New Year, New Lifestyle (one different thing a month for change)
Did you set yourself a list of resolutions to complete when the clock struck midnight? Have you already failed miserably? My bet is that you have not.
As mothers, we could stand to not place more pressure on ourselves, and I have a really great suggestion for you for this new decade.
I recently heard that resolutions are not meant for the first month but for the whole year and that each month should help to gradually get to your resolution. How refreshing!! This simply means that you are not failing by February if your resolution is not complete with all goals met. It means, so long as you keep moving forward, you are making a difference.
With this thought in mind, I decided to make a list of realistic mini goals to try each month, in order to make this year a year of gradual change. By the end of this year, if you follow along with me, you will have changed your lifestyle for the better without feeling stressed about resolutions. This list is meant to be handled with slow and steady care. Find days within each month to tackle the small tasks and you will have completed a lot by the end. The theme for this lifestyle change? Zero waste of course!
January –Go through your closets. If you live in Canada, you know that we are in the season of COLD. We need to bundle up, keep warm, and so do our children. Now is a perfect time to go through each closet of your home and see what is getting worn and what is not. Can you donate small children’s wear? Can you give items to friends and family? Determine how much you need and say goodbye to the rest. If you are keen, you can also tackle the linen closet or storage closet.
February – The month of love makes me think of chocolate, and chocolate lives in my pantry. So, pantry clean up is a great thing for this month. Go through your food with care. Look at items that use a lot of wasteful packaging and think differently moving forward. Are their alternatives you can find this month? Get rid of expired things and vow to limit intake to what you actually eat.
March – Set yourself up for waste-less grocery shopping. Gather your reusable bags. Do you have too many or some that are not the right size? Donate those to free up space. Have containers you can bring with you, so you are not collecting more plastics each time you shop. Get everything ready so you have a kit set at the door or in your car.
April – Spring prep time! Check those spring and summer items. Expired sunscreen? Clothes that no longer fit your children? Look forward to warm months ahead and you will be able to tackle this challenge easily.
May – This is the month of Mother’s Day. Take this month to reflect. You are almost halfway through the year. Is it going the way you would like? Be proud of your successes and your changes thus far. Enjoy your month of reflection.
June – Summer clean up! Get ready for BBQs and fun in the sun. How many beach towels do you have? Can you donate some? What about summer dish wear? Do you have a great reusable collection? Now is a great time to make that switch.
July – This month is dedicated to research and reading. Enjoy the summer month by reading a great book about zero waste or self-help. While you are at it, take a look at your book collection. Are there some books that no longer feel they should belong to you? Set them free and donate them. Someone else will be grateful for them!
August – School prep time. Get yourself together for the month ahead and go through your school supply list, the school clothes, running shoes, etc. You will have items to donate and items to purchase. Do yourself a favour and reuse supplies that are still good. Its better for the environment and your wallet.
September – How are your school lunches going? Do you have reusable bags for snacks? What about containers for hot and cold meals? Now is a great time for a clean up of reusable containers and bags. Limit your space and keep only what you need.
October – rethink Halloween. No need to go buy a new costume – make it! Your children will love getting back to basics and making a costume at home. It’s a great way to no waste and it will set the tone for more holidays coming up.
November – What do you use to decorate your home? Analyse what you have used so far this year, and what you haven’t. Make a bin of décor items you no longer use and donate them with confidence. This includes Christmas decorations!
December – Rethink gift giving. Instead of maxing out your credit cards, take a deeper look into who you are buying for and what you can gift them that is not wasteful. A home cooked meal, an experience…make a list and check it twice. It will help make the holidays much more relaxing.
I hope this list help you take a broader look at a zero-waste year, without pressure.
Take this list and make it your own, change it as you see fit. No pressure, just a little help.