I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year! I am hopeful that at the end of 2020 you will look back on the year with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for having kept your New Year’s resolutions pertaining to Climate Change. If you have fallen short in 2019, this is a new beginning, a clean slate.
But how best can we ensure that these resolutions will not fall by the wayside? How can our new way of living become a habit?
Here are some thoughts:
- Make resolutions that are well-thought-out and attainable.
- Recommit yourself to limiting your consumption. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Plan ahead. For example, carry that extra tote bag in your pocket or handbag, do multiple errands in one trip to reduce auto emissions.
- Keep up on climate news so that it remains at the forefront of your mind.
- Even if you can’t always be environmentally prudent, at least acknowledge the effect of your actions. For example, airline flights leave an immense carbon footprint.
- Do not keep your resolutions to yourself. Find one or more friends who share your concern. Join a group or organization committed to Climate Care.
- Make joining that group one of your resolutions, a very important one!*
- Reward yourself if you feel you are making progress. Treat yourself to something that you enjoy, eco-friendly, of course.
- Assess how you are doing. Keep a journal, write a poem or perhaps a lament.
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you have fallen short, just recommit and keep going. Remember change is a process.
*It is easy to become discouraged, especially when those around you seem oblivious to the gravity of the situation. That is why it is important to join with other like-minded people to encourage one another in your individual efforts, and also to come together in a grass-roots organization to address the environmental challenges faced by your community, neighborhood and certain social groups.
Following is a short, but powerful poem by Mary Oliver.
Watching a Documentary about Polar Bears
Trying to Survive on the Melting Ice Floes
That God had a plan, I do not doubt.
But what if His plan was, that we would do better?
With our New Year’s resolutions, I am hopeful that we will do better, but there is one more that has immense promise and is guaranteed to reach far into the future. We can resolve to teach a child about care and appreciation for our natural world.
Please share this little video with the children in your life.
Again, wishing you a Happy, Healthy and beautifully Green New Year!
Thank you for being on this journey.
*Oliver, Mary. Red Bird (Beacon Press: Boston, 2008) 45.