New Year Resolutions (Josh 7th Jan 2020)

Here’s Josh Johnson’s letter to the editor.

New Year’s resolutions are the pits. Most fail when lofty ambition meets hard reality, and if you can resolve to do something on the 1 st of January, couldn’t you just as easily resolve to do something any other day of the week/month/year?

But resolutions are good. We don’t make important or significant changes without resolving to do so. Progress happens when we take stock of our surroundings and resolve to make things better. And the fact is we often need a reason—arbitrary or not—to make our resolutions. Maybe it’s the beginning of the week. Maybe it’s the first or the fifteenth of the month. So long as a real resolution to change is on the table, who cares how we get there?

When it comes to climate change, we spend a lot of time talking about how the climate is changing, but we sometimes get skittish talking about how we need to change. Maybe it’s too daunting. Or too complicated. Maybe the problem is so big and the solutions so ongoing that it’s hard to know when and where to start.

But here we are, in the open doorway of a new year. Why not use this moment in time—arbitrary as it may be—to resolve to, in whatever you can, make the world a happier, healthier place?

Would people like to suggest their own new year’s resolutions?

I’m aiming to think more carefully about what I buy at Willies/PdT. I want to cut down on packaging and the distance a product has travelled in order to reduce my carbon footprint.

Packaging marked as recyclable isn’t necessarily better as it’s not clear that we are actually recycling things properly. Some of our recycling is apparently ending up in a landfill. How do we find out what is actually happening vs what we imagine is happening?


One resolution I have is to promote the joy & health of MYSELF! This one is important for me because the more I promote the health of my mind & body, the more energy I have to spend on things that bring me joy like the West Central MN Climate Network! :purple_heart:


I’d like to write more letters to local and state politicians. Letters to national politicians are important, but individual letters are unlikely to have a substantial impact. More local folks get far fewer (if any) letters, so each letter matters a lot more.

I’m hoping this group can both help my identify important “local” issues where significant change is possible, and then who I should be writing to in order to maximize my impact.


I’ve been trying to be more intentional about bringing reusable containers to PdeT and buying bulk. Perhaps this is something that could go in a letter? I have refilled spice jars and PdeT for under $1; at Willie’s the same amount in a new container can be $4 or more. So, this is economical and planet-saving!


Welcome @Athena!

I think that could be a great letter. I know that @Susan_Gilbert and I are trying to be better about this as well. It’s super cool when you can get things (like spices) in bulk, and it’s a bummer when you can’t but wish you could. There are so many plastic containers (often in cardboard boxes) that we end up accumulating because there’s not a good way to refill the old plastic container. :cry:

A good letter might help people realize how “do-able” it is to bring your own containers and what options are out there. As more people do this, that could certainly help motivate retailers to provide more options for bulk purchases.

My sister has a huge collection of glass jars (jam jars, salsa jars, etc.) that they use for all kinds of bulk purchasing. She also brings them to restaurants for leftovers instead of getting things in styrofoam or (if you’re lucky) something recyclable or compostable.


@Athena, you’ve inspired me to work on this, too, this year!


We found out earlier this week that Pomme de Terre has a little shelf of glass jars that are for folks to use for bulk purchases if/when they forgot to bring their own. So if you have glass jars you’d like to donate, they’ll run them through their dishwasher and make them available to folks. And if you go in for some rice or müsli or whatever and forget to bring a container, you can use one of those jars. :partying_face: