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2021 Eco-Resolutions

To kick off our first post of 2021, Ambassador Olivia writes about her new year's environmental intentions and how she will be monitoring her progress through bullet journaling.


Happy New Year!

As with any other new year comes talk about new years goals and resolutions. However, with 2020 being an extremely challenging year (to say the least), I just wanted to highlight that many are still feeling the physical, health, mental, and financial repercussions of 2020, and it is okay if for this year, your only resolution is to be kind and patient with yourself while you make your way through unprecedented times.

I will be describing the thought process that I had while establishing my goals this year, in hopes that it will resonate with you and help you to determine what your eco-goals are for 2021.

While reflecting on my resolutions for this year, I started off by writing out my intentions. For example;

- I intend to eat less meat

- I intend to produce less waste (especially plastic)

- I intend to take initiative to further educate myself on issues of climate change and environmental justice

- I intend to advocate for action on climate change and environmental racism

- I intend to encourage more local and ethical businesses instead of big corporations

Following the establishment of my intentions, I highlighted specific goals that will help me to get closer to achieving my intended lifestyle. These included the following examples:

  1. Finding three products that I can swap out for reusable/sustainable options. I am currently running out of shampoo, and I have decided that instead of buying a new bottle that will eventually be thrown away, I am going to use shampoo bars from the Tare Shop from now on. (For those of you who do not live in Halifax, Lush also sells shampoo bars).

  2. Meatless Mondays. Instead of pushing myself to completely cut meat out of my diet as a new year's resolution, I took the approach of reducing my meat consumption. I am starting out with not eating meat on Mondays. On those days, I will be trying out new vegetarian meals, since I am trying to build my veggie recipe repertoire (feel free to comment some of your favorite vegetarian meals if you have any suggestions).

  3. Research Project. Over the last few months, I have been engaging in research on the pandemic and how it has affected waste trends in the Halifax Regional Municipality. I will continue to work on this project so I can share the results with the Stop Trashing It community, and bring awareness to ways that we can reduce pandemic-related waste.

  4. Buy produce from the Wolfville Farmers' Market. I have never understood why cucumbers come in plastic packaging and why toothpaste is sold in carton packaging. In order to work towards my intentions of producing less waste and buying from local and ethical businesses, I have decided to buy my produce from the Wolfville Farmers' Market. They deliver to Halifax and Dartmouth, so this is an accessible option that also prevents me from having to go grocery shopping.

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading 'Better Than Before' by Gretchen Rubin. It is an interesting book that explains how to change undesired habits, or adopt new ones.

One of the important steps that Gretchen mentions in the book is the need to monitor our habits, as she argues that we manage what we monitor. In order to monitor my progress on my intentions, I have begun bullet journaling.

For those of you who may be new to the concept of bullet journaling, Google defines it as: "A method of personal organization developed by designer Ryder Carroll. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming, and other organizational tasks into a single notebook".

In order to monitor my goals and intentions, I made a habit tracker for the month of January, and included some environmental goals that I can track. Some of my goals are a bit vague, but I tried to find indicators when possible. This resulted in three indicators that I will be tracking (pictured below). If you are interested in tracking your habits through a bullet journal, there are several templates available on Pinterest and YouTube to guide you.

I wish you all a safe, happy, and environmentally-conscious new year!


Olivia has lived in Nova Scotia for the last three years and is currently a Master's student at Dalhousie University. In her spare time, you can find her exploring the beautiful sights of Nova Scotia and documenting them on her Instagram account @thenostalgictraveler.

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