As the sun sets on another year many will have thoughts of those New Year Resolutions. Will it be to get fitter or maybe lose a few pounds? You might want to save some money or bake more cakes. I have made all of these resolutions and more but this year I am taking a very different approach ... please find below my Green New Year Resolutions for 2017:
My Green New Year Resolutions for 2017
1. Do a Green Audit
I will blog more about this later but in a nutshell I want to have a proper look at every aspect of how my life affects our environment and takes steps to reduce my impact.
2. Continue Weekly Green Tips
I started this weekly blog series on March 25th with the plan to run it for a year. However I have more than 3 months worth of ideas left to write about it so plan to continue this through 2017. So do look out for the 7 green tips I publish every Friday.
3. Reduce single use plastic
In today's world it is nigh on impossible to avoid all plastic but some plastic is worse than others i.e. plastic I only use once and then throw away or recycle. And by recycle I should really say downcycle as most plastic does not get changed back into the same plastic but changed to another form of plastic which cannot then be recycled. So I need to reduce how much single use plastic I use:
> Start buying milk from our local farmer again who refills my glass bottles.
> Buy more food/cleaning products etc from the Bio Coop in Flers where I can get them from the bulk stores in paper bags or refillable bottles.
> Buy more shampoo bars and bars of soap (rather than shower gel).
> Buy reusable bags to use in shops that otherwise only provide plastic bags for loose veg etc.
> Reduce the amount of processed food I buy (see cooking below)
4. Stop using all products that contain microbeads
Research indicates that these are having a devastating effect on our marine environments. We don't need them and I will be investigating which products I use contain them and I will stop buying them.
5. Reduce consumption of Palm oil
Until I know that the palm oil I eat or use comes from truly sustainable sources (more of this is another blog) then I plan to:
> Stop buying all foods that contain palm oil
> Reduce how many toiletries and other products I use which contain palm oil
6. Eco-House Extension
We are planning a small extension to our house this year and plan to use as many eco/recycle/sustainable products as possible. We already have second hand furniture from my Mum's house.
We don't have heating other than a wood burner and are pretty good at using other electricity-eating appliances etc to a minimum and switching them off when not is use and so our greatest use of electricity is to heat water. When we do the extension we hope to install solar panels to heat our water. We had looked at electricity producing panels when we converted the gite from a barn but at €20,000 we simply could not afford the price tag. Apparently the price is coming down now though, so we will look into these too.
> In the past I have grown really good onions. Now here in Normandy it seems to be a bit hit and miss so I'm planing on 2017 being the year I grow fabulous onions!
> More fruit bushes - I pulled up some unproductive raspberry canes last year and covered the ground to with fabric to kill off remaining roots and weeds. I now need to plant up new fruit bushes. But what? I have some jostaberries and blackcurrants from cuttings but fancy something unusual. Any suggestions?
> Plant a vine in the polytunnel and transplant the one in a pot by the house to the other end of the polytunnel.
9. Food and Cooking
Whilst I already cook much of our food from scratch there are some things I do buy. The boys love a chocolate bar after sport, for example, so this year I plan to make:
> my own snickers, bounties and jaffa cakes etc
> my own cheese crackers
> more pasta
> more vegetable stock
> more bread - I tend to not be that adventurous on the types of bread I make so 2017 will see more rolls, focaccia, flatbreads etc etc.
> If I do buy bread get it from our local bakery (which is fabulous).
I also plan to increase amount of organic food I buy - so long as it is not imported from far away or overly wrapped in plastic.
10. Build up my Going Green Linky
I started this monthly linky on Dec 1st and had 13 posts link up. The next one will January 1st and I hope you'll all join in. I will be working hard over the coming months to increase the numbers taking part so helping us, together, to spread the green message to an ever wider audience.
There you have it, a mix of ideas to try and make my life even greener. Do let me know your green New Year's Resolutions and I may pinch some of your ideas too!