It might be clichè, but I have been thinking about some goals for myself for 2009 that I can actually accomplish. I realized that 5 of my top 10 goals had to do with developing my awareness of the environment and local community, educating myself and making some small changes that hopefully have some positive environmental impact. I thought I would share these goals with you and please share yours by commenting at the end of the article!
1) My first goal for 2009 is to attend The Bedford Environmental Summit and spend an intensive day learning about the energy and environment issues we face locally. . I’m inspired by the idea of so many groups and caring individuals coming together to support this summit on January 31st plus I just found out that Chevy Chase is doing the closing comments. Education, community building and fun in the same day!
2) My second goal is to get to know the natural areas near me. An old friend of mine once told me that every day he tried to open his eyes in a new way. He would ask his children on their drive to school, “what do you notice that you’ve never noticed before?” Sometimes it was the color of the sky, sometimes an eagle, sometimes a broken bottle, sometimes new paint on the road. When they got older he made it a point to take them to a new wild area every weekend, even if only for a few minutes. He often learned of places by talking with older residents of his town. I hope I meet a few people who can guide me like this, but if not, luckily the Lewisboro Land Trust leads walks in area nature preserves and has put out a little book called Walking Wild Lewisboro. Here is a link to Westchester parks. Maybe I’ll see an eagle. Hopefully I’ll learn something about where I live, which I think is important to deepening my commitment to caring for the earth.
3) I’m a little bit ashamed to say that I still often forget my canvas bags when shopping. I’m committing now, publicly, to putting a bag of bags in my car and making sure to remember them! Take a look to see what the city of Austin has done to reduce plastic bag use and their statement on the moral obligation to reduce the ‘bag’ habit: Bag the Bags Leave comments to let me know how you have taught yourself to remember your bags.
4) In the same vein, I’m committing to no more disposable coffee cups! Did you ever wonder how many cups and lids our local coffee shops shell out each week? One of my favorite bloggers, Colin Beavin aka No Impact Man directed me to this little slide show on coffee cup waste recently. There is a lot of discussion on the best travel mugs and such, but I think my favorite idea is to simply bring my own mug. My mother has done this for years because she could taste the wax and styrofoam residues from disposable cups, and doesn’t like the plastic on most travel mugs. I guess I’m getting more like her…
5) My fifth goal is to just ask. This year I plan on asking a lot of questions, and not letting fear stop me from asking. I might ask some questions I should have known the answer to. I might ask why changes can’t be made in the town. I might ask people for assistance (something I generally don’t like to do). I will definitely be asking why we don’t have safe bike routes to schools in Katonah-Lewisboro districts. I think this is my year of learning what’s really around me instead of taking things for granted and it’s going to take a lot of inquisitive learning to do this!
Happy New Year, I hope it’s a great one!