2020 Resolutions

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Every year it seems like we can’t get past the tradition of setting goals for ourselves. And I am no exception.

However, this year I have decided to not only think of myself and my personal goals but how I can better The Green Hearth.

Initially, I wanted to have 1 goal. One single item I could focus all my efforts on for the year so I could truly make progress. The truth is, there seemed to be one other thing on my mind I felt necessary to make 2020 an amazing year!

Number 1: No liquid soap

Last year, I introduced a recycle bin into our bathroom as a way to see how much we could put in that bin compared to the trash. I was surprised to find that each month, the trash and recycling filled up pretty evenly and really started to pay attention to what I was tossing in the trash. The truth is, a lot of what I was getting rid of was bottles and supplies!

Plastic is fantastic in that it can be recycled into itself hundreds of times, the problem is that:

  1. Many cities only accept certain plastic types (and, in fact, some are reducing or eliminating recycle collection all together)
  2. A number of plastic products contain multiple types of plastic, which makes breaking them down and recycling them difficult
  3. Manufacturers won’t take back your plastic trash

So this got me thinking: beyond the simple (and obvious) need to reduce plastic waste, if I were to eliminate just liquid soap (like hand and body), I should be able to reduce my plastic consumption, at least a little. As a bonus, by going to local shops and farmer’s markets, I would be decreasing my carbon footprint by not purchasing big name brands that ship their products worldwide and would be supporting small businesses.

Probably one of my favorite aspects of this resolution is the idea of no longer purchasing this nasty nylon pouf. Granted, I love them for the first week or so when they are rough and tight… But then they seem to quickly lose their bounce back. And what can you do with them when you finally need to switch them out (which should be done every month!) the only thing you can do: toss them in the trash. So, this plastic-reduction bathroom will also no longer contain nylon wash poufs, but loofahs instead!

As you can see, there is a number of things I want to do to reduce my plastic use at The Green Hearth. By starting with something simple and small, like not purchasing any liquid soap, I can be constantly aware of this easy change so I can gradually make better shifts in our household.

Number 2: Soil & Seeds

This isn’t called The Green Hearth for nothing! This year, I want to focus on my outdoor efforts on creating compost for healthy soil and starting a nursery from propagation.

Let’s begin with the soil (as you normally do). For the past two-and-a-half years, I have cared for a small community of compost worms I graciously inherited from a friend. While at Project Red, I was limited to this small 2’x2’x2′ box since space itself was a smaller Chicago condo. Now, I have access to mother earth and warmer temperatures and ready to expand!

I want to take my box of worms and grow their numbers to an outdoor space where I can really take advantage of tossing my food scraps, paper waste, and decaying foliage so I can build the most amazing worm compost around!

This will then, of course, help with my small salad garden as well as new and interesting plants! I even want to bring this back to my Resolution on “No Liquid Soap” by growing loofahs to use in the shower,

Additionally, back in Chicago, I was able to start propagating succulents but had to gift them before the move across the country. Now that I am back, I’m ready to start the process over and build my nursery!

So stay tuned, I hope to share progress and techniques (good and bad) and how I am progressing.

Featured image Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash