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Looking Back at 2009

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but the week that I have off between Christmas and New Year’s is a great time to de-stress from the holidays and reboot my normal life. With that in mind, I’m going to take stock of the efforts I’ve made to live more sustainably this year and think of things I might want to focus on next year. It’s a lot of stuff, so I’ll break it out over a couple posts. First up: this year’s progress.

  • CSA –  I loved my summer farm share, but I wasn’t at all prepared for the winter one. Hopefully I can do the same one next year, but set up some sort of basement storage beforehand for all the root vegetables.
  • Ceiling fans – They were a godsend in the summer. This winter we’re only using the one in the living room, since I seem to feel a breeze in the bedroom. There’s not supposed to be a noticeable breeze when it’s going clockwise, but maybe the extra exposed skin in the bedroom makes the difference.
  • Composting at Whole Foods – This has been a lifesaver while our worms bin is infested with flies.
  • Recycled toilet paper – If we see the Marcal brand that Alli recommended we’ll try it, but otherwise, we’re perfectly happy with Green Forest.
  • Avoiding takeout – It comes and goes in cycles. We still have to get into the habit of making our own food.
  • Cat litter – We’re really happy with our corn/pine mix.
  • Water testing – I’m happy to know now that we don’t need to filter our water.
  • Taking the stairs – Once I got into the habit, it was easy to keep up.
  • Dishcloths – These have been surprisingly great. The ones we chose with a special scrubbing side are getting a little ragged, so in the future I’ll get something simpler. But I’d never go back to sponges.
  • Caulk – It’s noticeably less drafty, although in a couple places the cracks seem to have widened as the house settled. We still need to finish the kitchen and office.
  • Meal prep – The flipside of takeout. It comes and goes in cycles, depending on how busy we are. We need to make this second nature.
  • Handkerchiefs – I’ve gotten used to them. I still keep a box of tissues for when I’m sick, but for everyday use, hankies work great. Jason’s even started carrying one around, too.
  • Cat tree – Oliver’s been much calmer since we got this.
  • Honeycomb shades – They’re great on the living room windows. The ones we got for the dining room don’t fit so well, though. We may have to end up getting made-to-measure shades, which will be more expensive. Still thinking about it…
  • IUD – My IUD hasn’t been any trouble at all, and I still haven’t had my period since I got it six months ago.
  • Boston Organics – I’d forgotten how great it is to always have fresh fruit around.
  • Microfiber cloths – They work great and we use far fewer paper towels now. We still need to store them better; they’re taking over our linen closet.
  • No-VOC paint – The living room and dining room are finished, but now I want to paint the bedroom, too. It never ends….
  • Boiler maintenance – We replaced some of the valves, un-leveled the radiators, and are monitoring the water levels. We still have to clean or replace a couple more valves, but the noisiest are done.
  • Worm composting – We started one worm bin and moved the worms over to a new one after a couple months. But we’re having fly problems right now and aren’t feeding the worms again until the flies go away.
  • Laptop battery life – I’m keeping my laptop on a hardcover book, I changed the energy saving settings, and I turn off unused applications, but I’m not so good at keeping the charge somewhere in the middle. I’m hoping setting up some kind of charging station/desk/shelf thing will help (and be more convenient).
  • Squeegee – This has kept our shower looking great, mostly thanks to Jason.
  • Humane cat food – This was a bust. My cat liked the food but was prescribed special food by his vet because of health problems.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the progress we’ve made, and I think the blog has encouraged me to do more than I normally would.  I’m looking forward to next year.


Pingback from Looking Ahead to 2010 « Pragmatic Environmentalism
Time January 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm

[…] new year's resolutions, the year in review In my last post I considered the changes I made in 2009; now it’s time to think about the things I want to do in 2010. This is more brainstorming […]

Pingback from Pragmatic Environmentalism
Time January 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

[…] One year ago: Looking back at 2009 […]

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