Friday, January 31, 2014

Easy, ethical resolutions for 2013 - revisited

As with most New Year resolutions, I did not stick to all of my easy, ethical resolutions in 2013. Now seems a good time to reflect on them, as I am starting a new job, in a new city, on Monday.

1. I've donated >5% of my income to humanitarian charities, although I am yet to do my taxes (apologies to my accountant) so I can't give an exact percentage. I donate to five charities on a monthly basis and make one-off donations to other charities throughout the year. For more on why I do this, see my post on The Life You Can Save.

2. I have been following Michael Pollan's food rules pretty well but want to do better. I lent his book to someone so I can' t check them one by one but I've followed the main rules and also read his new book, Cooked. My main food aim for this year is to cook more! I will be sharing accommodation this year, which may encourage this habit.

3. I have continued to purchase and eat free-range or organic meat when available, and gone meat-free when those options are not available. I was limiting meat consumption to one or two days per week for most of the year. I haven't frequented the local farmers' market often because it is too darn busy. However, I buy my groceries from my local independent grocer.

4. I continue to use the Shop Ethical app. They have included new categories including clothing (and underwear, swimwear and footwear). I remember my reusable grocery bags (I have finally developed the habit) and carry a spare tote bag in my handbag most of the time in case I pick up some groceries on the way home.

5. I have had some clothes mended and continue to have shoes resoled. I have not purchased any new shoes this year. I recently lost about ten per cent of my body weight and a lot of my old clothes now fit a lot better. When I have purchased new clothing or accessories, they have been from small local businesses or ethically made in Australia. I haven't bought many used items. Overall, I have purchased far fewer clothes and accessories this year than in the past. I still haven't managed to host a Clothes Swap party.

6. I participated in a few "Buy Nothing New" months, including the official October BNNM. I have kept myself accountable all year by recording all purchases of non-food items. I have been a far more thoughtful and discerning consumer when it comes to buying "stuff", especially non-consumables.

7. I haven't purchased bottled water, except once when I was stranded in an airport for 5 hours.

8. I have increased my exercise levels! This has included a lot more incidental walking (easy when you live walking distance from work, which I have for the past six months) plus intentional exercise doing group sessions with my personal trainer. Doing group sessions rather than one-on-one has allowed me to attend far more often and I've enjoyed the group environment. I'm feeling much fitter and stronger. I'm moving to a new job in a new city for six months, so I have to make sure I keep up the exercise.

9. I didn't get a bicycle. I did walk and use public transport often.

10. I have piles of things to give away but they have stayed sitting in my living room/spare room/wardrobe/store room for almost a year now. Whoops.

11. I think I have used less water and electricity, although I haven't made any drastic lifestyle changes to achieve this.

12. I did not grow any plants. I think more of my cacti and succulents died through neglect.

13. I did not blog here often at all. I know, you're devastated.

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