Setting the foundations of my resolve

Boy, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Not much is happening, other than being halfway through my third NaNoWriMo and continuing to squeeze the most value from my grocery dollars – you know, the uzhe. It doesn’t matter, since now is not the time for regrets nor recriminations.

Now is the time for planning.

You know me – I am always up for a challenge, especially when it comes to self-improvement. So, I was going down a Google hole of trying to calculate my household carbon footprint. Turns out, though we’re way ahead of the ‘average’, we’re not where I’d like to be.

Some things are not easily changed. For example, we live in an apartment building where we don’t have individual thermostatic control. We’re also not allowed to swap out our appliances. There’s only so much we can do. We can buy renewable energy shares to offset our energy usage, which is something I guess. We could also petition building management (aka the City of Toronto) to invest in green initiatives, but considering that municipal housing is constantly being described in local media as ‘crumbling’ and ‘dramatically underfunded’, I don’t see much coming of that.

Other things are much easier to control and to change. For example, I’ve decided that we’re not going to buy, make or otherwise change our furnishings until we’ve pared them down to the absolute minimum. This may happen bit by bit, but it will happen.

I just recently asked the Fella what he thinks about switching our paperback collection for an e-reader (or two). While he grumbled some, he was forced to concede that it would free up a bunch of space, thereby reducing the amount of storage needed. The larger, colour-illustrated tomes, like the roleplaying books or graphic novels will stay around in their original forms, at least until someone develops a 4 colour e-reader to replace them as well.

I’m also looking into reducing the amount of waste we generate. We make about one grocery bag of non-recyclable garbage per month, which isn’t half bad for two people and a dog. However, we also fill a big ol’ blue box recycling bin to overflowing in 1-2 weeks (depending on how much pizza we’ve eaten). Seeing as how the first and most important R is ‘reduce’, I’m keen to change that tune.

Part of reaching that goal is being less lazy and more diligent in prepping certain foods in batches. I’m thinking mostly about beans here, since I’m still on the weekly broth-making bandwagon. Even if I only made enough for the week, but did it every week, I’d be better off.

I’ll also need to wean myself off of canned diced tomatoes. They are certainly convenient to add to a big batch of something, for flavour and to fill out the pot, but they’re not necessary. Plus, by this time next year, maybe I’ll have my act together enough to have home-preserved a late-summer tomato glut. We shall see.

There are many little things that add up in the waste game. Tea bags and their wrappers, the wrapping on nearly any processed food (I’m looking at you here, KD), take-away packaging. Heck, the tubes they put in toilet paper! I’m so jealous of our neighbours to the south who have access to such marvellous technological advancement as coreless TP! Hot damn!

The point is that there is nearly always room for improvement. And if I use the turning of the year to spur this personal change? Well, there’s nothing wrong with that.