Saturday, January 2, 2010

Making It Easy to Be GRRReen

In the immortal words of Kermit the Frog, "it's not that easy being green." In 2010, green means much more than color. To simplify things for myself, I personally like to define green as reduce, reuse, recycle - today's definition of the "Rs."

Just yesterday, a new law took effect in Washington, DC, that mandates all retail establishments that sell food items charge 5 cents per each plastic bag used. Most of this "user fee" (aka tax) is collected by the city and becomes dedicated funding to clean up the Anacostia River. However, as I read this morning in the Washington Post, the retail establishments can keep "1 to 2 cents" of each nickel collected. I'm not sure why they get to keep some of the tax as they'll be spending less on supplying customers with plastic bags. Regardless, I do hereby resolve in 2010 to be more diligent about carrying around my reusable shopping bags.

I'm not a fan of making resolutions for the New Year because when I break them (and I always do), I feel guilty and disappointed with myself. Why do I need to just set myself up to feel bad? I reserve all those self-improvement efforts for Lent - a mere six weeks long - when I am much more likely to follow through with something for a limited time.

However, because my wallet needs to make at least that one resolution, I have decided that I'll give the year my own theme and then modify my actions to fulfill that theme.

2010 - Making it easy to be GRRReen

Each and every day I will either reduce, reuse or recycle something. Yesterday, I reused shopping bags at the grocery store. Today, I am recycling some old gardening catalogs that I think I can live without. My short-term goal is to make a habit of being conscious and aware of what I keep, what I throw away and what I do (or don't) purchase. In the long-term, I think I'll feel less burdened by the material things in life and better about how what I do impacts the earth. (I'll update periodically with RRRs of note).

In the meantime, I'm off to figure out what I'll RRR tomorrow.
PS - Ray Charles sings it pretty nicely here.

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