Sustainability Goals 2012

Since it’s the first week of 2012, I figured that I’d share my goals for 2012 with all of you.  I don’t list every goal in every category, but I do put the ones that I feel relate to the things we talk about on the blog.

Every year for the past 6 or so years, I’ve tried to set some yearly goals for myself.  I have found that instead of writing them all down on a piece of paper and trying to go after all of them at the same time, it was easier for me to break them down into categories.  That way, they didnt get to be too large, and by defining the large categories, I was also able to make sure that I was doing things that I truly find important, such as staying healthy, getting my finances in order and trying to live a more sustainable life all around.   I usually share those 3 categories on the blog, and on my goals sheet that I write everything down on, I have a few other categories, like personal and a grab bag category of sorts.  Last year, I didnt really set any sustainability goals specifically, but getting a job in the city where I lived definitely helped me be more sustainable because I was driving less.

This year though, I thought i’d come up with a few sustainable goals, which are heavily subject to change, mainly because I dont own my own place (yet).  I’ve thought about a few and if I cant do all of them, I’ll still give some of them a try.  Here’s what they are.

  1. Plant a freaking garden.  This, unfortunately, is subject to landlord approval.  I’ve already talked to him about it, but I’m not sure if he’s going to go for it.  It’s kind of in a dead patch in the yard, so all I’d really have to do is get some lumber (was hoping to use railroad ties, but the creosote kinda spooked me).  I really want to try this next year because I even wrote about how having a garden would green your summer.  Even though I’m sure I’ll be busy with wedding stuff most of the summer, I’ll still want to give this one a go.  It shouldnt cost that much either, because I can get a truck bed full of composted soil for about 20 bucks from the city.  If I dont get approval from my landlord, I’ll try to get something going in some pots – probably commonly used herbs around my house like basil and mint.
  2. Make some papercrete.  I really think this stuff is cool, and I’ve been saving paper at my office to bring home (dont tell H) and make some at some point.  I think this stuff would be perfect to use instead of lumber for raised garden beds, and I’m sure I could find some other uses for it.  Hopefully this stuff wont be too easy to make.  (If you’re curious about what it is, check out my guest post on sustainable personal finance)
  3. Continue using human power for most traveling.  Most of the places I go are nearby my home and office, so I’ve been walking or biking there recently.  This is not only good for my health, but it keeps the miles off of the truck and keeps the environment healthier, all while saving me some gas money.  The only places that I do drive are to the grocery store and to target when shopping needs to be done.  There have also been times when I’ve needed to go multiple places and pick something up, or it has been really cold when I’ve driven somewhere I’d usually walk.  I’d like to keep that up for 2012.  More walking and biking, less driving!
I think this is a good list, and there may be a few other things related to sustainability that I do this year, but I’m not going to put them on here – I’ll probably write posts about them though, so you’ll be updated either way.  Most of these are of the “pass/fail” style of goals – meaning that I’ll either end up with one of those two results, and nothing in between.  We shall see how it goes.
Readers:  What are your health goals for the coming year?  Do you have health goals, or are you simply trying to maintain what you’ve got?  Are you goals focused on weight-loss or something different?  
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About Jeff

Jeff is the founder of sustainable life blog and has been interested in sustainability for most of his life. After realizing in 2007 that his finances were a total wreck, he started reading financial blogs and quickly realized that what is best for your wallet is typically better for the earth, and is usually healthier. On sustainable life blog Jeff shares his journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. For updates, subscribe by email or like us on facebook.

Comments

  1. Those are some pretty awesome and unique goals. I hope that the landlord goes for the garden idea. Our goals include a lot of financial goals which I’ve already posted about. I also want to re-committ to working out and eating a little better as well as improving my outlook on things that normally cause me to lose my temper. So far, doing not perfect but not awful.

    • Thanks beagle – I hope to get them done as well. I’ve gotten approval from the landlord, and now all I need to do is evict the dog (It’s the sunniest spot in the yard, so she loves to lay there) and then build the beds. Hopefully i can scavenge some wood for the beds, but i’m not sure yet. I’ll ask around at the office and keep my eyes peeled when im on the road.

  2. Perhaps a link to the papercrete article would be useful for your readers! :)

  3. Nice goals. Hopefully, your landlord will let you have a garden. You can do a lot in a container, but it never works as well as in a real garden for me.

  4. Since we both know I’m a total geek- PAPERCRETE! Have you seen the MythBusters episode where they make an actual speed boat out of the stuff? If this stuff can handle being a speed boat in the ocean off Alaska, even if just for a half hour or so, I think it can handle making raised gardens easy.
    You might want to paint it a pretty color though. Keep H happy and all.

  5. My goals are focused on hitting college savings and retirement goals this year, which sadly were missed in 2011. But purely on the sustainable side, I just went and caulked a ton of window sills which had cracks in them (I’m not sure how much this will save on heating costs this winter, but I could feel a little draft on some of them) and I may do that crazy plastic blow dryer cover thing on some windows as well. My wife thinks I’m crazy and it looks bad, but I can feel cold air around our windows when it’s like 10 degrees out.

    • I havent re caluked, but i’ve done the plastic sheeting – those may not look the greatest, but boy do they work.

  6. Yes to the freaking garden! As for the landlord, better to ask forgiveness than permission.

  7. Those sound like great goals. I hope your landlord gives you the ok. Having a garden rocks. If you are limited on space, try containers. This is what I use and my garden is really successful.

    Great job on using human power. I have gotten out of this unfortunately since summer when my office got moved but come spring I am getting organized and riding my bike. I can’t wait. I really miss the fresh air.

  8. I love your HUMAN POWER transportation goal! That is an excellent, and healthy endeavor.

    I am afraid of dying on my bike on the streets in SF, so I don’t do it. But, if there were protector lanes, I would! Two friends got airlifted due to bike accidents in the past 1 month!

    Sam

  9. If you look after your garden in the off seasons for example covering it up pruning and soil maintainance you will reap the rewards in the flowering and fruiting season. Happy gardening

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