Living

Published on December 31st, 2008 | by Justin Van Kleeck

9

Your New Year’s Green Year Resolution

Almost everyone loves to make a New Year’s resolution in those heady, sugar-infused, belt-stressing days after Christmas. Yes, New Year’s resolutions are popular and fun to make…though they are harder to keep for sure.

Luckily no one is keeping tabs…unless you sign an oath in blood or something like that.

Some people make a resolution to quit smoking. Some to lose weight. Some to exercise more. Some to eat less. Some to find a new partner. Some to get a better job. Some to make more money. Some to conquer the world.

Ah, yes, the world. Now that we are in the season of New Year’s resolutions, and since you still have some planning time to make yours a really good one, why not think a bit about the state of the Earth?

Is there a resolution you can make that will help make the world a better, greener place? Can you do your part, with a firm intention and strong-hearted resolution, to help preserve the environment?

Perhaps you might resolve to carpool with colleagues to work. Or maybe you can resolve to take reusable bags when you go shopping. Why not resolve to buy all organic and natural products? Or why not commit to taking your own homemade lunch to work everyday?

Think about it just a little. Remember what Gandhi said, challenging all future generations: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

So, what Green Year Resolution are you willing to make?

And are you brave enough to keep it, to be the change so that we all can see it in this lovely world?

Please, friends, share your Green Year Resolutions! Or suggest resolutions for others (e.g., President-elect Obama)!

Image credit: Sujit Kumar at Wikimedia Commons.



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About the Author

I am an ethical vegan (since 1999), a writer, an educator, an activist, an organizer, and a vegan-of-all-trades. I have a PhD in English but then left academia to work on social change. I focus on veganism, animal rights, local foods, farming practices, environmentalism, and sustainability--starting from the position that humans are just one part of the biosphere, not the center of it.



  • http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php Steven Earl Salmony

    Three cheers and Happy New Years to scientists in 2009 who will not be silenced by the chance at great wealth, power, privileges and status that are sure to be derived from saying loudly and clearly only what is politically convenient and economically expedient.

    Why not lay blame for the current economic catastrophe and the looming environmental calamity where it belongs: at the feet of the economic powerbrokers who organize and manage a colossal pyramid scheme, a modern representation of the ancient Tower of Babel? Is the pernicious denial of anthropogenic global warming and the human-driven destabilization of Earth’s climate not primarily for the purpose of preserving the selfish material interests of a few wealthy and powerful people, and their minions?

    Let’s look a bit more closely at the scandulous ‘business’ of Bernie Madoff, confidence games, Ponzi schemes and other financial vehicles for funneling, accumulating and concentrating billions of dollars in unearned wealth into the hands of a tiny minority of people who comprise the top of the global economy.

    There are many minions of the wealthy and their bought-and-paid-for politicians who “spread the word” of these schemes. Con men operate pyramid schemes. They assure “plausible deniability” and “legal cover” for all that is said and done.

    Only a telling of the truth about what they are doing is forbidden. That is the one and only thing that is verboten. Do not break their vow of silence by telling what is true about the perpetration of the schemes {ie, the only games in town, so they say}, because the “houses of cards” out of which a modern Tower of Babel is constructed immediately is exposed as fraudulent and patently unsustainable. These pyramidal constructions can withstand any force except that which is presented by speaking out loudly and clearly about what is happening in these enterprises. As soon as light of what is true was shed on Bernie’s scheme, the house of cards he had constructed fell.

    Bernard Madoff may be the first of my “Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation’s” kingpins to find that his “house of cards” has collapsed; but I dare say, Bernie will not be the last. There are other kingpins and many too many minions ready, willing and able to play along in what looks like the greatest self-enrichment scam in human history.

    Why not say that greed is not good and mean it? Why not assign value to personal honesty, accountability and transparency?

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

  • http://www.yahoo.com Bobby B.

    My 2009 New Year’s Resolution will not be a “Green Year Resolution.” My resolution is to identify and to reduce the number of distractions that are causing my spiritual walk to stagnate. Life is busy. The necessity of attending to family, work, friends, and community leaves little enough time to cultivate one’s relationship with the Creator. Although Christians are only required to have the faith of a mustard seed, once called we should continue to learn and grow in faith. I need to get back to growing; back to studying The Bible; back to reading stories by Christian authors such as McDonald, Lewis, and Tolkien; and even back to reading some classic literature just for enjoyment.

    The first distraction that I have identified is my presence here at “sustainablog.” Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my unofficial role as the blog’s chief antagonist for some time, I believe that now is the time to minimize my involvement. My goal has always been to challenge others to think critically about the claims being made by the most ardent apocalyptic apologists for environmentalism (like Steven above). I have also branched into discussions of the politics entwined in all “green” issues, since politics has attached itself to every aspect of life. It has been a most enjoyable experience, but since such discussions are temporal exercises with no possibility of reaching any solid conclusions, droning on and on has become a bit pointless and too time consuming.

    I will check in occasionally and may even post something to stir the old pot. Until then, I wish you all the best. – Bobby B.

  • http://www.repreneur.typepad.com Kyle R.E.preneur

    Resolution #1: Help grow the solar development business that is my FTE into a national leader in solar power development.

    Resolution #2: In preparation for 2010, the year of the commercial PHEV/EV, start an organization to evangelize and educate the public about EV’s.

    Initial target markets include evangelicals through public education and test drive events at Southern California large churches.

    Resolution #3: Join CrossFit and get in the best shape of my life.

  • http://greenoptions.com/author/jsvk13 Justin Van Kleeck

    Good for you, Bobby. I know what you mean about distractions from spiritual growth. Have a wonderful 2009, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  • http://greenpoma.com suzanne ellinwood

    As a wife and mother, my greengoals for 2009 are to green our bagged lunches with Sigg and waxed paper, to walk more and drive less and to never, ever accept anothe plastic bag, even if it means juggling groceries out to the car.

    As the owner of a start-up e-commerce website, my greengoals for 2009 are to green our supply chain, to expand our green product line and to consistently blog about our efforts.

  • http://superviva.com/people/susiew Susie

    My resolution – and I have few because I find them to be ephemeral and not that effective – is to let cars keep driving instead of stepping into the crosswalk.

    I’m willing to give up a few seconds of my time to avoid making cars stop then start again for my convenience. That’ll add up over time eh? :)

  • http://www.draimanforcouncil.org YJ Draiman for council

    Confronting the Challenges of Tomorrow
    While Cherishing Today

    Our world today confronts current economic hardship, which represent both a challenge and an opportunity for us to assert our ability to work together for the good of all. Efforts to combat abuse and waste have fallen short. Many countries around the world suffer from the shortage of resources such as water and energy, which threatens their stability and whose capacity and resources disable them from containing the panic, thus necessitating, in such a situation, assistance for those countries in dealing with the crisis. Our world also confronts numerous environmental challenges such as limited and declining natural resources, climate change, drought and desertification, all of which require the redoubling of worldwide efforts to address them in order to safeguard the right of future generations to a secure life. The scarcity of water and energy threatens the eruption of conflicts in different parts of the world, and the nations of the world are therefore called upon to maximize the benefit from, and the proper management of, available water and energy resources while respecting and protecting the acquired rights of nations to utilize and further develop those resources.
    We must work together as a cohesive force to expedite development of natural resources, eliminate the abuse of the environment. Utilize today’s technology to expand the desalinization of water increase and expedite the development of Alternative energy with an environmental balance.
    We must learn to appreciate what we have today while protecting and preserving our natural resources for our sake and for future.
    YJ Draiman for council

  • http://renewableenergy2.com YJ Draiman for council, Northridge, CA

    Today’s economic crisis is greater peril than World War II
    Today we are losing the economic war to foreign nations, hungry people, increased unemployment, housing crisis, Trillions in deficits, various Cities and States on a verge of Bankruptcy.
    Worse we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Our education system is faltering. Values and morality are disintegrating.
    This is a bigger war than World War II.
    How do we overcome these crises? It is imperative we reverse the trend.
    We must work together to overcome the current crises.
    We have to be creative and resourceful.
    We have to drastically reduce our fossil fuel consumption
    Anyone has a logical and profound answer, I would like to hear.
    I have a feeling it is going to get worse, before it gets better.

    YJ Draiman, Northridge, CA
    PS
    “It is, regrettably, no exaggeration to say that we are living in an era of irrationality, deception, confusion, anger, and unfocused fear — an ominous combination, with few precedents. There has never been a time when it was so important to have a voice of sanity, insight, and understanding of what is happening in the world.”
    The US economy has disintegrated, and with it into the abyss plummet the blueprints of neoliberal economists, whose theories about “the free market” have now gone the way of medieval alchemy.
    We need honest government with integrity.
    “Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”

    Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.
    As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.

    Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job.

    Action speaks louder than words.

  • http://renewableenergy2.com YJ Draiman for mayor, Northridge, CA

    A polluted society

    The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

    We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

    We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;

    We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

    We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

    We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

    We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

    We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

    We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.

    We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

    We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

    We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

    We write more, but learn less.

    We plan more, but accomplish less.

    We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

    We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

    These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.

    These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

    These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

    These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

    It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just ignore it.

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