a bad thing because you are trying to make your home your own. Enjoy your new home and all that it gives you.

  5. Thanks a lot i enjoy reading your post good going.

  6. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Always love having you here anna – thanks so much for the best wishes for my home

  7. Karen,Very thought provoking post. First, I don’t think buying used is consumerism because really, consumerism is all about consuming more so that more is produced. When you are buying used, the manufacturer is not informed – therefore there is no additional output to replace what you bought. Instead, you are re-using something (one of the 4 Rs), prolonging its useful life, and avoiding/deferring landfill. I say buy used to your heart’s content! I recently had to buy a gift for an old friend who is not only old (80) but quite wealthy. What to buy? I found the PERFECT gift at a consignment shop – a funky evening purse made of cigar boxes. (She smokes Cubans). She loves it, it was thrifty, and just perfect. And as for that stone…are you serious? That is a sign, if I ever saw one!

  8. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank You Lynn – I bet your friend loved that gift!!!  Re: the marker – so often signs are all around us and we miss them  — That one however was hard not to notice!

  9. Amber says:

    I think that buying used, especially in moderation, is not consumerism. You’re not consuming resources, at least not new ones. And you’re deliberating stepping out of the mass production and consumption model.And I’m working on my garden this year, too. I’ve had a garden for years, but I’ve never really been very deliberate about it, so I end up with too much lettuce and nothing else. This year I’d like to change that.

  10. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Amber — thanks for your comments – I wish I could step out of the mass production mass consumption model permanently.I know what you mean re: gardening and too much lettuce – I did that one year, I couldn’t give it away!! Everyone that summer had too much! I’d like to think I could eat all my vegetables from my very own garden, I’ve never been successful enough to do that. Laughingly if our eating healthy counted on homegrown – forget it! I want to be careful now that it’s just me to not over produce either. I have alot to learn still

  11. Hello 2009!,, Happy new year to all of u..My problem is that every time i make a new year resolution, try to stick to it, and eventually fail, I don’t want an another year like that, please can anyone help?

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