10 Green Goals for 2012

Last week I evaluated my performance on my half-year resolutions made in July 2011. Today I'm posting some goals for this year. These goals will mostly be modest, because I like to feel successful, and because I have a new baby and won't be accomplishing much of anything for several months.

Make my own hummus from scratch.
So, I know how to make hummus from a can of garbanzo beans and from garbanzo flour. But I don't like the BPA in canned foods, and I was never completely sold on the texture from the hummus I made from garbanzo flour. We own a pressure cooker, which my husband mostly uses to make black beans and pinto beans. But I know how to use it and it's not that hard, so it's high time I cooked my own garbanzo beans to make into hummus. Several of my friends do this and when they bring their homemade hummus to the park, my kids always gobble it up. This goal isn't particularly difficult in and of itself, it's just a matter of fitting it into my routine, which already entails making homemade bread, yogurt, snacks, etc. [Update January 2013: I now make my own hummus from dried garbanzo beans in 5 minutes. Read how in this post.]

Buy houseplants.
Yep, this is going on my list of goals again. I just can't seem to get myself to OSH or Home Depot with my list of air-cleaning plants in hand. Hopefully, this year will be the year of the houseplant .

Find a better conditioner.
I really like my old "natural" conditioner. Sadly, it's not quite as non-toxic as I had previously believed (although certainly a large step above most conventional brands), so I'm in the market for a new one. Maybe even a bar of conditioner.

Learn the names of local plants and animals. I'm sort of half-way to success on this one (yet another carry-over from last year). Last year, I bought a bunch of books on local plants and animals, and have even flipped through a couple of them. But I have yet to take my tree book on a walk with me and figure out the actual names of the trees in our neighborhood.  In addition to being able to identify several native plants and animals, I'd like to learn something about them with my kids.

Try more DIY cleaners.
I've compiled quite a list of recipes for DIY cleaners, but I have yet to branch far beyond using vinegar, which I do use to clean nearly every surface in my house. I'd like to try making a few more cleaners myself this year. I even already purchased some tea tree oil!

Provide my children with regular opportunities to interact with and observe animals.
Much to our sorrow, we cannot have a dog or cat, or any furry pet, in our current rental. So I'm thinking a pet fish or reptile and a bird feeder. And maybe we can find a nice neighbor who will let my kids play with their dog. Or a community program like our old library's read-a-book-to-a-dog program. And I have a friend with chickens we should visit more often. I'd also like to visit several of the local farms with farm animals this year.

Take my children to a wild place at least once a month.
This was one of my half-year resolutions that I actually succeeded in doing it last year. But this year, with a baby, I expect it to be even more daunting to make these outings, so I'm putting it on this year's list too. I'd also like to make an effort to diversify the parks and beaches we visit, and find some new favorites.

Plant and/or can tomatoes.
I canned organic tomatoes from my farmer's market last fall with the help of my friend and canning guru Heidi. This year, wouldn't it be lovely to can tomatoes I actually grew myself? This one is a bit of a long shot. I'd be lucky to grow enough tomatoes for my family to consume each week. I'll actually be lucky to garden anything this year, but I'd sure like to. 

Start early potty training around 3-4 months, and then stick with it.
I started putting my second child on a potty around 6 to 9 months, and although we had a rough patch around 18 months, she pooped in the potty more than in a diaper from 1 year onward and was completely trained right around 2 years. My husband and I are so very pleased to have only one child in diapers. Although I know we may have a different experience with a different child, I consider our early potty training efforts worthwhile for a number of reasons, and I hope to start even earlier with our third child. No, I am not imagining that she will be potty trained by one year. Mostly, I just want to give my baby the opportunity to poop somewhere besides her diaper.

Schedule my computer time.
This is another carry over from last year. The days I end up hating are the ones where I pop on and off my computer one million times in a day without actually accomplishing anything. I need a schedule. It won't be a hard and fast schedule, because I'll be working around my unpredictable children, but I need some type of schedule, and then I want to stick to it. This schedule will include day-long Internet fasts at least twice a month.

For two alternative ways of making resolutions, check out these posts by Amy of Progressive Pioneer and by Kelly on Green Phone Booth.

What are your green goals for 2012?

Photo credit: Albertas Agejevas

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  1. Great goals. Love the idea of spending more time in the wild and with animals :) Look into visiting a wildlife refuge and rehab center. Those are always fun and educational.

    My goal this year is to skip the veggie gardening (too time consuming and not very successful) and shop at the farmers market weekly. Oh, we also want to try eating more clean (no processed foods--yikes)

  2. We're attempting to incorporate one technology-free day (well, part day) once a week as one of our many resolutions this year. From 9 to 5 on Sundays we don't use computers, cell phones, TV, etc. We enjoy each other, read, cook, play games, go to church, and enjoy being unplugged. Then on Sunday evenings I get back on the computer and write like crazy for my freelance work for the week. :-)


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