It’s a brand new year, so it’s time to set some goals I’ll probably forget about by mid-February. Just kidding…I hope!
Last year’s goals got a little derailed since some of them were dependent on buying a house. Although I did achieve this, it happened a lot later in the year than planned, so my ambitions to buy a bidet and set-up an outdoor clothesline never happened. I did, however, switch to a plastic-free razor, source zero-waste cleaning products from bulk bins, and start a small garden.
I still want tackle the goals I didn’t get around to last year, but I’d also like to set a few new sustainability goals for 2022. Research shows that setting goals is linked to increased self-confidence and motivation. So let’s do this!
1. Expand the backyard garden.
Although I got a late start last year, I did plant a small fall garden with a few different types of lettuce and some cherry tomatoes. I also overwintered some garlic, so I’m excited to see that pop up in the spring! This year, I want to expand the garden as much as I (reasonably) can. I also want to try out some new vegetables, like beans, peas, eggplant, and some herbs that I haven’t tried before.
2. Reduce meat consumption.
This is a continuation of a goal I’ve been working on for several years now, and I definitely eat less meat than I used to. I don’t ever plan to be 100% vegetarian, but reducing meat consumption is one of the best things you can do for the planet, so this year, I would like to expand my repertoire of meatless meals. Although I have already found a lot of tried-and-true vegetarian dinner recipes, I really want to come up with some some easy meatless lunch options that I enjoy. On busy weekday mornings, I often throw together a turkey sandwich and drop it in my lunchbox to take to work because it’s the easiest thing I can think of. Instead, I’d like to find some simple, vegetarian alternatives that aren’t PB&J.
3. Get better at meal planning and meal prepping.
Along those same lines, I used to be pretty good at meal planning and prepping, but I’ve fallen out of the habit lately. Meal planning saves time and money, and it can also greatly reduce food waste. When I don’t plan and prep in advance, I’ve found that fresh food is more likely to go bad because I don’t have the time or energy after work to decide what to make and then cook it from scratch. Although I usually compost or share uneaten food with the chickens, I still feel guilty about the waste, and it’s something I want to change this year.
So, there you have it. I didn’t plan on making all of my sustainability goals for the year related to food, but eating ethically is important to me, and I suppose our goals reflect our values. I think that having interrelated goals will also make them easier to achieve in some ways, because they will reinforce one another. Later this year, when I’m planning a meatless menu with fresh vegetables from my garden, that’s when I’ll know that I have achieved all of my goals!
What are your goals for 2022? Are you looking for ways to be more sustainable in this year?