Green New Year’s Resolutions (Happy 2010!)

I always write new years resolutions. I like that the holiday makes me pause for some reflection.  There are some resolutions that have helped me focus, and some of them even come true (through hard work and persistence– isn’t that how anything worth doing gets done?).

But some continue to elude me. Like this one: eat less cheese.

I’ve had that one for years. I ate low fat cheese before pregnancies. Really, I did.  But during the cravings,  full fat cheese made a comeback. The sharper the better. And ever since, I just can’t shake it. So this continues to be a goal of mine, for health and ecological reasons.

Now for some loftier goals. I always include green goals, but as I gain more knowledge about chemicals in our food and products, versus environmental implications, I go through a sort of paralysis I’ve described here before.

Here’s an example. Canned soup. So convenient for lunch, quick dinners. And I LOVE tomato soup deeply (a youth of grilled cheese and tomato soup that could heal anything). But I know the cans contain BPA (and loads of salt), even the organic brands. So, I have been buying the kind in those cartons, but where do those end up?

The trash!

Not good. So that is a new year’s resolution. Less processed food. This has been one of my resolutions for the last several years, and I have made some good progress.  I eat *almost* no crunchy stuff from a bag, and barely any frozen pizza (oh, except for American Flatbread– that is such good stuff), but there is definitely room for improvement!

Now that the kids are older (if you count 2 and 4 old), I would like to buy more food from the farmer’s market, or join a CSA again. It is really hard to manage our wonderfully crowded farmer’s market with two little people, bags, and diaper bag. I was a member of a wonderful CSA, but I was a very picky pregnant eater– and we composted too many vegetables. So, another one would be to eat even more local. I try to select local organics from our co-op and grocery store, but I would like to take this further and support my area farmers more.

To facilitate both of these goals I need to take a cooking class! I think cooking is okay, I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. I like cooking without recipes– and being creative. If I had more skills I could do this a little more freely and confidently. So, another resolution would be to take a cooking class. My goal? Work week dinners under 45 minutes with minimal processed foods and packaging. Healthy, fresh, and local as much as possible.

Do you have any green new year’s resolutions? What would you like to do? I’d love to hear about it. We can share ideas and support.

And maybe you’ll have better luck then my perpetual “eat less cheese” (really, it wouldn’t be that hard!).

And stay tuned.  On New Year’s Day I will host the Green Moms Carnvial:  Green New Year’s Resolutions. I know they will have some fabulous ideas and information to share with you, so come back and check it out.  And happy 2010!

image:   Maggie Hoffman on Flickr

15 Responses to Green New Year’s Resolutions (Happy 2010!)

  1. KidBean December 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Eating less cheese would be great for your health, and for the planet due to the high carbon footprint of animal products. It's great that you're working toward this goal! Due to its truly addictive nature, cheese can certainly be a tough one to give up. Your idea of taking a cooking class sounds like the perfect solution!I highly recommend Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcasts and DVD's ( She's an amazing cook and her recipes are delicious! She makes only vegan foods that are deeply satisfying.Also, you may want to check out Neal Barnard's book Breaking the Food Seduction (, which deals with addictive foods such as meat, chocolate, and cheese. In my opinion, he focuses too much on soy-based foods as replacements, but it's still an excellent read.Best of luck to you with your 2010 goals!! I'll be blogging about my own shortly…

  2. Amy December 31, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    For quick meals, I recommend a using crockpot. It is perfect for busy week night dinners and many recipes are chocked full of fresh, health food. A Year of Slow Cooking at has some excellent recipes and inspiration.My New Year's resolution is to Precycle my way through 2010. I am going to start with paper precycling in January and add another theme each month. My other quest is to find a CSA near me since I just recently moved. Best wishes for 2010 and meeting your greener life goals.

  3. Tom Degan's Dai January 1, 2010 at 2:55 am #

    My plan was to quit drinking on New Year's Day. I'm starting to have serious second thoughts however. Watching the utter implosion of the country that I love so much has definite advantages from the vantage-point of the bottom of an empty vodka bottle. In fact it can be a lot of fun! Better to giggle when shit-faced than to weep with your faculties intact. The last ten years have been such an utter train wreck that it is difficult – if not impossible – to take it all in in any other condition than complete, alcohol-induced giddiness. When one is forced to witness the total decline of what used to be a grand civilization, it generally is a good rule-of-thumb to have an artificial stimulant at the ready. Heroin is too expensive and marijuana gives me terrible anxiety attacks. So make it one for my baby and one more for the road, Joe….Was that decade just a horrible nightmare? Of course I'm being facetious, but there were more-than-a-few times during during the last ten years – particularly during the time the Bush Mob was in power – that I would awaken suddenly in the middle of the night and say out loud,"Did I dream that?""Is Bush seriously president?""Did we actually invade Iraq?""Are the Spice Girls really number one?"And a special tip of the old fedora to George W. Bush. Anyone who can make me nostalgic for the likes of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan has a certain talent, no doubt about it. His entire eight-year-reign seems almost surreal in hindsight. In a twisted and cynical paraphrasing of Charles Dickens, "It was the worst of times. It was the worst of times." What a long, strange trip it's been. As the great Hunter Thompson liked to say, "Buy the Ticket. Take the ride."http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.comTom DeganGoshen NY

  4. Mama January 1, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Great resolutions!I am the market manager at our farmers market, and so you know how I feel about eating local food 😉 It is definately tough navigating with kids sometimes, but its a great lesson to teach them. Plus they get to know where their food comes from. My kids love putting a farmers' face to the food they are eating! Food is certainly the most effective eco-step to take IMO. I am hoping for a bigger garden this year, and to learn how to preserve food. Cheers!

  5. Lynn from OrganicMan January 1, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    Katy,Glad to know I'm not the only one with a weakness for cheese. Belonging to my CSA doesn't help … we get raw milk cheese in our shares! 🙂 Seriously! Let me know if you want to join the online weight loss group I'm starting. Just set up the listserv. I'd love to have a fellow cheeseaholic on the list.Lynn

  6. Anonymous January 2, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    The French and Italians eat lots of cheese and they are a much healthier society. They just don't eat a lot at one time. And they eat good cheese usually from local markets. Cheese pairs so well with some wines and it is a healthy treat if you watch amounts. So maybe less of the every day cheese and more of the really good stuff. Life is too short to deny yourself what you really love as long as it's legal and not harmful.

  7. Citizen Green January 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I am trying to reduce the amount of canned food that we eat due to BPA. Canned soup is one of the hardest to do without. I have found that cooking a good soup is really easy. I usually make a large pot of soup once a week and we eat it for lunches. It does not last all week which is ok since we get tired of it by the time it is gone. Linda A at Citizen Green

  8. Katy Farber January 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Thanks commenters!LInda at Citizen Green– I've cut down on canned goods because of BPA too, for a few years. I do miss that yummy tomato soup! I like making soups, too, I just go on kicks with it. For some reason right now my girls don't like soup. :(Thanks, Amy, I will be checking out those crockpot recipes!Thanks to Kidbean for the links, I'll be looking into those, too.Happy 2010!

  9. January 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    hmmm I love soup too, but refuse to buy anything in a can, EDEN brand i believe has BPA Free cans, and I think the Cartons of soups still have BPA in the lining, there is also organic soup by happy planet but its in plastic bags in the refrigerated section, just not sure, what the cons of it in that type of packaging maybe

  10. kristen conn January 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    One of my (many) resolutions is to buy less packaged/processed food – to cook more from scratch and get creative with leftovers. i'm fairly motivated at dinnertime to do this, but need to find some good ideas for quick healthy lunches and things my daughter will still consider "snacks"! i agree – cooking classes are always good for motivation. I can also get motivated by finding a new good cookbook – one I am enjoying right now is called Clean Food.

  11. shelley January 4, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    this website is listed on the back of my whole foods milk… those cartons aren't all bad??idk… i didn't check out the above site thoroughly 🙂 maybe in your spare milli-second, katie :)cheers, too!

  12. rObrak January 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Hi Happy New Year! At first, I don't know what are my new year's resolutions but everytime I think about it, I can able to point out what are those. And that's to learn and improve more my knowledge to something that I can use in my daily life like learning how to code css, and other programming language, and also spreading the word of green action. Because I think that by doing this, I can encourage other people to use eco-friendly stuffs such as stainless steel containers. This would be a great support for our Mother Earth this year. 😉

  13. Fake Plastic Fish January 10, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Katy, I am with you on the cheese! Fortunately, giving up plastic means it's harder to get cheese. But that doesn't mean I don't eat it in restaurants or take every opportunity I can to stock up on waxed cheese without plastic whenever I can find it. (Currently Trader Joe's has a sharp farm cheddar in wax with cloth around it. It's hella expensive for the size you get. But how can I resist?Anyway, I'm thinking that dairy products are the culprit in the digestive problems I've been having (have already given up gluten but still having probs) so after TJ's runs out of that cheese, which they surely will because they never keep anything I love, that's it! For real!:-)

  14. cassie January 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    TO FAKE PLASTIC FISH, A family member of mine when to see a nautralopath, not for food allergies, but he had one done as part of the routine, and it was amazingly indepth a few pages nothing like what you get tested for at the doctors I was very shocked, anyways theres things on there you never would have thought your body is reacting too, I dont have any food allergies I know about but Im thinking Id like to get it done just to see what my body isnt liking in it, Id recommend to anyone to see one of these alternative specialists.

  15. beco butterfly April 21, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    We should avoid artificial and toxic things as thsi is the only way w can reduce its effects.

Leave a Reply

Join the Non-toxic Kids Monthly Newsletter

Non-Toxic Kids is your source for green parenting news and activism, reviews of eco-friendly products, books and music for children, and tips for more natural family living. Our mission is to help your children stay safe, healthy and smart.

  • Stay current on environmental issues affecting kids
  • Get must-have parenting from experienced moms
  • Learn how to choose healthier products
  • Join us in taking action to protect our children
  • Grab your FREE copy of The Chemicals in Us (and how to avoid them)