Joy’s Earth Day Resolutions

One side effect of going green is an enlarged sense of moral superiority.  I have to admit that I fall prey to this every time I pull out my fabric grocery bags at the supermarket.  The other shoppers stare with envy at my grungy canvas sacks, wishing that they had the wherewithal to save the planet while buying cottage cheese, breakfast cereal, and a few dozen eggs.  O.K.—the truth is, they don’t even notice, but I’m so busy basking in the glory of a fulfilled Earth Day resolution that I like to imagine the admiration of my shopping peers.

In reality the only person who is impressed by my canvas bags is me and that’s how resolutions really should work.  If we can find solutions to our green dilemmas the shift will end up ultimately making us happier than anyone else.  In the year to come, I’m going to pick just a few goals and then go from there.  I want to actually set reasonable expectations for myself so that I can accomplish them in the midst of parenting, working, writing and enjoying this very full life.

cloth-training-pants.jpg#1 Potty Train Roscoe Using Cloth Pull-Ups:  Of course, Roscoe may or may not approve of this one, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with all the great washable potty-training products on the market.  Although cloth diapers are decidedly better than disposables, all diapers have a huge planetary impact so I’m looking forward to a diaper-free future.  Did I mention how excited I am about avoiding all those extra loads of laundry?

#2  Find a good grocery solution:  Do I shop at the employee-owned big-box grocery store with rock bottom prices or the elite supermarket with fancy lighting and seventeen brands of goat cheese?  One has more organic options but they come with extreme expense. Perhaps I should rotate between the two or supplement by going to farmer’s markets or picking my own produce. I may end up joining a community farm and getting organic fruits and veggies delivered to my door each week.  This year I vow to find a system that works for my green conscience and my budget!


#3 Switch almost all the bulbs in my home to compact fluorescents:  The research I’ve done on compact fluorescents shows that the cost and energy savings are quite substantial.  Some of the fixtures in my home use small decorative bulbs, but I did find some smaller bulbs that come as compact fluorescents for sale on the Web.  Also, check out Ikea’s selection of economical compact fluorescents. 

#4 Find a creative solution for fuel efficiency:  We are planning on replacing a truck with another vehicle this year.  I have considered a vintage diesel car that runs on vegetable oil or a small fuel-efficient vehicle, but we do lots of remodeling/landscaping and need something that can be loaded with stuff.  Is there any such thing as a turbo, Biodiesel van that’s safe, dependable and economical?  If so, I shall find it!

Although my list is short, I seem to find that small changes always cause momentum that spills over into other areas of my life.  I’ll start small and keep you posted on my successes (and failures!).  


  1. Aaah – I JUST gave away all my cotton training pants and vinyl covers. The vinyl gerber pants are so uncomfortable though – just keep going with the diaper covers you’ve been using and switch to the training pants which continue to work as underwear when training is over. I would just get a couple of the really absorbent pull-up style ones for nighttime. Good luck with the potty training! My kids were 3 before it clicked.

    On the grocery stores – I think you just have to be a smart shopper wherever you go. Two things I try to keep in mind: Organic does not always equal better (a lot of organic veggies are shipped from faraway lands) and big corporation does not equal evil. lol. I mean, Winco is employee owned – that definitely jives with my social conscience, so it’s a balance.

  2. Bummies makes a great training pant. Good luck with the potty training and all your other resolutions!

  3. Those Imse Vimse training pants are excellent. Um, we still have a lot of laundry though…I cut down on laundry by letting my girl go naked a lot of the time at home. One towel or old prefolds can clean up a lot of pee pee. I feel the best about the Diaper Free Baby (Elimination Communication) approach. Check it out.


  1. […] to my green resolutions from last year, I was able to make some big changes one step at a time.  Although I haven’t […]

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