Environmental Resolution for 2010? Do Less. Do It Better.

After years of making New Year's resolutions that are admirable in their scope — and frustrating in their lack of achivement — I've finally hit on the one goal that makes sense to me not only for the year that's about to dawn, but for the decade that lies ahead:

Do less.  Do it better.

This will probably be harder than it sounds.

We face more "opportunities" than ever before – more ways to social network, more green stuff to buy, more blogs to read and write, more work to do, more programs to watch, more groups to support…

And yet how much "more" is truly meaningful?

In my case anyway, it seems that the more I do, the more fractured my life actually becomes. I spend a lot of time catching up and keeping up, rather than determinedly building on a foundation that, over time, amounts to tru, meaningful change.

I can't help but wonder, if I chose quality over quantity, would I actually make a bigger difference in the world?

2010 will be the year I give that notion a try.

Here's the list of "less" I'm going to aim for:


* Less causes, more results-oriented campaigns.

* Less "multiple streams of income," more effective consulting for clients that make a difference.

* Less social "gadabout-ing," more quality comments and posts.


* Less consumption, more eco-friendly goods when I do buy.

* Less processed foods, more food I grow myself (well…except when it comes to chocolate).

* Less electronic entertainment, more quality time outdoors.

* Less driving, more mass transit, biking and walking (even if it means I go fewer places).

* Less charities to support, more support for those I endorse.

None of these changes are destined to gain me more time, the commodity that is perhaps in shortest supply in our "do more, have it all" world. They do promise to make the time I spend more worthwhile. At a minimum, doing less should help me simplify my life, a worthy goal in and of itself. Will it?  Stay tuned.  And let me know what's on your "less list." 

For more resolutions, don't miss these posts from the Green Moms Carnival, hosted this month at NonToxic Kids. 

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13 Responses to Environmental Resolution for 2010? Do Less. Do It Better.

  1. Anna @Green Talk December 31, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    I love your ideas! Kind of like the concept more is less or do what you do best. Food for thought.

  2. Diane MacEachern January 1, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    You hit the nail right on the head, Anna!

  3. Mindful Momma January 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Diane – I admire you for tackling the big one!! Simplifying sounds so….simple. But it’s harder than it looks. I like how you broke it down into manageable goals for both your personal and professional life. You can do it!!

  4. Kim @ GetGreenBeWell January 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    I totally, totally agree, Diane! It’s nice to hear someone else verbalize this constant need to try to do it all while getting nothing done. I wish you much success in 2010 and for everyone else who takes the pledge to do more by doing less!

  5. Amy January 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    I plan to precycle my way through 2010 which is a very similar concept but more focused on my consumption. January is my month to focus on using less paper in my life. Best of luck to all of us and our green resolutions.

  6. AmberS January 2, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Good luck with the quality over quantity. I think that’s a great goal, and I hope that you achieve the simplification and results that you’re looking for.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Diane MacEachern January 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    I take the train (or bus, or subway) whenever I can. So much more time efficient, and I love the energy-savings.

  8. Jeanne of EcoLabel Fundraising January 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    How funny, Diane! I was just yearning for that the other day. I join in your idea of less is more in 2010!

  9. Braddock Spear January 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    This is a great way to reevaluate your priorities. My “less list” will fall under the general goal of…less talk, more action. I find myself coming up with ideas for projects, changes in behavior, etc. to help the environment and my community. But sometimes instead of putting an idea into action, I get sidetracked by more ideas. Similar to your “lesses” Diane, I’ll try harder to focus my time and energy.

  10. Mary Hunt January 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Less is more. I think I’ll be taking the train more often this year so I can write posts on the way to work. I haven’t found a legal way of doing that in the car.

  11. Condo Blues January 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    I like your less is more approach. Good luck in reaching your goal.

  12. Ria January 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Less energy consumption means doing better since it’s like doing our environment a favor. Generous sites such as http://www.Tintbuyer.com help educate people on the actual ENVIRONMENTAL and FINANCIAL benefits of solar control window film. People are attracted to ‘big’ solutions rather than the existing because at their core they feel the ‘big’ solution may or may not happen and, in a way, may not ever have to change. The solution is found not in creating new industries and $100B for photovoltaic GENERATING capacity but rather changing the way we think about CONSERVATION. If every home installed compact fluorescents, increased attic insulation, installed clear heat control window film, and increase the t-stat 1 degree we would reduce CONSUMPTION far more (and far more quickly) than building new generating capacity. It’s like putting more horsepower in a car to make it go faster but ignoring excess unnecessary weight of the car.

  13. M.S.Rochell January 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    I definitely can related to your experience of feeling scattered at times from all the opportunities and input that we receive on a daily basis. Slowing down a little, breathing, focusing ourselves, and setting some limits can be a very positive experience!

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