2021 Intentions (part 2)

Last week, I shared my 2021 Goals in the travel, food and home categories (associated with the environmental footprint calculator I like to use to calculate my annual footprint; you can read more about this here). This week, I’m happy to share with you the rest of my goals… the ones related to goods, services, and self care.

 

 

According to the calculator, my goods footprint is pretty much nonexistent, but I firmly believe there’s always room for improvement. The goods category includes all the “stuff” in our lives… clothes, kitchen gadgets, books, magazines, home decor, basically anything you buy thats’s not food.

 

I’ve spent the last few years really focused on not buying stuff I don’t need. Call it minimalism. Call it sustainability. Call it slow living (because in retrospect, I’m shocked at how much time and energy I used to spend shopping). Whatever you want to call it, it makes me happy.

 

  • Buy used clothes. So one of my goals is to simply keep up the good habits I’ve worked so hard to create. Not to let culture sway me back into habits that don’t serve me well. In 2020, I didn’t buy any new clothes (only used, and in full disclosure I did buy myself a new bra after my old one broke and my amazing mother bought me new undies and socks as gifts). I promise to post more about my capsule wardrobe strategies and the wide-ranging benefits of buying used in an upcoming blog post, so if you have specific questions, please drop them in the comments below!

 

  • No online shopping. This year, I’m adding a second shopping related goal: to only buy {clothes + everything else} from local stores. I’m excited to put my dollars into my community and the individual people who own/run small businesses here. Sure, I might have to get creative and/or wait a day or two longer to get something, but I think creativity and patience are two GREAT skills to cultivate! This means I’m going to be asking for your advice (local friends, I’m looking at you here) for local places to buy the random things I need throughout the year.

 

 

How do you influence your friends, family, community, and elected officials? It’s fine if the answer is “I’ve never really thought about that”; my space is always a judgement free zone. The last category of my eco-footprint is “services”. Services include all of the infrastructure (mostly government) that supports your life, but isn’t within your direct control (think, roads, train tracks, bridges, police, fire, etc). This category invites us to think about the ways we influence the world around us.

 

While the environmental impact of these are not directly controlled by my actions (at least not compared to the car I choose to drive or the food I choose to eat), I firmly believe that we can and should influence them. This right here is why I publicly talk about my sustainability journey. This is why @carbonfreefamily exists! When I started Carbon Free Family in 2018, my goals was to talk about the joy, laughter, fun, and calm I find in a more sustainable life and hope that my story helps you find more a more sustainable version of yourself and your life.

 

To continue my sharing journey in 2021 and support your personal sustainability growth, I’m excited to keep working to build this amazing community of people and resources, collectively committed to living a more sustainable life. I will be building more of these resources and community space:

  • Digitally on Instagram, Facebook, and www.CarbonFreeFamily.com. Follow me on whichever is your preferred platform to stay in touch and involved!
  • Through community presentations and workshops (online and someday soon in person again)
  • In person gatherings, like the clothing swaps and mending parties I started hosting in early 2020. I can’t wait to gather with you again soon!

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Self care isn’t a category in the environmental footprint calculator, but self care is critically important for us all! We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of the community and the planet. So, while this is the last set of goals I’m sharing with you, it might be the most important.

 

My early morning routine includes stretching, meditation, and coffee. I will continue to make quiet time with myself a priority. Every day.

 

2021 will be my third year participating in the 52 Hike Challenge (this is a great program with really great resources, especially for beginner hikers, so if you’re interested in learning more I highly recommend following to link to their website). My weekly time in nature continues to bring me such joy, connectedness (with nature and the humans that come along), and health. This year, as a bit of an added challenge, I’m going to try to visit as many different trails/parks as possible. I’m not fully committing to 52 different trails (because I’m so very fortunate to live near the White Pine Trail and some days I just don’t want to drive anywhere), but I am excited in intentionally explore new pockets of nature.

 

2021 will be my second full year participating in the 52 Days Unplugged challenge (again, to learn more, please visit the link or look for the #52daysunplugged posts on my Instagram and Facebook). I still struggle to have a healthy relationship with my phone, but weekly phone free days have opened my eyes to the addiction (and I don’t use that word lightly). This year, I’m going to continue to have at least one screen free day per week. Additionally, I’m going to focus on bringing screen free moments into my daily life, working to use my phone with intention (vs mindless scrolling or addictive pickups) each day.

 

WHEW! Now that I’ve written it all down, that feels like a lot to work on in just one year. And I feel compelled to talk about giving ourselves grace when setting our goals and working on them throughout the year. My goals are mine; your goals are yours. Our goals won’t look the same, just like our lives don’t look exactly the same. We’re all at a different place in our personal sustainability journey. Some habits take longer to break than others (for example, it took me 3 whole years to fully build my bike to work habit. Seriously, three years of walking out into my garage each morning and talking myself into hopping on that bike instead of the car). Additionally, my goals are made up, they only exist to serve me, to make my life better. If mid-way through the year, I realize a goal isn’t serving me in the way I intended, I LET IT GO! I encourage you to give yourself the same grace and flexibility.

 

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