7 April 2019

Resolutions - 1st Quarter

I don't usually revisit New Years resolutions much, that might be why I often don't do so well. I'm trying to be a bit more intentional in how I do certain things and spend my time, which is not a resolution so much as a general goal. I'm having mixed success with that, but I figure checking in with myself periodically is probably a good thing. Here I'm doing it publiclly, because accountability.

My original New Year post has more detail (I don't remember how the weird background colour on the text came about, just that it was a massive pain to get rid of it after posting).

1. Get out more 
An oldie but a goodie. I've not done too badly with this so far. I've done some toddler-less cinema trips, went to a meal with the local Coeliac group, and made it to an event with the group I volunteer with. Plus I have another cinema trip and a colleague's wedding coming soon.
I regularly take toddler to the local park, and now the weather's getting nicer I should probably make an effort to invite others along. I took him to a birthday party recently and chatted a bit to other mums. I haven't taken him to as many kids/families sessions as perhaps I should do (though most pre-school ones are when I'm at work), but I have booked tickets to go to a little kid's show next month.

2. See Friends More
Another one that I have more trouble with than I should. Not doing too badly though, considering I'm working full-time and I'm a mother most of the rest of the time. I've gone to the cinema and a comedy show with friends. As a family we hosted a Pancake Day meal with local friends and just recently we went to visit an old friend in a different city. I should get better at inviting people round to my house more, Toddler isn't shy and seems to like having adults about so that's not a problem. As I said above I could invite people on park walks pretty regularly. Plus there's some museum exhibits in the city centre I'd like to see, just need to remember to ask others along.

3. Reduce Carbon Footprint (or generally help the planet more)
There's more detail in the original post (and I do recommend the video I posted there as an accessible guide to practical things to do). I've been doing reading around this, and boy is there a lot out there, but there's some clear and simple stuff that most people can do. Not everything is going to work for everyone, but I'm figuring out what works for me.

3a) Home Improvements and Food Waste
Not sure now why I lumped these together, might have to rethink that.
Home Improvements are mostly things we were going to do anyway, but that doesn't mean they don't have an impact. As well as the new draft proof back door we got last year we now have draft (and moisture) -proof patio doors. We had to get the flat part of our roof redone because water was coming in. That was sorted a couple of weeks ago and I was pleased when the roofer said ours is a warm roof, meaning it's already well insulated to keep heat in and actually better than what's required by current building regs. I have also replaced our halogen bulbs with brighter LED ones, which (according to a mate who works in energy) use about 20% of the energy, so that'll reduce our electricity bill.
Not made as much progress with food waste, I may be more aware of it but other than the composting (see below) not much has changed. I'm not the one who does the bulk of the shopping and cooking, so I probably need to discuss this with my husband more. He is good at feezing or chilling leftovers and planning meals to make the most of what's been bought. I've got a few ideas we could try, but I'm still mulling stuff over. There's going to be some waste in our house for a bit, because Toddler will just stop eating when he's had enough and hand you a half-chewed food item and there's little you can do about that.
3b) Garden
Composting has been going on since the start of the year. Husband has gotten on baord with it and says that its reduced how much we're putting in general waste, which is good. He's bought a few things to help in the kitchen, though I think it's something we could tweak a bit, it's going well. I feel as though we're not doing so well with the layering of different kinds of compost that most posts on the subject recommend, but I do know people who just throw everything in and see what happens, so I guess we'll go with that for now.
We've recently planeted some potatoes, carrots and parsnips in a bed in our garden. Toddler helped plant things, although he keeps poking at the bed and saying 'taytoes' when we go out there, and it'll be a while before there's anything to show him. We're starting small, but do have plenty more seed potatoes and seeds we can sow later.
3c) What I Buy
Going to be honest there's not been much change on this front, although I do not buy a lot of things usually. I have bought some beeswax food wraps to replace cling film/tin foil, I've used one a bit, but still getting the hang of it.

Additionally I invested in a local community energy project with Community Energy Birmingham, which has put solar panels on a community building. I know I can't get them on my own house due to the orientation of the building (plus the Government recently stopped tariffs encouraging people to do this), so it's nice to have contributed to solar elsewhere.

Here's another video from Katharine Hayhoe, because I'm still finding her to be a very accessible source of information on climate change and people's reactions to it.