NEVER TOO EARLY FOR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER

I have never really enjoyed New Years (mostly because I like to drink responsibly, dance in my jammies, and go to bed early. I know, I know; youth is wasted on me).

As I grow older, however, I have come to value creating the space for celebration more and more. And I've always loved Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Years, in part because it is as much about ecological renewal as it is about personal invigoration. That, and I like getting to celebrate New Years twice a year.

I'm a big believer that every day is an opportunity to rewrite the script, to shake things up. You could wait until New Years to make resolutions or you could get dreaming and doing this very moment.

Below, I'm sharing a list for five practices that I want to adopt this day to feel stronger in my self and a better steward to this earth. What's on your list?

LEARN HOW TO COOK SOMETHING NEW

Cooking is one of the most accessible (and delicious) ways to grow a spirit of self-sufficiency. Think about the packaged products--particularly those that are individually wrapped-- that you consume most in your life, like granola, chocolate, and pasta. By cooking your own meals, you cut down on waste and get to control the taste. I'm excited to learn how to make my own chocolate this fall. It's a little thing, sure, but I've always found that starting simple helps me tackle much bigger projects moving forward.

MAKE MY OWN TOOTHPASTE

Lauren of Trash is for Tossers recently shared a great recipe for toothpaste with Loam. For me, making my own toothpaste isn't as much about reducing waste as it is about trying to be more mindful about my patterns of consumption. Challenging the mainstream culture of disposable goods begins in our own homes. Find one thing you regularly dispose of (toothbrushes, facial wipes, laundry detergent) and determine you can instead D.I.Y. what you buy--and throw out--the most.

FOLD A REUSABLE TOTE AND PACK A MULTI-USE MUG INTO BOTH MY WORK BAG AND BACKPACK

This one is so simple. We can't always anticipate when and where we're going to need our reusable totes/mug. So take out the planning and just pack these essentials into your daily bag/back of your bike/car trunk now.

BOOK WITH TRIP ZERO

Airplane travel is a crazy source of carbon pollution. Purchasing carbon offsets is a tricky calculation that deserves an entire essay. Imperfect a solution as it is, however, I still think it is better than nothing. And because I know I won't stop traveling by airplane anytime soon, I'm grateful to Trip Zero for trying to make travel lighter on the earth.

CREATE A CUP CLUB AT MY LOCAL CAFE

Inspired by Cuppow, I'm checking out my local cafe this afternoon to ask about implementing a Cup Club. Such a genius idea and I'd love to see change like this in my community.