The upcoming Monday’s supposed to the the statistically most depressing day of the year — partly due to already-failing New Year’s resolutions. Well, they say keeping resolutions can be easier if you do them with a group and tell other people about them — which I think explains why, at least so far, my green New Year’s resolutions are still going strong.
If you remember, I resolved to take the No Impact Experiment during the first full week of 2011 — a challenge that I hoped would help me set a green course for the rest of the year. I blogged about the challenges all last week — and this week, got an email from the No Impact Experiment organizers asking me to share my “No Impact Fails.” After all, the goal of the challenge was to see if going green could bring greater happiness — and going green isn’t always easy. Were there eco-attempts I made that I never wanted to try again?
Honestly, it’s a bit early to tell for me. The two changes I made that I have the most concerns about are food related — reducing trash (Day 2) by composting with the help of a friend’s compost bin, and eating more greenly (Day 4) by shopping at the farmers market — with a transportation (Day 3) related twist. Basically, both the composter and the farmers market are a mile or more away from me — and both require carrying relatively heavy loads with me. I don’t think driving to the composter or farmers market is a green solution — which makes me wonder if the longish heavy walks will start to grate on my nerves over the long term.
The first week was fine — My feet were buoyed by the novelty of my new green challenges — so the real test is the coming weeks. If I start resenting the walks, I’ll look for a new solution — whether in the form of a folding bike, an organic produce delivery service, or rogue composting.
But those are really the only potential “No Impact Fails” I can see (and they may not even end up being fails, necessarily). Of course, perhaps the fact that I decided I was already a green angel when it comes to energy-efficiency (Day 5) and water conservation (Day 6) may have something to do with my sanguine outlook. But really, my other green changes have improved my life a bit.
For example, I reduced my consumption (Day 1) and bought nothing but food last week — and enjoyed the financial savings plus the time freed up from shopping. I’m not much of an impulse buyer to begin with — I’m slightly anal about researching the green aspects of items I need and blogging about them before shelling out the money — but the tip to write down what I plan to buy in the coming week is a good habit I plan to adopt permanently. This way, I can make sure I’m really buying things I want and need instead of making frivolous purchases I’ll later regret.
And my decision to drive less (Day 3) by cutting back on trips to Santa Monica is already saving me time and reducing my stress level — while encouraging me to explore my still-newish West Hollywood neighborhood more.
I even feel a bit ahead of the game, because my first day of giving back (Day 7) as a volunteer for the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition will be on Monday — the MLK Day of Action. Instead of scrambling last minute to find and make time for a volunteer opportunity, I simply have readymade plans to volunteer on Monday. And I have a feeling that, at least for me, Jan. 17 won’t be the most depressing day of the year.
Want to try the No Impact Experiment yourself? Get happy by signing up now to find out when the next experiment is happening. In the meantime, how are your green New Year’s resolutions going?