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.