This is the time of year that lots of articles and blog posts pop up on social media about New Year’s Resolutions. I adore these! They are so full of hope and inspiration. I am bursting with my own ideas for 2015 and what I want to achieve (blog post to follow soon). Before I can proceed though, it’s time to review my own resolutions from last year and assess whether I’m actually any good at keeping them!
Outlined in bold are extracts from my blog from this time last year, and below is my account of how I actually got on – eeek! Here goes…
1. Throughout January, I am going to cut down on the amount of laundry I do. I am guilty of tossing anything that has been worn or used into the washing machine without first considering whether it is actually dirty. Plus (I’m whispering this) I don’t always fill the drum to its maximum capacity. This means that for my family of four I often run the washing machine twice a day.
I will give myself a ‘washing allowance’ of one load per day and do everything I can to put clean clothes back in the wardrobe as well as use other household items, e.g. towels, for longer. I hope that this will prevent me wasting electricity and stop excessive amounts of washing powder going into the environment. Also, I think it is enough time to retrain myself on how I think about the laundry – the hope being that I can carry any good habits I acquire through the year.
Okay….I’m awarding myself high points for effort on this resolution but…I failed to hit my target of one wash per day in January. Perturbed, I kept on trying until June when I finally managed it! I ploughed on for a few months after that until (unrelated to my efforts) something went wrong with the washing machine, and it stopped draining properly. Everything came out smelling disgusting and we had to keep rewashing things. It was all very stressful for me after having spent months of keeping the washing to a minimum! We ended up replacing the washing machine, and I gave up counting the loads I was doing. I am still not great at wearing things more than once before I wash them. Room for improvement!
Overall score: 6/10
2. I am not going to buy any new clothes for myself for the whole of 2014. I have blogged about this here. In summary, I reckon I have enough in my wardrobe to see me through the year, and if I feel I need an item of clothing, I will either try to buy it second hand or borrow it.
The aim of this goal is to prevent me contributing to the environmental impact of the production, distribution and disposal of clothes; to ensure that I am not purchasing clothes made by employees working in unsatisfactory conditions; and to avoid supporting companies who use Workfare.
This went well – I have documented how I got on in this post. It has made me challenge my clothing consumption significantly and I will build on my achievements in 2015.
Overall score: 9/10
3. For lent this year, I will be giving up shopping in supermarkets. I am hoping to revive Supermarket-Free Me and blog about my experience. I am always sceptical of committing to projects too far in advance, with my absolute priority being to look after my young children, but let’s think positive and say I’ll be blogging as much as I can over Lent and tweeting about it too. If you’d like to join me then please do read through my archives (the first post is here) and find out why this might be a good thing to do! The more of us doing it, the more fun this could be…
This counts as another success, in that I did give up supermarkets for Lent. My blogging slowed part of the way through when I caught a nasty cold, but I picked up my writing after a fortnight and continued to log my progress. I found this challenge tougher than I’d expected – you can read my concluding post to find out what my highs and lows were.
If you fancy joining me in 2015 then I’d love some company!
Overall score 10/10
4. In July my goal is to give up single-use plastics. I am currently ‘in-training’ just now – if you scroll back a few posts on the blog, you will be able to read about my progress so far.
Plastics have a huge negative impact on the environment for a number of reasons, including their failure to decompose at the end of their ‘working lives’ and the harmful chemicals they are composed of. By giving them up for a month and by finding small ways to banish them from my life, I hope to reduce my contribution to the damage they cause our planet.
Hmmm…I certainly threw myself into this challenge, in that I changed the way I consumed plastics and I blogged about it fairly enthusiastically – you can read my Plastic-Free Me posts here. July itself was quite different to how I imagined it would be. It was far from plastic-free, but I did make significant changes and as part of a team of other blogger taking part, awareness was raised of the issue.
Overall score: 7/10
5. Throughout the year I will be trying to reduce my rubbish as much as possible. Having implemented some new green habits in 2013, including composting and taking part in Zero Waste Week, I began to see the amount of junk I put out for the weekly bin collection decrease. I found this a little bit thrilling. In the last seven months I have gone from throwing out approximately three bin bags per week to one. I think can improve though. Hopefully I’ll work out how and be able to share it on the blog.
If I’m being honest, this resolution was neglected. It’s hard to tell whether I reduced my rubbish or not. We’re still putting out one bin bag most weeks. Taking part in Plastic Free July obviously helped, as did Zero Waste Week but my recent clear-out while playing the Minimalist Game generated a good few things for landfill. I made an effort at Christmas time to reduce waste by using recyclable wrapping paper and reusable crackers, but I think it was a case of too little too late!
Overall score: 3/10
Good luck to everyone hoping to keep to New Year’s Resolutions in 2015 – I look forward to finding out what they are, and whether we are going to be embarking on any of the same challenges.